Team collaboration is extremely important when working in a digital workspace, and online whiteboards are the best stimulant for collaboration. In order to unlock this collaborative potential, however, it’s critical that you are engaging in the right kind of activities and using the right boards. In this article, we will reveal the 7 best boards to use in order to engage your team in meaningful collaboration.
If you want to learn more about visual collaboration take a look at our comprehensive overview, and if you are interested in online whiteboards we have a similar guide for you to check out here.
7 Collaboration Templates
Business Model Canvas
The business model canvas is one of the most commonly used boards for teams that need to determine new solutions or evaluate an existing plan, and it exists in such high stature for good reason.
This board emphasizes that team’s come together to collaborate on important areas such as determining your business’s key value proposition, your important partners and resources, and your established marketing channels.
In order to succeed on this board it’s extremely important that teams come together to collaborate on every item because, without the proper combination of all of them, the takeaways might not reflect accurate solutions.
Because team alignment is so important when establishing an accurate business model canvas, using one with your colleagues is extremely helpful in bringing unique knowledge from multiple perspectives in order for everyone to operate from the same set of assumptions and facts.
For these reasons, our business model canvas tops the list in boards that help engage collaboration
Agile Solution Building
The Agile Solution Building board is very helpful for teams that are seeking multiple perspectives on a group solution or want to brainstorm multiple different individual ideas. This board is perfect for teams brainstorming and working towards group-based solutions.
On this board, you each develop one idea, and through a series of rounds take turns editing and revising each other’s ideas until everyone has played a part in all of the decisions. This allows teams to be communicative with each other and agile in the way they think about moving forward.
Because of the team-based nature of solution finding, the agile solution building board is great for any teams that want to interlink their collaboration.
The CO-STAR board is primed on its ability to engage collaboration and innovate your business plan. Whether it’s creating a new approach or overhauling how you operate as a team, the CO-STAR board is super efficient in its ability to find and create innovative solutions.
The principal use for CO-STAR is innovating new solutions with your team, so it’s critical that teams work together to find solutions that meet these innovative demands. When you are innovating with your team, alignment and participation are two of the most critical aspects to ensure that you create sustainable and team-informed solutions. Because these factors are so critical it’s equally as important to use a tool that allows teams to engage in inherent alignment and participation on a shared visual space.
When innovating, team members can feel much more inclined to participate in new ideation and brainstorming because it lacks the previously held biases that come with the modification of older work. Due to this innovative environment, the CO-STAR template is a great board to use when innovating new ideas and stimulating collaboration in the workplace.
If you want to learn more about how to best apply the CO-STAR method, check out the Ideascale page to learn more.
Strategy Choice Cascade
The strategy choice cascade board is an innovative approach to refining and creating a go-to-market strategy and centers around your “how to win” question. By positioning all of your contributions around this statement you can easily align your contributions to the same north star, connecting your entire plan.
Having a central point of collaboration is extremely important to facilitate participation from your entire team. Your “how to win” statement functions as this shared point of understanding, and removes any misalignment between team members.
The strategy choice cascade is one of the most effective business planners available, and we definitely recommend any business look into using one if they are developing a new strategy around entering a market or refining an existing strategy. For these reasons and the ability to align contributions around a central point of reference, we recommend this board for anyone looking to engage in a higher level of collaboration.
The workshop planning template is fairly straightforward to use, and its primary use case is emphasized in the name. It’s especially useful to teams looking to collaborate because all the contributions have tangible outcomes.
Sometimes it can be hard for people to understand their collaborative goals because the contributions they make don’t necessarily have tangible outcomes or meanings. This makes collaborating abstract, rather than real. When working on the workshop planning template, however, everything you contribute is directly related to a real manifestation of the workshop.
This board is extremely helpful to prompt collaboration within teams, and if you are planning a workshop then it is a great way to stimulate this collaborative activity. The only downside of this template is that it is directed at a specific target of creating and hosting workshops, and if you aren’t working towards this then it isn’t very applicable.
The solutions laddering template is a great way to engage with your team and find new solutions to problems that have been lingering or seem that they are hard to solve.
When problem-solving with a larger team, sometimes it can be hard to solve persistent issues because there is a deeper core issue at play that is causing multiple different symptoms that are being treated rather than the core issue being treated. Because of this, you never reach the core of the issue and keep treating the smaller symptomatic issues that crop up rather than finishing the core problem.
Solution laddering helps address the core issues that you may experience rather than addressing the symptoms of those issues. By diagramming different why statements to expand the scope of the problem and how statements to narrow how the problem manifests, you are able to reach the core issue causing multiple different problems to crop up and affect your business.
Because of the free-thinking nature of this template, it’s great for teams that want to engage in more collaboration. People can easily explore tangents of thought about expanding or narrowing the issue and diagram them on the board which also has a solid impact on locating possible issue sources. Because of this ability to follow through on patterns of thought, we recommend this board to anyone diagnosing an issue and trying to increase collaboration by doing so
The Moscow analysis board is extremely helpful to teams planning sprints and trying to gauge their priorities moving into the next project. Moscow analysis is a task-based prioritization of what your team wants to include in your future project/sprint. By grouping different tangible tasks in what must be included, what should be included, what could be included, and what purposefully will not be included, you can accurately prioritize what has to come first, and what is being left behind.
Thinking about not only what features you want but what features you purposefully want to omit is important because it helps narrow the focus of the project, and gives you and your team a solid understanding of what needs to be done.
Collaboration on this board is vital because everyone needs to voice their opinions and vision of the product/service that is being delivered in order to properly prioritize the work that needs to be done to take it to market. When everyone collaborates on the same board, it helps align the overall vision of the product/service and gives everyone a shared set of tasks that they can focus on for the project. This can then also help going forward to assign tasks to different people to make sure that the tangible outcomes of the product/service will be reached.
It’s for these reasons that we recommend this board to anyone who is planning a sprint and wants to increase their collaboration going forward.
Engaging in collaboration can be difficult online and sometimes needs a spark to move it in the right direction. By using these strategic canvases through online whiteboards that spark is made possible for teams working from anywhere. Here is a brief overview of our 7 best templates to engage collaboration.
- Business Model Canvas: Creating a new business model requires many different perspectives, which helps stimulate collaboration from everyone.
- Agile Solution Building: The Agile Solution Building board is very helpful for teams that are seeking multiple perspectives on a group solution allowing intersectional participation.
- CO-STAR: The CO-STAR board is super efficient in its ability to find and create innovative solutions, something that stimulates ideation within collaborative teams.
- Strategy Choice Cascade: The strategy choice cascade board is an innovative approach to refining and creating a go-to-market strategy and centers around your “how to win” question, helping align the collaborative environment.
- Workshop Planning: The workshop planning board is especially useful to teams looking to collaborate because all the contributions have tangible outcomes, making collaboration digestible and real.
- Solution Laddering: The solutions laddering template is a great way to engage with your team and find new solutions to problems that have been lingering or seem that they are hard to solve.
- Moscow Analysis: The Moscow analysis board is extremely helpful to teams planning sprints and trying to gauge their priorities moving into the next project, creating task-based collaboration.