Today I’m going to tell you about the tool that helps me everyday. That helps with team engagement and managing the resources in my company.
This tool’s name is Slack.
The pros for using it:
- Nice interface that all teammates can adopt in minutes
- Simple to connect with external tools (using webhooks and API key) – Slack gives a chance to write your own plugins and extensions
- Both web and standalone versions for all main operating systems (Windows, Linux, macOS) so you can use together with all employee in your company without disruption
- It’s not free, at least if you want some advanced features
- Sometimes hangs in my web browser (Chrome on macOS). In my case switching to standalone version improved the stability and memory consumption.
After using it in free version for some time, we decided to upgrade for Standard (non-free version). We also decided to implement the Slack connection with GetBadges, as one of two available outgoing integrations.
The main functionality we are using in everyday:
Sometimes we need get attention in one channel, for example design, where we studying an examples of ux and badges design. If I use @channel or @here command, I’m sure all the channel participants get the important message. One warning: do not overuse this function 🙂
This function give me @username command, that can send a notification directly to user was chosen. You can use it inside in message body, so your teammate get mention with this message together. When they weren’t available online, they’ll get an email with notification content.
Slack has useful notifications. We are using their functionality to display incoming achievements comes from GetBadges. However when you need silence you can always snooze them, or even better – set them to be quiet for certain hours (after work hours perhaps). If somebody need you urgently slackbot will allow the notifications when they promise him it’s important 😉
Using Slack conference mode during weekly standups
We are mainly working remote. Everyone in our team is using Slack, so it’s only natural to use it also as a conference room . While we don’t do video calls much, since we prefer voice calls for standups it can come handy. Video calls are a new feature that was just released a couple days ago.
We use Google Docs for non-coding activities, so it is easy way to collect a links to important documents. With premium features, we have all history documented and browsing it is easy and fast.
Before Slack we have used Git snippets, but now we have better way to share small pieces of code. Slack give us a function to easy copy and paste code in its interface. It has syntax highlighting and can display raw content as well.
After using Slack we have better internal communication and team productivity. Channel management is functional so channels can be adjusted to all team’s needs. We have one common channel for notifications comes from GetBadges. That gives a chance to notify everyone about Kudos (more about them here) and new badges our team achieve. I think this is the good direction to improve employee social recognition and company culture: