What is the hangup with current internal communication workflows?

The content from this week’s readings focused on the presence of communication within the technical and professional communication profession and the usage of social media. While much or the information provided an examination the current field of technical and professional communication it also offered insight on the scholar and resources behind this reasoning and laid the foundation for what “we” the audience could expect in the future.

One item I found to be of particular interest this week was the technical and professional communication field being explored in certain places, such as cafes and coffee shops. In particular, this article offers some insight as to the growing market and dynamics of coffee shops.

In a world filled with technology, cords, business meetings/gatherings all taking place on the road it’s no wonder many coffee shops and quick stop shops are taking note. As the use of communication through the means of technology continues to expand and play an even greater role for personal and business consumption it only provides a small glimpse into the future of all professions. Blythe, Lauer and Curran said, “’As Yancey (2009), the Revisualizing Composition Study Group (2010), and the Stanford Study of Writing (2008) have articulated, trends in digital tools and handheld technologies have made our lives all the more converged, synergistic and complicated’’(Blythe, Lauer and Curran, 2014). After reading this article multiple times, I was drawn to this phrase which highlights our current demand for technology, the use of it and how it’s actually perceived in the workplace and beyond. As one can only attest to, the power and use of technology with the field of communication is vital to send content, provide updates and alert the appropriate stakeholders, peers and anyone else who may be of interest. However, the caveat I found with this statement from the authors is one that I experience day in and day out. This recurring problem in the field of technical and professional communication is the constant flux of new and innovative programs, apps and systems of storing and sharing information. While some provide valuable resources for multiple individuals to access from any device such as Google docs, etc. it does not help the issue of cross communication between other programs like outlook, exchange, Asana, Slack, Smartsheet, etc.

Here is an article, which rates the 9 best business programs for internal communication.

workflow software - zinc

While many of these programs are valuable in their own unique ways, only some can provide cross communication and sync information and data between each other.Check out one of the newer business platforms which aims to solve this solution. Have you heard of Zinc? This program is very similar to slack.

What are your thoughts on the growing need and demand for a full communication system or integration between multiple apps, calendars and programs in your place of work?

Posted on September 30, 2018, in Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Hi Kim,

    I took similar takeaways from the readings this week and did my responses highlighting Slack in the workplace. I think you bring up a good point about communication across programs and integration. I was having a conversation with some colleagues at work about my field project research (see my blog post for more details – but I’m implementing Slack into my workplace) and this idea of integration across apps became the topic of conversation. One person in particular was very against adding a tool like Slack in their office because they don’t want to check multiple places for communication. His point being, what if someone who isn’t on Slack needs to be looped into the conversation? You can’t just cc someone like you would on an email. In that point, he definitely was highlighting the need for integration across applications. Should there be a way to download a Slack thread and send it as an email? Or create a public link to a channel where someone wouldn’t have to be logged in to view the content? I’m not sure about the answers to these questions, but it seems there is a growing demand for integration across the workplace both for internal colleagues and external clients.

    Thanks for your thoughtful response.
    Brittney

    • Hi Brittney,

      Thank you for your feedback this week, I appreciate it. I’m glad to hear that you’ve shared a similar experience with me and that I’m not alone in this one.

      I would be very curious to see who and hear more about your field project and the integration of Slack into the workforce and how it is going thus far for you. I’ve had similar conversations as well with some of my colleagues about integrating this into the workforce and how to do so seamlessly. Do you find that some are more interested in learning new platforms, operating systems and so forth where as others are more content with only using the current systems already in place? If this is an area that you are finding exists what path have you taken to address this and what type of response have you received from your colleagues throughout?

      I apologize in advance about all the questions, but I’m very interested in finding a workplace solution that works for everyone, but also helps increase efficiency and time lost sending each other documents we already received, have stored on a network drive or all need to access for a variety of reasons.

      You do make a reference to my question above about having colleagues who are not as implied to use or would rather revert to what they know from existing structure. I could definitely see the issue your colleague raised about including someone into a conversation via (cc), a familiar email exchange item, which can carbon copy individuals on items so they are physically seeing what’s happening, however in Slack itself there is a feature where you can mention someone, by using an @ sign…, but this does not solve the problem when an individual is not using Slack!

      I’m so glad to hear that you are taking strides and learning new platforms to integrate into your existing workforce that could be a great benefit for both you and your department.

      Thanks again for sharing this information! I’d love to hear more about it throughout. 🙂

      – Kim

  2. As a faculty advisor to many field projects and theses since 2009, all dealing with tech innovations in the workplace, his year I’ve seen a spike in enterprise social studies, with Yammer and Slack being the main tools examined for the same reasons mentioned here, effective collaboration and streamlining communication. I’ve not heard of Zinc though, so I will check it out!

    • Hi Professor Pignetti,

      Thank you for your response. It seems some of these programs are becoming so mainstream that I’m beginning to wonder how the next generation will transition into the workforce and what knowledge they will bring with them into the workforce. Will our current workforce be behind in this process or will some of us start adapting to what many of students involved in academia are already becoming familiar with? Another scary thought is the security of these platforms. It seems some of the public entities like government and healthcare often work with systems that are much older and their restrictions on what can or cannot be shared are very high. Will this trend continue in future generations or will this be something of the past?

      – Kim

    • Professor Pignetti,

      I came across another interface that I thought would be worth mentioning it is called, Asana. The founder used to work for Facebook and branched off to create this task/organizational system. I am actually using it right now, for academic updates, and with some clients I work with on the side to see the value it brings and how I can better leverage it across other apps/services.

      Here is more information on this service:

      Thanks,

      Kim

  3. Kim,

    You’re right that there has been an incredible flux of innovate communication tools.

    There is so many new communication tools that my company had to give a presentation last May on how to properly use our cross-communication tools (Slack, Email, Google Hangouts, Google Groups, etc.) We now use Slack when for general conversation or when we need to get someone’s attention immediately. We use Google Groups when we have information that is relevant to multiple people on a single team. And we use email when we have important information to convey, but it doesn’t require immediate action. These rules came about because there is just so many ways someone can get in contact with you. And we all prioritize the importance of these tools differently. To improve collaboration, my company had to find a way to prioritize them the same way. It’s interesting how we had to call a meeting to figure out how we should communicate with each other.

    • Hi Jeffrey,

      Thank you for sharing your input. This is very interesting that you use many of these interfaces within your current organization. Of the programs you listed is there a preferred program that you like to use or do you find using any of the programs above improve your interpersonal communication or make any of your tasks more efficient? I’m very interested in exploring the various types of programs, softwares and interfaces that companies are using and hearing their input about each of them. I think it was a great idea to establish a set of rules for each of these platforms.

      Thank you for sharing your incorporation of each of these platforms, this is very interesting and insightful. Would you say the majority of your workplace falls into a certain generational category (Baby boomers, generation x, millennials, etc.)?

      – Kim

  4. I have no business experience with these collaborative communication programs. This week’s reading, your post and everyone’s comments taught me a great deal. Although I’ve been temporarily out of the workplace, I don’t believe the companies I previously worked for ever used these technologies. Thank you for the article on the 9 most effective apps. It gives me a good basis to explore various internal communication tools and is something I’d like to research more through the MS ICT program.

    • Hi JJ,

      Thank you for your response. I think that it is great you are able to learn about all of these new platforms and interfaces. I do think they are becoming more popular in the workforce and I would be curious to see if you begin to hear more about each of these systems or ways of communicating down the road.

      I’m glad to hear the article in which provided the 9 most effective apps was helpful for you.

      Please let me now if you have any questions on this. I would be more than happy to hear what you find or end up researching later on for this program.

      Best,

      Kim

  5. Hey there,

    I really enjoyed reading your post, as you did an excellent job authentically articulating your reaction to this week’s readings.

    I must admit that, when I read your post title, I couldn’t help hear it in my head from the voice of Jerry Seinfeld, who had a knack for questioning everything about nothing. “What’s the deal with that???”

    I find your REAL TIME COMMUNICATION = IMMEDIATE IMPACT graphic to be quite helpful, especially as I hear the term ‘workflow’ thrown around more and more these days. Where did you find this image?

    I also enjoyed the article you shared re: the top nine business programs for internal communication. Of the nine listed, my current employer uses Slack and Basecamp, two programs that I think very highly of.

    Nicely done!

    ~Jeff

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