Mind Mapping is a way of creating or recording ideas in a creative but structured way. It can be used by individuals as a form of individual brainstorming, to help to structure a presentation, or as a way of taking notes during a meeting or a lecture.
In the latter, its great strength is that you can link points together as they arise, in a non-linear fashion, rather than simply writing them all down in a linear fashion, only to have to review and analyse them later.
It can also be used very effectively by groups, not all of whom have to be present at the time, as another means of brainstorming.
In an executive agency in a government department, a project team had been formed to tackle cross-departmental communication. They decide to create a mind-map of things that could improve the situation, seen below
The general procedure is:
Step 1 - Circle the Problem or Issue
- Write the problem or issue in a circle in the middle of a sheet of paper.
Step 2 - Branch-Off
- Draw initial ideas about the issue as branches out from the centre, and then link related ideas to them as in the example.
- Each Branch is developed until ideas run out and then another is pursued.
Step 3 - Review it and let it Grow
- Perhaps leave it pinned to the wall for a week or so, so that others can add to it.
Step 4 - Use it
- Gather data on the ideas and then prioritise them for action.
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