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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Edward De Bono: Six Thinking Hats

In the book "Six Thinking Hats", Edward DeBono demonstrates how we can all become better thinkers by using deliberate role-playing.

The premise of the method is that the human brain thinks in a number of distinct ways which can be identified, deliberately accessed and hence planned for use in a structured way allowing one to develop strategies for thinking about particular issues.

With his use of case studies and real examples of his methodology, DeBono describes the 6 Thinking Hats as:
  • White Hat
    Facts and Information
  • Red Hat
    Feelings and Emotion
  • Black Hat
    Critical Judgment
  •  Yellow Hat
  • Green
    New Ideas
  • Blue
    The Big Picture
Having identified the six states that can be accessed, distinct programs can be created using a developed sequences of hats which encompass and structure the thinking process toward a distinct goal. Typically a project will begin with an extended white hat action, as everyone gets "on the same page" creating a shared vision of the issue being addressed.

This methodology is believed to have a positive impact on the thinking process.

Download the ConceptDraw 6 Hats mind map template created on the basis of the principles laid out by Edward DeBono in his book, "Six Thinking Hats".

This map was constructed using ConceptDraw MINDMAP 6, using icons and objects from ConceptDraw PRO 8.

Download 6 Hats mind map here!

De, Bono Edward. Six Thinking Hats. 2nd ed. Boston: Back Bay, 1999. Print.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ConceptDraw Now Available in Japanese

CS Odessa is very excited to announce that ConceptDraw Office is now available with a Japanese language interface.

ConceptDraw MINDMAP for Macintosh currently supports English, German, French, and Japanese languages; ConceptDraw MINDMAP for Windows supports English, German, French, Russian (new) and Japanese languages. In addition, ConceptDraw MINDMAP includes built-in language dictionaries to support mind map content in other languages, such as Spanish and Portuguese.

All supported language interfaces are available within a single product and there’s no need to download or install a specific language product variation. Support for each language version is released at the same time, so users may utilize full support at time of purchase.

All customers of ConceptDraw MINDMAP 6 may receive a no-charge update to new language interfaces by downloading the most recent version of the product at .

Monday, April 19, 2010

Using ConceptDraw MINDMAP to Gather Requirements

Here is about an 8-minute video on using ConceptDraw MINDMAP to gather and organize requirements. It touches briefly on adding priorities and task information to requirements.

You can also find this video on YouTube.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What is in ConceptDraw Office?

A question that we often get is, "what is in ConceptDraw Office" and what is in "ConceptDraw MINDMAP for Projects". A second question that we get often is, "are the individual products that are in ConceptDraw Office and ConceptDraw MINDMAP for Projects dumbed down versions of your individual products".

I have included a chart to show what is included in our products, plus the bundled products are our individual products. This brings great value to you our customers. (Click on image to make larger)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's tough all over. Just ask Google...

Information Week for 4/12/10 has an article about Google's Real-Time Bet to take over the desktop. The writer notes that, at present, about 78% of business technology professionals polled said that Office meets all their needs.

Does that sound familiar? In this one sense--and maybe for this one fleeting instant--Google and mind mapping software companies have the same problem: Office. Well, I guess Office is mind mapping's worst nightmare and its best friend. Most mind mapping companies have been trying for so long to break down the Microsoft citadel wall--or sneak in through some abandoned airshaft--that it's good to see we're not alone.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Map to Drive IT Transformation

Jim at McGee's Musings blogs today about one man's attempt to help corporate executives demystify IT. You can read his review of "Blind Spot" by Charlie Field here. What interested me was his reproduction of a diagram in Field's book.

Here is the map as it appears in the book (click on image to enlarge):

I'm sure it's a great paradigm. But what I sometimes don't get is how anyone is supposed to actually use diagrams like this. It reminds me of a day-long seminar I went to once. The teaching event was centered around 100-plus PowerPoint slides (heaven help us), each one explaining key things we needed to do to be better at our jobs. It was good information. At the end of the event, the organizers ceremoniously went around to each attendee and handed them a 3-ring notebook with, you guessed it...100-plus PowerPoint slide reprints. How, I wondered, was anyone supposed to put into action the great resources we had been shown (and at a pretty price, by the way).

How much better to exchange document forms that people work with. Take, just for example, the same diagram expressed as a mind map (click on image to enlarge):

For so many people, the form in which we receive information can make it challenging to interact with that information. I guess that's what I love about mind mapping. It's so easy to add content, whether that content is your ideas, hyperlinks, hidden notes, icons, etc. It's so easy to drag and drop the information around, to quickly move to anywhere in that body of information to add new thoughts and ideas that come to you as you view the entire body (or a selected view of it) from "above."

Maps make normal linear documents seem so... so 20th Century.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Share Your ConceptDraw Experience with the World!

User stories are a great way to for existing and potential customers to see all the wonderful capabilities we provide with our products and services.

As our User Stories are highlighted within our website, presentations, press releases and other marketing materials, they provide a great opportunity for you to gain public exposure for your work or company.

By submitting your ConceptDraw story, our Marketing team is able to develop a user story based on your company experience with the ConceptDraw products and services. User stories are a great way for existing and potential customers to see all the wonderful capabilities we provide.

These stories may be presented within our website, presentations, press releases and other marketing material.

We have an extensive process that our Marketing team follows before publishing a user story online. We keep you informed every step of the way and do not publish anything without final approval from you.

If you are interested in sharing your ConceptDraw Experience with the world, please contact our Marketing Team!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Create a Strategy Map using ConceptDraw PRO

Step 1. From ConceptDraw PRO, open the Strategy Map Template.

Step 2. Right-click Page Navigator and select Add Page….

Step 3. Right-click Page Navigator , and select Use Background, then Page 1 as the background for the new page.

Step 4. Create a strategy map using LibrariesDrawing Shapes (Plane).cdl and LibrariesMiscellaneousConnectors.cdl libraries.

Step 5. Repeat steps 2-4 to create the required amount of strategy maps with the same background.

Result: Now you have a strategy map, that that you can use as a background to create other strategy maps.