SIDEBAR: Implementation Tips
Healthwise CTO Neal Benz learned these lessons while implementing Mindjet's MindManager for project management and new product design:
- Bring the application into your organization in a gradual way, say, by first using it in cross-departmental brainstorming sessions.
- Stress the user interface, since some project management apps centre on complicated lists and this one centres on visual maps akin to flowcharts.
- Customize the program using the terminology and vocabulary of your organization, to maximize adoption by your users. In Benz's experience, this wasn't hard.
- Take advantage of the XML storage features to connect to other tools in your enterprise.
- Investigate whether your visual maps might make a good set of quality assurance test cases for IT.
Looking ahead, the company will try to connect more of its internal data to the Mindjet maps and investigate whether those maps can be extended to consumers, to collect and present information in an even more structured way, O'Toole says.
What's the next step that Healthwise would like to see vendors take with this type of technology? "Getting to an enterprise map server, where maps can be centrally served up and shared and updated by multiple users simultaneously, would be a tremendous step forward," O'Toole says.
As for the bottom line, Healthwise's Benz says IT execs should think about what this or any project management application can do beyond just tracking dates and milestones.
"MindManager can be a disruptive technology in your organization, needing little to no training, and being used in innovative ways by all levels of staff for product design, content authoring, implementation and QA," he says.
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