You know that look. You requested someone to do something over Slack. It was a small ask and you expected it to get done by now. Unfortunately, nothing happened. Things slipped. You are not pleased. Maybe you reported a client issue and no one attended to it. Maybe you needed access to a report and you haven’t been granted it yet.
Slack channels get busy - you are bombarded with questions, alerts, announcements, requests and the occasional meme. It is no wonder that important action items and requests are often lost amidst the barrage of Slack messages in a busy channel. If you made an important request to someone on a busy Slack channel, the odds are fairly high that they will probably miss the message and your request will be lost
When Slack fails
Slack makes it extremely easy to communicate with your colleagues. Sharing information, making requests and staying connected feels frictionless. However, this seemingly easy medium of communication has its own perils. The biggest risk we face when we use Slack to make a request from someone is the lack of traceability. Traditional project management tools like Jira and Asana solve for this by having clear assignees and due dates for action items. These items can be easily tracked and the owners can be held accountable. With Slack, there is no built in way to track all the little one-off requests that you make or receive on a daily basis. Why is this important though? There are three main reasons
1. Important things slip through the cracks
Imagine you have requested a colleague to review an important document. Or you have asked your engineering counterpart to resolve a user login issue. There are real business consequences to these tasks not being attended to in a timely manner. In large organizations, thousands of Slack messages are being exchanged every day and amidst these messages are a meaningful number of important requests or actions. Not acting upon these actions could lead to an unhappy customer or an unattended bug.
2. You get stressed out
You have a lot on your plate already. Your own todo list is probably getting out of control. How do you now keep track of all the things that you have requested from other people? Do you really have to make mental notes to chase your colleagues to approve expenses, grant access to docs or share reports? All these little things add up to your overall stress levels resulting in death by a million cuts. Not having a reliable accountability mechanism built into your primary medium for making work requests can lead to stress.
3. Misunderstandings foster
Relationships suffer due to miscommunication and poor expectation setting. One of the pitfalls with asking someone to do something on a busy Slack channel is that there is a pretty good chance that they don’t notice the request altogether. Or they notice it but forget to act upon it. The next time you interact with this person, you feel potentially annoyed or disappointed that your requests were ignored. The receiver of your request was probably well intentioned but couldn’t keep up with the barrage of messages and notifications on Slack. Not a great situation for either side.
Clockwork - A better way
Good news - at Clockwork, we have built a better way to manage all your myriad Slack messages and requests. We want to help you keep things organized and accountable. To make it dead simple on your end, we have built Clockwork AI that automatically detect potential actions in your message stream. We then let you convert these messages into Clockwork actions that you can track in future. Each action can have owners, due dates, comments and automated reminders. All of this happens entirely within Slack with a few simple clicks.
Here is how it works:
Step 1: Install Clockwork. Yeah, give it a try!
Step 2: Add Clockwork AI to any of your work Slack channels. You can do this by going to the Clockwork Homepage and clicking on the AI settings button at the bottom of the page
Step 3: Now sit back and watch. The next time Clockwork detects a message sent by you that appears to be a request for someone else, you will get automatically nudged to create a Clockwork Action.
That’s all there is to it. Now that you have created an action on Clockwork, you can enjoy all the following additional benefits:
Receive automatic reminders: Clockwork will automatically send Slack reminders to action assignees to resolve their outstanding tasks
Block time: Clockwork lets the assignee of an action seamlessly block time on their calendar to work upon the said task. Queuing up your outstanding tasks on your calendar is a great way to ensure that things get done.
Nudge: Clockwork allows you to nudge your colleagues on tasks that are assigned to them that have not been resolved. Let us do the nudging and chasing while you focus on your work.
See everything in one place: Clockwork offers you a consolidated view of all the tasks that you have created and all the tasks assigned to you. We don’t want you to lose track of anything.
It couldn’t get any easier. What’s better - Clockwork is entirely free to use right now. Give Clockwork a try today and let us know what you think.