I have been working as a developer for two decades and in technical leadership roles and tech executive roles for one decade now.
During this time I made a lot of decisions harming productivity.
This series of articles speaks about my fuck-ups and those of others.
If you missed the other parts of this series, go read them as well and discuss with us on LinkedIn:
Today we will talk about the trend of integrating all kinds of information into the team’s chat tool.
With emphazise on critical information such as monitoring.
There is a growing trend to integrate all kinds of information into slack.
Unfortunately, this is a terrible idea. Chat may have beaten a meeting-heavy culture (long-time-champion and still very active) as the primary productivity killer and primary source of stress/burnout/anxiety, I am convinced.
But even more important than this: if you integrate critical information into a tool designed to addict you and designed for irrelevant communication noise, you need to manually filter the important information.
You need to be always online, always aware, always present.
Which is terrible for your health and productivity.
Important information ideally should be pushed to you, not require you to pull.
Sure, a display in the office, potentially combined with a colour lamp turning yellow or red or a sound device can work – but only if you are able to create a dashboard that combines all information into one view + hides all irrelevant information (show only problems, not all status).
But ideally, have the information pushed to the individuals that need to process it.
We yet lack a product for this, but go as far as you can in noise reduction and allowing focused work away from slack as you can.
If you and your fellow engineers are monitoring slack to make sure you get aware when production breaks, you are guaranteed to not get in flow and to shift your attention to irrelevant activities rather than crunching on differentiators for the business.
You are burning cash, untrain creativity workers from focused work, addict them to a chat tool and worst of all: all this does not result in a situation of good overview of system health or decreased response times. Instead it results in increased levels of stress and anxiety.
So please ensure that the shouting and the noise stop today.
Allow yourself and your fellow engineers to work calmly. Making sure you do not miss important information.
If you liked what you have read (or totally disagree), make sure to leave a comment.
Also stay tuned for the next and last chapter of this series about cross-team-collaboration and check out the previous parts of this series: