Hi, Paul from FieldInsight and here is my #TuesdayTalk.
Whiteboards are awesome, they are considered the first accessible communication tool since the blackboard for its convenience and application in the workplace (not just the education system). They have been around in the easy erasable format since the 1970’s (actually since the dry erase marker was invented).
You can hardly find a workplace that doesn’t have a whiteboard (of any size) and the evolution has been amazing all the way through to Smart whiteboards that can be shared across locations and digital editing.
- They’re visual
- They are what you call information radiators (communicate the message to all who see it) as they stand out
- They allow sharing of information to people who are standing right in front of them
But, whiteboards have some drawbacks:
The standard whiteboard is not easily shareable; have you ever tried sharing a whiteboard, pulling it off the wall, jamming it in your pocket, sticking it in your car, emailing it to someone, whiteboards really are not shareable.
There are ways around this for a single purpose such as taking a photo and sending that but generally a single use shareable event only.
Where-ever the whiteboard is located the people in the room can see it and interact with it (have a conversation and facilitate making decisions) – they’re excellent at that. But handling that information after the event is difficult (may involve duplicate entry or handling by someone else).
They are not easily searchable, you can’t say “What was on my whiteboard last week?” It just doesn’t work that way (well easily anyway).
You can’t drag and drop a bit of information from here to there. It’s rub out, rewrite, rub out, rewrite, and I don’t know how many times someone’s walked in and looked at the whiteboard and said, “Is that up to date?” The answer is invariably, “Almost,” or, “We haven’t touched that for six months,” or, “Yeah, except … “
Keeping whiteboards up to date is a bit hard and sometimes a full time job
What they are great at:
Quick discussions, mapping stuff out, strategic planning and to articulate/esplore a specific issue -that sort of stuff.
Now, I am not saying that you have to get ride of all of your whiteboards…..far from it. I’ve got whiteboards all around me. I love whiteboards, but they are not great for managing a schedule or team in the field – there are just too many moving parts and subject to change that invariably runs the risk of something being missed and that causing customer or financial headaches.
So, in closing that is why I classify whiteboards as a Whiteboard Wipeout.
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