5 reasons to love Slack for digital projects

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I’ve been on Slack, the digital communication tool, for a while – mainly as an interested observer. But a recent project we ran at Parkinson’s UK showed me just how useful it can be for digital collaboration.

We were improving the user experience of our information and support content on our website – through a more intuitive content architecture, fresh design, and content that better meets user need.

We had eight weeks (two sprints in our Agile approach) to edit and migrate 200 pages to the new CMS environment, and learn how to use the new CMS in the process. Slack made all of this so much easier.

Here are my top 5 reasons to love Slack for digital projects:

1. Helping a big team collaborate faster

Up to 12 editors could be working on the pages at any time, from home or from the office, so we needed an efficient and user-friendly way to share guidelines, content ideas and CMS tips.

We started the project with the whole content team working together in one room so we could talk through ideas and issues as they came up. We covered the wall of the room in post-its and project plans to keep track of progress. But this wasn’t feasible for the entire project – so Slack became our digital ‘room’ instead. A space to share ideas, chat and ‘pin up’ important notes and plans.

2. Less email distraction

We purposely gave our inboxes a break during the website build so we could focus on the project.

With Slack, we could alert the team to project-specific news and solutions without tempting people back to their ever-building pile of unread and distracting emails!

3. Building team morale

Slack does gifs brilliantly – and they were crucial for team morale. At the most frantic and tough points in the project we were communicating almost exclusively in cat gifs. And it worked – helping us keep a sense of humour and perspective around the project.

Funny cat GIF

4. Transparent collaboration with supplier and agencies

We used Slack to quickly and effectively share issues with our developers as problems cropped up.

Everyone could see the questions and bugs that had been logged and the responses and changes as things were fixed. This really helped the one-team approach we wanted with our agency.

5. It’s free and can complement other tools your team is using

We loved Slack for this particular project for all of the above reasons. But it isn’t the only project management tool we use – it’s about finding the most effective option for your project.

I regularly use this mix of free and paid tools to keep on top of my projects:

  • Trello (great for workflow and project management),
  • Yammer and Sharepoint (useful for internal collaboration and shared documents),
  • Gather Content  (for building content, especially before your new CMS environment is ready)
  • Google Docs (for shared documents within and outside of your organisation).

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