Whiteboarding sessions — both in-office and virtual — provide teams with a collaborative, creative environment for brainstorming new ideas and solving problems. Without a defined structure in place, however, these sessions can quickly unravel and get off track.
For an effective whiteboarding session with your team, keep these seven tips in mind.
1. Choose the Right Whiteboarding Tool
Virtual whiteboards bring the brainstorming process into the homes of remote workers and teams. Although, these tools are not created equal.
Look for a virtual whiteboard that pairs the benefits of visual collaboration with technology – allowing your team to add text, upload images, draw in real-time (simultaneously), and export the digital whiteboard.
2. Define Brainstorming Goals
Without a defined goal in mind, your whiteboarding session will lose sight of its true purpose. Before your team starts rattling off ideas, make sure everyone understands the goal of the session.
3. Start with a Clean Slate
If your whiteboard has anything on it from a previous meeting, clear it off. This includes prior virtual whiteboard meetings.
Give your team a fresh start for each whiteboarding session. This leads to new, imaginative ideas that get your team closer to the desired result.
4. Create a Collaboration System
In-person and remote teams all experience the same collaboration problems. From teammates talking over each other to ideas pitched out of order, brainstorming can be a creative, but chaotic process.
For an effective whiteboarding session, develop a collaboration system that gives each person ample time to communicate their ideas and provide feedback to others. For example, raising a hand on video or using the chat feature.
5. Keep the Whiteboard Organized
As the ideas start flowing, your whiteboard can get messy. Do your best to keep an organized whiteboard layout throughout the entire session.
Organizing your whiteboard allows your team to stay on track, have a visual representation of the project progress, and understand what needs to be accomplished next.
6. Take Advantage of Collaboration Tools
Virtual whiteboard tools provide a series of features designed to enhance the brainstorming process. These features include file uploads, chat boxes, segmented boards, and so much more.
Use these tools to your advantage and encourage your teammates to do the same.
7. Assign Deliverables and Tasks
Don’t make the mistake of brainstorming on a project and walking away! An effective whiteboarding session must end with assigned deliverables and/or tasks. Otherwise, what was the point of the session?
Even if the deliverables are to prepare for the next brainstorming effort, this tasks employees with keeping the project in mind throughout their days.
Explore tactics that keep your virtual whiteboarding sessions productive and effective.