Rules to Better Slack

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  1. Do you add your Email groups as Channels?

    ​​When adopting a new technology it can sometimes help to include a familiar paradigm. This helps users see how their understanding of the old technology applies to the new one.

    Companies should have Email Groups for the main offices, and one for the rest of the world. To help figuring out what channels to be posting to and what content is appropriate, recreate these groups as Slack channels.​

    Figure: Our Main Office Email Groups
    Figure: Our Main Office Email Groups recreated as Slack Channels​
  2. Do you know the best chat tools for your employees?

    There are many tools used to communicate and collaborate online. The 2 most efficient platforms for chats and calls are:​​​

    Hopefully Microsoft Teams and Workplace by Facebook will take the lead, we need more app integrations to come e.g. Zapier.
    We think Yammer​ could soon be decommissioned to reduce confusion.

  3. Do you know the best way to see when someone is in the office?



     
    ​​Figure: Bad Example – Scream out “Where is Marlon?”

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    ​Figure: Good Example – Using in/out functionality with Slack and Ubiquity Access Point

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    Although there is one bug with the solution:

     

    ​Figure: Ubiquity Access Point Bug

  4. Do you turn off audio notifications on the iOS app?

    One of the main strengths of Slack is that, unlike SMS, Skype, and to some extent email, it is a pull based system, meaning that you only go to it in your own time to look at topics you’re interested in, rather than having the information pushed to you with attention grabbing notifications. For this reason, it’s important that you turn off the sounds on the iOS app, and potentially all notifications all together.​​​

    Figure: Bad Example: The noises will grab your attention and interrupt your daily work
    Figure: Good Example: although you’re still getting notifications, hopefully it’s only when you’re taking a break to look at your phone anyway
  5. Do you use Slack as part of your DevOps?

     
    Figure: See how Slack can be setup to improve your Devops

    With all these different tools being used to collect information in your application, a developer will frequently need to visit many different sites to get information like:
    • Was the last build successful?
    • What version is in production?
    • What errors are being triggered on the app?
    • Is the server running slow?
    • What is James working on?
    This is where a tool like Slack comes in handy. It can help your team aggregate this information from many separate sources into one dedicated channel for your project. The other benefits also include a new team member instantly having access to the full history of the channel as well so no conversations are lost.

    ​​At SSW we integrate Slack with:

    • Octopus Deploy
    • RayGun.io 
    • TeamCity
    • Visual Studio

    Even better, you can create bots in slack to manage things like deployments and updating release notes.

    2016-06-06_11-22-03.png
    Good example - One centralized location for team chat, deployment issues, exceptions and TFS changes