From Ideas to Action

June 19, 2013
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Using TheBrain for Project Management

Driving your ideas to completion can be a challenge especially when you are dealing with multiple data sources, complex and sometimes ill-defined requirements in addition to many stake holders. However, creating a complete context for all your project goals and information makes it easy to manage everything and bring projects to a successful completion.

Yesterday we had a great webinar on nonlinear project management. If you missed it, here’s the recording & example Brain. And continue reading below for a summary of our best practices.



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With TheBrain’s visual interface you can create an all encompassing view of your project to see even the most complex relationships more intuitively. Your project brain will help you take control of your information and execute more effectively. TheBrain and BrainEKP can be used from the initial stages of a project all the way throught to completion. Here’s how:

1. TheBrain for Starting Your Project

Defining success is the first prerequisite to achieving it. Using TheBrain during the initial stages of project management will help you solidify your ideas and gain a better understanding of where you are and where you need to go. You can use TheBrain for the following aspects of getting your project off the ground:

  • Brainstorming This can be done as a group with TheBrain projected on your conference room wall or individually on your desktop. Start creating Thoughts for all ideas. Under these Thoughts create child Thoughts that your initial ideas might lend themselves to. Use the expanded view to enable everyone to see everything. You can create pro and con Thoughts to help your analysis. During later stages you can use Thought types with colors and icons to highlight the best ideas.

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  • Researching Possibilities and Choices Often before you can commit to a course of action there are underlying variables that need to be researched. Creating a section in your project brain focussed on these possibilities will help you make more informed final decisions. With TheBrain’s integration of files and web pages, you can drag and drop web sites and reference files so all supporting reference material on your research topic is right there. You can also link together a series of concepts to see how things are related.
  • Setting Project Goals and Objectives Create a Thought for each project goal and objective. Under these Thoughts you can spin off additional Thoughts with all the resources you need to achieve each goal. Visualizing your goals and connecting them to their implications will help you gain a meta-awareness of your objectives as you work since each time you click through your Brain you will see the goals you need to achieve and the related ideas.

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  • Communicating Your Vision to Your Team or Clients Once you have mapped out your vision for this project use TheBrain to inspire your team or sell your ideas. Clicking on a Thought in TheBrain triggers all related information so your audience immediately sees how things fit together. TheBrain’s engaging animations will capture people’s attention and help everyone focus in on your ideas.

2. TheBrain for Effective Project Management

Once you have defined your objectives and started your project, TheBrain’s advanced navigation and instant activation of Thoughts will enable you to get to any aspect of your project within seconds and find the right information to complete tasks quickly.

  • Visualizing Project Phases Create Thoughts for each phase of your project such as requirements, research, development, testing, deployment or other phases that you may have. Each phase will then have linked underneath it all relevant information and milestones that will enable you to move to the next phase.

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For a demonstration, watch some highlights from our last project management webinar.

  • Accessing and Integrating Disparate Resources Drag and drop all relevant files and web pages under the right requirement and project phase. One of the advantages of TheBrain’s visual interface is that one document can be linked under multiple categories and ideas. This will help you fully conceptualize your files and link all relevant Web pages in a way that reflect your project processes. (For more information how to integrate web pages and files watch my seminar Stop Searching Start Finding.)
  • Clarifying Responsibilities and Expertise You should also create a Team Thought in your project brain and have Thoughts for all relevant parties. If you have an existing intranet site with bios you can link to their personal pages as attached Web pages for their Thoughts. Now you can connect people to their responsibilities and expertise so if you or your team has additional questions you will always know who to contact.

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  • Requirements Management and Impact Assessment By mind mapping out all your requirements you can visualize complex requirements and pieces of a process that can otherwise feel overwhelming. Furthermore, if requirements or other variables change you can instantly see what’s connected and therefore what impact these changes will have. This will help you anticipate any complications with changes and make more informed decisions about the future direction of the project.

3. TheBrain for Project Completion

Once your project is complete your brain has effectively captured your expertise through the process and will be a valuable resource and digital memory for future projects.

  • Debriefing and Lessons Learned Thoughts After your project is complete adding in a Thought for lessons learned will help and your team evolve your processes and highlight what worked and what didn’t.
  • Ongoing Responsibilities and Maintenance Many projects continue even after the original goals have been met. Create Thoughts for next steps or continuing duties. Now all your ideas and information resources for your ongoing responsibilities are instantly accessible and linked to all related information.

Success Visualized: This is What Thinking Looks Like

Overall whether you are collaborating on a project in BrainEKP or using TheBrain, the visual links and connections will provide you with the big picture on all your activities and next steps.

Gaining this kind of oversight and analysis enables project managers worldwide to rise above the inertia of daily tasks and keep higher overarching goals and key concepts at the forefront of their day. This will enable you to bring a new level of creativity and conceptual organization that just isn’t possible with a project file and scattered resources in various drives and folders. Additionally, your Brain’s instant activate feature and advanced search enable you to move quickly to different aspects of a project instantly so you can juggle many task and switch gears quickly.

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Complete vision with integrated information assets…That’s knowledge driven project management and it will help make your project a success and take your vision to the next level with TheBrain.

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Filed under: Applications. How You Can Use TheBrain!, Getting Things Done, Mind Mapping and Information Visualization | Posted on June 19th, 2013 by Shelley Hayduk

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