Been working on some copy for the Basecamp site. I don’t know where it’s going to go yet – maybe on a new page, maybe it’ll replace something else, maybe we’ll even test it as the new home page.
But I wasn’t thinking of where it was going to go when I wrote it. I was just thinking about what I wanted to communicate, what I wanted to say. It’s sort of an ode to project managers. So I wrote it.
It’s not done, but I thought I’d share it so far. Here it is:
You’re responsible for getting a project done.
You need to pull together a variety of people with different skills, communication styles, schedules, and attention spans to work on this project with you.
Some of these people work inside your company, while others, like clients, vendors, or contractors, might be outside your walls. All people are created equal, but when it comes to working on a project together, they couldn’t be more different.
Naturally, the more people there are, the more chaos there is. So your job is to be “the organized one” and make sure everything’s under control and things go as planned. You need a clear view.
This is a tall order and a tough job and you rarely get the credit you deserve for doing it well.
You crave a system that helps you “effortlessly be on top of everything.”
You need a tool to help you divvy up, assign, and review work, set deadlines, make announcements, gather feedback, make decisions, follow up with people, share important on-the-record updates with stakeholders, and keep project-related reference materials easily accessible for anyone who needs it.
It’s absolutely gotta make things easier for you, but it can’t be at the expense of making it hard on others.
You know you can’t use a tool that imposes on the people you’re working with. It can’t be complicated, it can’t force people to drastically change the way they work, and it can’t require them to pay close attention all day long so they don’t miss something important.
You’re already fighting an uphill battle against deadlines, expectations, and human nature – you don’t want to have to fight against software too.
You’ve worked with people long enough to know some people rally around a new system, others will push hard against it. There will be folks who are all-in, and folks who just want to get stuff sent to them via email. So whatever system you adopt, it needs to work well regardless of how much other people choose to engage with it.
This tool needs to be your trusted assistant, not your damned adversary.
In the end, what matters is the work, the process, and the end product. You need to deliver something great, and people need to get along throughout. That’s what you take pride in, and, conveniently, that’s what they pay you for. You’re the leader. You must use a tool that’ll amplify your skills and support you every step of the way.
You’re in luck. We’ve made something especially for you.
Meet Basecamp, your new best friend at work. Welcome aboard.