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.

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  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