As the virtual office continues to become one of the most popular business models to date, more and more employers are realizing the value in hiring remote, online workers to build a virtual team. With an ability to achieve the same if not superior end product, freelance work has climbed up the hierarchy of “awesome jobs in 2013”. Why? Because project management today is easier than ever before, especially with access to incredible platforms such as Basecamp.
Basecamp has taken project management to a new height that seamlessly harmonizes the needs and wants of online organizations today. Beyond the tools that make project management fluid and effective, Basecamp provides collaboration tools that reach far past simple schedules and task assignments. Taking communication to another level, Basecamp’s tools are tailored to project management success.
The following Basecamp features make life easy for online marketing organizations that must access talent from across the web and manage projects quickly, efficiently and with profit in mind:
Communicating remotely has been the Achilles heel of project management online. When the designer is in the heart of a project, the writer is taking a nap. When the writer is in the middle of an “aha” moment and needs a tweak to a design, the designer is out for coffee. You see the trend here. Basecamp alleviates these issues with their Messages feature. Many happy Basecamp users call this feature “project blogging”. Using emails, all members of the project are kept abreast on every aspect and alerted when tasks have been altered, completed, etc.
A to-do list is certainly not a ground-breaking concept, but Basecamp hits a homerun with a simple, efficient way to assign tasks to team members and split up tasks into categories that help to keep workflow organized and fluid. Finish a task? Simply check it off and watch it move to the “completed to-dos”. Clean, structured, and perfect for online workflow.
Project scheduling in a lightweight manner helps to keep the team on the ball with future projects. Many members of online teams have multiple projects at one time, the ability to set milestones helps your writers, developers, designers, etc. plan for the future when a larger task is looming. Tasks on the to-do lists may be assigned to specific milestones to keep things organized and on schedule.
Most online workers shutter at the mention of “wikis”, however, using a Writeboard on Basecamp has changed the tune for many of these hesitant users. As soon as a Writeboard is created users are able to being writing and collaborating with other team members. Users are able to “flag this version” of any document to keep the revision that has been made, yet maintain the ability to go back to the original piece of content. Writing code? Not a problem, Writeboard has the capacity to export content into HTML or TXT format. Incredible!
File sharing has been made easier with introductions to platforms such as Google docs. However, Basecamp’s files provide access to file storage with versioning. Save any type of file to a project and allow all team members access for edits, etc. In addition, Basecamp gives the option to send an email to any or all of the team members to notify them of a file upload.
My personal favorite feature, Basecamp’s Dashboard is a phenomenally organized summary of all current and future projects. Quickly view how many projects are being worked on, the number of discussions taking place, how many items are on the to-do lists, and how many files are associated with that specific project. All of this information is quickly accessible, making workflow even more proficient.
Basecamp also provides a Chat feature which allows for real-time web based conversations to take place. While this feature may not be as marketable for some organizations, it is helpful for those truly running an online business in with some traditional aspects. With this in mind, the Time Tracking feature is also helpful. Team members are able to log hours regarding specific tasks, a beneficial tool for billing.
All in all, Basecamp gets two thumbs up for its smart, robust, practical toolset. With functionality and convenience at the forefront of each feature, online marketers quickly see the value in Basecamp’s ability to improve collaboration, communication, document sharing, and project management – all from an incredible user interface.