#Organize online meetings with digital whiteboards

Use of digital whiteboards for remote teams

Digitalization, agility and flexibility – these are probably the most important buzzwords in today’s modern working world. After all, more and more employees are working from their home offices and need the right conditions to do so. In modern project work in hybrid or fully remote teams, the use of a digital whiteboard is a key to success. These are software¬based solutions that all team members can access from anywhere and are particularly necessary for planning and executing individual project activities and communicating with each other.

This includes the development of creative processes, visual collaboration via the screen and joint learning. At the same time, all members of the project team can leverage the ability to work collaboratively on documents and records. A software-based digital whiteboard offers the functions of a flipchart, a classic whiteboard, a display and a touchscreen. The application allows users to edit documents, play videos and send e-mails via its touch-sensitive interface. Older versions can also be accessed in the process.

This is why the use of a digital whiteboard is worthwhile

In order to work efficiently from home, employees must be provided with all the data and information they need at all times. Especially in project work, the use of digital whiteboards is worthwhile as a planning tool, but also for brainstorming and mind mapping of digital meetings. Change processes during project implementation can also be visually recorded and always represent the current status of the editing process. The advantages of using a digital whiteboard with hybrid or agile project teams are as follows:

1. the use of software-based online whiteboards encourages the active participation of the project team members taking part in an online meeting. With digital whiteboards, each member of a project team is given his or her own color, which is used to identify all of the team member’s contributions. In the longer term, this color-coding leads to each member of the team contributing more of their own ideas and perceptions.

2. a central source of information is created through the use of a digital whiteboard. With an online whiteboard, a common database is developed, and at the same time misunderstandings can be eliminated from the outset. This ensures that, in the end, every member of the team has access to the same data and the entire team is pulling in the same direction to complete the project.

3. digital whiteboards allow access to the same source of information, because all changes and adjustments are made and updated directly in the program. They are then displayed in real time. This eliminates potential sources of error that could arise due to the logging of the project meeting. If a participant should miss a project meeting, he or she will always receive the current status of the project implementation via the digital whiteboard.

4. a digital whiteboard saves all interim meeting statuses – so that they can be called up again. The entire development process can be called up at any time. At the same time, the digital whiteboard makes it possible to take over existing elements and previous considerations from an older version. This creates an idea base that strategically generates more knowledge.

5. intensive brainstorming sessions often turn up excellent ideas that cannot simply be wiped away when using a digital whiteboard, as a backup of the content of the meeting is always stored in the cloud. In this way, the pool of ideas grows continuously and the project teams have the opportunity to retrieve older ideas at any time. This means that knowledge and ideas from previous virtual project meetings are never lost.

6. a major plus point of a digital whiteboard is, of course, that team members who are not working on the company premises can also take part in the meetings. This is relevant for advancing project work, especially if the team members working remotely are considered experts in the topic being discussed. This way, teams can access all the knowledge of their members at any time.

7. Digital whiteboards make it easier for all stakeholders involved in a project to access developments. They can easily track the direction in which the implementation of the project is moving via a link to the digital whiteboard received via email. An integrated comment function allows them to express their feedback, which is then incorporated into further implementation and ensures the success of the project.

When using a digital whiteboard, tasks are assigned within a project by assigning tags so that each team member knows which task he or she has to complete. This prevents misunderstandings and also reduces the number of forgotten tasks. Project development is thus smooth and the next (interim) goals within the teamwork are also clearly defined.

Research has shown that when team members have a visual representation of their own contribution, they accept the project they are working on as their own. The commitment of the individual team member also increases. By color-coding the tasks, everyone in the team can clearly see who is responsible for which task. This strengthens ownership and is a catalyst for moving the project forward in a dynamic way. Virtual whiteboards are the optimal solution for project work of the future, especially since it is possible to view the current status of the project at any time and ensure that all team members are on the same page.

Digital whiteboards should have these features

Digital whiteboards are software-based solutions that can be used as meeting software for agile and hybrid projects. There is a wide range of different tools on the market, which do not all have the same functions. Therefore, companies should be aware in advance of what requirements the tool must fulfill for them and should orient themselves precisely on these requirements when it comes to purchasing the right digital whiteboard solution for them. The essential basic features are the unlimited size of the workspace so that the visualizations can be displayed without limitations. The collaboration feature is also important. Therefore, care should be taken to ensure that real-time collaboration is possible via the online whiteboard and that the exchange of information is straightforward. A simple data sharing function must also be available.

There are also solutions with various additional functions that can be quite worthwhile in use. These include various import options, such as importing images and videos, as well as the chance to integrate handwritten comments. Layers can be defined, which are gradually faded in. Wireless pens can also be used with the help of certain software products. This places hardly any limits on the possibilities for displaying content and assigning tasks. Another factor that should not be underestimated is the intuitive usability of the digital whiteboard, because only in this way can the user benefit from all the functions provided right from the start and with only a little technical know-how.