Using Slack

A team should have these channels for every project:

  • A channel where everyone is, including developers and stakeholders (usually #general).
  • A developer-only channel (usually #dev).
  • Notifications for project tracker updates (usually #issues).

General channel


Stakeholder: Good morning guys, are we still on track for sprint 5?
Daphne: Yep! We should be about 80% there right now.

This is the default channel for most discussions. Collaborating with stakeholders happens here. Most conversations should happen here, unless they happen to be too technical, in which case they should be in #dev.

Developer channel


Fred: Can you guys take a look at PR #283? I need a review
Velma: Hold on, let me take a look at it.

Have a channel where only developers are present, without any stakeholders. This is where everyday tech-related discussions will happen. Banter in this channel is usually not relevant to stakeholders, so it's best to leave them out so not to overwhelm them.

Temporary channels


Marketer: We need a new landing page
Fred: We're on it. What do you need?

Create new channels for discussion threads, and archive them when you're done. This lets certain discussions happen separately from everyday chatter, keeping logs clean. It also prevents overwhelming people by leaving out those who may not be involved. A good practice is to these with an underscore, such as #_feature.

When archiving temporary channels, rename them with a date stamp first (eg, #1701_facebook_campaign). This frees up the name so that it can be used again.

Project tracker channel


GitHub: Shaggy submitted pull request #283: Homepage: fix responsive issues
Trello: Scooby added a new card: Facebook landing pages

Integrate your project management tool (eg, Trello) and GitHub's pull requests into a channel such as #issues. Don't talk in this channel, take discussions to #general instead since conversations are hard to track among notifications.

Other notifications

Also consider adding notifications for other services. This largely depends on the nature of your project. Here are some ideas:

  • #analytics for website analytics (eg, Google Analytics)
  • #support for customer support tickets (eg, Intercom)
  • #code for GitHub activity
  • #ding for sales notifications

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