This morning I came across a blog post from Rob Caron entitled Mindjet Requirements Manager. I’ve been a big fan of Mindjet’s MindManager product for a little while now since Mark Michaelis demonstrated how very effective it could be in the classroom during some VSTS training in Seattle. In a typical classroom environment, you introduce yourself as the trainer and then go around the room and ask each person to introduce themselves. You also ask them what their expectations are for the course which allows you to record these and try to meet as many of the students expectations as you can during the training. While this is not always possible of course, it is a trainer’s responsibility to try their hardest to ensure the best value for each of the students in the class and this is most easily done by trying to at least meet their expectations.
As Mark went around the room, he had MindManager on the screen and he made changes to the course outline “on the fly” to better meet the “average” student’s expectations/requirements for the course. These changes involved both ordering of topics as well as the actual topics themselves. Basically he “added a little here and trimmed a little there” until it better reflected what the audience wanted to know. I thought this was a great way to do things and with a little preparation, you could have MindManager then produce the new powerpoint slide deck (PPT) for the entire course within minutes of the introduction session being completed. Obviously you’re still limited by the courseware, labs and machine builds but there’s usually still a bit of freedom that a trainer can always exercise. I should point out that this is just one of many uses you could put MindManager to.
So why do I bring this up now? Well Rob’s post is about a new add-in that allows me to use two of my favourite tools together – VSTS & MindManager! MindJet have released a free add-in called Mindjet Requirements Manager. This add-in allows you to “Use MindManager to create software requirements documents and turn those requirements into work items on Microsoft Visual Studio Team System. The requirements map then becomes a bi- directional link to the work items.” Very cool!
To find out more about this add-in visit the Mindjet website.