At some point in our lives, we all have used mind mapping to cover a topic for exams or explain a concept in a presentation. It is an effective way to break down complex ideas and make them seem more straightforward. And, just like that, concept mapping is also a visualization technique that can help you understand and act on ideas by making connections.
If you’re a business, you can organize ideas using a concept map during brainstorming sessions to help the team make better sense of them. However, there are many other ways a business can benefit from concept mapping tools to boost their employees’ productivity and to prevent information overload.
What Is Concept Mapping?
If you want to present relationships between concepts and ideas, concept mapping can prove to be a handy tool. It is a diagram or graphical tool that depicts ideas as circles or boxes, also called nodes.
These nodes are structured to create a hierarchy and show connections with arrows or lines called arcs. You can explain that connection by labeling these arcs with linking words or phrases.
The base of these concept maps comes from a focus question that you need to solve. This question helps you maintain the context or direction of the concept map. It is a reference point that serves as a reference point and helps guide the learners through it.
How Is Concept Mapping Different From Mind Mapping
Although mind mapping and concept mapping sound alike, they are different, so people usually have trouble differentiating between them. However, you can know a few ways if you’re working on a mind map or a concept map.
Concept mapping represents tactic knowledge and academic knowledge. For instance, an existing concept or theory is usually generated externally in a more formal context and setting.
In these maps, you will find general knowledge usually close to the top and the concepts arranged in the hierarchy below. Moreover, the topics will be cross-linked to show multiple relationships.
On the other hand, mind maps generate a new set of ideas internally and present them systematically. They are used to represent a variety of concepts and tasks, allowing their application to be more flexible.
In the center of a mind map, you will find a single word, phrase, or image with a related idea radiating away from it in all directions.
Types Of Concept Mapping
There are various types of concept mapping where the basics are the same, but the arrangement is different. Following are the four most commonly used concept mapping types:
- Spider Map: As its name suggests, a spider map arrangement is a lot like a spider web. The main topic is in the center, and the rest are set outwards in a radial pattern.
- Hierarchy Map: This map is set in the arrangement of hierarchy to show order.
- Flow Chart: A flow chart is used to show the steps of a process.
- System Map: This type of concept map is complex and is used to show different parts of a concept and the relation between them.
Ways To Use Concept Mapping For Business
While concept mapping is usually used in academic settings, businesses can benefit from it, too, as it is a great tool to develop new valid and creative ways of looking at the already established business concepts. In addition, you can communicate these complex ideas to your employees in a holistic and straightforward way.
It can prompt their creative thinking, in turn helping them in business analysis. Moreover, since it is a group activity, businesses can use it to lead team meetings. So, team leads can use concept mapping for project management. Moreover, concept mapping tools are elementary to maintain, so every technical or non-technical can conveniently keep up with them.
Concept mapping tools are a great way to bring a results-oriented and creative approach known as design thinking. This approach makes it a good technique for helping employees understand concepts through storytelling. Hence, they can be used in an organization for inspiration, ideation, and implementation.
This mapping technique can be used in a business organization to serve a variety of purposes:
- A better understanding of business requirements across the company
- Identifying and simplifying complex connections among ideas
- Spotting contradictions and gaps
- Establishing a consistent language for a project
- Limitless expansion of ideas
- Identifying potential dependencies of requirements
- Learning the client’s “language.”
- Product development
- Modeling cash flows, inventory flows, relationship flows, etc.
- Market research and analysis
- Mapping team knowledge
- Creating a shared vision
- Formulating research projects
- Archiving expert knowledge
- Generating advance organizers
- Software design
- Training new employees
Using a concept map, you can do a lot for an organization to dig deeper into the presented ideas in detail. You will be able to explore subtopics and build an exciting understanding of the connection between them. In addition, you can organize your thoughts systematically and logically. All of which contributes to making concept mapping a great tool to help your employees see the bigger picture with a clear vision.