For Agile teams, being able to communicate efficiently is one of the most important measures of success. Especially when working online, Agile teams need to prioritize team relations in order to maintain an efficient workflow, and sometimes this requires the adoption of new tools to enhance team collaboration.
In this article, we’ll discuss why online whiteboards present the perfect solution for agile teams and the various reasons they fit so well. Let’s get started.
The Agile methodology is defined in our guided walkthrough as “The Agile methodology is a workflow ideology that emphasizes cyclical improvements, collaboration, and frequent adaptation in order to solve problems. It is mainly applied during software development or project management and attempts to improve cycles of work by enabling fast and high-quality delivery of projects.”
Generally, Agile follows a couple of principles that emphasize 1 on 1 interaction, a quality end product, customer collaboration, and quick changes in direction.
With these principles in mind, it becomes apparent that Agile teams need to be very aligned. They are required to deliver consistent quality products and are expected to pivot frequently to accommodate the changing needs of the client. Doing this without a shared workspace can be incredibly difficult, so it’s important that Agile teams share a common source of knowledge so they can move forward with the same set of assumptions.
How Online Whiteboards Fuel Agile Teams
Online whiteboards provide a space where Agile teams can both collaborate to manage their projects while also communicating on a regular basis. Creating a dynamic shared space where teams can collaborate on their daily tasks and visualize the progress of team members helps maintain team alignment.
Seeing as there are many ways online whiteboards can help agile teams, we’ll first outline some of the things they allow teams to accomplish and proceed by highlighting some of the advantages to using them.
Manage Projects Collaboratively
Online whiteboards provide multiple project management templates that can be easily used by teams to track sprints through to completion. On top of these templates, teams can create custom tracking sheets for their projects that align specifically with their end goals. This helps ensure projects are finished efficiently and in a timely manner
Without an online whiteboard, managing multiple project management templates would be very difficult, and creating a custom one would be impossible. Online whiteboards allow Agile teams to do both with great efficiency.
Assign Tasks In Real-Time
Another capability online whiteboards add is the ability to track tasks in real-time. Part of project management is task management, and when working in a tight-knit team it’s important to do this collaboratively.
Fresco allows Agile teams to create and share tasks through an internal task manager, so they don’t have to leave the platform to manage tasks separately. This also means that your team can translate project changes into tasks immediately, leaving no room for misinterpretation.
One of the things that makes online whiteboards so valuable is they are able to integrate collaborators from anywhere. In some cases, even clients and customers can interact on the board to best communicate their needs.
Knowing that Agile teams work in close tandem with their clients and are often pivoting to meet their changing demands, online whiteboards provide a platform for teams and customers to interact and communicate their needs at length.
Visualize Shared Workflows
Agile teams have varying levels of independence, but while they don’t always collaborate on tasks, they are always responsible for understanding the greater workflow shared by the team. Online whiteboards allow each team member a transparent look at the team’s shared workflow, giving them good oversight on the sprint as a whole.
Create An Information Hub
Especially when changing priorities multiple times within a single sprint, Agile teams need to share a common source of information. Online whiteboards provide a platform that lets them collaborate both synchronously and asynchronously. By doing so, project managers can consistently update shared boards to provide accurate priorities to the rest of the team. This ensures that nobody misses out on a piece of critical information.
Advantages to Using Online Whiteboards
Now that we understand some of the critical ways online whiteboards are applied with Agile teams, here are a couple of separate advantages to doing so. If you want to learn more about the advantages of implementing Agile, check out this article.
Infuses Collaboration Into The Workflow
Collaboration and communication are two things that are absolutely essential in a positive workflow. Regardless of how inherently collaborative your tasks are, getting new sets of eyes on them and communicating regularly with teammates is one of the best ways to improve your performance.
This is also a great way to get the rest of the team involved in each other’s progress, ensuring everyone has a solid overview of the project in general. Infusing collaboration into the workflow is one of the biggest advantages of implementing an online whiteboard into your agile team.
Creates Team Cohesion
Online whiteboards create a space where teams can organize themselves on a regular basis, and this does more than simply engage them in frequent collaboration.
Being able to regularly meet with teammates and gain a deep understanding of their daily tasks allows agile teams to create an extremely cohesive workspace. Teams will have a great understanding of what each other needs in order to succeed and how this relates to the team’s success as a whole.
Without a collaborative shared space, this is quite a difficult thing to create, but online whiteboards make it possible for Agile teams.
One of the biggest plagues of the Agile workspace is waste. Reworking projects, miscommunicating tasks, and generally not using time efficiently are all reasons that Agile teams struggle to accomplish their goals.
Online whiteboards are a key factor in eliminating waste and do so by first removing any room for miscommunication.
When you leave a meeting, it’s easy to miss certain key points or forget to emphasize something to the team. When using an online whiteboard, however, this isn’t the case. Shared boards are infused with context and communication, meaning teams can gain a deeper understanding of their goals and responsibilities. Additionally, these boards exist in permanence online, so they can always be looked at for additional guidance.
When using an online whiteboard, the opportunities for miscommunication are much lower than in a traditional collaborative environment, and this is yet another reason they’re so crucial to Agile teams.
Whether it’s about eliminating waste, infusing more communication, or managing projects collaboratively, adding an online whiteboard can make Agile teams very successful. If you have any more questions about the Agile methodology, definitely check out our comprehensive Q&A where we answer 15 pressing questions about Agile.