How to communicate effectively across functional teams? | HackMD Blog
March 1, 2022

How to communicate effectively across functional teams?


Issue tracking is ubiquitous across industries, and it gets exponentially complicated as the size of your team, customer support channels, and the complexity of the products grow.

Whether you are selling goods, offering a service, or running a platform, your customer support and account managers can run into something which needs some help from the developers or the operations. May it be a customer having waited for her package for so long that she is getting furious, an enterprise SaaS user asking for customization, or a user reporting an error or a bug of your service.

In all these cases, someone on a functional team has to record the issue, report it to where it should go, track it down until there is some outcome, and then bring it back to the requester.

What is a proxy document

Under a remote and async environment, you should use a “proxy” document onto which all inputs from functional teams are captured. By embedding other services into a HackMD note, your organization can use this proxy document to effectively communicate across functional teams.

Take a customer support scenario as an example.

A customer support team can send complex issues into a table in Airtable, create a view to filter out the ones that would need the dev team to take care of, and embed it into a HackMD note.

▲ Embedding Airtable into a HackMD note.

By capturing inputs on this proxy document, the teams can keep a comprehensive history of discussions, while dynamically updating the issues so that you can keep using the same document, from which to further organize the accumulated insights into the knowledge base of your organization.

Another example is the collaboration between designers, marketers, and developers.

While the designers are working on wireframes in Figma, by embedding the working frame into HackMD, they can get inputs from the marketers, discussing how much room there should be for amusing copies, and from the developers, early on.

These collaborations can all happen on a proxy document.

Choose your tools wisely

There are many tools to fulfill the role of a proxy document. But to maximize its effect, choosing one that is lightweight, accountable, and can play well with other apps, is crucial.

It should be lightweight so that it takes no time to open up and is responsive while working on it.

It should be accountable because you would like every edit done to a document that travels across functional teams like this one to be on the record.

Lastly, it should play well with other apps, so that you can easily use the work you have done in it in the other apps via API.

Taken together, HackMD can be your best choice when choosing the tool for the proxy document. There are also other candidates. Notion and Coda are two excellent choices, yet, HackMD is more affordable for startups, SMB, and small teams.

You can learn more about embedding in HackMD →