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MS Project: MindManager and Microsoft Project
Posted on Wednesday, October 24 @ 08:23:17 CDT by webadmin

PMConnection Articles Mapping the tools to PMI’s Processes
Note: This document was created using MindManger Pro 7 and Microsoft Project Professional 2003. But exporting from MindManager to Microsoft Project is possible in older versions of both tools.

Overview

This document will examine the processes within the Project Management Institutes (PMI) Scope and Time Management Knowledge Area and discuss how Mindjet’s MindManager and Microsoft Project can support these processes.

Background

According to the PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) – 3rd Edition 2004, the Scope Management Knowledge Area consists of the following processes:

  • Scope Planning
  • Scope Definition
  • Create WBS*
  • Scope Verification
  • Scope Control
The Time Management Knowledge Area consists of the following processes (page 123):

  • Activity Definition*
  • Activity Sequencing**
  • Activity Resource Estimating**
  • Activity Duration Estimating**
  • Schedule Development**
  • Schedule Control**
*MindManager can help with these processes

**Microsoft Project can help with these processes

The Scenario

You have just been assigned as the project manager of a new project. Based upon information given to you, you have developed a detailed project scope statement (Scope Definition). Your mission is to build a 3 bedroom ranch home. You have been given the blueprints and advised that all materials should be of medium quality.

With the scope statement in place, your next step is to develop a WBS, or Work Breakdown Structure. This is the process of subdividing the major project deliverables into smaller, more manageable components. Note that this process should be executed by the project team. (PMBOK 3rd Edition pg 112)

You have identified the key Subject Matter Experts who will be assisting you on this project and have scheduled a meeting to develop a WBS. You could build this WBS on paper, or a dry erase board, or even use post-it notes. But why not leverage improved technology?? Why not capture things electronically the first time? Well, with Mindjet’s MindManager, you can do that!!

When we open MindManager, we see a screen with one box that says Central Topic:

mindmanager1

We can then over-write that text with the title of our project.

mindmanager2

Our next step is to create the first level of the WBS. Based upon input from the team and experience in this profession, you elect to create the following six elements; Concrete, Framing, Plumbing, Electrical, Interior and Roofing. To add those to your WBS in MindManager, ensure 3 Bedroom Ranch is selected and then click on Subtopic under Insert.

mindmanager3







Note how the new level is added to the diagram. We would prefer to see this level below the main topic. To make this change, click on Format, the Map Style

mindmanager4






then choose Assign from Template organizer and finally, select "Layout – Org Chart", then OK.

Now change the name of this Main Topic to Concrete.

mindmanager5

With Concrete highlighted, click on Insert Topic from the Home menu. Rename this to Framing

mindmanager6

Continue this process until you have added all 6 components of your level 1 WBS.

mindmanager7

We would now like to like to break down each of these components a little farther. We will start with Concrete. Given the scope of the project we add the following 3 items under concrete; Foundation, Patio, and Stairs.

To add these items under Concrete within MindManager, ensure that Concrete is selected then click on Insert Subtopic. Overwrite Subtopic with Foundation.

mindmanager8

Continue this process for the remaining items.

mindmanager9

We now decompose the remaining level 1 components to get something like this:

mindmanager10

By definition, the lowest level of the WBS is called the Work Package. We will assume each of these components on level 2 of this WBS are the Work Packages. Work Packages contain activities or tasks.

Let’s now add the tasks for each of these work packages. Ensure Foundation is selected, add Subtopic and input the first task that must occur. Continue this process for all tasks.

mindmanager11

Continue adding tasks for all Work Packages:

mindmanager12

The next thing we would like to do is number our WBS components. To do this, click on "3 Bedroom Home", then click on:mindmanager13

 



then Numbering Options, click on the Dropdown by Depth and choose 5 Levels:mindmanager14
 











You will now see WBS codes next to each component:

mindmanager15

Save your file. Notice that upon the first save, MindManager will attempt to name your file the same name as your Central Topic. Accept this name.

You have just successfully used MindManager to assist with Creating a WBS and Activity Definition. We can now export all this information out to MS Project.

To Export to Microsoft Project

Click on the MindManager icon, hover over Export and click on Export Task Info to Microsoft Project:mindmanager16





















Select the location where you would like the file to be saved, and accept the default save options. Finally, click on Export.

Once the export is complete, a dialogue box will appear saying “Successfully imported document”. Now click on Open.

mindmanager17

Be sure to choose >Tools, >Options, >View, Show Project Summary Task.

mindmanager18

You will find all components input into the WBS within MindManager have now been moved into Microsoft Project. You will notice that the various levels of the WBS appear as Summary Tasks and the tasks entered into MindManager appear as tasks within Microsoft Project.

You can now use Microsoft Project to assist with:

  • Activity Sequencing - establish the sequencing of these tasks by inputting Predecessors
  • Activity Resource Estimating - assign resources and their availability
  • Activity Duration Estimating - input the amount of Work and Duration required for each task given the resource(s) availability





 
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