Basecamp projects are a powerful way to work with your customers and facilitate collaboration with your team, regardless of where they are located in the world. However, one of the points of friction when working in the project business (And we are all in the project business) is the setup of new projects. This is especially true when dealing with what can often be repeatable and repetitive work.
While there are people who have the illusion that there is a holy grail of software that will fully automate their business, the rest of us who are realists know that every customer is different and every engagement has layers of nuance.
I prefer to work flexibly and from a framework rather than subscribe to a false notion of rigidity and supposed automation. Knowing the next thing to do comes from an intelligent person engaging a process while using tools to provide a framework for execution.
This is where Basecamp’s Project and To-Do templates are extremely powerful to create scale to your business. From this functionality, you can:
- Create separate lists of pre-determined To-do’s
- Capture your entire business model in one place
- Break down the modules of execution in your business
- Continue refining and iterating on the steps for delivering value in the customer experience
- Avoid having to remember what to do every time
- Grow your business
Fundamentally, there are lists that exist in your head. The problem is often that that list is in your head and not in a system. I have not found a simpler approach to creating predictability and professionalism than using the Basecamp To-do template system. It is a repository of action items that can be pre-loaded into each new project. Here’s what I like to do as I work with clients:
- I learn and observe
- I capture new to-do items into existing to-do lists or create a new one
- On the very next applicable projects I load the to-do list into it
- I modify each list and personalize the tasks
- I add comments to each to-do item
- I assign each to-do item to the right team member or the customer
- I communicate the overall process and vision of the project
I have been doing this for years and the ability to get more done with less has not been easier. Furthermore, I am free to improvise because my system is holding the framework for what has to be delivered from standard services to highly complex IT and programming work. I capture everything from how I deliver a speech to building new business systems to how to coach a new entrepreneur or executive.
Over time, this repository becomes what allows you to grow a team and grow your business as your processes become defined.
If you could systematize the way you do your work, what would that mean for you? What do you think about using this approach?