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Running Meetings with MM on a Tablet PC

We got some comments the other week about using MindManager on a Tablet PC to run meetings. (By the way, I am going to do a presentation at Gnomedex in June in which I will "run a meeting" like this to design a floating bicycle).

Last year we did a case study of how a company called dataDOC uses MindManager on a Tablet PC at client meetings. (Richard Goldberg is CTO at dataDOC Technologies, Inc., which is a Chicago-based company that helps health care and manufacturing organizations improve their use of technology.)

Here is an excerpt from this heretofor unpublished case study:

Brainstorming with the Tablet PC
Another customer for whom dataDOC was providing network services asked Goldberg to help it improve a key piece of PC software.

"I brought the management team together in a conference room and, using a wireless connection to my Tablet PC, projected a MindManager map on the wall. We mapped out the company’s challenges and what the software needed to do to help it meet them—but wasn’t doing. Everyone was amazed at the way I could simultaneously walk around the table, interact with people and use MindManager to build a very clear view of what the company was facing.

"We came out of the meeting with an order for a custom piece of software. They came out of it seeing how many major challenges they were really facing. In fact, after the meeting the CEO and the president took me aside and expressed extreme gratitude at being able to see their business challenges so clearly. I couldn’t have shown that to them with a standard process flow map." 

Peeling the Onion
Since the information in MindManager maps is revealed in layers, Goldberg can choose how much information to reveal. "If a client wants to see if we have restructured their network and the new network configuration and PCs that are on it, they can navigate to that section of map and find the hyperlinked document that describes all that. If they want just the broad contours, we stick to high-level branches.

"The point," he says, "is that it’s all there on one document. I don’t have to have three separate documents: one for the client, one for sales and one for the technical folks. I can manage an entire project off of one map."

And he likes the way the maps can be exported to HTML. "Sometimes I’ll just send the CEO a zipped file with the whole HTML right in there. They unzip the file, launch right into HTML and can easily navigate very complex project plans to their hearts’ content."

Closing the Sale
Goldberg says that anytime his team can take a tool that works for them and make it work in more places, both dataDOC and its customers profit. Walking around a facility and talking to the line staff, either showing the map he’s building to them or adding their input to it, helps him make sure he is getting the right information and organizing it in a way that makes sense to the customer. And he appreciates the ability to leave his notes in handwriting or to convert them to type.

"Ultimately," he adds, "the value we get [from MindManager] is far more than the ability to map our projects, business plans and thoughts. The real value is ability to help us think and present that information in a clear, concise, and saleable way.

"MindManager allows us to think clearly and then to present that thinking in a way that shows we know what we’re doing and where we’re going," Goldberg says. "You can almost hear the clients thinking, ‘Oh, that makes sense, no two ways about it; that’s the way we need to go."

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