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Peter Kim Frank
Peter Kim Frank

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What is your team's Slack channel strategy?

Every new Slack team starts off with a #general and a #random channel.

What is your team's approach to creating and managing other Slack channels?

Please also include how big your team is — which I think would inform a lot of these decisions.

Top comments (3)

itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla) • Edited

There are a couple hundred people at my location, which is a Slack workspace. Each project gets its own channel. Each department (regardless of project) gets its own channel. Depending on the size of the project, they might make their own subchannels (#project-qa, #project-business, etc). There's a buy/sell/trade channel, a running channel, a football pickup group channel, a video games channel... Likely several other casual channels I don't know about because I don't search for them.

I don't think it's noise, because really most people will only be in #general and #project. Having a solid notification workflow is more important to me than channel workflow. I set my Do Not Disturb to be from like 2am to 9am, since that works better with my flow, have mobile notifications on, and mute basically everything other than my #project.

pbeekums profile image
Beekey Cheung

Slightly off topic, but I was at a company that grew very fast and it made me realize that a channel strategy has to change as a company grows.

For example: a "sales win" channel makes sense when your B2B company is a dozen people. It becomes a constant stream of interruption when your company is 200 people. The same goes for the "lunch" channel and other various hobby channels.

The problem is that these channels can help bring a team closer together when a company is small. Getting rid of them when a company gets larger would create negative feelings from that original team. Leaving them results in people checking every slack channel every 5 minutes, killing productivity. I'm not sure what can be done to mitigate this, but I think it's important to consider when coming up with your channel strategy. Just like software architecture needs to change as the system scales, so does a company's communication.

jess profile image
Jess Lee

I think we have a pretty utilitarian view of Slack. We have a small team of 6 that's all eager to get work done. Slack helps us stay productive/efficient/communicative.

So what I mean is...we don't have a lot of fun/hangout channels. The only channels that qualifies as those categories are #love and #random -- but #love is all about work (sharing awesome DEV things we find in the wild -- i.e. your laptop sticker makes us 😍) and #random can sometimes be random, but generally lands peripherally work-related (i.e. Whoa, WeWork just purchased Meetup!).

Channels that help us communicate are pretty self-explanatory: #team (something everyone should know), #dev, #creative-marketing, #office.

We also use Slack to get one-way notifications, such as: #deployment-pipeline and #bug-reports.

We probably have more archived slack channels than active ones and we'll continue to do that. I think it's the worst when inactive channels linger around. For example, we had a #video channel when we did a lot of video editing --- we'll likely revive it as we go into season two of BaseCS ;), but for now, it's not serving a purpose and anything video-related can go in creative-marketing.
Just keeps things cleaner/easier.

Moral of the story: be archive-happy.

I also wrote a post on how I personally manage slack: