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Case Study – Cut Project Planning Time in Half

Los Angeles based biotechnology research company C3 Jian cuts project planning by 50% with Mindjet MindManager and Catalyst

C3 Jian LogoIn 2005, Dr. Maxwell Anderson and his colleague, Dr. Wenyuan Shi, founded C3 Jian, a biotechnology research company; he used MindManager® to help him get started, and ever since Mindjet® software has been an integral component of his business processes. C3 Jian develops targeted anti-microbial drugs as well as drugs to safely and effectively regrow bone and hair based on ground-breaking research at UCLA. Today, C3 Jian’s employees are using both MindManager and Catalyst™ “to track progress against goals, manage complex filing tasks where communications are critical, and for project planning and implementation.”

Dr. Anderson and one other executive are based in Washington, while the company’s business office and research operations are in Los Angeles. The geographically dispersed team functioned well when Dr. Anderson made most executive decisions on his own. However, as the team grew, more players wanted their input considered, and Dr. Anderson agreed. Email and a VPN connection didn’t allow them to collaborate efficiently. According to Dr. Anderson, Catalyst’s online services, allowing the team to co-edit maps online, provided “the perfect solution for a virtual company;” they “can brainstorm in real time” and “it solved all [their] version control issues.”

The ability to collaborate efficiently is essential when it comes to project planning, where Dr. Anderson estimates the use of MindManager and Catalyst have “cut planning time by 50%.” At C3 Jian, the project leader creates a template in MindManager that is then shared with the project team and stakeholders via Catalyst. Then, the team gets on a conference call to discuss the project and make necessary changes to the project template. That document spans the life of the project, so even when new team members are added, “[they] don’t have to catch anyone up,” extending time savings to project management.With the integration of a timeline view in MindManager Version 9, C3 Jian has replaced Microsoft® Project with MindManager for managing smaller projects as well, saving time by keeping project planning and management in one application. According to Dr. Anderson, “The new Gantt capability is especially helpful for linear thinkers,” so MindManager appeals to everyone in the company.

C3 Jian has also made MindManager the go-to application for long term storage and retrieval of complex information that needs to be accessed on a daily basis. The company has 15 patents in various stages of deployment, worth in the $100s of millions to the company. Individual tracking systems are required for each country where patent applications are pending, making management a complex task. Dr. Anderson uses MindManager as a central repository of patent documents and Outlook® to remind him of the due dates. He spends an hour or more, eight to ten times per week, solely managing these patents, and estimates it would “take double the time plus a good alternative search strategy” to manage in other applications.

He says, “From the time an invention is made, we report it and log it in MindManager… everything is in MindManager,” and “because it’s searchable, we can easily find everything we need.” By including relevant documents and a history of emails with their attachments, Dr. Anderson can recreate the evolution of a patent easily, so he doesn’t miss any deadlines or lose track of important documents. Along with his legal counsel’s tracking systems, MindManager gives him “complete control of this process.”

With everyone in the company on both MindManager and Catalyst, Mindjet software is an essential component of Dr. Anderson’s business. He extended his use of the software to writing and presenting, as have other members of his team. From staying on top of patent requirements to cutting 50% off project planning time, Mindjet software “really has been integrated into the business.”

Get the products C3 Jian used to improve their project planning here.