Welcome to our latest and greatest Conspire series, “MindManager Showcase,” featuring none other than — you guessed it — Mindjet MindManager. From working as traditional project managers in non-traditional organizations, to overseeing high-level international communications, we know our loyal users need tools that can capture head-to-toe information and keep them ahead of the productivity game. And so, to highlight some of our favorite MindManager features, we’ll take you through a variety of situations that many of our customers face in their daily work lives. Sit back and enjoy!
Robin’s Role and Needs
Robin is a certified project manager for a small start-up in San Francisco. Although her company includes only 17 employees, she often finds herself managing more than 10 different projects at once. These include individual marketing campaigns and larger collaborative projects, like multi-faceted campaigns and the creation of content assets. She is the only person in her company with a certification in project management. Her title is General Project Manager, and as a result, she is consulted on a variety of initiatives by everyone in her organization. She needs a project and task-management tool that will help her streamline and track tasks, schedules, budgets, and communications across teams.
Her Major Pain Points
- No formal teams are assigned to complete projects; work must be fit into each group’s functional responsibilities
- Robin has been trained as a traditional project manager, but the rest of the organization is not familiar with a PM’s typical roles and responsibilities
- Vague but highly important expectations from all employees
- No department-specific training in the PM role
If you recall from yesterday, Robin is working on an upcoming release for her company. Today she needs to put together an actual project plan to keep herself organized, as well as capture details from all of her key stakeholders. The plan needs to include a sufficient level of detail so she can ensure successful completion of the release. This includes: who is going to be working on what specific tasks; how long each person has to complete the task; and, any dependencies between tasks (e.g., a task might have to be delayed until another is completed). Perhaps most importantly — especially in the lean start-up environment — she needs to keep track of the overall cash budget for the release and when that budget will be expended.
How MindManager Can Help
After the goals and requirements are finalized, and the resources and budget assigned, Robin can then begin creating a detailed project plan in her map. The project plan breaks the overall goals and schedules into specific topics with defined titles, start and end dates, and resources (things like people and budgets). Robin can use the new formulas and Smartfill capacities of MindManager to create a top-down budget that allocates the overall project budget for the entire project. As budget estimates are adjusted during a live planning session, the team can see the overall budget topic color change from green to yellow and finally red, indicating that they have exceeded the budget within that version of the plan. When it becomes important to show the time relationship between different topics, Robin can switch to a Gantt chart view that shows each topic and milestone as a function of time. At the end of the planning process, Robin will end up with a detailed project plan that shows how the team will execute the project on time and on budget, with all of the key requirements fulfilled.
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