Name: Brian Canfield

Title & Organization: Master Technologist in Hewlett- Packard Company

 

Brief Introduction

HP Inc. is a global leader in PCs, printing and solutions and creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Brian Canfield (Master Technologist from HP Inc.) is here to share HP’s story with XMind and some free tips on how to use XMind efficiently in the workplace.

The Story With XMind  

We have found mind mapping with XMind to be a very useful tool for gathering inputs from a group of people in a way that all views can be heard. Together we can develop a higher-level system perspective on difficult technical challenges.  We use mind mapping for difficult system engineering problems and for organizing what we know about the physics and fundamentals.  We also gather and prioritize the questions we propose to investigate to better manage the challenges.  XMind provides a useful way to take notes as we discuss and to drag and drop to organize and categorize inputs. By using XMind with a diverse group of engineers and scientists, we are able to create a common high-level view of the fundamentals and the possible paths to solve a system challenge.

Usage

l   For organizing information

l   For solving difficult system engineering problems

l   For teamwork and allocating tasks

l   For taking notes at the meeting

l   For sharing and presenting results and problems

To facilitate this process, I have documented a tool sheet to help others use XMind more effectively and I’m sharing this here for your benefit:

Mind Mapping tool sheet:

Purpose: To gather inputs from a group in a fast and effective way

Benefits

l   Speeds the generation and documentation of ideas and insights from a team with different perspectives and capabilities to contribute to a problem or topic of interest.

l   Provides real time visual feedback that others can build off to generate ideas.

l   Provides a means for documenting inputs and categorizing them into related groups that bring a higher, systematic level view to the knowledge and insights we are gathering.

When to Use

l   Use when interviewing a team about a subject and when you want to generate ideas that build on each other

l   Use in the Measure Current Status problem solving steps to gather what we know about the problems with a broad group that have different perspectives, experience, and expertise.

l   Use as an alternative to Microsoft® tools for documenting team inputs.  Microsoft® tools auto-format and encourage the leader to try to produce a rolled up summary rather than gathering the raw inputs in ways that others can build on.

l   Use to expand our collective knowledge before the leader does the work offline to boil it down to the key take-away points.

l   Use to get the most knowledge on the table during the precious time when we get many experts together in a room to work an issue.

 

Couple Of XMind Tips:

l   “Tab” creates a new subtopic

l   “Enter” creates a new topic on the same level

l   Double click anywhere on the work area to create a floating topic

l   Long text boxes can be shrunk to fit on page

l   Scale the map with the zoom slider in the lower right

 

Guidelines For Effective Use

l   If you have someone who can type quickly have him build the map so folks can add inputs faster.

l   Even if you type slower, this tool will allow folks to generate and contribute ideas much faster than most methods.

l    It is very important to document what is said even if it does not fit in the part of the tree you initially added the idea to.  Drag and drop the idea to a different part of the tree to reclassify after typing.

l   Use the pre-defined tree legs in the template to help categorize inputs as you go. It does not have to be perfect. Speed is important and things can be rearranged later. Take input from the team as to the category the idea fits in.  Generate new legs if needed.  Ignore the ones on your template that don’t seem to add to the line of idea generation.

l   Look to the template to ask additional clarifying questions. For example, after you get an idea for a solution stop and ask what is needed to make that solution robust.

 

Sample maps for business