Consultants, trainers and other service providers know how important it is to bring their team and their clients onto the same page. Making sure that the client’s vision and expectations are captured, and that clients understand the project’s goals, objectives, issues and action items, is vital to avoid misunderstandings and ensure client satisfaction. We’ve talked to Eugen Dragomir, founder of LearningManager, to find out how his team uses MindMeister and Confluence to successfully collaborate with clients on projects.
LearningManager is a Romanian-based company that offers training and consultancy in the areas of mind mapping and agile project management, with a focus on the Kanban methodology. Their clients are primarily service providers and software companies, but they also work with human resources teams and companies in industrial fields. Their core team consists of five consultants and is led by Carmen and Eugen Dragomir.
While the team does have an office where it meets regularly, members often work from home or at the location of their clients. Being distributed over so many different locations, the ability to efficiently collaborate online is key for LearningManager, and even more so when it comes to collaboration with their clients. For this, the team uses a number of cloud-based tools, first and foremost the Atlassian suite, including Confluence and JIRA, as well as MindMeister.
“Most of our clients, especially those in the software industry, use Atlassian products. That’s why all our collaborative project management involving clients is always done in Confluence and JIRA,” explains Eugen. “MindMeister on the other hand is our go-to thinking tool,” says Eugen. “It is primarily used in the development stages of a project. We use it to map out user stories – a popular method in the software development world – and MindMeister has proven to be a very, very useful solution for this. We also use it to make meeting notes, as mind maps provide us with a clear overview of our goals, objectives, issues, and action items. During project retrospective meetings, we use maps to visualize issues as well as successes, and to take notes during our subsequent discussion.”
|“80% of our brainstormings are done online in MindMeister. It’s such an intuitive software, you can easily learn it in less than an hour.”
— Eugen Dragomir, founder of LearningManager
“We’ve been using MindMeister in our team for almost 6 years, but we’ve often found it difficult to convince clients to use this tool as it was completely new to them and they – understandably – preferred to have all project-related information stored in one of the tools they were already using,” Eugen explains. “To ensure that our mind maps were still included in the overall project workflow, we would usually export them as image files and embed them in the Confluence pages we used for project documentation. This wasn’t ideal, however, as maps were often quite big and the images thus full of tiny details that were hard to make out.”
The Solution: Integrating MindMeister with Confluence
MindMeister’s integration with Confluence was the perfect solution to LearningManager’s problem. The integration enabled them and their clients to create MindMeister mind maps without ever leaving the Confluence environment. The simplified mind map editor, which is available as an add-on in the Atlassian Marketplace, offers everything they need to brainstorm, plan projects, and take meeting minutes – without overwhelming clients with a galore of complicated features.
When a mind map is finished, a live version of it can be embedded in the Confluence page alongside other kinds of project-related information. “With the integration, our clients are now able to explore the embedded map interactively. They can zoom in, open and close branches, click on attached links, and more. Thanks to the MindMeister-Confluence integration it’s also much easier to go back and edit maps, ensuring that everything is always up-to-date.”
- Confluence stores all project-related information in one central place, allowing real-time collaboration between LearningManager and clients
- MindMeister is used for thinking, meeting management and project planning
- Interactive mind maps are embedded in Confluence, ensuring they’re part of the project documentation and are easily accessible for clients