This week we did something that I’m sure many other firms, large or small, have also done, or are at least on the verge of doing the same. What did we do? We ditched our old management system (a program that shall remain nameless) and migrated over to Basecamp. What’s that? Basecamp is, in our opinion, the best web-based project management tool.
We may be a small design shop, but that doesn’t mean we can slack on project management. And we’re not that small. We’re growing: we have 6 people in the office and gone are the days where tasks were completed by just one person. The days of post-its and “hey ____, can you _____” are also very much in the past. We needed to step up our game and we needed to do it bad.
One advantage of being a small company is that we all wear many hats in the studio. We’re all involved in various projects, acting as designers and project managers, and often managing our own tasks as well as the person’s next to us. This is where Basecamp comes into play. With Basecamp we can keep track of every project ICS is currently working on and archive the old ones. We can separate each project into stages (Discovery & Planning, Meetings, Concepts, Design, and Deployment etc). We can also add to-do lists along the way of each stage. This helps us see where were are in a project, and how far we have to go to complete it. When adding new projects, we can also reference old project templates and go from there. Easy as pie.
It’s all very simple & streamlined: our other program tried to do too much, and end up failing to do well on any. The new system doesn’t clutter us with unnecessary bells & whistles: you get in, get out, & get back to work.
How is this so awesome if we could do it before with post-its or old programs? First off, post-it’s never ever worked. And the old program never laid it out this easy! It was too cluttered, and tried to do too much – unfortunately not succeeding at anything. Templates? To-do’s? What can be better than this! In our opinion, Basecamp is so great because it allows us see into the future, through a beautiful interface. We see what has to be achieved each day, week, month, whatever. Sometimes we even finish project stages early and now know what we can work on next, thus constantly keeping the projects in motion towards the end goal: completion. Clients are happy, and we’re happy.
What could be better than keeping our clients happy? We now have time to keep ourselves happy and work our own projects. Many of you have probably heard of the Google’s “20 percent time” where employees are free to work on what they’re really passionate about. Every so often when we’re ahead of tasks we also have extra time to source inspiration, thus we are constantly improving our own design skills.
So far Ive spent 1.16 hours on this post. Time for me to cross off another to-do and time for you to get Basecamp. Trust me.