5 tips to make your electronic board more visible

Posted on March 8th, 2012 in Tools For Agile by siddharta || 1 Comment

One of the great things about a physical board is that its always big and visible. Anyone working in the room, or even walking through it, will glance at it once in a while.  Because of the huge amount of bandwidth our brain dedicates to decoding visual patterns, a glance is all one needs to quickly figure out the state of the work.

Unfortunately, when a team migrates to an electronic board, the big visible chart is gone. This is not a good thing, because now everyone has to log into the tool to see the board. You aren’t going to be doing that in the middle of your work, or while walking through the room.

Luckily, there are ways to solve this.

Here are five ways to make your electronic board more visible

  1. Get a projector: Find some blank wall space, get a projector and project the board on the wall. As an added bonus, you can probably project it much bigger than even a physical board.
  2. Get a large monitor: Sometimes you don’t have a big empty wall available. Hook up the electronic board display to a large monitor and have it display the board at all times.
  3. Get a touchscreen monitor: Even better, get a touch screen monitor. Then you’ll be able to drag and drop cards with your finger :)
  4. Go small: The opposite of one big visible radiator is to have many small radiators. With a physical board, you are restricted to one board which has to be in the team room. No such restriction with electronic boards! A huge advantage of electronic boards is that you can create as many copies as you want. How about having many small monitors (maybe even iPads/tablets?) at multiple places through the team room, so that everyone can view and interact with the board from different places in the room.
  5. Go far: Taking the multiple display solution one step further, ho about putting a small monitor at the entrance of your team room, another small one by the water cooler or cafeteria and one more in the board room. Imagine strolling by the water cooler and being able to see different boards from all the various teams who work on that floor.

All this (especially 4 & 5) is very exciting, because it allows you to bring in a whole lot more visibility than was ever possible with a physical board.

Of course, there is one thing that is required to do this: Synchronisation between multiple displays of a board. When someone updates a board, you don’t want all the other displays to be showing stale information.

Manually hitting refresh every minute is out of the question, and reloading the whole page every few seconds is slow, and resource intensive. Automatically reloading the page at a less frequent interval (say every few minutes) means that the radiators are showing stale information on busy boards.

The ideal situation is to have real time board synchronisation in the electronic tool. With real time sync, a whole lot of exciting possibilities just open up.

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One Response to “5 tips to make your electronic board more visible”

  1. Vin D'Amico Says:

    Excellent suggestions! The technology we have today is more than ample to eliminate the need for a physical project board. We have more and more distributed teams and even co-located teams where people work from home from time to time. Physical boards are a constraint not a solution.

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