Dave Saboe talks with Dorothy Mhlanga about mind maps, and how this is one of the most valuable techniques to get everyone on the same one-page.
Dave, a designated CBAP, is a Program Business Analyst, Agile Coach, and Podcaster at Mastering Business Analysis. He is passionate about helping business analysts improve their skills and achieve top performance.
What is your favourite business analysis technique and what is it that you love/value about it?
My favourite technique is mind mapping. Mind mapping is a lightweight approach to visualizing information. This approach can be used either by yourself or with a group collaborating on the same mind map. And I love the fact that you can very quickly see all of the information and how the pieces of information relate to each other.
In which situations or at which point in the business analysis process do you typically use this technique?
I’ve used Mind Maps as part of the elicitation and requirements discovery process. As it really helps you to capture information in a useful way. I’ve also used Mind Maps to decompose large requirements and User Stories into smaller pieces and to find the Minimal Viable Product (MVP).
How is this technique particularly helpful/relevant for business and project stakeholders?
When building a mind map collaboratively, stakeholders are able to see the big picture and connections between related pieces of information. It also allows everyone to see the details and collaborate on which areas are the most important.
Why do you choose the mind mapping over other techniques that can achieve similar results?
Process maps, entity relationship diagrams, and other visual tools can achieve similar results, but because of the lightweight nature of mind maps, they are always my first step in getting the team on the same page very quickly. They are also perfect for an Agile environment.
What advice do you have for other people using the mind mapping technique? Do you have any tips to make mind mapping spectacular?
My advice is to keep it simple.
The colourful examples you might find online that were created by very artistic people are great, but keeping it simple removes the hesitation some people may have towards using mind maps. Use a whiteboard and everyone should have a marker and contribute.