4 Useful Applications Of Mind Mapping In Business

Mind Mapping In Business: A New Take On An Old Tool

You may be wondering whether mind mapping can be applied to the corporate world. But how have we come down to this question?


The concept of graphic organizers and thinking maps is all too familiar in the field of education. From outlining an expository text to storyboarding a narrative one, concept maps or mind maps are a commonly used tool in K-12. This tool is equally beneficial in the business world, especially in the arena of Instructional Design. This article gives a glimpse of the wealth that this magnificent tool brings to the field of Instructional Design.

What Is A Mind Map?

Before we delve into the uses, let’s construct a working definition. A mind map is a graphic representation of thoughts, ideas, concepts and notes. As the old adage goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words". A mind map provides a visual structure depicting the linear, or non-linear, relationships among concepts or ideas.

Applications Of Mind Mapping In Business

Now that we have established a working definition, let’s take a closer look at the possibilities of this tool.

1. Get Creative, Gather Requirements, Bridge Silos, Brainstorm, And Collaborate

Spark creativity with mind maps! Gather requirements for your projects! The human mind doesn’t always function in a linear approach. Using a mind map allows Subject Matter Experts or your audience to make cross references. It can easily function as an instrument for collaboration during a kick-off meeting. It’s also an excellent tool for free writing while brainstorming ideas. Whether you’re categorizing ideas, or simply negotiating the big topics with a Subject Matter Expert, mind mapping provides an easy platform to classify ideas and move them around. Some mind mapping tools even offer the ability to embed notes, links, attachments, images and even connect multiple mind-maps within a single map, making it a one stop-shop for collaboration. This tool is a visual representation during a project kick-off meeting or the front end analysis phase. Gathering requirements, negotiating broad ideas and transforming them into learning objectives become smoother with this tool. It means making sense of how ideas, content, concepts and objectives fit together. It also provides a platform to prioritize workflows or procedures that need focus.

2. Assess Prior Knowledge, Give An Overview, Create Power-Notes, Build Engagement

Build engagement in ILTs, vILT or eLearning courses! Trainers can use mind maps to spark and facilitate discussions. Participants get the ability to contribute to group discussions, and report back with the help of a mind map. Adult learners bring a wealth of prior knowledge into the classroom. They can present their schema with the help a map before, during or after a session. Learners can be allotted the freedom to take the discussion offline, and present it once complete. A partially complete map could function as an assessment for participants.

3. Present, Outline, Summarize, Consolidate, Storyboard

Use it as a tool for presentation! Once complete, mind maps can easily be turned into broad outlines of course objectives, as a word or a power point format, which can then be presented to stakeholders for feedback. Outlines provide a high-level overview which helps summarize and consolidate information. A semi-detailed map is a great instrument for power-notes, as well as a road map for an agenda. For those designers who are a fan of microlearning, this is an excellent tool for branching scenarios and storyboarding. From a Subject Matter Expert's or sponsor’s perspective, identify business goals, behaviors that support those goals, assessments which measure success and present it. The alignment becomes concrete when presented in this format.

4. Project Management

Use mapping for Project Management! A complete and comprehensive mind map can be used to delegate phases of the project. Design and delivery timelines can be easily divvied up with a good mind mapping software. Mapping also helps set up priorities, create deadlines, action items, budgets, constraints and dependencies.

Conclusion: A Tool That Knows No Boundaries

The impact of this relatively new technique is not limited to planning, collaboration, presentation, generating and sharing ideas. The possibilities widen with every stakeholder. In conclusion, mind maps can accelerate your design ten-folds.

What's next?

Look out for a slide share on Linkedin, that summarizes the diversity of this tool.

Explore more about mind mapping with the following resources: