June 2010 - Mind Mapping And Work Breakdown Structures

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The latest product news from the team at Ceptara, a company dedicated to helping organizations and individuals focus and achieve their goals.

Mind Mapping and WBSes Added to Organizer for Outlook

We're very excited about the addition of mind maps to the Organizer add-in.  I've been using mind maps to help organize information for a number of years, and fell in love with the ability to see everything graphically on one page.  What I've missed is the integration of my trusted management system (Outlook) with mind map project management.

With the release of [v3.1.1001] - I can now quickly answer management questions such as:

  1. What projects are running behind?  By selecting the 'Past Due' focus, I can see which projects have past due tasks and if the task is delegated, see who is responsible for completing the tasks.  And send an Action Request to that person to create a sense of urgency for closure, all from one single view.
  2. What are we doing?  Viewing the mind map for the project, I can see all of the tasks (in a hierarchy), the people involved, any notes captured in journal items, meetings that are scheduled or have occurred, and any associated e-mails - all from one single view.
  3. Create energy around one milestone or deliverable.  By 'Centering on Me', I can focus in on a sub-task tree tied to a deliverable or milestone, see who is working on which tasks, any task that is over due or coming due in the near future, and send notes out requesting closure or create blocks of time to complete pending tasks.  All in one single view.

These are just a few of the key management actions that are supported.  Imagine what you can do!

Work Breakdown Structures

Two years ago while sharing our vision of enabling personal excellence with a colleague, he had suggested that we look at the ability to create and use work breakdown structures (WBS).  Those familiar with project management know exactly what I'm talking about - but for those that don't, a WBS is simply a group of tasks that are designed to be used over and over again.  This helps to simplify project planning, encourages repeatable results, and helps people learn 'how' things are done when they work together.

In the meantime, several people have expressed interest in the ability to save a task set and reuse it.  In the latest version we've incorporated an Import / Export Wizard that helps users create and/or use task templates (work breakdown structures).  We've built capability to encourage users to create the WBSes and share them with others by making the files extremely portable and support adding your name and contact information to templates that you create.  We will be building a specific section of our website to help folks upload them to share.

Import - Export Wizard

Visit our [Release History] page for a complete listing of the new features and bug fixes.

The Ceptara [team] hopes you find this information useful.  Please feel free to contact any of us if you would like to discuss any articles or services further.  We hope you'll pass this along to anyone you think would benefit, and, of course, anyone can subscribe to our newsletter by clicking [here].

Chris Lindstrom
Founder & Managing Partner

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