Use Slack Better as you WFH

I have four other blog posts sitting at the ready to be published, but the environment has changed, and what's important has changed, so some ideas for stories out-prioritize others. You could say I'm... managing a backlog ;) .


As a Slack administrator, and shameless fan-boy, I wouldn't call myself a super-user, but I have run across a few tips 'n' tricks that have nudged me and my teams in that direction. So as you're working less face-to-face in these Coronavirus Times (anyone else wondering what the first movie will be referring to this event?), you may want to make better use of your online group chat program. If you use MS Teams or Hipchat, I'm sharing my experience here about Slack, so I'll leave to you how these points translate.


Topic += Task Board + Web Conferencing Room


At the Daily Scrum, you hopefully look at your task board as a team. That thing tracks the stuff y'all are workin' on. That thing seems pretty important. That thing seems like a link of high-enough usage by the whole team. I've linked to that in the topic of the team public Slack channel. This way, non-team members who are collaborators or stakeholders can also inspect based on what's been made transparent. Ah, empiricism.


Benefit of putting it there? In the desktop app, or web app, the channel's topic is displayed up top, like always-on content. Things become super-easy to click when they're there, like a link of high-enough usage by the whole team, like your team's task board, looked at during the Daily Scrum.


While you're at it, another super-useful link to include in that Topic area is how to have that Daily Scrum: a dedicated web conferencing video room (Zoom, Google Meet, JoinMe, GoToMeeting, etc.). Similarly useful to collaborators and stakeholders, ad hoc team gatherings now have a default place. Want to take this a step further? Are you Mob Programming in a remote fashion (yep, one of my teams has done this!) or otherwise want to be always on video to lessen the isolation of Social Distancing? You may want one room, clearly agreed upon, easily accessible.


Curate Pins & Stars


Per channel, you can pin an item, be it a Slack message, or a shared file. If you pin an item, everybody else sees it as a pinned i