Handbook

Communication

Great Communication is the pilar of any successful project. Having direct channels of communication have made it not only possible, but a true pleasure to work with clients from all around the world. Then something more about this here.

Thomas Hung

CEO of Oopsie

The time you spent in Hong Kong was really the time we built the trust-based relationship we have now, which takes a huge place in our collaboration.

Keep it transparent

We value your autonomy and your responsibility. Therefore, we promote and encourage you to address any project issue directly with clients.

With this, iterations such as any sort of delivery, feedback discussions, questions and whatever you see fit can be held directly between you and the Client.

We trust you. Use your judgement and be polite. If you're un-secure about what to say or respond, we're here to help.

It might seem quite un-orthodox but the truth is, both the result and the speed are a lot more satisfactory as we're erasing a middleman from the equation. You'll see.

🔗 When doing project management, your role and communication patterns are significantly different. Read more about it on its proper pageGo to Project Management

Important points

Before getting any further in this document there's some particularly important topic to be outlined beforehand. Being the most important of all:

Never leave a client unanswered!

Client communication is very important for a multitude of reasons. I guess you already know how much we praise good, constant communication but there's a big remark to be done here.

Never leaving a client unanswered doesn't mean you must reply instantly. You should reply in a timely manner and within a reasonable timeframe. Just assess urgency and reply when you see fit.

Keep things on record

After every meeting or every relevant chat, create a new entry at the Client Communication block, available at every project on Notion.

🔗 Read more about how to use Notion at Notion Guidelines.Go to Notion PM Guidelines

Stick to the plan

Any outstanding issue which you won't be able to solve by yourself, for one reason or another, please let your Project Manager know about it.

If the client requests something else which isn't part of the project scope or lays outside of your jurisdiction, let your Project Manager know about it as well. He'll address the situation.

In person

We value face-to-face communication, therefore we promote regular trips so you can work directly with clients, in person for a few days – whenever it makes sense.

Spending some time and grabbing a coffee together helps to build trust and to develop a new level of understanding between parties. Exchanging ideas and information can have a heavy positive impact on the relationship and on the product as a consequence.

You can count on a few trips if you're lucky enough 😉

Calls

Messaging is a blessing but a curse as well. Messages can easily be misread and misunderstood depending on the parties' mood.

We rather have core iterations done face-to-face, during conference calls. It increases understandability and, above all, speeds up the whole iterative process as it removes the burden of typing and the chance for misinterpretation.

On top of that, we also prefer to address more sensible topics in audio or video calls. Conversations concerning Product decisions, planning, timeframes, new developments, overall negotiations and other sensitive topics, are better-done face-to-face.

Calls must be privileged at all times. Even at the slightest misunderstanding, suggest a call with the client. Things will get sorted out much quicker during a call.

Once again, after a call, if you find necessary – we let you judge the situation – create a new entry at the Client Communication block, available at every project on Notion.

Chat

Daily, live communication takes place with instant messaging.

Chat has proven itself as a key element for a well-functioning project. The fact that both ends of the project can easily reach out to one another, makes everyone's lives a lot simpler as projects unfurl with ease.

We create either a new Slack Team or a Slack shared-channel with the Client as part of the Client Onboarding process, more precisely at the Kick-off meeting.

Avoid getting pressured

Even though we encourage you to assess any ongoing issues directly with the client, we don't want any extra pressure upon you. If you feel you're getting pushed by the client, let your Project Manager now.

Having pressure is counter-productive. It will affect your performance and your ability to deliver quality work within the established timeframes.

Keep conversations public

Keep all the important conversations in Public channels. Private conversations with clients about the project should be avoided. We like transparency on every end of the process.

When messages are kept private, there's no chance for somebody else to intervene or participate in a conversation.

If a client tries to chat in private about the project, move the conversation to a public channel. In case there isn't a channel for the topic, create one or ask your project manager to do it.

Avoid unnecessary distractions

When you receive a private message, you're getting pressured to reply instantly, otherwise, it could be interpreted as unpolite – especially since Slack as an online indicator.

In such an event, you'd stop mid-work, open Slack and spend some time going back and forth on, sometimes unproductive, conversations.

On the other hand, keeping the communication streams in public channels allows you to focus on your work without the demand of replying instantly. On top of that, it gives you back control over your time as when chatting in public channels, somebody else may pick up the conversation, namely your project manager.

We recommend setting up notifications to Direct messages, mentions and keywords only.

Email ... not!

Once the project has been kicked-off, in most cases, we're done with email. It takes more time to write an email than having a call.