Choosing a Basecamp alternative project manager can be a bit of a tough ordeal as there are bucket loads of really good Basecamp alternatives to choose from… and this is where the question comes from almost on a daily basis:
“Why did Premium Web Cart decide to create a Basecamp Alternative Project Manager when so many others already existed”?
And to this I always provide the same basic answer:
“Basecamp is a really good project management software solution… it’s just missing too many key features that we could not longer do without”.
But while searching for a good Basecamp alternative, we really could not find anything that combined the simplicity of Basecamp that we loved, with the features missing from Basecamp that we desired.
Since we’re managing a fast growing business, creating websites, managing programming projects and adding new products all at the same time, we certainly didn’t want one of the “geek only” applications that seem to require a degree from MIT to operate… but at the same time, we needed far more than a simple “task manager” application.
This middle ground is hard to find …ummm, make that impossible to find, so in the end we had to create our own project manager from scratch so we could more effectively run our business.
And as we do with all our software applications, we made sure that we created it in a way that our customers (PWC merchants) would also love and benefit from.
Here’s what we loved about the Basecamp project manager:
- Simplicity – Drop dead simple… no instructions needed.
- Pricing – It’s not the cheapest on the market but it’s worth the investment.
- Stability – While we would experience the occasional “hiccup”, in general the system just operates day after day in a workman like fashion.
But here’s what drove us away from the Basecamp project manager:
1. No Status – Tasks are either “open” or “closed”. I want to know if a task has been started, 25% done, or 75% done, etc.
Our Solution: Graphical “Point and Click” status paths that are configurable to suit your project or task.
2. Task Closed… But Not Done – My definition of “done” is not always the same as the person doing the task, especially when it comes to web masters and graphic artists. I want the ability to require “approval” of a task if I choose and this needs to be optional at a project level or a task level.
Our Solution: “Approval” of a tasks before closing. This is optional at a project level or on an individual task level with a simple check box.
3. Stealth Tasks – Too many stealth tasks were getting “slipped in” to earlier Basecamp project revs to jump to the front of the line. Stopping this manually was like herding cats!
Our Solution: Admin capability to Lock complete projects, or project task lists, to block new tasks from being added but still allow completion / management of existing tasks. When a project or task list is “locked”, now it’s really locked.
4. Customer Access – Some projects require that the customer can upload files, make comments, etc. But this opens the kimono and allows them to see “how the sausage is made” and this process is best left for internal eyes only.
Our Solution: Customer pages have been created to provide your customers a portal to the project, with separate login, that limits their exposure to only the items you want them to see. This is optional for each project.
5. No Mass Updating of Templates – Adding a task to a template required that we manually updated all the open projects using that template.
Our Solution: Adding a new task to an existing project template will update all open projects using that specific template. No matter how many projects you have open, they’re all updated in 1 step.
6. Moving Tasks / Copying Tasks – We often readjusted our projects and moved unfinished tasks to a new “uprev” project and this required a lot of manual “copy and paste”.
Our Solution: Moving and/or copying tasks to another project is now a built-in function and requires 1 click of a Move or Copy icon to accomplish.
7. Difficult Planning – Managing a large project, with many tasks, was simply too hard to manage and schedule. We found ourselves using a spreadsheet and creating mini-projects from the master Basecamp project which defeated the purpose of a project manager.
Our Solution: Our “Sprints” solution mimics the capabilities we were using the spreadsheet for but does it with a click or 2 and makes weekly planning a breeze to complete.
It’s not that Basecamp is a bad piece of software, there are many things to love about Basecamp as a project manager. The realty for us was simply that we needed something that retained the good and fixed the “not so good” of Basecamp.
If you’re looking for a proven Basecamp alternative project manager, you should really take our project manager for a test drive and see if it fits your business needs. Try it for 30-days, no credit card required and you’ll have instant access to all the great features mentioned.
PS You get the the Project Manager as part of the Elite package but if you’re just looking for an awesome Project Manager without the cart, now you can get it – and it’s 100% FREE for 30-Days with No Credit Card Required – Click Here For Instant Access