Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Managing Project Specifications with MindManager

I noted earlier how much I appreciated Eric Sink's Requirements post - I also agreed with his issue about hard it is to get a good spec. It should start off as a document but then eventually turn into a To-Do list.



One of the tools I use frequently is MindManager from MindJet. It's a great brainstorming tool but I decided to try and use it for writing a small project spec recently.



As a spec tool, it actually meets the various critiera that Eric sets out. You build your entire spec with key issues and elements (I've attached a PDF of the Map here:

<img src="http://www.aksel.com/KeyChanger.jpg">



So, you can easily export the document into Word so it can be a real document to give to customers or managers. But then when you are ready to manage it, you can export it to Outlook Tasks (for smaller items), Microsoft Project (for full project files) or any other tool.



I've exported it to a set of web pages here



In my project, I actually take it from MindManager and put it into a Basecamp WriteBoard and then create individual tasks in BaseCamp for the various steps. But the key tool here is MindManager - which lets me add items quickly and easily as well as link them together.



What tools do YOU use for writing and updating project specs?





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3 comments:

Gaelen O'Connell said...

Hi Andrew,

My name is Gaelen and I work in customer advocacy for Mindjet, makers of MindManager. I just came across your blog posting and wanted to touch base with you. Did you know MindManager 7 is currently in beta? I'd like to send you a copy to test as well as some project management resources. Shoot me back an email at gaelen.oconnell@mindjet.com.

Thanks and hope to hear from you,

Gaelen

Jon said...

A great tool for sharing and updating projects is Huddle (similar to Basecamp but easier to manage multiple projects) - you should have a look at www.huddle.net :)

Chan Kok Kiet said...

I am using free tool - FreeMind for my new project. It is similar with MindJet, but less as graphical as MindJet.

http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page