There’s no shortage of team collaboration frameworks, strategies, and tools out there. Not surprising. Every organization needs to become more agile and move faster than ever in today’s competitive environment.
Huddle boards first gained widespread use in the healthcare industry. Teams would “huddle” together each day for a few minutes and determine their most important tasks, and then team members would go execute. The power of huddle boards lies in their visual simplicity. A simple Google image search reveals various home-grown approaches:
Huddle boards resemble “Kanban” boards in that they help teams plot out different activities or ongoing project tasks, usually across different phases of their development. For example, a board might contain several columns organized by process step like things to do, things being done, and things completed. Or, you might simple create columns for process steps, like step 1, 2, 3, etc.
Huddle boards don’t have to be organized around processes. They can also serve as living dashboards for teams and organization. Some huddle boards might contain daily or monthly goals, along with progress reports like graphs or pie charts. However they’re structured, their purpose is the same: instantly align people around a shared purpose to coordinate and accelerate action.
Traditional huddle boards have been physical boards, like white boards or chalk boards. In today’s digital world, some teams have recognized the value of online and mobile boards like this one:
With processes, goals, and metrics available anytime on any device, teams can achieve the benefits of huddle boards without having to be physically together, face to face with the board itself. When creating an online huddle board, think about these questions:
- What are your goals in moving online? What will anytime and anywhere access allow you to do that you can’t today?
- Who owns the different aspects of the board and is responsible for updates?
- Can you “huddle” online as well throughout the day so you can reduce your number of time-consumer face to face meetings?
All of this is exactly what we’re doing here at upBOARD – providing tools like huddle boards to teams and organizations that recognize there’s a whole new way to work on the horizon. And, it’s actually already here.
Soren Kaplan is the bestselling and award-winning author of Leapfrogging and The Invisible Advantage, an affiliated professor at USC’s Center for Effective Organizations, a former corporate executive, and a co-founder of UpBOARD. He has been recognized by the Thinkers50 as one of the world’s top thought leaders in business strategy and innovation.