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Product development consultant uses MindManager to create agile workflows, and innovative process models

Stefan Weigand | Act Agile | MindManager Blog

“For agile product development, you need to bring together a variety of subjects to build mutual understanding. MindManager allows you to represent these in a way that everybody understands, while giving you the ability to present concepts from different perspectives.” 

Stefan Weigand
Director, Act Agile

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Agility

Always-on access to project documents and information

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Less searching, less adjusting, faster task completion

Building Trust

Clear representation of complicated content in a single view

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High Efficiency

Central communication platform for quick access to information


The Challenge

Seeking to optimize their product development, companies face the challenge of unveiling, scrutinizing and restructuring their procedures and processes. However, visualizing existing workflows involves considerable work. Though you can easily depict workflows in swimlanes and other forms of representation, these do not go into full detail, and are therefore insufficient for drawing conclusions and introducing changes. Stefan Weigand of Act Agile is aware of this challenge, and knows from his own experience how frustrating it is to reproduce a product development process in PowerPoint.

“If you want to drive changes, you have to inform, include and engage all stakeholders from the beginning. Having dealt with strategic corporate planning many times, and successfully introducing application portfolio managements in several companies, I know how important it is that the employees feel that your innovations are meant to help them,” says Weigand. That’s why he attaches great importance to providing meaningful and self-explanatory information and documentation to his customers. To find the right format for these requirements, Weigand looked into the leading tools for mind mapping, ticketing, process development, requirements management and more. Eventually, he decided to use MindManager for his consulting projects and training as, in his view, this solution offers the best support for the features he needs.

The Solution

“I chose MindManager because my change management projects are often about describing connections and dependencies. I need to be able to quickly change these connections and to communicate them in an comprehensible manner,” says Weigand. With the ability to create links between different topics and content, MindManager offers him exactly the functionality he needs.

Weigand considers complexity to be an essential factor in the implementation of agile product development. When developing a strategic reorientation of a company, and its product development process, it is vital for him to be able to view the strategy in the context of different timeframes (i.e. it must be possible to view things from different perspectives). “Mind mapping enables this approach, and MindManager offers precisely the features that are required to transform a strategic framework into a specific project and to breathe life into it. I can view a process from a meta-level as well as in detail, and I can immediately see where problems could arise or how dependencies behave.”

That’s why Weigand and his team have been using MindManager for process and product development for years. They plan projects, add timelines, define requirements and embed all documents or information using links or attachments. This, of course, involves keeping stakeholders informed at each step of the process, and the feedback has been nothing but positive. Why? Because they feel that MindManager simplifies their workflows, ensures transparency and facilitates communication. This is particularly true for international communications, as MindManager allows users to export maps as HTML files. That means that content can be viewed in a browser on any device, regardless of whether the user has a MindManager license or not. This streamlines the communication of information, and is import for the overall production process.

Act Agile also uses MindManager to create and deliver training material. This type of presentation allows everybody to understand a subject and, if necessary, drill deeper into the details. “In my lectures, I use maps to introduce students to agile product development,” says Weigand. “In this way, the students have all the important information in one file and can use it for self-study whenever they want to.”

“With MindManager, I save up to 50% of the time needed to complete a task because I have a better overview, all information and documents in one place, and everyone knows what comes next.”

Stefan Weigand
Director, Act Agile

The Results

Weigand uses MindManager as his core tool in all his consulting projects, and even in organizing his everyday office life. “Without MindManager, I would have to painstakingly work out a comparable structure and overview. MindManager is a tool that helps me work very efficiently,” says Weigand.

Weigand calculated that one click takes about one second. He estimates that this adds up to about 30 minutes per day, which he gets back by using MindManager. But, he adds that it is difficult to quantify all of the benefits as there is further added value beyond the time savings. MindManager provides a better overview, a better understanding of the project, a smoother collaboration, fewer mistakes and more agility – and let’s not forget the fun it adds to work.

About Act Agile

Stefan Weigand is the founder and director of Act Agile. Weigand and his team assist companies with advancing their processes, projects, products and services. Agile product development concepts and process models play an important role in his work.    

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