When groups left the workplace for Covid-19, they left a variety of unfastened ends. A kind of threads, collaboration, has been picked up by BeeCanvas.
Launched this previous week, BeeCanvas is finest described as a digital whiteboard.
BeeCanvas is a powerhouse underneath the hood. This instrument is one half visualizer, one half brainstorming hub, and one half venture administration instrument.
How Will You Make the Most of Collaboration?
Why did BeeCanvas mix all of these features right into a single platform? And extra importantly, how can groups — virtual ones, particularly — benefit from it?
To see what the excitement is all about, I caught up with BeeCanvas’s CEO, Raymond Hong. And whereas we didn’t whiteboard our interview, Hong painted a transparent image: Distant work isn’t as simple as many initially imagined it will be, particularly within the context of collaboration.
BeeCanvas Started And not using a Hive
Like most of the corporations it really works with, BeeCanvas is a distant group. The distinction is, it didn’t all of a sudden grow to be one when Covid-19 struck.
“We constructed BeeCanvas as a result of we wanted it,” Hong admits. “We’d been understanding of espresso outlets, struggling to get on the identical web page about fairly primary stuff. I attempted to make use of different collaboration apps on the market, however none of them actually solved the issues we had, so I made a decision to construct a digital collaborative house for us. We wished to construct a best-in-class digital battle room on-line as an alternative of growing one other collaboration app.”
Though BeeCanvas now has a house workplace, it started 4 years in the past with out one. Before communication issues boiled over, BeeCanvas bought collectively to debate a brand new imaginative and prescient: a cloud-based digital whiteboard and assembly room.
“To us, the key phrase was ‘visible,’” Hong explains. “Throughout time zones, cultures, and languages, everybody understands a picture. Textual content-based instruments merely can’t get the message throughout as properly.”
That isn’t to say, Hong cautions, that BeeCanvas can’t accommodate textual content. He factors to BeeCanvas as a instrument the place folks can remodel a non-visual file or hyperlink to a visible asset by way of easy and straightforward interactions just like the drag-and-drop chat instrument. Like a bodily whiteboard, BeeCanvas customers can sketch, kind, and add graphics to their coronary heart’s content material.
Additionally like a whiteboard, BeeCanvas has an enormous vary of use circumstances: It may be a chart, itemizing out venture deadlines; it may be used to pitch or current on a venture’s standing; it may be an area for play, whether or not to build a culture or brainstorm a brand new advertising and marketing marketing campaign.
So what does BeeCanvas work finest for? Right here, Hong has a number of strategies.
Visualization: A Canvas for Everybody
Each profitable startup challenges at the least one assumption. At BeeCanvas, it’s that solely “creatives” want or can use a visible canvas.
“Go searching you: Everybody in your group could be artistic if you happen to unlock their artistic potential,” Hong says emphatically. “The function of a contemporary chief is to remodel groups to be extra extremely engaged and aligned creatively.”
As an example, Hong factors to a slider of use circumstances his group has compiled. Close to the underside of BeeCanvas’s homepage are rotating examples of canvases that “non-creatives” put collectively utilizing the instrument.
One supervisor put collectively a template for his group’s each day stand-up assembly. An government group developed a movement chart to indicate how strategic initiatives break down into department-specific initiatives. Salespeople created user-profiles and case research to showcase who their leads are and what issues they’re making an attempt to resolve.
The Final Visualizer
“Visualization is a type of abilities that’s important for each function, on each group,” Hong says. “Textual content is the most effective language for computer systems, not for people. People excel at articulating complicated concepts in a visible means. With the digital period, many individuals overlook that and don’t assume to seize a pen and draw summary content material with visuals as an alternative of explaining it with textual content. Even distant work accelerates this drawback as a result of folks are likely to depend on messaging functions, e-mail and digital paperwork.”
The Backside Line on Brainstorming
Have you ever ever had the right thought in thoughts, just for it to depart your mouth as a phrase salad? That’s why most brainstorming periods occur round a whiteboard.
“Most concepts are finest expressed and understood visually,” Hong factors out. “Human beings are visible animals: Our default sense is our sight.”
Whereas distant groups have lengthy been in a position to hop on a video name for brainstorming, these periods are not often as productive as they could possibly be. Hong says he’s seen groups wrestle to bridge the hole by, for instance, holding sketches as much as their pc’s digicam.
Consider BeeCanvas as a extra superior, collaborative MS Workplace Suite. The product philosophy is to mix venture administration performance with a visible whiteboard. A number of folks can work within the house without delay, similar to an actual whiteboard, whereas discussing concepts or issues utilizing BeeCanvas’s built-in chat.
Irrespective of how tough and complicated an thought could also be, folks can simplify their communication and simply discover options.
“The purpose of artistic work is just not for the sake of being,” Hong says. “The purpose needs to be to brainstorm and discover the simplest final result rapidly and effectively.”
Getting Digital Groups on the Similar Web page
After all, brainstorming is the beginning of any venture — and will get everybody on the identical web page. After that, the laborious half begins: really managing the venture improvement.
BeeCanvas constructed what is required proper now. In keeping with Hong, a few of its group members desire the venture performance just like the Kanban system. Others on the group prefer to work from their calendar, and nonetheless others function finest with a easy process checklist.
BeeCanvas permits customers to use their most effective workflow to their initiatives. “Like brainstorming, there’s no ‘proper’ strategy to handle a venture,” Hong says.
However why would groups use BeeCanvas reasonably than a devoted venture administration instrument? The reason being that initiatives are not often linear or single-platform. When it comes time so as to add a brand new characteristic, mid-project — a brainstorming-session could also be mandatory. After brainstorming and selections, a presentation could also be essential to get the management group on board.
“The query we stored asking ourselves when constructing BeeCanvas was, ‘Why can’t all of these points happen and be taken care of in a single platform?’” Hong factors out that the common advertising and marketing group alone makes use of 23.8 tools — by no means thoughts the entire others strewn throughout gross sales and product improvement groups.
Hong’s level is especially related for distant groups. Extra instruments unfold throughout extra networks create complexity not only for the person but in addition for others. Knowledge safety and integrations throughout instruments stress out IT groups. Bigger software program stacks pressure firm budgets and complexity.
What’s Subsequent for BeeCanvas?
Maybe the hardest query I posed to Hong was the shortest: What’s subsequent?
“In some methods, BeeCanvas is outlined by its customers,” Hong acknowledges. “BeeCanvas would be the new customary of a group collaboration house. It’ll change the best way we used to have conferences previous to Covid-19. Since our launch, we’ve been maintaining a detailed eye on real-world use. How folks use BeeCanvas will information our subsequent iteration.”
The excellent news for BeeCanvas is, distant work seems to be right here to remain. For a contemporary platform to seek out its candy spot takes time. Like nectar turning to honey, instruments like BeeCanvas solely get higher with age.
Prime Picture Credit score: Caio; Pexels