Is your lousy office communication tool slowing down your team’s progress? Here’s advice on how to choose a tool that’s right for you.
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Any tools are a large part of communication when you’re talking, especially, about a team that’s distributed or remote.
So it comes down to really three aspects when looking at tools for communication. The first is you need to have all the stakeholder onboard, so all the people that are in your project need to really have a say in the tool that you’re choosing. Because it needs to do everything that everyone on the team needs to do, so it’s easy to think you know what the tool needs to do for everyone, but until you get everyone to the table and really talk about what are the things that maybe you don’t know that they do or aspects that they need, that you need to understand that, and then use it to find the right tool.
The second is you need buy-in from all the team members. So even though someone might actually have a tool that does the job that they need to do, if it doesn’t really work for them, doesn’t work on their system, or they don’t enjoy using it, or just doesn’t work right, then they’re not going to have buy-in. They’re not going to use the tool, so they’re not going to get into the Slack app, or they’re not going to get into Skype, or whatever. They end up not using it, and then you really use all value of the tool.
The third is you need to have consistency using the tool. You need to have consistency in whether you’re using a project management tool, it’s just a chat tool, you need to always be consistent with using it because then you have all your information in that tool. If you have things that are scattered with email, or Skype, or Google chat, and you have all this information everywhere, then you don’t really know where to look, so then you end up looking nowhere and just losing that information. But if everyone is constantly using the same tool, then you have a central place where everyone can look, everyone can communicate. But that’s only possible if you have the first two—which is buy in from your team, and then all steak holders having their say in what the tool actually needs to do. If you have those three things, they’re really the trifecta of choosing the right tool for your team.