IT Project Manager
Arriva Danmark A/S
Arriva is one of the largest providers of passenger transport in Europe. Their buses and trains provide more than 1.5 billion passenger journeys a year.
In August 2010, Arriva was acquired by Deutsche Bahn, one of the world’s leading passenger and logistics service providers.
“I create project plans and work breakdown structures in MindView, and with the built-in project management feature I have actually found a replacement for Microsoft Project! ”
“I use the Branch Focus feature to get a view that is as simple as possible – it makes me think better.”
For the last 3 to 4 years, Mind Mapping has been a part of my everyday life, both at home and at work. I work as an IT project manager and often need to organise a lot of thoughts regarding projects and how to manage them, but also ideas and ways to improve my job. To fulfil that need, I started looking into Mind Mapping. As an IT professional, tools are important to me. They must be simple to use but at the same time must allow for flexibility as regards file formats, im ports, and exports to Microsoft Office and other Mind Mapping tools. During the course of my search, I tried out a number of Mind Mapping tools including MindView and was very impressed with its Office integration and its look and feel that is very similar to that of the Office suite ribbon. The import/export feature is very comprehensive, and MindView allows me to have several views of the same Mind Map, a feature that has since become indispensable to me.
I In my work as a project manager, MindView has also proved its worth in an unexpected way and for a purpose for which I haven’t previously used Mind Maps very much: the project management discipline itself. I create project plans and work breakdown structures in MindView, and with the built-in project management feature I have actually found a replacement for Microsoft Project! MindView does everything I need to create project plans while giving me a variety of views, something tha that MS Project won’t. I can use these views to personally understand various connections, and I have used e.g. the Timeline view on several occasions for management groups and management presentations.
If you choose the Timeline view at the top level of the project plan, in just a few minutes you get an overview that senior management can comprehend and relate to without needing to spend hours working out PowerPoint slides … a task known by every project manager, and one which is not regarded by most people as a very efficient use of their time.
If I need to hold meetings or workshops and do not have a clear prior idea of what the agenda should contain, I always start by creating a Mind Map with my immediate ideas or ideas I may have received from colleagues. I then work on the main points and break them down in my Mind Map, and before long I wind up having an agenda after all. It only remains to export it to various Office products, and my work on the agenda is done. MindView, in short, helps me find the content for th the meeting or workshop but in fact also produces the material I need. I have also used MindView for a software development project where the entire feature requirement specification was created using MindView. We simply described the features in headlines and provided the details in text notes. Once that was done, I switched to the Outline view and started working on the project plan based on the headlines of features that were to be included in the software.
Another very useful MindView feature that I use a lot is Branch Focus. I often work with quite expansive Mind Maps, and when I need to concentrate on a sub-branch I use the Branch Focus feature to get a view that is as simple as possible – it makes me think better. Th The full screen mode can be used for the same thing and removes the ribbon. The icons add a touch of colour to my Mind Maps along with the borders and colour schemes. It’s nice to be able to make your Mind Maps different without having to do a lot of work yourself.
Like so many other people, I am a happy iPad owner, and I bring my MindView Mind Maps along on my iPad. Using the iThoughts app (not a MatchWare product) I can import Mind Maps created in MindView, and in fact MindView can also import Mind Maps created on the iPad. I just save my Maps on Dropbox; that way I always have them with me.
At home, I use MindView and Mind Maps to brainstorm on new projects that I’m thinking of launching. Using a Mind Map, I can quickly focus on a particular subject in a clear and comprehensive manner. To sum up, I am very happy using MindView. It’s almost like that extra MS Office suite product that I’ve always needed to do my job efficiently, and have a little more fun doing so.