Case Study by Ashley McCarthy RGD, Graphic Designer at IMAX Corporation.
Working in a global marketing department presents a few challenges, especially when members of the team are in different time zones. The bulk of our project deadlines are based around IMAX’s domestic and international film slate, which can change with minimal notice. Keeping track of emails, attachments, download links and approvals via email was not working for our team.
As an in-house team, we have to produce projects big and small for departments all across the company, from Marketing and Sales to Legal to Human Resources. We had a graphic design request form process in place for anyone submitting requests to the designers, but it wasn’t enough. We needed a calendar, a way to offer transparency within Creative Services and other members of the marketing team. We needed to be able to schedule, assign and reassign projects as needed while keeping any supplemental information contained within the project outline. We needed a way for members of our team in other cities to submit projects to us without having the content become buried under other emails. We needed a way to actually see our deadlines and plan accordingly.
For $25/month, Basecamp 2 provides 3GB of storage and tools for coordinating up to ten projects. It has allowed for greater communication between the marketing teams in the USA and Canada and has become an integral part of our project management process. We have set up profiles for members of the marketing team who submit design requests on a daily or weekly basis and have given them access to our project calendar. Projects can be assigned to one or more designers and can be easily reassigned. Every time an update is made to a task, the team members included are sent an email notification of the changes. Basecamp 2 also sends out daily and weekly recaps, which makes tracking projects for internal review a breeze. Currently our organization has a total of 35 users set up on this platform.
Basecamp was originally in use for our owned and operated theatre network in the USA to send design requests to the team in Toronto. The platform was also used as a way for the marketing staff on-site to manage their marketing schedules and plan the month ahead. As the corporate marketing team evolved and the workload increased, the Creative Services team saw Basecamp as an opportunity to streamline the overall process. We expanded the user base over time to groups that we regularly received requests from and set up screen sharing meetings with those groups to provide training on the platform and present an overview of our requirements for submitting print and digital requests.
Basecamp 2 has been able to offer a solution to almost all of our project management challenges.
Here’s an example:
Rachel in our Los Angeles office submitted a request to me at 6pm PST (9pm EST) for an urgent e-blast due at the end of the following day. She included copy and images necessary for deployment. Before Basecamp, Rachel might not have seen that I was going to be on vacation the next day. Now she can see that I’ve input my vacation dates on the shared calendar and she reassigns the project to my colleague Jane. When Jane comes in the next day, Jane can see the project task assigned to her on the calendar. Jane can access the supporting files for the project and has everything she needs to get started on the project right away, without needing access to my email or computer. Jane completes the project before Rachel starts her day in Los Angeles. When Jane is finished, she sends Rachel the download link through Basecamp so Rachel can access the files when she gets in. Any correspondence that Rachel and Jane have about that project has been contained in one thread.
Three weeks later, Jane is in a meeting. I need to access an image file that I saw included in the e-blast that Jane and Rachel worked on. Instead of waiting for Jane to get out of her meeting, or for Rachel to start her day in Los Angeles, I can go into Basecamp and search for that project to access what I need to meet my deadline.
The biggest caveat with using Basecamp 2 and expanding the user base is educating and training members. We don't have users set up across the company; mainly this tool is used by people within the Global Marketing Team, and these team members must be aware of the process and what is needed to complete a job. If a project is submitted to us with no details or no supporting documents, there's no sense in putting it up in Basecamp.
We still need to use FTP programs or High Tail to send large files because Basecamp is not able to support storing 5GB files, which are sometimes necessary for our projects. Also, if anything is of high sensitivity we don't put that in Basecamp. While we can control who has access to what projects or tasks, it is easier / more secure to leave sensitive items off of the platform.
Overall, Basecamp 2 has been an effective tool for scheduling and tracking, and keeping team members across the continent abreast of important dates and deadlines.
For more information on Basecamp 2, visit https://basecamp.com/2