November 28, 2013 1 Comment
This is one TIP from our collection of practical tips, tools, and techniques. Our tips are gathered from our experience, training classes, and alumni contributions.
Record A Whiteboard or Easel for Later Transcription
One approach to recording a whiteboard or easel is to use a digital camera. This approach has the benefit of making easel paper more portable, frees up the whiteboard space for additional writing, and allows transcription to occur “off line.”
We use this when meetings are impromptu and the whiteboard is the only practical tool for recording group notes. Typically we always take digital shots at the end of every session or at the end of each day during a multi-day workshop, regardless of paper or whiteboard
How To . . .
- Download the photos quickly to your PC so that the information is fresh, should any portion of the photos be illegible.
- Use a camera with sufficient resolution. We recommend 3 megapixel pictures or larger.
- Work in a room light well enough that you can avoid the use of camera flash. If you have the option of disabling the camera flash, and have sufficient natural lighting, turn the flash off to avoid the problem mentioned in the next point . . .
- Be careful to avoid the distortion of the flash. Take the photo at a slight angle. If you are using a flash (or it operates automatically), do not shot your photo straight on. Avoid the bounce of the flash back into the lens.
- Be sure that the entire span of the whiteboard or easel paper is captured in the photo(s). Even if you intend to capture the board/easel in sections, the big view provides a valuable reference later.
- Having advised you to capture the entire writing space, zoom in so that you record text legibly. We suggest capturing photos of the board in sections—just in case—to assure legible images for later transcription.
- If possible, preview the digital photo that you’ve just taken to assure yourself of:
(a) the field of view that you intended,
(b) the legibility of the section of the board/easel that you’ve captured, and
(c) that you’ve captured ALL that you intended.
Please note that cell phone cameras are frequently insufficient for the task due to low picture resolution and lower quality lens, but they are improving with each new generation of phone.
TIPS ARE FOR OUR ALUMNI
We publish a compendium of facilitation tips for our alumni. We occasionally publish a tip for public consumption.
Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills
The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).
Do not forget to order Change or Die if you working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.