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The mindmapping route to project-team building

This piece sets out what seems to me to be a novel use for mindmapping: Staffing a project, functional unit or department. It is a good illustration of the flexibility of the mindmapping approach. I often use mindmapping in drawing up job specifications and candidate profiles, but not quite in the way described here. I think I'll give it a try.

Do You Have The Leadership Trait In You To Pick The Right Player For The Right Job? Learn To Be an Ace with Mind Mapping

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An important aspect of leadership is having the ability to choose the right people for the right job. This is a vital role that leaders will invariably be called upon to perform. In any team sport, a great deal of time is spent in picking the right players for the game. Selection is done keeping these factors in mind as player’s skill, form, the right place in the team and the likely opposition that the team will confront. As in sports, in business too, leaders need to select the right team and players for a particular job, assign them specific tasks in line with their skills and proficiencies. To field a match-winning team, you first need to understand the game to be played and the skills and abilities required to play it. A football team cannot play baseball if you aim to win at the top. Also, you have to place the right player at the right position.

In order to make the right choice, you first need to simplify the broader team goals into specific, individual tasks. You can write down the task list and rank them in the order of priority. You then have to analyze the competencies required to undertake each task. Weighing the competencies of each team member and assigning tasks that matches their competencies, will help you in selecting the right candidate for the right job.

However, more often you will find that a person may excel in certain areas but may be found wanting in others. Or you may find an employee at a lower rung exhibiting similar skill power. You may find such gaps and overlaps, revealing the need for providing training in those areas where they are deficient. Having back-ups for important tasks in case you lose key people and ensuring to have a diverse team than with similar background are other critical factors involved in the process of selection.

Thus it will be obvious to you that recruitment is often an elaborate process that begins with advertising, screening resumes, administering test, interviewing candidates, selecting the best candidates and giving them needed training. But the whole set of tasks can be made simpler by using Mind Map.

Using Mind Maps you can clearly outline the specific job position under a main heading and note down all the tasks that the job entails under it. You can then explore at length the traits that will be required for each of the tasks relating to the job assignment. You can use particular color to distinguish fundamental abilities/traits from the general qualities.

Similarly, you can frame a simple outline on those skills and traits for testing the candidates. Highlighting these in a different color, you can decide on the possible methodology that will best bring these out from the candidates, in order to make a proper evaluation. You can then have the basic criteria, not just in terms of test ranking, but also in the soft skills that the candidate brings in, such as communication abilities, confidence level, attitude, disposition, etc.

Matching the hardcore competencies of a candidate with the soft skills, you can set a minimum standard to be eligible for interview. Ranking the candidates on all criteria and choosing the best among them can be greatly facilitated by using Mind Map. Utilizing symbols you can group all those candidates revealing the need for training, and those excelling in most areas for direct task handling.

When you integrate all these entire process of recruitment into one major Mind Map, you will, at a glance, gain a comprehensive picture of the full procedure involved. You will have complete grip over your recruitment process of picking the right person for the right job. Whenever you have new thoughts or ideas on a particular aspect, you can easily incorporate them and comprehend the links and associations between the various stages of recruitment. All these and much more are possible with Mind Map. Mind Map helps you to fine tune your recruitment process and ensure you are on the right track to pick the right candidate for the right job.

About The Author

Dr. Vj Mariaraj is a Mind Map enthusiast and has been using Mind Maps for the past twelve years. He has created over 5650 Mind Maps. To learn more about mind mapping send an email to He is the founder of that creates Mind Map Summaries of Business Books. To learn more visit

Written by: Dr V J Mariaraj

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This is an unusual approach but worth a try if a skills inventory or job requirements matrix isn't producing results for you when you're recruiting, engaged in project management and planning, or reorganizing human resources.

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Research and mindmapping to kickstart your writing

Here is another slant on getting your writing going -- research and a dash of mindmapping.

Writing, come what may

There's only a brief mention of mindmapping here, but it's obviously important to the author. Anyway, to me it's a great article on getting moving with writing. I hope you find it so, too.

Project estimating – Mindmaps are a tool in the armory

The key to getting something useful out of this article is to read the author’s title carefully. Mind mapping simplifies the process of project estimating -- it doesn’t simplify the actual task-time estimation. Every project manger knows that the work of a project must be broken into separate and manageable units for estimating. To look at a project and think “That’s about a week’s effort” is a recipe for frustration and missed targets. Mindmaps, spider diagrams and bubble charts are excellent for the first phase of breaking a project into manageable parts. For me mindmaps, as strictly defined by Buzan’s rules, are less suitable than spider diagrams for this type of analysis, but we can assume that Dr. Mariaraj is not being too strict in his use of the term below.

Tony Buzan has defined these "rules" for Mind Mapping:

I believe these rules are well worth following if you use mindmaps for learning. They are very hard to follow completely and rigidly - and its not worth trying I have found - if you use mindmaps in adult life, in your work or projects.

Who invented mind mapping

This comes up from time to time - usually in the form of "Buzan didn't invent mind mapping".