Tools to Map Problems and Ideas

Often, when we have difficulties completing a project, these difficulties arise from having the wrong tools for the job. It is difficult to hang a picture frame on your wall if you do not have a hammer and a nail, just as you would struggle to complete a project at work without adequate resources. In your past, when you have faced challenges at work that require creative solutions, did you have the correct tools to address the challenge and generate creative solutions?

This week, you start assembling a set of tools, techniques, and practices to enhance your creativity. In the future, whenever you face challenges that require creative solutions, you can rely on these tools to clarify your problem and imagine a solution to it. For this Assignment, you will practice using a clarifying tool to jumpstart your creativity.

There are three parts to this Assignment that you will combine into one Word document submission:

Part 1: Identify two professional challenges
Briefly describe five professional challenges that you currently face or anticipate facing soon. Then, rephrase each of those challenges as questions.Choose the two questions from your list that you feel are the most robust and challenging for you. Provide rationale for your choice of questions.

Part 2: Create your mind maps for each question
Use a mind map to create a separate map for each question. You may refer to your MindTool mind map resource for an example. Your mind maps should be as expansive as you can make them. Each of your questions should branch into at least four related components and/or issues. Expand on each of these branches using as many sub-branches as needed to explore the complexity and connective possibilities available to each question. To create your mind maps, you may use Microsoft Word or another format of your choice. However, if you are planning to use a non-standard piece of software, be sure you can save the file in a format that you can insert into a Word document. You should also check with your instructor to make sure that you will be able to submit the file in the online classroom and that your instructor will be able to open the file.
Insert your mind maps into your Word document as an appendix.

Part 3: Analyze your results

After reflecting on the mind-mapping exercise and examining your mind maps:
Provide your analysis of the clarifying process and role mind maps play in helping you clarify your professional challenges. Evaluate your experience using the mind-mapping tool to identify, organize, and clarify factors that need to be addressed to meet your professional challenge. Explain whether you think you would have learned as much about your professional challenges if you had not used this tool.
Explain how you might use this process for other professional or workplace applications.

Sample Solution

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