Now that companies are making the shift to remote working arrangements, communication has become more important than ever. One of the leading business communication platforms today is Slack, connecting more than 10 million users daily.
The primary feature of this app and project management tool is a workspace, which can be further subdivided into channels. Simply put, an organization can communicate inside a workspace, with teams or projects having their own channels within.
Furthermore, employees no longer need to always check for updates as the app informs them if there’s any new progress or better yet if a new message specifically mentions or includes them. With its wide range of integrations and a whole lot of features, no wonder Slack has emerged as one of the most preferred business communications solutions and tracking software tools in recent years.
If you’re one of the businesses making the shift to using such digital platforms and are still unfamiliar with its potential as an effective platform to keep your team moving, here’s how you can use Slack for project management.
1. Create different channels
Whether you want to compartmentalize your organization by department, by project, or both, Slack has got your back. By letting you create as many channels as you want, project management is made easier for administrators. Specific channels make sure that the right information is passed to the right members. Not only does it ease collaboration by not including members not relevant to the project, but it also eases your other employees by sparing them updates they have nothing to do with.
Also, it’s important to note that access to these channels is invitational. This makes sure that those who have no business with that particular channel won’t be able to access it. For example, you can have a Slack channel for your entire sales department as well as specific channels for specific clients if you have a subset of sales personnel working on them.
2. Share files and improve collaboration
Aside from chatting about what to do, team members can hold their meetings on the platform and help make project management easier by keeping them going. Members can share files directly on the platform, or links to Google Drive files and allow their superiors or colleagues to edit or comment on the file directly. Similarly, collaboration is made easier and more convenient for everyone as members can even make presentations right on their respective channels.
Whether intended for a specific recipient or for the whole team, file sharing is available for both channel and private messages. Even if you share confidential company files, there’s no need to worry as enterprise-grade Slack security keeps all your communications safe and secure. Also, Slack has a feature that lets you pin files and messages. This makes it easier for everyone to see important announcements and dissemination.
3. Manage specific tasks
Aside from grouping your employees in separate channels, there are different capabilities in Slack that can help you make project management easier. While you can manually add items to do or create a task list for your specific teams, you can easily integrate task managers like Wunderlist or Trello. Team members can move their tasks depending on their progress and updates are instantly shared with Slack.
Another option is to add Workast, a project management solution specifically for Slack. This way, you can use commands like /todo or /mytodo. This solution is perfect if you prefer keeping your task management efforts within the platform, without having to go back and forth between apps.
4. Integrate other tools
Integration remains one of the strongest points among business solutions, streamlining processes and making transitions easier. Slack understands this and chances are, some of the tools you’re using in your company can be easily imported into the platform. Apps and integrations that can be connected are in the Slack App Directory and includes file management apps like OneDrive and Google Drive, productivity solutions like Asana and Poppins, and even other communications platforms like Zoom.
Apps connected to Slack allow its users to call on these external software solutions within the app. For example, you can set Zoom meetings in your specific channels, or you can synchronize the progress of your tasks between Slack and Asana. More importantly, the Slack API allows you to build custom apps, giving you an opportunity to directly integrate apps and platforms unique to your company.
5. Automate reminders
Automation is a clear example of how technology affects business, with previously manual tasks being replaced by more efficient and faster machines. With Slack, it doesn’t replace anyone but rather, removes the tedious task of having to remind people every now and then. Whether it’s a recurring weekly meeting or a project deadline, you can set custom reminders within the app.
What makes this reminder feature convenient is that it can be set by the administrator for an entire channel, or any individual member can set reminders for themselves. Automating reminders can be as simple as right-clicking an update and setting the time when you want to be notified. Users can also use the /slash or /remind command. Lastly, automatic reminders in Slack can also be set using the Google Calendar app.
Slack is a powerful business communication tool and by understanding its features better, you can use it for varying degrees of project management efforts. More importantly, familiarity with the app means you’ll have a better idea of how this platform and all its capabilities can be used to meet your organization’s specific needs, utilizing business tools to their fullest potential.
- Blogger and Educator by Passion | Senior Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. | Contributor to many Business Blogs in the United Kingdom | Fascinated to Write Blogs in News & Education | I have completed a journalism summer course at the London School of Journalism and manage various blogs.
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