The challenges of managing a service business are legend. Keeping track of client projects, time, people, files, and even document version changes can drive anyone mad. When combined with the spam and virus driven security lock-down of most corporate clients, you would think that we’ve actually moved backward in our ability to manage projects across company lines.
Basecamp’s project management tools shows how the web can serve as your collaboration work-around. Starting with a free membership (for just 1 project), you can use this site to manage any number of projects. What’s important here is that the site lets you create and manage a real, virtual project team, including agencies, contractors, or just about anyone. As you can see in these many testimonials, it makes it easy to do all of that messy collaboration stuff – share and co-edit documents, manage or assign to-do’s, set up a series of milestones in a calendar. Of course there are an endless number of companies that promise this. Then comes the fine print. Doesn’t work with Apple. Works only with Internet Explorer. Requires IT to set up a user.
While it’s not detailed enough to manage, say, the construction of a nuclear submarine, it can certainly handle all of the collaboration challenges of your standard marketing-related project. Also, since it is entirely web-based, you can work across geographical borders just as easily.
We’ve used many, many collaboration tools for 20 years, and this is one that merits your attention if you have one or 100 projects to manage. Remember, almost everyone works across company borders. Also, if you’re the client and think this doesn’t apply to you – think again. If it’s tough to work for you, your service providers will just charge you more. Can’t we all just get along?
NOTE: We can’t help it if we’re excited about Basecamp. We use it and love it. And, no, they haven’t slipped us any moolah to say so.