Q&A with Nordic IT Development

Are you intrigued by what is going to happen next regarding software and teamwork? Then this is the place to get an exclusive sneak peek into the future of MARK5 and how we will optimise the way teams work! We have had a little discussion with our development team, trying to convince them to expose some of their current work and future team feature suggestions within MARK5. But first, allow us to introduce the people who took part in the discussion:

MORTEN SCHNACK
Product Manager.
Master degree in Game Technology from ITU.

BARTOSZ CICHECKI
Software Developer – iOS and Android App.
Master degree in Computer Science and Engineering from DTU.

MAGDA FURMAN
Software Developer – UI/UX.
Master degree in Computer Science and Engineering from DTU.

FERDINANDO PAPALE
Software Developer – iOS and Android App.
Master degree in Computer Science and Engineering from DTU.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]Note that the discussion has been summed into one answer.

Q: What do you see as one of the biggest challenges within developing software solutions for virtual teams today?
A: Today, one of the biggest challenges is, that teams are in need of not one, but multiple software solutions to communicate in different communication situations with co-workers. These communication situations are rarely combined into a single software. It can generally be divided into two groups of communication. The first one is real time communication like Skype, voice chat or screen sharing, which often can be seen as a replacement for the face-to-face conversations. The second one is a more delayed communication software like email, which can help teams communicate when working in different time zones. Unfortunately, these two types of communication software are rarely combined, which forces users to use different communication software for different tasks and activities, depending on whether it is a formal or an informal message. So actually, the biggest challenge must be developing a software which can accommodate both communication situations.

Related: How to make virtual teams work.

Q: Have you had any thoughts on how MARK5 could accommodate this challenge?
A: For MARK5 to accommodate this challenge, it is first of all important to clarify, that there is no need of trying to compete with well functional communication software, that are already well integrated within virtual teams, as for example Skype or Dropbox. Instead MARK5 can only try to unite the best of both worlds by integrating links, that can connect MARK5 with software programs like Skype. This will make it much more convenient for MARK5 users, and let teams avoid opening other windows every time they need to send an informal message. This will also create a much more secure environment when chatting and it will allow every message to be stored on the server, so no information will get lost.

Q: Are you currently working on any new team features, and can you give us a sneak peek into what we can expect?
A: We are currently working on a lot of different features to optimise the way shipping teams work. One of the major projects is optimising our UI design within the system, so teams can navigate much easier and faster around the system. Today, many of our users are not exploiting the full potential of the system, only using the most important and easily accessible features, because of the lack of easy navigation within the system. This is why the UI must be optimised, so the presentation of data can be much more intuitive and easily understood to make teams work more efficient. In addition, especially the calendar is getting optimised to make it easier to share calendar information, both privately, in the department and in costumised teams.

Q: Which suggestions do you have for further development of team features in MARK5?
A: There is a lot of different team features that can be developed in the future within MARK5. The current team features, which contains sharing, registrations, comments on action etc., needs to be exposed even more and developed even further to get noticed and used.
One specific idea could be to develop a timeline or a project planner, which would allow teams to see how far a project is, and what has happened step by step. Another idea is to provide teams, where not all team members work in MARK5, with the opportunity to share a document that is located in MARK5. This can be done via a link they can view in a web browser. At last, but not least, there is the idea of implementing a ‘quick feedback-button’, which gives teams the opportunity to say what they like or dislike. 

Q: Do you have any software recommendations for shipping teams, you think can be helpful and why?
A: A great software system is Slack. The system is easy and fast to handle, when only communicating internally. In addition, the system can integrate other programs, so you only need that one for internal communication. What we like about Slack is, that it is fast, you can create group chats, private chats and notifications are given at all times.

Related: 5 ways to optimise virtual teams.

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