News and thoughts from CS Odessa, maker of the ConceptDraw product line: ConceptDraw PRO, ConceptDraw PROJECT and ConceptDraw MINDMAP.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gaining Group Consesus

Map showing importance of fire safety to management team looking for new office location

Making a decision can be a hard task to accomplish, add more people and it becomes MUCH harder. As you add people the task becomes exponentially harder. Using a mind map is a great way to work with a group of people and to identify what is really important. We recently had this map shared with us on an exercise that a local company’s management team went through to determine where would be a suitable place for them to locate. Each member of the management team was given points that they could allocate to a set of criteria that was determined by a brainstorming session. Nineteen criteria were identified and then randomly placed on the map. No topic could receive more than 100 points. They then had each of their managers determine how many points they wanted to spend in each category. This company broke the decision into two small meetings a day apart, but the decision could have been made in one meeting. The marketing person who built the map added clip art to each item, which helped them visualize what the criteria was and kept everyone on track.

The brainstorming session was finished in 10 minutes. The allocation of points among the managers was 15 minutes, with the CFO putting most of her points on the cost factor. The points were added up and placed in the task portion of the topic as a percentage complete of that topic, then ConceptDraw MINDMAP’s auto numeration was turned on and the topics were sorted by percentage complete. Starting with the largest percentage of completion at the 1 o’clock position and moving clockwise to the smallest percentage of completion.

Next the managers had a discussion among the team. Was a variety of places to eat lunch really number two in their selection criteria? Is not the type of landlord more important than a last place ranking? By looking at each of the criteria and seeing where it fell in relation to the other criteria they were able to make better assessments. Once the criterion was ranked in an appropriate manner it became easier for the company to conduct their site search, and make a decision based on the reasons they identified. They were happy with their final results.

The decision map that was built can be downloaded from here

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