Starting a business and then running it is hard work. From managing day to day communications to talking and discussing new developments and tasks there is a lot to handle in a tech startup. So tech startups from all over the world use project management tools to manage communication, track development, and implement new changes.
One of the most popular project management tools out there is the Basecamp app. Basecamp has been geared to serve tech companies and manage every aspect of their projects. However, many tech startups are unaware of Basecamp. Well, this what we want to talk about today.
Here in the following passages, you will see how you can manage your projects and day to day operations with Basecamp. So let’s start with what you can do and then we will dive into what Basecamp has installed for you. So let’s begin.
Basecamp has been created to minimize miscommunication within the company. Now you may need to do the occasional Skype or Zoom call to get in a video conference or two but other than that you wouldn’t need anything else.
You can take care of everything from company-wide discussions, social chatter, project-related work, sharing of ideas to internal debates, automatic check-ins, status updates, policy updates, and all official decisions and announcements. Basecamp’s basic toolset will allow you to do maintain, monitor, and manage your projects with the utmost ease.
Many tech startups face the problem of having too many places to check. You can get overwhelmed when trying to let people within the company know a decision or status of something. Basecamp clears that issue by making everything centralized. Everything happens in one place and everyone can see and check whatever they need to.
So how can you do project management for your tech startup? Read on and you will find the features within Basecamp that make it the best tool for project management.
One of the hardest things to do for a tech startup is to keep track of daily progress. Now Basecamp solves this by it’s “What did you work on today?” question. Everyday Basecamp will ask this question to everyone and whatever is answered will be displayed on a single page shared by everyone. So you will be able to see what everyone worked on today. The writings are grouped by date so you will be able to know what was being worked on and when. So if you or anyone needs to know what was done on a specific date then they can simply check the daily check-in status.
Basecamp introduced this feature for loose accountability and strong reflection. You can simply go back reflect on what you did today and how well you utilized your time. Now as for what you should write? Well, that depends on your style. While many write down points about what they worked on whereas others simply write paragraphs about their entire work process. How you write is completely up to you.
One of the major aspects of good project management is knowing what your goal is. This is why Basecamp has a feature called “What will you be working on this week?”. Every Monday morning when you come into work you will see a Basecamp notification asking you this question. This feature was included to help out tech startups with laying down the big picture for the week ahead.
Now, this doesn’t need to be about regurgitating individual tasks it’s more about your big picture view on the task ahead. Providing general themes or outlays for work to come. What this does is help you set your mind about the work that needs to be done as well as when viewing collectively you will know what is happening across the company within the week.
So your business shouldn’t be all about work. Every few weeks or at least once a month you can ask everyone in your company what are they doing or reading. You can set up questions like “What books are you reading?” Or “Try anything new lately?” Or “Anything inspired you lately?” Or “Seen any great design recently?” Or “What did you do this weekend?”.
These questions depend on you but having your entire company share a social experience will only enhance the bonding in your company. Eventually, this will lead to a better understanding and motivate everyone to be more productive. These questions are completely optional and work especially well if your startup has remote teams working.
This will get them involved and everyone will get to know everyone a bit better. You know people work together better if they know each other better, right? That’s the basis of this feature from Basecamp.
So heartbeats are a 6 week summary of the work done by a specific team, department, or individual. These are written by the leader of the team or department and are meant for everyone to read. So basically a heartbeat will outline all the big picture accomplishment and all the little things that were vital to getting the achievements. It is meant to shine a light on the hard work that was needed to get the things done properly and also shed some light on the challenges, difficulties, and obstacles that the team faced during the time.
Work is not rainbows and sunshine all the time and a detailed heartbeat will be a clear reminder of the hard work and effort that was given by the team or department. We feel that heartbeats are important to write and fun to read also they are helpful for everyone involved in the company. Even if someone is not directly involved with the specific project your startup is doing it lets everyone reflect on jobs well done and progress well made.
So when managing a company it’s better to have a commonplace for the project you want to start. Now kickoffs serve that purpose. They are the exact opposites of heartbeats meaning whereas you talk about what you accomplished in heartbeats you write about what you will do in kickoffs.
Whether it’s Projects, initiatives, or revamps there needs to be a clear generalized outline for what the team or department has to do and kickoffs serve as the summary for the project. Whatever the team needs to do it gets summarized into the kickoffs. Now because this is meant for the entire company to read they shouldn’t be filled with intricate detail about the project. You don’t want to burden the others with anything that they don’t need to know.
If someone is curious about something they can ask on the common comment thread that is there for everyone. Like heartbeats, this is written by leads in a generalized way so that everyone in the company can understand how the project will be handled.
Now when running a tech startup there needs to some sort of a commonplace where notices and announcements are made, right? Well, this is where the announcement feature of Basecamp comes in. Whether you are updating a policy, changing the roster, or need to talk about the vacation time or the new benefit plan you are implementing you can announce all that through announcements.
Sending a company-wide notice through email is decentralized and there isn’t any permanent record and often we have seen that people miss it. This is why the announcement feature is so important for many tech startups that use Basecamp for project management. You can simply post what you needed to in the Basecamp HQ message board.
Here everyone will be seeing the same thing, hearing the same thing, and reading the same thing. Or you can even post it in the comment thread of an existing policy document that you will be able to find within the projects. This sort of centralized announcement feature means that everyone is on the same page and new employees can easily get on the same page just by looking things up. All the announcements in one place so no one can even miss anything.
Effective communication means knowing the context of the material. Saying the right thing in the wrong place can mean reworking something from scratch. That right there is a prime example of time and effort wasted. So creating separate projects for every team is the best way to manage. Basecamp allows you to create different projects where you will be able to provide access to whoever needs it.
Everything the tasks, debates, discussions, document sharing, decisions all happen within the projects with the designated team. Each project is the perfect capsule containing every single information that someone needs to know about that particular project. Now within the project, you can be very specific about what you are discussing.
You can start a discussion on the comment thread right underneath the task so that anyone who is assigned knows what’s going on all the time. Now this means that your communication happens at the place of the task you are discussing and there is no chance of miscommunication or loss of information.
Everything can be found on the source material. With Basecamp you will be able to manage the projects for your tech startup with the utmost efficiency. You can say goodbye to partial discussions all over the place, fragmented information will be a thing of the past once you switch to Basecamp. All this is possible because of the “all things are commentable” feature that Basecamp has implemented.
With that being said we bring you the conclusion of our discussion. Let us know in the comments below if you will be switching to Basecamp for project management or not. Until next time, Bye.