How Basecamp Improves Workflow

01 Apr. ‘22

The key to a successful project is tracking results using the right metrics. When a company makes a decision about marketing automation, it usually takes several months to meet KPIs. When it comes to monitoring the achievement of goals, transparency is a priority. We’re able to provide this with the help of the Basecamp task scheduler. It allows us to clearly determine the stages of the project with specific deadlines and assign the employees in charge.

In this article, we’ll be sharing with you how managers work with clients in Basecamp, and how exactly transparency is provided to managers, contractors, and lawyers.We will also reveal why our Head of Customer Happiness considers Basecamp a convenient tool. Maria Bratchikova, Direct Communications Manager at Petrovich, a Russian retailer store specializing in construction supplies, and our employees will share their feedback about working with the platform.

How is work organized in Basecamp?

We have more than 300 clients, 134 of whom integrated with the platform last year. There are 29 managers working on projects, divided into four teams. On the client’s side, tasks are usually assigned by several employees, and the projects themselves are at different stages: from integration to adding new modules or launching the twentieth test on an abandoned cart.

When you’re managing so many projects and making sure you’re responding to new tasks on time, a convenient task scheduler is a must-have. Basecamp has become the solution that allows us to create to-do sheets, add tasks, comments, and assign the employees in charge to relevant projects.

Initially, we only used Basecamp boards for clients who were already working with them and preferred this means of communication. It then dawned on us that the platform offers exactly the same functions we needed. As a result, we’ve started a board for each new project.

A new project can be created with just one click
A new project can be created with just one click

We have developed a board template with the goal of speeding up the project’s launch. It contains to-do sheets and documentation for all the specialists involved in the project’s initial stages: marketers, programmers, and managers. This helps everyone who is involved in the project to see their volume of work and determine the deadlines for their tasks.

This is what a template project looks like

As soon as integration and the first campaigns were launched, our work in Basecamp has snowballed. Now we can discuss the optimization of existing marketing mechanics, test launches, and new module connections all in the task tracker.

Some clients prefer to move communications over to Skype or messengers, which is possible as long as both the manager and the client are comfortable with it. However, our Head of Customer Happiness, Semyon Mikanev considers Basecamp the most convenient tool. In addition to streamlining our work, Basecamp provides some really useful automation functions. For example, once a day a bot sends a personal message to Slack (our corporate messenger) detailing any overdue tasks or unassigned tasks on our side.

This is what one of our manager’s bots looks like
This is what one of our manager’s bots looks like

In addition, Basecamp is able to send emails, mobile push notifications, and desktop notifications. All conditions and the sending schedule can be set up on the main page.

You can receive notifications about all actions or only about personal messages and mentions
You can receive notifications about all actions or only about personal messages and mentions

The main advantages of Basecamp

Legal guarantees

Basecamp correspondence within the framework of contractual relations is legally binding and can be used in dispute resolution.

Ekaterina Koretnikova
Ekaterina Koretnikova, Lawyer at Mindbox

“Basecamp correspondence is legally binding.In order to incorporate this condition, we make the necessary reference in the contract stipulating that it is considered to be signed with a simple electronic digital signature. By doing this, communication in Basecamp becomes equivalent to official correspondence”.

Transparency for managers

  • Unlike email or messengers (presuming personal communication of two people), in Basecamp, project correspondence is available to all participants in one area.
  • Basecamp is conveniently integrated with email services, making it possible to work with it directly from the email itself, as well as to view digests. In other words, the tool can be implemented gradually without interfering with working functions.
  • If a Mindbox manager or our client’s employee goes on vacation, their tasks can be quickly picked up by other colleagues without having to bring up the details all over again.
  • The entire feed and comments can be viewed according to the date on the project’s home page. You can check task statuses and who is responsible for it. This helps resolve crisis situations in the project when communication in chats fails.
  • You can add both an assignee and a manager to each task. This manager will also receive a notification once the task is completed.
  • If an assignee postpones a task, information about this is reflected in the project feed.
  • Basecamp is suitable for creating statuses, making it convenient for solving tight project deadlines, without disputes and having to sort through emails.
Valentin Moskalev
Valentin Moskalev, Lead Manager at Mindbox

“Working on projects in Basecamp allows us to quickly collect client project statuses. This is especially important during the integration stage. Our team regularly prepares a status with links to Basecamp for such projects. In general, this information is enough for the manager. If the manager is interested, they can simply head over to Basecamp and see the details or the number of open tasks. If there are a lot of tasks that all need completing by one side, this will serve as a wake-up call. If everything depends on the client’s employees, it could be that they have a lot on their plate. Similarly, if we find ourselves flooded with tasks, it means Mindbox can’t handle the flow”.

Easy for task assignees

  • Basecamp allows you to create a list of tasks for a specific date. All tasks are broken down in the My Stuff — My Schedule tab by dates that are then assigned to the performer.
  • We wrote above about notifications in Slack, emails, desktop, and mobiles. Basecamp has a tab My Stuff → My assignments, where all task notifications are stored.
  • All important project documents are stored in the Docs & Files section. Each task’s history is available in the correspondent tab, which saves time, eliminating the need to search for them.
Мaria Bratchikova
Мaria Bratchikova, Direct Communications Manager at Petrovich

“We only started working with Basecamp on the Mindbox project. Our manager configured all the basic tasks before use, for example, setting up YML feeds or installing tracker code. As a result, it was clear what our tasks were from the very beginning. Now we use Basecamp not only with Mindbox, but also in a three-way format, combining Mindbox, our developers, and contractors. Basecamp is convenient for operational issues. Moreover, we tag tasks to understand who is currently working on them. Our company didn’t have its own tracker available to external contractors, and without Basecamp it would have been really difficult and inconvenient to communicate with them by email or in Google docs”.

The main disadvantages of Basecamp

There aren’t many downsides to the platform, but they still exist.

  • Based on our experience, Basecamp isn’t suitable for instant messaging. Instead, it’s better to use something like instant messengers for quick correspondence.
  • Basecamp requires a systematic approach to work. However, it’s easier for some employees to correspond in chat and therefore Basecamp takes some getting used to.
  • To get the most out of the platform, we need the involvement of all participants in the project, i.e., both those who set the tasks and those who perform them.

Conclusion

We use Basecamp for project management because it’s convenient for performers who carry out tasks, it provides work transparency for managers and can be used as evidence in court. Basecamp is especially useful when starting projects as it helps synchronize a large number of performers accomplishing diverse tasks.

This article was written by

Marianna Luibarova

,Author
Anastasia Elina

,Editor

Experts

Semyon Mikanev

,Head of Customer Success, Mindbox
Valentin Moskalev

,Lead Manager, Mindbox
Phil Volnov

,Lead Manager, Mindbox
Ekaterina Koretnikova

,Lawyer at Mindbox
Aleksey Shipovnikov

,Implementation Specialist, Mindbox
Maria Bratchikova

,Direct Communications Manager at Petrovich