Project managers sometimes disagree whether a physical whiteboard or a digital tool is the most efficient way of keeping the project on track. Advocates of physical whiteboards often list various advantages of using a large, physical board. It helps the team see the big picture, focus on the goal, see the bottlenecks, and can be used in daily stand-up meetings, among other advantages. However, it seems that there is a solution – and one that we are big fans of at Eylean – that helps to get the best of both physical boards and digital tools. It is called an electronic (or interactive) whiteboard (IWB).
Electronic whiteboard is a large display board that is connected to a computer and can be controlled interactively. It usually involves a projector, which projects the software or computer’s desktop to a surface, and the board itself, where the users can control the computer by touching or interacting with the board. So in other words, board serves as a simple input device for a computer. An example of such board is below.
So why should you use an electronic whiteboard? Here are seven reasons we compiled – that show how a digital whiteboard outperforms a physical board with a lot of sticky notes.
- Easier maintenance. When working with sticky notes or a physical board, it is often a challenge to keep the information updated. Focusing time and efforts on rewriting changed development requirements on new sticky notes can waste valuable time – and this is an area where an electronic whiteboard can help.
- Durability of the board and especially its items. After some time, sticky notes might show signs of wear and tear, lose the stickiness or be otherwise damaged. They need to be replaced, changed and rewritten – and this problem is non-existent when using an electronic board with a proper software package.
- Ability to work with distributed teams. If you have a collocated team, you might make use of a physical whiteboard – but the issue becomes significantly more complicated when the team is based in various locations. To keep the team on the same page completely, the physical board has to be replicated in an online tool. Electronic board does that automatically.