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What Slack Can Teach Us

What Slack Can Teach Us

It’s encouraging to see Slack CEO, Denise Holland Dresser’s post about Slack’s latest announcement introducing lists for tracking projects and tasks. This is a move that feels both timely and strategically sound. 

For those who have followed my discussions on product strategy, you may remember that this is something I advocated for four years ago in my talk, Product Strategy in the Age of Product Excellence: Which Products Win, at the Empower conference. My talk centered on the power play between Slack and Asana. I argued that Slack should expand into task management to strengthen its market position and provide greater value to its users. 

Slack’s move into project and task tracking is not just a feature addition; it’s a natural evolution that aligns perfectly with its core mission of enhancing team collaboration and communication. The integration of lists within Slack enables teams to streamline their workflows without needing to switch between different tools. This seamless experience is what users have been craving, and it’s about time it was delivered.

The Importance of Product Excellence

This move by Slack underscores a critical concept in product development that I passionately advocate for: Product Excellence. Product Excellence is not merely about having a great product; it’s about creating an exceptional user experience that meets and exceeds customer needs. It’s about continuously iterating and improving based on user feedback and staying ahead of the competition by anticipating market trends and customer demands.

In the highly competitive landscape of productivity tools, standing out requires more than just incremental improvements. It demands a deep understanding of user pain points and a commitment to solving them in innovative ways. Slack’s introduction of lists is a testament to this principle. By understanding the challenges their customers face with internal collaboration, Slack has taken a significant step towards providing a more holistic solution. 

Building Winning Products

The competition between Slack and Asana has always been fascinating. In my talk, I likened the two to planets orbiting within the same system of internal collaboration tools. Asana has long been a leader in task management and project tracking, while Slack has dominated the messaging space. Slack, arguably with more at stake given the critical importance of communication for team productivity over task management, makes this move even more significant. By venturing into Asana’s domain, Slack is not only expanding its feature set but also challenging the status quo. This is a strategic play that can potentially reshape the landscape of productivity tools.

For companies looking to achieve Product Excellence, there are valuable lessons to be learned from this move. First, it’s crucial to have a clear vision of how new features can enhance your product’s value proposition. This begins with understanding your users and their needs. Never underestimate the power of seamless integration—users want solutions that fit naturally into their existing workflows without adding complexity. Second, establish a crystal clear product strategy. Know precisely how and in what sequence you will deliver your product to the market. Finally, execute your roadmap and plan with precision.  

Using this Product Excellence framework is often easier said than done. At Productboard, we remain committed to integrating these best practices directly into your product development workflows. Our latest Summer Release simplifies strategic planning with OKR tracking, streamlined workflows, and pre-built templates while keeping customers at the center of every product decision. And this is only the beginning. We will continue to update Productboard with Product Excellence principles in mind to enable you to build winning products that your customers love.

It’s motivating to see Slack taking this step. It’s a move that aligns with the principles of Product Excellence and sets a new benchmark in the internal collaboration market. As we continue to innovate and push the boundaries at Productboard, we remain inspired by such strategic advancements. 

You can revisit my talk here. Here’s to a future where Product Excellence drives us all towards greater heights.

 

Onwards and upwards, 

Hubert 

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