Related to my feelings of being overwhelmed recently, and with an eye toward a lovely new slate of projects that Big Big Design is now starting (while continuing to rock on heartily with the projects already underway), I’ve decided we need a new and better project management tool. My 43 folders and Remember The Milk to-do lists just ain’t gonna be enough to keep 15 or so concurrent projects and sundry other tasks in line.
Back in 2005, at Big Big Design we tried using the web app Basecamp for project management and to share files and lists with clients. I liked the way it was designed, and in theory it should have been perfect. Our clients didn’t seem inclined to adopt it though, and in those early days of the company I stressed about the monthly subscription fees.
But what Basecamp was — and is — great at is keeping track of what remains to be done in a project, who’s responsible for it, when it’s due, and how many things from separate projects are due at the same time. These are exactly the things we need to manage with all these concurrent, overlapping and highly similar but distinct projects.
I still dislike monthly subscription fees, but I abhor missing deadlines and failing my clients. Abhor trumps dislike every time.
So today I started setting up our projects on Basecamp again. The setup process is tedious, but I trust that it will be worth it. The clients don’t need to use this with us if they don’t want to, and I won’t even mention it to some of them; we’ll use the project management and calendar tools internally and interact with them other ways. For our internal use, Basecamp should do a lot to help herd the cats.
All of this is a long way of saying that posting will be light for the remainder of the week, as we work to get everything set up (while still rolling ahead on the rest of the work too). If this all goes well though, my world will be much better organized and happier soon.