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Top 10 Signs Skype Isn’t The Right Communication Tool For Your Project

“It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools” does not mean that a good craftsman should be able to produce excellent work with any tools. Part of being a professional is knowing what you need in order to do the work at the highest level possible. This includes selecting the right tools from the onset.

Tools are important. Although precision tools in unskilled hands does not a skilled craftsman make, poor tools in the right hands can severely stimy that talent.

10 Signs Skype Isn’t The Right Communication Tool For Your Project

1. Skype Offers More Distractions Than Solutions

Communication tools should help your team operate more efficiently, not create barriers and roadblocks. This is true for any communication device, if it is creating more excuses for your team to be sidetracked from their work, or creating a time-sink and acting like more of a tool for extreme procrastination, then a change in protocol might be in order.

If you find your work suffering because of the constant ping of your Skype, it’s not your fault. When it comes to work, having the tools isn’t enough. There must be rules and boundaries set, honored, and enforced in order to ensure it’s not interfering with work. How many times have you set your availability to Busy just to have your chat box fill with other work thus pulling your attention away from your current project for no reason other than to add more stress to your day?

Having the tools and the systems don’t matter unless the whole team is in agreement on how to use the tools. If Skype is causing more distractions than solutions, maybe it’s time to entertain other tools.

2. Skype Is Not The Right Communication Tool For Your Project If It’s Causing Too Many Misunderstandings

Not everyone went to school for writing or has a degree in communications. In fact, most people I know grew up hating reading and writing. It’s funny that most of our communications in the workplace come through this form. So, what does this mean? If your team is not adept at communicating clearly and succinctly, Skype might not be the right form to communicate big ideas.

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If you’re constantly being misunderstood, if the same problems crop up time and time again maybe it’s you… More specifically, maybe it’s the medium through which you are trying to convey the message.

Just because you can jot down a quick half-baked task and throw it into a chat window, it doesn’t mean that is the best form through which to communicate the requirements of said task. Just because you can interrupt your team with a mass video-chat to dictate your desires, it doesn’t mean that is the right time nor medium through which to communicate.

Don’t use a short form chat to relay large amounts of data. Don’t use text when visuals are required. Don’t ramble on when a well thought out checklist can explain it better.

3. Skype Is Not The Right Communication Tool For Your Project If There Are Other Tools For The Job

Skype is designed to be a one-size-fits-all solution trying to appeal to a large mass of the population. For quick chats, video conferencing, and a phone replacement for out of town relatives, does Skype get the job done? Sure. However, when you’re coordinating a team of developers and sharing project files with designers while orchestrating everyone’s tasks for the day, perhaps there are other tools better suited.

Communication takes many many forms. Not all of it can nor should go through a chat box or be presented in a video call. For instance, The Bug Squasher provides a seamless way for project managers and clients to communicate clearly and succinctly with developers.

Screenshot, record, annotate, and send! With a single click of a button you can bring your team’s attention to a web design issue. What’s more is every submissions gets organized in a custom CRM system making it easy to notify the right person for the job with its easy to navigate ticketing system. No emails, not chats, no miscommunications.

3. Skype Is Not The Right Communication Tool For Your Project If Your Clients Don’t Use Skype

Skype is a closed system. Microsoft makes it a point not to allow for easy intercommunication between different software and tools. This is fine if you and your entire team is operating within the Microsoft ecosystem. However, what happens when you have a client or team member who refuses to play along?

Imagine being told that in order to send an email to someone with a Yahoo email address, you need to have a Yahoo email address. Or in order to call anyone on Verizon’s network, you have to be on Verizon’s network too. This would be ridiculous, right?

Yes, this is true with most conferencing software and we don’t use those. There are better tools to connect, especially when you may have a client list of people at various levels of technological know how. Using a free service like Uberconference allows you to conference using voice, screen-share, chat, and a dial in phone option all without downloading software.

4. … If You Require A Fast Nimble Computing System

If you need your computer’s cpu and fast internet connection, having Skype open all of the time might not be the smartest decision. It’s not uncommon for Skype to suck up 25%-30% of users’ cpu processing.

Skype is not a lightweight program and it has a tendency to run heavy – it’s overbuilt in an attempt to appeal to a mass audience. If you need your full operating power, Skype probably isn’t the best communication tool for you.

If you want your team to run smoothly without technical issues, and you need a clear line of communication, don’t subject them to being available through Skype for 100% of the work day.

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5. Skype Isn’t The Right Communication Tool For Your Project If You Keep Talking About It

If a tool constantly makes itself known, it probably isn’t doing its job effectively. Especially when it comes to communications, you want it to just work. You don’t want to have to think about the tool, you want to focus on the call, message, or meeting at hand.

Unfortunately, all too often Skype brings a lot of attention to itself. Clean and Simple doesn’t mean cryptic or unclear. A lot of Skype’s design is obviously built to look good over function well. This is made evident by its symbols and overall navigability. Every Skype meeting I have starts with someone griping about its usability.

There are a lot of tools and features built into Skype, but they are hidden under cute, trendy symbols that don’t lend enough information to decipher its use while on a call. I want to screen my share, how do I do this? Oh yeah click that plus sign for some reason.

Often times we open a tool like Skype and with one blanket update the entire interface has changed. When logging into a conference call, you can’t tell your client, “Hold on, let’s stop work and learn how to use Skype again.” You’re still expected to be available and communication needs to be seamless. So, we’re forced to learn on the fly and often times that means figuring things out while in an important meeting.

Learning a new software interface while trying to use it to conduct a meeting or give a presentation can make you and your team look incompetent and unprepared.

6. Skype Is Not The Right Communication Tool For Your Project If Your Team Tells You It’s Not

If you trust that your team is comprised of competent and talented professionals, why don’t you listen to their grievances about the tools they’re forced to use to communicate? If you respect them enough to get the work done, and you trust that you hired smart individuals, then don’t blame them when the tools you require are creating bottlenecks and distractions that slow down or even prevent work from getting done.

The biggest indicator of a tools value is how well it’s adopted and accepted by your team. If your team can’t make heads or tails of it, don’t blame them. Don’t waste time trying to re-educate them on something that’s supposed to be easy and intuitive. Change the tool. Don’t let the tools become distractions. Remove all excuses that stand in the way of getting work done.

7. Skype Is Not The Right Communication Tool For Your Project If You Value A Free & Open Exchange Of Communication

Skype tracks and monitors your communications to ensure you sticking to their idea of acceptability. Skype is now cracking down on profane language. That’s right, Skype is going to monitor your use of profanity. Not just in chat, but in voice calls as well. Microsoft is now the internet police at least when it comes to their services, which are wide reaching and varied.

If the persistent eavesdropping alone isn’t enough to bother you, knowing that the platform upon which you’ve built your entire team’s flow of communication can be severed because you use profane language is troubling to say the least.

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8. Skype Is Not The Right Communication Tool For Your Project If You Value & Require Privacy

Back in 2012 – 2013 it was made evident that Microsoft had clear abilities to listen into all conversations run through Skype and that this was being utilized by the NSA as part of the far reaching government surveillance program PRISM. Now Microsoft is making it clear that they not only have this ability, but they will actively use it to limit your communications to what they determine to be acceptable.

This goes beyond Skype extending into Windows Live Mail, Office 365, Bing, Cortana,, OneDrive,,, and Xbox Live.

9. Skype Is Not The Right Communication Tool For Your Project Because It’s Not Secure

A design flaw in Skype exposes users’ IP addresses to anyone with an individual user name and a “skype resolver” hacker tool. This makes it easy for someone with nefarious intentions and your – or your team member’s – Skype handle to hack, harass, or commit denial of service attacks against you.

Why would you and your team ever be subjected to these kind of attacks? Maybe you have stiff competition who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty. Perhaps you fired a team member for not playing cleanly and he’s out for revenge. What’s scary is this day and age you really don’t need the hacking abilities of devoted security penetration test experts. A little googling and an IP address is enough to cause someone a lot of issues.

10. Skype Is Not The Right Communication Tool For Your Project If You Don’t Trust Microsoft

When we use a company’s software we are casting a vote in favor of that company. By using software we are agreeing that it does its job well and we are okay with everything that it does. When it comes to companies like Microsoft, we use the software at the expense of our information and our digital lives. We are handing over everything about ourselves without being asked.

For some people this is not a problem, they trust Microsoft is using this information to better their products and offer us better communication services, and they trust that Microsoft won’t make decisions that will negatively impact or penalize their business or team.

If, however, you don’t trust Microsoft with your data, if you wouldn’t willingly share your conversations with these companies, and knowing that they openly collect and monitor everything that goes into their software, then Skype is not the right communication tool for your project.

Final Thoughts…

When was the last time you critically looked at the tools you use to communicate with your team and clients? You have specialized needs depending on who you’re communicating with and what the message is, so why settle for a one-size-fits-all software?

Optimizing communications with both your team and your clients can save valuable time, money, and resources while limiting miscommunications and misunderstandings. You work very hard, but communicating with your team shouldn’t be the hard part.

Take a step back and reexamine how you can improve and simplify communications in your operation. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

– The Bug Squasher Team

P.S. If you’re looking for a seamless way to communicate with your developers without Big Brother spying on you, check out The Bug Squasher.

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