we're lovin' basecamp




We've been testing Basecamp as our new project management application for a little over a week now. We went into the test just a little bit skeptical, because for the last 10 years, we've been using an Access-driven database system that we've carefully written ourselves. That worked incredibly well - but it's not web-based, which is a problem for our out-of-office partners, and doesn't offer a client side view.

Basecamp seemed like it might be the answer we were looking for. And so far, I think it is.

We've currently got it loaded with 61 active projects. That's a pretty strong test, as we're busy - and our average project load is usually more in the 30 - 40 active project range.

Each project allows us to assign individual team members, post files, messages, to-dos, writeboards and more, and everyone on the project can share. Each creative on our team sees only the projects assigned to them, so they can remain focused. Dashboard view shows their current to-do's, deadlines and messages.

Things I love:
+ Our entire team is in the loop now - including team members who work out of their homes, or in other parts of the country - which is cool.
+ Everything's in one place. Creative brief, team correspondence, timelines, etc.
+ Billable hours tracking provides far more detail than our previous system - which will be good when it comes time to invoice projects ;)
+ Web-based. Perhaps obvious - but it's just sooo nice having everything available to you, anywhere.
+ We've only skimmed the surface of what's possible. There's a lot we haven't used yet - and will.

The screen shot above shows a typical project, and the way we've organized it. (Yes - we're late to launch this project - notice the big red warning message - but we're waiting on very important merchant information from a bank. You know how quickly banks move.)

We plan on opening parts of the system up to our clients in the next 30 days or so - which will allow them to see what's happening with their projects, and participate in the process. That's a long time coming - and will be a cool benefit of working with our firm.

Not many complaints at all. Most have been related to getting accustomed to a new system. We were pretty entrenched after 10 years. I have to say, the migration has been easier than I thought. We welcome questions from firms considering a switch - or tips and tricks from firms already using Basecamp!

1 comment:

darryl ohrt said...

I forgot one thing -

A couple of times over the last week, Basecamp was operating a little slowly. Nothing tragic - just a little annoying. Rather than leaving you wondering whether it was your internet, or your machine, BASECAMP ACKNOWLEDGED THE PROBLEM - with a system wide notice at the top of the screen, to the effect of "we're on it." And they were.

Other service organizations could learn A LOT from Basecamp. I love them more because they communicate so well.

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