Today I am conducting a tutorial on the “Basecamp” web application from 37 Signals. On the surface, Basecamp is a web-based project management application that is insanely easy to use, straightforward, and truly geared to making you and your team more productive (rather than to packing as many features as possible into a single product, an exercise that usually results in the insanely difficult-to-use). Rather drivel on about the way the thing works, I’ll let you take theaudio/visual tour on the Basecamp website.
I’ve introduced Basecamp in a number of organizations that I’ve worked with, and I’ve seen it used in a number of unique and novel ways that are (I suspect) far from what the creators originally envisioned. My favorite, though, is in tackling a challenge that riddles a number of organizations and businesses alike: Deployment, execution, and tracking of organizational strategy.
How does your organization develop its long term strategy, and then turn it into something that is actionable, owned by your people at different levels, and measurable over a given period of time?‘
Strategy, you see, is a tricky thing. As I explained to students in a class I taught last year, “Strategy goes more to your high level thinking, what are the big picture things you will do in order to accomplish your big picture, more long term goals?” In an organization bigger than a few people, or in one with a number of specialized or tactics/action level focused people, Strategy can be a very tough thing for folks to get their arms around, much less invest their efforts in.