MindGenius Project Planning: Unturned Stones
In step 2 of the MindGenius 5-Step Guide to Planning Projects we learn that no stone should be left unturned at the start of a project...
Our friends at MindGenius encourage us to gather all perspectives and expectations at this early stage - 'a free flow of information should be your main goal'. We are also reminded to gather assumptions and expectations, in addition to the obligatory requirements of a project.
It is often these underlying assumptions and expectations that cause problems further down the line, regardless of how clear the obligatory information may be. Getting the right people in the room at the start is critical to testing assumptions, and clarifying expectations across all functions. MindGenius illustrates this through the story of France's makeover of their regional express trains in 2014. The delivery was delayed when they discovered the new trains were too wide for 1,300 station platforms on the network. This could have been avoided if the right people had been involved in an open exploration of all their knowledge and experience of rail system at an early stage, including the fact that stations over 30 years old often had wider platforms!
There are a number of ways to gather information, including mind mapping, brainstorming and prototyping to name just three. Our experience at Biggerplate has shown us the huge value of a mind map to gather or capture many (trivial to significant) pieces of knowledge. This value is increased greatly through the use of mind mapping software like MindGenius that provides the ability to quickly sort, group and categorise the information to make sense of it and interpret its significance. Equally important, but often under-valued, is the ability to then share, develop, and iterate using the mind map as the project develops and evolves, ensuring no 'new' stones are left unturned as you move forward!
You can view and download the FREE e-book from MindGenius here: Mission Controlled - The 5-Step Guide to Planning Projects