Review: JCVGantt for MindManager X5
JCVGantt for MindManager X5
I and A Research, Inc.
Saint Sauveur, Quebec, Canada
I've written about MindManager before, most recently in Developer
JCVGantt is a neat little add-on for MindManager that makes it possible
to seamlessly meld your brainstormed mindmaps with a more traditional
project-planning view of the world.
The idea here is pretty simple. MindManager, of course, is designed to
build freeform brainstorming diagrams. They look a little bit like
starfish, with a central node and subsidiary branches radiating out to
some arbitrary depth. A Gantt chart, on the other hand, is the
prototypical project-planning chart, with bars indicating the duration
of tasks and lines indicating their dependencies.
What JCVGantt does is add a Gantt chart to MindManager. The nodes in the
mind map are converted to tasks on the Gantt chart, and the hierarchical
relationship of the mindmap is used to determine the grouping of tasks.
This immediately transforms your artistic, brainstorming mind map into
something that the hard-nosed manager in you can use for planning.
But the connection doesn't stop there. JCVGantt maintains a live,
two-way link with your MindManager map. Rearrange nodes on the map and
the Gantt chart gets rearranged to match. Change task information in the
Gantt chart and the new task info gets associated with the correct nodes
in the mindmap. The net effect is to make the Gantt chart just another
view of the mind map. Overall, this works out very well, especially if
you have the screen real estate (or multiple monitors) to have both
showing at once.
The application comes with an excellent help file, including some
suggestions on how to use it effectively in various situations depending
on your level of management. If mind mapping is catching on at your
organization, this could be a good next step.
Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.