Category Archives: General

Slack – How it adds value to your workflow!

Earlier this year, I started to use Slack as a collaboration platform to attempt to work more efficiently with my project teams. Many of my colleagues and friends have approached me and said:

 

“What is so great about Slack?”
“Why do I need it if I use Sametime [Connect]?”
“Here we go with yet another tool I have to use.”

 

My answer is this. If you want a comprehensive list of all the bells and whistles of Slack, you can read about them on Slack.com. If you want to know the tremendous value my team and I have realized and how it helped us truly work more efficiently, saved time and increased productivity, then read these key points below..

 

Key Value & Benefits

 

  • Less Meetings – Reduction of ~50% in conducting formal meetings
  • Less Email – I saw a reduction of ~80% in email communication in my project team
  • Increased Productivity – We not only delivered on the defined activities of our project, we overachieved by producing additional wow factors and over delivered on most of the defined activities
  • Increased Time Savings – Did you see my comment above about less emails and less meetings? Great, then you get this!
How I Realized Tremendous Value By Using Slack

 

  1.  Can be logged on from multiple devices. I was always logged onto Slack. I downloaded the app on my MacBook and iPhone. Regardless of when I was not in front of my MacBook, I was always connected with my project team. This helped us work faster. You cannot be logged on to multiple devices using ST Connect in my organization. I highly suggest anyone using Slack downloads the respective app for your device(s). 
  1. Chat History at your fingertips. Slack maintains all the chat history within each chat, whether a direct message or a channel. This made it very easy to recall prior conversations, statements and questions.
  1. Image sharing made easy – I love this feature. When you want to share a screen capture or image with someone, you just paste it right into the chat and Slack automatically creates a tile/preview version of that image. You can also add comments to accompany the snippet. This is very useful as it does not pollute the chat interface like typical chat solutions do.

slack_image

  1. Collaboration with team members outside my organization – I’ve had team members on projects that are not part of my direct organization or business partners. Thus I had no platform to communicate with them in one place. Slack provided us a forum to all come together and collaborate on the fly, regardless of which organization you belong to. No extensive paperwork filed or long turnaround times, with Slack it’s all made easy.
  1. Tagging users – If your working in your project team’s channel and need their immediate attention, you can tag the user (eg @mjnehme) and this will provide an additional alert to that user. If you need to alert the entire team on the channel, you can do so (eg @channel), but that should only be used when really needed. In this example below, I tagged myself.

Snip20160825_111

  1. Speed – If I ever needed anyone, I just “slacked” them. Everyone was always online, so it was easy to get an answer to something quickly that may be gating you. Its literally a virtual room. 
My final piece of advice is to the BE LOGGED ON! For Slack to be effective and provide the value I have highlighted, your entire team just needs to be logged on at all times (for atleast your planned “work schedule”).

 

Would Facebook, Twitter or Instagram be as successful if they did not have daily active users? Not likely. Its the same principle here. I found huge productivity gains in my projects but this only works if the team is all on board.

 

Hope this helps provide value to all your projects! #SlackIt

IBM Rational Insight Enablement Links

Alot of folks ask me for information on how to do things or if certain things can be done. Many ask for some presentation collateral. Here is a list of some links to collateral that contain alot of great information about IBM Rational Insight that I have created over time that will address alot of your questions:

IBM Rational Insight Overview 2014

The IBM Rational Insight Reporting Solution

Deploying IBM Rational Insight in a Heterogeneous Environment

Improve Predictability and Efficiency with Kanban Metrics using IBM Rational Insight (presentation)

Improve Predictability and Efficiency with Kanban Metrics using Rational Insight (article version)

Integrating Rational Insight with HP Quality Center and other Third Party tools

Configure Rational Insight with an additional Jazz Team Server

Configure LDAP for Rational Insight when Integrated with Multiple Jazz Team Servers

How to implement delta loads using Rational Insight

Integrating a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with Rational Insight (live data model)

Define Aggregate Rules for Semi-Additive Measures in Framework Manager

IBM Rational Insight – Setting up your environment for remote execution using Data Manager Network Services

Configuring Rational Insight for Rational Team Concert custom attributes (for RTC version 3.0 and earlier)

Here are some helpful IBM links:

IBM Rational Insight 1.1.1.x Infocenter

IBM Rational Insight Data Models (ETLs, Data Warehouse, Reports)

IBM Rational Insight & CLM Data Dictionaries

Insight / CLM Integration

Welcome to my blog!

My goal is to post useful and helpful information here on my blog about anything that is technology.

For starters, here is a link to my authored articles and technical documents on IBM’s Jazz.net. I hope you find them useful and enlightening.

Stay tuned, follow my journey, enjoy the ride and thanks for reading!