How To Manage The Product Roadmap With MindGenius Online
MindGenius Online has thousands of possible uses within an organization to help individuals and teams to plan more thoroughly, stay on track and get the right things done on time.
MindGenius Online does this in 3 simple but highly productive and engaging interfaces (which can be used independently or in sync):
- A brainstorming, idea-capturing, mapping interface to allow the quick capture and visualisation of ideas – ideal for scoping and planning any task or project
- A Task Board area for quickly creating Task Cards (with typical task data) and placing them in “swimlanes” to enable them to be monitored and managed on a pathway or journey to completion. A highly visual and effective way to manage priorities, tasks and projects through to completion
- A Timeline calendar view which automatically converts the crucial task information from the other two interfaces into a time-bound plan or schedule – very important for people who need to visualise and manage tasks with start and end dates as a focus
Note: Initial use of MindGenius Online to plan out a block of work can be done by either; entering the tool and starting from the very start with no data; or you can select one of our many useful Templates (e.g. a step-by-step process) as a guide to help you get started. Feel free to push the boundaries of how MindGenius Online can help you once you understand how the product works and apply it to other challenging tasks.
STEP 1: UNDERSTAND YOUR OBJECTIVES
In this “How To” example we will demonstrate MindGenius Online functionality using a pre-prepared Template outlining a way of managing a product roadmap. As with all “Projects” created in MindGenius Online, the first starting point is to include important background information such as Objectives and Outcomes, as well as adding other Team Members to collaborate with.
STEP 2: GATHER REQUIREMENTS
The Template is in a highly visual Map format, accessed from the “Map” Tab on the main menu bar. It is designed to be used as a guide to ensure a thorough approach to the creation of a Product Roadmap. Initially you require to capture all the possible roadmap items, categorise them by amount of effort and impact to help you make informed decisions to manage the key features to completion.
Using the MindGenius Online Template, with the Branches acting as “Prompts”, you can now carry out two simple functions:
- Navigate the map Branches– to assist in navigating and moving through the Map to follow the process, the Map Explorer function is extremely valuable. It replicates the map structure and any item can be isolated on the map view by clicking on the Topic within Map Explorer. The +/- symbols on both Map Explorer and mapped Branches can be used to expand/collapse the desired level of detail or hierarchy.
- Capture all the ideas and answers to each question– by clicking on each Branch to highlight each question and easily and quickly using “Type and Enter/Return” functions on your keyboard to record the answers.
Notes can be added to any Branch (e.g. to provide further guidance, explanation, areas of importance, etc) – using the “Write a Note” area in the Branch Properties panel (expandable / collapsible from the right-hand side of Map area).
The examples shown on the template are live from our development roadmap for MindGenius Online. We have simply included the detail to help explain the process and how we use MindGenius Online internally to manage our roadmap. As you develop your own roadmap these branches will need to be deleted and be replaced by ones more relevant to you.
STEP 3: IDENTIFY (TAG) THE KEY DELIVERABLES AND KEY PRIORITIES TO AGREE SCOPE
Sometimes the output from these discussions can generate a lot of ideas that may need sorted and/or prioritized. MindGenius Online provides the ability to use “Tags” to help clarify and make sense of the information as well as Filter to help focus on the emerging discussions and outcomes.
You can use tags to give extra meaning to tasks. e.g. Mark it with a red tag to show it a bug, Mark it with a High tag to show it needs to be expedited across the board e.g. critical bug fix.
The template has also been prepopulated with some tasks to illustrate how seamlessly tasks that are identified on the map are instantly created on the task board. Once the discussions have been concluded and the key tasks have been agreed then simply add start or end date or update status to instantly create a task board.
STEP 4: CREATE A PLAN
Road maps can be structured in various ways, but in this example, we show a simple process that goes from Idea to either Done or Rejected. As ideas progress through the road map they pick up more and more detail as they become understood.
The Task Board is designed to bring a high degree of visibility, process flow and all-important tracking to this stage. Task Cards are used to record the key task properties / data, including owner, start date, due date and status. Progress of Tasks through a pre-determined journey is visualised and tracked by simply moving the cards along “swim lanes.
Once again, the Template has been pre-populated to give you some idea of how MindGenius Online can manage the process. However, you can customise the “swim lane” headings to adapt or create your own process / project flow or journey through to completion.
You will note that any Tasks created using the mapping interface have been synchronised through to the Task Board. You can, of course, add new Task Cards within the Task Board simply by using the green + icons.
MindGenius Online provides the ability to create Tasks, including assigning ownership, timescales and deadlines.
Task information can easily be applied to map Branches (as shown pre-populated in the Template) and / or using the Task Board (Tasks tab).
As start and end dates are added to the task cards the timeline will also give an alternative view for understanding the project current status. The example shown (from the Template) shows how the Timeline has interpreted the Task Start and End Dates from the Task Cards, but importantly portraying the project data in an alternative view to aid understanding of the overall project flow and current status.
STEP 5: DELIVER THE PROJECT
The all-important tracking of priorities, tasks and the overall process or project is a key element of MindGenius Online and can be done through the use of either (or both) the Task Board area or the Timeline (Calendar) view. The Timeline has been building up automatically in synch with the data being input into either the Map branches of the Task Cards within the Task Board.
Ongoing task management, including instant and live collaboration with MindGenius Online is another productive way of managing and progressing the project. At this stage, the Task Board will be a prime visual guide to progress, with the detail and team collaboration contained within the Task Cards.
During your free trial we’ll show you how MindGenius Online will make project management simpler, more complete, and more enjoyable….