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Being a Visual Manager

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Let’s face it. It’s not easy being manager. It is a challenge to stay on top of both your tasks and also keep your team organized and productive. If you are like me and have several projects going, …

Let’s face it. It’s not easy being manager. It is a challenge to stay on top of both your tasks and also keep your team organized and productive. If you are like me and have several projects going, your brain is cluttered with reminders and TO DO lists. It is easy to get overwhelmed. There have been days when I look at my desk and it is overwhelmed with post-it notes to remind myself of project goals and action items. Take it from me: this is not the most effective strategy!

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  • 1. Being a Visual Manager The First Steps
  • 2. Management Woes
  • 3. This doesn’t work!When you are managing a team,writing a list or even drawing out yourown personal diagram isn’t enough.I may be biased, but I love mind maps.It is so easy to organize my thoughts,easily change them around as mythinking evolves, and then share themwith upper management or my team.
  • 4. New Project? New Mind Map!Making a mind map for your next project will help you stay ontask and help you stay focused. For new projects, I usually startwith a mind map that is something like this:Start disorganized! Map out your ideas first.Make sense of the mess later!I started with a mind map of all the possible topics I could writefor a post, narrowed it down to “Be a Better Manager,” wroteall the possible points to include in a post, and then realized Icould easily break up the content into a series of posts. Afterthis process, I could then organize my ideas accordingly.
  • 5. Be a Better Manager!Define all the tasks, then sort them into related tasksand categories!
  • 6. Be a Better Manager! It is so much easier to show the outline of the project with team members, and it is far easier to navigate a large mind map than a long word document without an easy to identify structure. Try organizing your next project or task responsibilities using a mind map and let me know how it goes!
  • 7. Implement a Project PlanDoes this look like a common scenario for your projectmanagement?For a successful project, it is important to track the progressof the tasks, set deadlines, and dates for deliverables, aswell as regular check-ins.Start with a mind map!When you have a separate mind map for the action items,it becomes easier to focus on your TO-DO list and actionitems.
  • 8. Mind Maps to Gantt Charts On the left side of the SmartDraw window, the SmartPanel has a “View as” option. When I choose to view my mind map as a Gantt Chart, I can then determine how long tasks will take and set deadlines for myself. My example for how I might go about managing my blog post schedule is very simplistic, but it is easy to scale up my own process for larger projects. SmartDraw has features such as adding dependencies, assigning team members to tasks, and more advanced Gantt chart capabilities.
  • 9. Tracking your workflowsWhat if that particular person did not come into work or was unexpectedly sick? What if youneeded to take over their tasks? When you are part of a busy company, it is difficult toremember all the tasks for which various members of the company are responsible. This iswhere something we like to call Visual Process Management (VPM) comes into play.With VPM, each process is linked to the person responsible as well as the person responsiblefor managing the process. In a large company, these linked visuals can become an extremelycomplex interlinked set of processes tied to a large number of employees.
  • 10. One-Step Workflow CaptureBy creating flowcharts or process diagrams, you will have an easy to follow step by stepworkflow to understand what different team members are doing. Additionally, if someonedoesn’t show up, you would know the steps needed to complete that person’s tasks.Documenting your processes in real time will limit the number of follow up meetings andwasted time. Compare the traditional capture method versus this one-step capture methodbelow. Traditional Capture Method One-Step Capture Method
  • 11. Visual Communication leads to Visual CollaborationFor many of our meetings at SmartDraw, we utilize SmartDraw’s integration with SharePoint.We have document libraries with folders for specific projects. We then post all of our visualsrelated to that project in the appropriate folder. This way, you eliminate the excuse of losingan email in your inbox.
  • 12. For More Information on becoming a Visual Manager…This presentation was based on the followingseries of blog posts:Being a Visual Manager: The First StepsBeing a Visual Manager: Implement a ProjectPlanBeing a Visual Manager: Tracking YourWorkflowsBeing a Visual Manager: VisualCommunication Leads to Visual CollaborationReady to get started? Connect with us: Download a free trial!