Take photos of whiteboards and use those

It can take a lot of time to translate a whiteboard drawing into a Visio diagram. Sometimes it's worth the effort to do so:

  • you plan on making updates over time

  • you know that others will take the diagram and extend it in some way once you digitize it

  • it needs to be a polished presentation for some particular reason

But many times, these diagrams are for one-time use. We create them to communicate a particular detail of the project, and then for all intents they just sit there - stale. In these cases, resist the urge to create them in digital format. Just snap a picture of the whiteboard with your phone, email it to yourself, and use that photo in any follow up emails or documents. This can save tons of time, and create a culture of more agile documentation.

This tip was part of a brainstorm developed at the September 2011 Indianapolis Workshop on Software Testing on the topic of "Documenting for Testing." The attendees of that workshop (and participants in the brainstorm) included: Charlie Audritsh, Scott Barber, Rick Grey, Michael Kelly, Natalie Mego, Charles Penn, Margie Weaver, and Tina Zaza.