Basecamp From an Agency's Perspective

lessons from our LAB

June 15, 2012

Basecamp From an Agency's Perspective

Our Digital Scientists are made up of tech-loving, results-oriented, passionate, digital marketing nerds who have an unnatural obsession with all things digital. Most likely seen glued to a screen and spewing new digital marketing trends.

Here at StringCan Interactive we love taking on as many projects as we can, going above and beyond not only our clients’ expectations but our own expectations as well. We may be a small agency but that doesn't mean our work load is small…

 So it’s a must to have a program that can assist us in our organization and planning, providing us with an easier way to create “To-Do” lists, have discussions among co-workers and just be consistently updated on everything we have on our plates. We want to use the time we can save through utilizing a system that can do that and apply it to the ongoing process of building relationships with our clients.

So with that I bring up Basecamp, the project management system that is supposed to be the best, if not one of the best out there.

So the problem is this, yes, I understand that every program has its pros and cons, none of them are perfect, but why do some of the most crucial assets of the program that we find so helpful in our agency, not even exist?

I want to stop your train of thought that’s probably taking you down the tracks of thinking that StringCan dislikes Basecamp as a whole. We think Basecamp is a great system, there are so many things that we utilize everyday that help keep everything up to date and help our agency run smoothly. We love the look and feel of the new Basecamp that we migrated to recently. We take advantage of the feature that helps us divide clients up so that we can separate the work per client, making our lives much less stressful and easier by just going to whichever project we want to fast and easy. The ability to make To-Do lists is so essential, as well as the option of seeing everyone in your agency’s responsibilities for the future, in order to make sure everyone is fulfilling their tasks in a timely manner. But in the end it all comes down to what you can do with the features you are provided with, and that is where the problem lies.

The calendar feature is useful for any company, everyone has to be organized or the company is just going to go down quick, and Basecamp’s calendar is useful but it’s not reaching its full potential. We appreciate the fact that we can see everyone’s calendars together in a “Universal Calendar” if you will, but once you accept the invitation to be able to see someone else’s calendar, you can’t then filter it when you only want to see your priorities. Also, after going through the trouble to get someone to invite you to see their calendar and then going into your email to accept the invitation and then following the link back to the calendar, you realize that the calendar is pretty much the same for everyone.



So after all, the calendar feature not only isn’t personal to each person, but it also doesn’t let you filter the to-do lists when you are looking at everyone else’s. You can uncheck a person’s calendar but it doesn’t change anything, therefore making the ability to uncheck a name pointless as well the whole point of the calendar pointless. Basecamp is a project management system, and it doesn’t let you manage your projects through a calendar effectively? Doesn’t make much sense, huh?

The calendar feature is not the only negative, but the Gannt Chart doesn’t show the project plan, there’s no privacy setting (can't figure out why this was removed from classic to new Basecamp), no time tracking feature and the fact that you can’t have recurring tasks is a huge let down, around 70% of our work gets repeated monthly. But overall, I believe that since this is a project management tool that has such a huge potential to be the perfect system out there, a change should be made, so that we can completely manage our projects.…

Have you found a project management system that works better for an agency? Let me know your thoughts…

Source: Quantified Self

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