After three decades of global domination – are we about to witness the death of the humble yellow sticky note? Since 3M began running test sales of their ingenious new ‘press and peel’ invention back in 1977, businesses around the world have relied on post-its to share ideas, messages, and reminders on billions of those three by three inch squares. It’s quite ironic in many ways that, in the midst of the digital era, many forward-thinking companies still choose to collaborate and communicate via coloured bits of paper.
In every area, new technology plays such a critical role in improving business processes and efficiencies, yet there are reams of sticky notes, images on flipcharts and paper-crammed offices. Surely, as we move further towards digital transformation in the workplace, this is one area that should shift to the top of the pecking order? Maybe it’s time to catapult the proven process of paper-based collaboration into the digital age.
The long-standing popularity of post-its stems from one simple fact. They work. Particularly in those industries where visual data is key – walls covered in sticky notes is a tried and tested method of teams’ collaborating and sharing ideas. The only problem is, you have to physically be in the same room to participate. And all of the ideas, data, and information stored on employee’s digital devices have to either be shown separately from their individual screen, emailed around or be interpreted on to more bits of paper. Minimum collaboration. Maximum time consumption.
Perhaps this explains the growing interest in the latest software solutions that effectively have the ability to transform walls into expansive, digital workspaces. When businesses need to be immersed in visual data, these systems offer a technological version of the sticky note wall and people can work either directly on the wall or from their digital device in Timbuktu via an app.
For those paper-addicted people who can’t bear the thought of giving up the hard stuff, they don’t need to move from paper to 100% digital all in one jump. Solutions such as Nureva’s Span enables and supports a combination of the paper world and digital world wrapped up into a collaboration platform.
The Span system combines a special panoramic projector (solid state illumination projector) with an easy to use cloud-based canvas. In action, the canvas is projected onto a wall and simultaneously accessible from any personal device, so all changes can be made either on the wall or from a personal device. The changes are instantaneous and visible to every user. So an employee could take a picture on their device and upload it in a nanosecond onto the digital canvas. Clever and quick collaboration.
Imagine the possibilities? Groups of employees can work on a wall as they’ve always done – filling it with digital sticky notes, images and pretty much any other object to visualise information. People can contribute and collaborate in real-time from any location and the expansive virtual workspace makes it easy to see lots of information at once, identify patterns and start formulating solutions. As there’s no limit to the number of canvases, businesses will have endless space to explore possibilities and iterate.
Companies that want to embark on true collaboration and save on space, time and paper need to take note. Just don’t write it down on a coloured square of paper and stick it on the wall.