How can you use PMP mind maps to study for the certification test? What exactly is mind mapping? Why is it useful for the exam prep?
You will find answers for these questions in this article.
Mind maps (or idea maps) are very useful for managing projects. They are often used for brainstorming and gathering project requirements.
Mind mapping is described in the PMBOK Guide 6th edition. You can find it in the chapter on Scope Management Knowledge Area. It is listed as one of the techniques in the ‘Collect Requirements’ process.
Mind Mapping is as much useful (if not more) for the PMP students as they are for the project managers. I would suggest you to use these diagrams while studying for your credential exam.
You can look at few sample mind maps on Pinterest.
I have developed a slew of learning oriented mind maps for the PMP students. I have compiled them in an eBook. It contains 66 ITTO maps based on the latest edition of the PMBOK Guide.
Buy PMP Idea Mapping eBook
Note: You can also download free PMP ITTO Process Chart for learning ITTO. It will help you in your studies.
PMP Mind Maps
What Is Idea/ Mind Mapping Technique?
Consider this. You are working in your office and your boss asks you to go to Antarctica.
What will be your immediate thoughts?
You will have a slew of What, Why, Where, and How type of questions.
Human brain is very powerful. It is capable of thinking about infinite and divergent possibilities in a fraction of second.
What if you draw these possibilities on a piece of paper? It will help you to organize and streamline the thoughts.
Such a drawing is nothing but a mind map for you. It is a colorful diagram that visually captures your ideas in a non-linear format.
The map starts with a central idea in the middle. It has branches to represent sub-ideas. If required, the branches can be forked out into sub-branches.
You can create as many branches and sub-branches (as needed) to support your central idea. You can use word, images, sketches, and lines to represent your ideas. The topics and sub-topics can be distinguished by using different colors, images, and sketches.
To understand more, you can look at step by step instructions for creating a mind map.
Theory of Idea Mapping
Idea mapping is a whole-brained visual think approach. It engages and exploits both hemispheres of your brain.
Many researches prove the power and utility of mind mapping. It is a very potent technique that helps in many different situations.
Among many other things, this technique can be used for brainstorming, organizing note-taking, problem-solving, planning, creativity, and presentations. It improves productivity, saves time, and enhances learning.
You can also look at this article for a deeper understanding of the benefits of the mind maps.
How Can PMP Aspirants Use Mind Mapping?
The mind maps help PMP students in two ways:
I. Making notes
Do you get overwhelmed when you have to learn tons of information? Do you get bogged down when you have to memorize thousands of terms? Do you get frustrated when you have to understand and remember several seemingly unrelated concepts?
Well! Mind maps help you overcome such problems.
Mind maps are a great way to organize and note down large amount of important information in a succinct manner. You can make visual connections between main ideas and keywords on a single sheet of paper.
Which one do think is more useful – a long list of unrelated ideas or a diagram of logical connections?
Would you rather make linear notes or mimic the way your brain thinks?
A mind-mapping approach to making notes is simpler and easier. And it reduces the number of pages.
As per Wikipedia, Mind mapping can improve learning efficiency up to 15% over conventional note taking.
II. Exam Preparation
How would you feel if you had to study thick books or voluminous notes to prepare for the exam?
I am sure you will feel scared. But it does not have to be that way.
You can simply study from the mind maps and finish your studies quickly. And to revise, you can create the maps from your memory. This way you will retain and remember much more than the traditional methods.
A mind-mapping exam prep approach is lot faster and far more reliable.
Benefits of Mind-Mapping For PMP Students
Mind maps are extremely useful for exam prep and studies. Pictures are 6x superior than words for retaining information.
Some of the main benefits of mind mapping for PMP students are:
- Notes can be easily assimilated.
- Notes making is much faster.
- Large volume of information can be compressed into a single page.
- Information can be organized visually in a brain friendly manner.
- Relevant and important knowledge is at one place.
- Recall is easy and quick.
- Brain is liberated from the linear thinking.
- A map helps you to make logical connections between different concepts.
- The complete study is broken into small parts. It is easier to plan and schedule your studies.
Disadvantage of Mind-Mapping For PMP Students
There is one small disadvantage of using mind maps.
It is very easy to make logical relationships within a single mind map. But it is not easy to make connections across different mind maps. The idea mapping techniques falls a little short When you have multiple maps.
This disadvantage is applicable for the PMBOK Guide process mapping as well. You can make several maps to describe PMBOK Guide processes. Each one can be created on a separate sheet.
The maps could be split across 5 Process Groups (PG) and 10 Knowledge Areas (KA), and 49 processes. You can have a different map for each PG, KA, individual processes, and a few other things.
The terms and concepts across PG, KA, and processes are related to each other. But these relationships cannot be depicted on the individual maps.
To overcome this problem, I have created a PMP ITTO Strategies Guide. It provides logical relationships between PMBOK Guide processes across different PG and KA.
The strategies guide is complementary to the PMP Idea Mapping eBook described in this article. You can use them together for your PMP studies.
You can save significant amount of time and improve your learning by using PMP mind maps.
Approximately 65% of population is visual learners. Idea mapping is especially useful for these learners. You too can benefit from idea mapping if you are a visual learner.
Having said that, idea mapping technique is also useful for the rest of the population. The technique exploits both parts of the brain. It is beneficial for everyone.
To help the exam aspirants, I have created a pdf eBook. It contains 66 ITTO mind maps based on the PMBOK Guide.
You can buy this eBook by clicking on the following button.
Buy PMP Idea Mapping eBook
Over To You
What is your strategy for learning PMP ITTOs? Do you find questions based on ITTO difficult? Or, do you feel confident about them?
Please leave a comment.