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Agile tools...Whiteboard Tablet!

I'm in the middle of introducing some agile processes into our team and the first thing to introduce was a large, double sided mobile whiteboard - it cost around £220 and the return on investment is immeasurable (I'm sure the die-hard project managers out there are sucking in breath at that!).

I'm a firm believer in the power of the "board" for promoting communication and collaboration. It's such an awesome tool to teach/memtor/learn from and it's superb for raising everyones game in an agile software development project - developers not normally used to standing up in front of the team are given the pens and a "well draw it up here so we can talk about it" prod - people not normally given to great articulation are starting to develop and hone this skill and it's a key skill required to deliver software.

However, I'm digressing as usual...the point (and title) of this post was to tell you about an idea I have had for a while around whiteboards....

We have several smaller whiteboards on the walls, they are quite small, about A2 size and I think they would make great portable whiteboards, or "whiteboard tablets" for when you want to sit down with someone at their PC and code/design in-situ.

Now obviously pen and paper exist but usually the final design is so scribbled over that its hard to decipher sometimes. The "whiteboard tablet" makes it easy for a design to evolve over the course of the discussion and remain legible, it's got sufficient space for a fair bit of information.

The other "dafter" idea was to cover table tops with whiteboard material. The number of times I've had impromptu design sessions round a table and been annoyed I couldn't whiteboard an idea or concept is staggering. Obviously this one could be quite messy if you didn't clean up afterwards as sleeves will get covered in marker but I think it has some merit still! Maybe leave a margin round the edges with no whiteboard material?!

I'll be giving the "whiteboard tablet" a whirl and let you know how it goes, I think its a winner!


Anonymous said…
In our organization we use Tablet PC's instead of whiteboards. We have whiteboard that we sometimes use, but most of the time we use Tablet PCs hooked up to projector that displays on the wall.

The Tablet PC is usually shared around the table, and when multiple participants in the meeting has a Tablet, we use Microsoft Office OneNote in collaboration mode, so multiple people can work on the same notes.

This has proven to be an excellent tool and way of working in meetings, we are able to visualize our ideas quickly, and the dynamics of meetings have completely changed after the introduction of Tablet PCs.

We're living in a digital age, we should strive to utilize our own technology, and save the world of pens and paper.

Nick said…
Well this is a rather old post but. Simple glass or windows always works for a white board. And they are much cheaper than whiteboards.

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