Creating tasks on Basecamp
How to create tasks on basecamp that really work?
- Tasks should be easy to create – It should be a no brainer what kind of lists to create and what kind of tasks to create.
- Tasks should be easy to perform – The tasks created in this manner should be super specific and descriptive of the task at hand
- The task should have a clear limited scope. It should be clear when the task can be considered as done. The task by itself should be atomic. No point in creating a task called – ‘get to 10 million in revenue’.
Some good ways to create a list of to-dos:
1. Based on “job to be done” or issue and the list of things to do in order to fix a particular job to be done.
In this case, the list is a definition of a specific job to be done by the customer. The todo are what is missing in the product that is preventing the customer from doing the job.
2. Time based product usage reviews
If we are building a product on our own, we do the review ourselves. If we are working on client projects, we create a list after we are done with the weekly review.
Problem with feature based lists
Most features will never be fully completed. All features are work in progress. Sooner or later you will have a ton of lists which are partly finished. Seeing a see of lists which are partly finished is very de-moralising.
A set of lists which are job-to-be-done based are easier to be handled. Unlike features, jobs are much smaller in scope and easier to be marked as completed. Also if a job turns out to be too big, it’s easier to cut scope and only build a specific job to be done.
Creating a task
A task needs to be specific and very descriptive of the problem to be solved. If you are the person(PM or tech lead) creating the task, spending a few minutes to describe the problem and the possible solution(if any) can save you a ton of time by avoiding un-necessary back and forth. Try and communicate what needs to done in one shot, in writing. Use screenshots and video when necessary.
Not spending time writing a clear description for the task is being penny wise pound foolish.
Here are some of our task definitions:
Purge stale tasks
You will always have stale tasks that are more than a month old that you don’t think is relevant now. When we created the task we might have thought it was worth doing. While doing other stuff, we might feel some tasks are not worth doing or can wait. For the sake of your teams morale, you need to have fresh and relevant backlog. Clean up all the stale tasks. Delete them, archive them..