I’m kind of a productivity tool junky. I like the idea that a new piece of software can transform how I work, rolling out new workflows and efficiencies. Of course, this rarely actually happens with a new tool. Usually I just fool around with it for a few days, realize I’m not going to get any adoption from the organizations and groups I’d like to use it with, and go back to what I was doing. My fickle heart goes on.
But hearing that someone is making a major tooling change always gets my attention. This piece by Scott Lowe outlines why ActualTech Media recently moved from Slack to Microsoft Teams. It’s a bold move on a couple of levels. For one, the logistics of moving all your communications, and remapping how you’re going to do that, is daunting. The other comes from a more cultural consideration. Slack has lucked its way into being seen as a workplace darling. It helps that it supplanted email for a lot of organizations, I know it did in my case. In that instance, even though Slack is glaringly imperfect, it provides for a much more natural communication line than threads upon threads upon threads of emails. Which is just to say that Slack can carry some cultural inertia as well.
For Scott, Teams stands out because it’s deep integrations allow for better context in communications, as opposed to the siloed channels within Slack. Plus it has real threaded messages.
Of course, the transition isn’t without detriment. For me, losing the ability to switch between teams would be tough. But then again, maybe that provides for more focused attention within a team. Certainly that’s not Microsoft’s explicit goal, but it might be a nice side benefit.
It’s really great to get these kind of thoughtful pieces on process and productivity.
Scott D. Lowe comments:
We’ve ditched Slack and adopted Microsoft Teams in its place.
“WHAT?!?,” you may ask. You may wonder why we’d stop (well, almost… I’ll explain later) using a tool that is the darling of many a company in favor of a relative upstart product.