Slack: With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibilities

If you are associated with tech industry, there are good chances that you know about Slack Platform, and most probably you are using it daily. Its one of the most commonly use platform for startups and tech-companies. Note that its intended & suitable for any company, tech or non-tech it doesn’t matter.

For the readers who don’t know, It is (Team) communication platform which connects all your tools & services (e.g. Google Docs, Uber, Salesforce) in one place. It claims to reduce number of work emails, which it really does (How many platform can does that?). You can read more about it in brief here.

Popularity of Slack

There is a reason why Slack is so popular, and works well for lot of people. Few of the reasons:

  1. It is inherently extensible and supports Slack Apps/Bots at its core level. (For brevity’s sake, I will be using App instead of Slack App)
  2. There are tons of Apps available
  3. Its easy to build & create custom Apps/Bots.
  4. Its fast, simple & easy to operate.
  5. It can support thousands of people within one Slack Team.
  6. It is getting traction in community space, lot of online communities are using Slack now for communication.

At its core its a communication platform to build upon. It needs to be customized & tweaked for your team‘s needs. 
Which is a good thing, but if you don’t set it up right as per your team’s need & comfort level. You may see decline in productivity and more back & forth required in communication between team members.

Quick tips on implementing Slack

How to’s & Step-by-step tutorials are available in Slack Help Section. And believe me they are really really good (one of the best help section implementation). But here are some tips which you may not find easily:

  1. Introduce Slack in your team step by step, add small set of people first, who are comfortable with technology, quick learners & people who loves optimizing processes & tools.
  2. Use this time to explore different Bots & Apps, keep only which make sense, and your team is comfortable using it.
  3. If you are using noisy(chatty) Bot/App, keep communication channel for real humans separate from bots. So important communication doesn’t get lost in tons of messages coming from integration with bots.
    Live support bots, Code commit bots are such examples. Consider using separate channel for each of them. 
    For example if you have Support channel, instead of having one Support channel, keep two channels support & support-updates. Support channel should only be used for human communication & support-updates should be used for messages from machines.

I use Slack day-in & day-out. I am part of 9 teams as of this moment (which includes few communities as well) and Its been awesome. It has transformed our way of working & communication practices. But initially it was distracting & for tailoring it to our needs was not straight forward. After many trials, we were able to do it.

We will continue writing about Productivity, Slack and Slack usage patterns, Integration recommendations & reviews. If you are someone who uses Slack and loves it, Follow Productively! :) We promise that We will try our best to bring fruitful content to you.

Thanks for Reading.

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