Stanford Slack Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to create a new workspace to collaborate in Slack?

Not all Stanford groups will need a full workspace. Workspaces usually contain many channels and people. They're generally best if you’re part of a large department that wants to administer its own Slack instance, or if you have an existing workspace that you're migrating to the Stanford Grid.

If I don't create a workspace, what will I use as the main hub for my team communication?

The School of Medicine has a workspace that's available to join. If you have a smaller group, you can create one or more private channels on the School of Medicine workspace. You can then invite members to join. 

When should I use a channel and when should I use a direct message?

Basically, channels are conversations that are centered around a specific topic, project, or group. They're where most communication should happen. Slack lets you create public and private channels. Public channels should be used to share information broadly.

Private channels are best used for topics that are limited to a small group of members. Members can access all public channels in the workspace and any private channels they've been added to.

Direct messages are useful for quick, private conversation with one or more people that doesn't belong in any of the other channels. You can direct message colleagues who have a Stanford Slack account, even if they're not part of your workspace.

If I do create a workspace in Stanford Slack, who will administer it?

You maintain the administration over your own workspace. This means you can add and remove users, install applications, create channels, share channels, webhooks, etc.

University IT has the role of Grid Admin that controls the top of the workgroup layer on the Grid. Grid settings take priority over workspace preferences. These include managing the SSO requirement for any full users, allowing everyone to create channels, allowing everyone to use @channel and @here, allowing only admins to use @everyone, allowing only admins to invite people to the workspace, and a few other small settings most people do not usually notice.

How are the roles within the workspace structured?

Every member of a Slack workspace has a role with its own level of permissions and access.

  • Workspace Owners control the highest-level security and administrative settings.
  • Workspace Admins manage members, public channels, and maintenance tasks or functions.
  • Members can access all public channels in the workspace.
  • Multi-Channel Guests can access the channels they've been assigned to and direct message people in those channels.
  • Single-Channel Guests can only access the one channel they've been assigned and direct message people in that channel.

Can I invite people from outside of Stanford to join a channel?

Only people with SUNet IDs can join the Stanford Slack Grid as full members. However, you can invite users into your workspace as a Single- or Multi-Channel Guest.

I'm ready to join you on the grid. How do I get started?

Great news - we think you're going to like it! And don't be shy about asking us for help. IRT's Slack experts can help you:  

  • Learn more about basic concepts and how to use Slack in teams or departments
  • Understand how to use Slack to meet your unique goals, including integrations and connected apps
  • Determine if your team/group/department needs their own workspace 
  • Decide how to structure and design your workspace/channel
  • Troubleshoot any technical issues you're having
  • Find additional resources for how-tos, best practices, etc.

Once you've set up your Standford Slack account and joined the School of Medicine workspace, you can request Slack help to better understand how you can engage the tool.


Be a Slack(er)

The Stanford Slack for School of Medicine Users website has more Slack resources.

Need Slack Help?

IRT's Slack experts can consult with you about the best way to engage the tool. 

Slack in Action

Explore users stories to find out how your School of Medicine colleagues are working in Slack.