Would you switch from the whiteboard-pen and mobile phone and instead use a proprietary encrypted radio and a crisis documentation system? No? Apparently, many professional seems to keep a firm grip on their mobile phone while they at the same time do some magical whiteboard crisis scribble during highly dynamic situations. In order to understand why people tend look for flexible means of communication as well as flexible means of visualization could be found in the types of sensemaking activities outlined in the old yet excellent paper by Karl Weick, “Cosmos vs. Chaos: Sense and Nonsense in Electronic Contexts,“ Knowledge in organizations, 1997 [PDF]. The mobile phone and whiteboard-pen seems to have the perfect material properties to align nicely with a rich set of sensemaking activities. I will further explore my ideas in a paper that currently work-in-progress.
If you have any experiences of how crisis response seems to be a mobile phone and whiteboard oriented practice, please let me know.