Four HipChat secrets for remote teams using agile

4 days ago Andy Chang 0 Comments

HipChat for agile remote teams

Agile development was created with the idea that teams would work in close proximity with one another in order to operate faster as a team. But, let’s be honest, working remotely today is as ubiquitous as Elvis in Vegas.

Most businesses now have a few – or several – distributed teams. And for good reason. Strong talent can be found in less competitive markets, and teams can work around the clock.

Even so, being a remote agile team comes with challenges like coordinating across time zones, building team rapport, collaborating among different development cultures, and scheduling meetings. Luckily, communication tools like HipChat can bridge the gaps created by distance and time.

Below we’ve gathered four tips that will help your remote team go agile.

1. Structure your team

Develop a single piece of technology in each office to boost autonomy and get work done more efficiently.

HipChat for agile remote teams

HipChat Tip: When your team begins to work remotely, it’s the perfect time to use HipChat. Boost autonomy by providing an open room for your team to communicate and share information.

2. Build team rapport

Give remote teammates the opportunity to create personal connections. Doing so will build trust, minimize missed expectations, ease self-organization, and boost morale.

HipChat for agiler remote teams

HipChat Tip: HipChat lets you communicate via chat, voice, video, or text. Multiple options reduce obstacles preventing communication, giving your team the most opportunities to share business and get to know one another.

3. Create a united development culture

Keep your team in sync by laying down the framework for a united development culture. Helpful tips: over-communicate decisions, minimize the friction in setting up the development culture, clearly define the definition of “done,” and create guidelines for filing bugs.

HipChat for agile remote teams

HipChat Tip: Create a room for your devs to report, discuss, and announce news. Integrate the room with JIRA, so your entire team can stay updated on projects and tasks.

4.  Maximize the golden hour

Take advantage of the hours when the local and remote teams are both in the office by holding standups.

HipChat for agile remote teams

HipChat Tip: Encourage your team to set their timezones in their settings, so they can know everyone’s local time. That way, you can be sensitive when you call a standup and you’re not pinging people while they sleep! 

 

In a distributed organization, the reality is that every team is remote. All teams need to adapt and learn how to share work between offices, communicate effectively, and grow a consistent culture across geographies.

The most effective teams seek to find and share successful practices across all locations, with help from communication tools like HipChat.

HipChat for agile remote teams

 

Android 3.1 gets better support for Wear, pretty faces, and GIFV

HipChat for Android Wear

On the heels of its Material Design release earlier this summer, HipChat is rolling out another round of improvements to please die-hard Android fans.

HipChat is first to support Android Wear

First up, HipChat is bringing our leading team communication app to your wrist. Android 3.1 is tightly integrated with Android Wear. The latest update lets Wear users receive messages and reply with a dictated answer or quick-reply with common emoticons like or .

Visual refresh with Avatars

Beyond support for Android Wear, HipChat is also updating the Android experience with avatars. It’s a small design decision that personalizes communication even when you’re away from your desk.

HipChat Android avatars

Of course, some delight

When teams adopt HipChat as their primary communication platform something special happens. They become more productive and have more fun. As a result, technology can help build team culture. The culture piece is as important as the productivity piece. So we added support for GIFV files in Android 3.1.

Go ahead and share that link from imgur and gfycat. It will render properly in HipChat with minimal lag time and won’t burn through your data plan. We suggest prancing goat gifs to combat the mid-afternoon energy slump.

HipChat for Android

Four HipChat tips for agile ceremonies

2 weeks ago Andy Chang 3 Comments

“Agile” is defined in the dictionary as “able to move quickly and easily.” You can apply that to your ninja nunchuck skills, yoga moves, or, even, the way your team works.

The agile methodology is an alternative to traditional project management that uses an iterative approach to software delivery. Broken up into “sprints,” teams can tackle tasks in pieces and review along the way. This methodology encourages flexibility to change, focusing on adaptive planning, early delivery, and continuous improvement. 

Four “ceremonies” make up the agile process – sprint planning, daily standup, iteration review (demos), and retrospectives. Atlassian has an amazing resource, The Agile Coach, which gives detailed information about these ceremonies and how to implement them on your team.

Atlassian is home to many products that help teams adopt the agile methodology, specifically JIRA, JIRA Agile, Bitbucket, and Confluence. HipChat can also play a huge role in helping your agile team communicate. Use The Agile Coach to gain deeper knowledge on agile methodology, and read on below to get our best tips for using HipChat on an agile team.

1. Sprint Planning

Set up your team for success by defining what will be delivered in a sprint. 

HipChat for agile teams

HipChat tip: Set up your JIRA integration to monitor the progress of your team’s sprint

2. Daily Standup

Quickly inform everyone of what’s going on across the team.

HipChat for agile teams

HipChat tip: Use the Standup Bot to keep track of every teammate’s report.

3. Iteration Review

Showcase the work of the team and get feedback.

HipChat for Agile Teams

HipChat tip: Create a room specifically for iteration review, then use screen-sharing to show your work.

4. Retrospective

Help your team understand what worked well – and what didn’t.

HipChat for agile teams

HipChat tip: If you’re working with a remote team, use video chat to review work as a team.

 

HipChat for agile teams

Wunderlist integration: team communication & task management together as one

HipChat Wunderlist integration

When Wunderlist announced their public API, we pounced on the opportunity to create a more cohesive work experience for teams. With our new Wunderlist integration, team communication and project management go hand in hand (they, too, like long walks on the beach).

The best part is that this integration sends information both ways – from HipChat to Wunderlist and vice versa.

Super simple /slash commands using “/wunderlist” let you add, list, and complete Wunderlist tasks from within HipChat. You’ll also get alerts in HipChat when tasks are added, completed, and modified in Wunderlist.

Working together, our APIs have created a wunderful fusion between team communication and task management that helps teams work faster and smarter.

As easy as 1, 2, 3

Setting up this integration takes just a minute.

In any HipChat room that you are an admin of, click the Settings tab, then Integrations. Choose Wunderlist and authenticate with your Wunderlist account. Then, you’ll simply have to select which Wunderlists to connect.

HipChat Wunderlist integration

And voilà! You’ll be able to add, list, and complete tasks right in your HipChat rooms. Type “/wunderlist” for a list of commands. You’ll also get notifications in HipChat when tasks change in Wunderlist. You can change any of these settings when you configure the integration.

HipChat Wunderlist integration

HipChat integrates with over 80 apps and services. Can’t find the one you want? Request it!

HipChat iOS 3.3 – Back from the mechanic

3 weeks ago Chris Gibbs 2 Comments

HipChat iOS app 3.3

HipChat for iOS version 3.3 is available in the App Store today – grab it while the bits are hot! We’ve been hard at work on some changes under the hood to keep everything running smoothly for you. This work lays the foundation for more awesome stuff to come in the next few months, and we’ve added a few new things we think you’ll like until then.

What’s new?

Upload your new avatar photo right from your iPhone! Avatars are coming to the chat view very soon, so get your selfie on and update that profile pic.

Speaking of images, you’ll notice a new upload progress indicator so you can count down the milliseconds before your teammates see your latest cat GIF. Oh, and there’s a cancel button, too. Just in case you chose the wrong image on accident…

HipChat iOS app 3.3

We’ve also built a new connection status bar into the app to let you know if the iOS app has trouble connecting. After all, sometimes the nation’s largest network is just no match for trains and elevators.

If you do find yourself HipChatting from a train or elevator, though, 3.3 includes an entirely new system for reconnecting after losing connection. We can’t guarantee you’ll always have a signal, but now HipChat will be much more reliable in reconnecting after it’s been lost. (Who designed elevators like Faraday cages anyways?)

What does this mean for you? More chatting, less waiting.

We’ve also added some big performance boosts. When resuming the app from the background messages will appear on screen faster after HipChat connects, and searching through active chats is now a much smoother experience – even with large organizations with tons of rooms and people.

If the HipChat iOS app were a car, we basically gave it a new engine and transmission.

And one more thing… PDFs are now fully searchable! Quickly jump to the important sections in that 100 page PDF from HR and save yourself a lot of reading and scrolling.

HipChat iOS app with PDF search

The iOS app is back from the mechanic and ready to get some awesome new features over the coming months, so keep an eye out. Until then, grab version 3.3 on the App Store today!

Be your own boss and work how you want

Are you a boss? Maybe not technically, but you should always be living the boss life. And that means taking control of your work environment so you can pop that collar and win those dollars.

We’re always working to make HipChat a place that helps you not only communicate with your team, but also feel empowered to work the way you want.

We’ve gathered some ways to take the reins by customizing HipChat to fit your needs.

1. Use per-room notifications

Set the stage for success by focusing on important chats and silencing others. In HipChat, you can set notifications per room to moderate the noise level from each chat.

HipChat per-room notifications

This feature is currently in the HipChat web app as a beta. In any room, just click the three dots in the top right corner, and click Room Notifications.

 

2. Customize your HipChat appearance

One size does not fit all. And the same goes for HipChat. Now in HipChat web, you can select how you want HipChat to look.

Choose a dark or light theme, adjust text density, add or remove avatars, and show either names or mentions.

HipChat appearance theme settings

HipChat appearance theme settings

The power is yours. Use it wisely.

 

3. Change your @mention name

Lastly, let’s find your chat identity. In HipChat, you can customize your @mention name, meaning you can finally be called Superman (or, in my case, BawsLady).

HipChat appearance theme settings

HipChat change @mention name

Just go to your Account Settings to change your @mention name.

 

When it comes to your work life, you’re in charge. We’re simply here to give you the tools that help put you on boss status.

We’d love to hear your from you: leave your thoughts on the beta features, and let us know what else you want to see on HipChat.

 

Customizable room notifications now in beta (boom)

3 weeks ago Mark Lozano 18 Comments

HipChat per-room notifications

We think choice is a great thing. Like choosing breakfast for dinner, rocking a sweat suit at work, or even…(drumroll)…notifications in the HipChat rooms you want.

Today we’re releasing a beta version of per-room notifications in the HipChat web app. Turn down the volume in rooms that aren’t critical to you so you only get mentions. Or go nuts and turn up the volume in another room to get notifications for every message.

HipChat Per-Room Notifications

Now you can choose between loud (get notifications for every message), normal (get notifications for @all, @here, and @yourname), and quiet (just @yourname).

Not interested in customizing each of your rooms? Good news: These three options now exist at a global level too in your Settings, giving you more control than you had before. You can now prioritize the notifications that are the most important to you.

So go try it out! Log into our website with your HipChat credentials. Launch the web app, go to the room you want to adjust notifications for and click on the bell.

Customize to your heart’s content. All we ask is that you let us know what you think of the beta – especially any issues you run into.

Let us know in the comments below or through the web app (click the question mark in the top right corner > click Provide Feedback). Once it’s polished up, we’ll make sure it gets to the other apps.

Here’s to more effective team communication! And to letting you concentrate on what’s most important.

P.S. Speaking of customizing HipChat, have you checked out the new appearance customization options?

HipChat is about to get weird(er): custom emoticons for all!

3 weeks ago Sean Waters 24 Comments

Hold on to your butts. Starting today, you have the power to create custom emoticons for your group. Our emoticon shrink-ray will optimally size the images you want. Presto.

HipChat Custom Emoticons

 

Go ahead, shrink the kids.

We are laser-focused on bringing you features that help you communicate faster, and while emoticons are super fun, they also play a meaningful role in how teams work together. They convey the most important elements of communication – tone and intention. They are the feature we just can’t get enough of (and we don’t think we’re alone).

With our emoticon shrink-ray, you can upload images (png, gif, jpg) up to 2MB of any resolution, with a minimum 30px on a side. We’ll resize the image size down to the appropriate scale for 4x, 3x, 2x, 1x resolution for all your current and future retina needs.

And don’t forget to upload some animated gifs because, shoot, those things are awesome.

If you’re an admin, don’t worry, you’ve still got the controls. Non-admins can upload images by default, but admins can disable this at anytime. Non-admins can only delete their emoticons, however, admins can delete any.

Check out some of our (and your) favorite HipChat emoticons.

Or, head to HipChat now to start creating emoticons. Just click on your avatar in the top right corner, click Settings, then “Manage account…”. In the new browser, click “Emoticons”, and enjoy!

HipChat & Confluence: Working together to make cool hoodies

4 weeks ago Elena Gorman 1 Comment

Last fall, the HipChat and Confluence marketing teams got together. We wanted show how when both teams and tools work side by side, we create amazing things. Like hoodies.

As Product Marketing Managers, it’s our job to build consensus, make informed decisions, and complete projects in a transparent way – from our smartphones or desktops from cities across the globe.

When we got our hands on Confluence 5.7, it came loaded with some phenomenal new capabilities.

These advancements, such as in-line comments and a seamless integration with HipChat, make it simple to move fast as a marketing team.

With this new Confluence + HipChat power, we designed a new HipChat hoodie to show off our skills.

Here’s (roughly) how it went down:

Why IT teams (heart) chat

4 weeks ago Jeff Park 0 Comments

HipChat helps great teams communicate, and it’s no different for IT teams. With some help from our friends at JIRA Service Desk, we went directly to the IT community to find out how chat helps their teams.

We surveyed agents, managers, and directors and asked them about how chat makes their work life awesome. Here’s what they said (click for full-size):

Why IT loves Chat

Looking to learn more about how chat can help IT support? Check out our latest article How Chat Helps IT Support Agents Crush It.

If you’re an IT team looking for a more integrated service desk experience with HipChat, make sure you check out JIRA Service Desk.

Like this sweet infographic? Share it on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn, send a smoke signal, or even try some morse code. Download the PDF here!