Businesses do not operate quite like they used to. Before there were technological revolutions like the Internet, desktop computers, email, laptops, and smartphones, recorder, corporate structures were highly organized ladders with entry level personnel answering to supervisors who in turn had managers they answered to. These managers reported to mid-level managers, who answered to company leadership headed up by a board and a CEO and president.
That overall structure still remains in place in many businesses, although the actual departments within a company are not as clear cut as they used to be. Technology and modern economics have made many businesses more nimble and flexible, yet also more complex and complicated. In many cases, employees are not actually sure what they are doing within an organization and who answers to who.
If you are a team leader, you need to keep everyone’s heads clear. Whiteboard drawing is something that you can use to help graphic facilitation of the command chain, the system of organization, and personnel structure that is used within your company, department, and team.
Actually, it’s good to start with any project with an overall view of the company at large, working your way through the flow chart to show where your department fits into the larger picture. That gives your team context. If you can, capture that first whiteboard drawing as an image and put on the wall to the left.
Next to it, put up your next whiteboard, which is a drawing graphically facilitating where your team fits in within the department or division you serve. These two whiteboards are like teachers showing students what country and then what state they live in. You’re not here to treat your team like they’re stupid, but they need to know where they fit as a group within the larger environments that they are a part of so they know their work has value and purpose.
Once all that is established, then you can get into the nuts and bolts of using a whiteboard to graphically represent the layout of your team and project. While there have certainly been higher tech possibilities to come along since whiteboards, these still reign supreme for many reasons. You have an open blank space you can use to fill in your diagram as you see fit, and anyone sitting there can see with their own eyes how all the elements can work together.
Easy erasability means that old connections or elements can be removed and rearranged as need be, and your team can ask questions about particular components of the project architecture at any time.
Many members of your team might be visual learners rather than audio learners, and most folks are actually a combination of both. Telling your team how things work together while also showing them visually through a whiteboard graphic layout facilitates information comprehension and retention because it engages two of their senses at once: hearing and sight. That keeps their attention in meetings and reduces breakdowns of effective implementation.