Basecamp project management tool

This guide is designed to give you an overview of using Basecamp - a third party project management and communication tool.

Introduction

We use Basecamp to manage the different tasks in your implementation and work to towards completion and sign off of your project, whilst keeping all informed of progress along the way. If you are also having data conversion this is managed using the same tool - the projects are separated as two clear tasks as we can get your base tenancy up and running for new list creation whilst we continue to work on importing existing data.

Access to Basecamp

On your Tenancy Set up Questionnaire (TSQ) you will have listed those people involved in the project - these often include a Project Manager, as well as lead contact for Design, Learning Management System and Authentication. If you have said yes to access to Basecamp prior to your project kick off webinar, you will be sent an invitation to join the project on Basecamp. You will need to set up a password for security, but note unless you physically logout you will often remain logged in on that device you are using.

Tabs in Basecamp

  • Overview This tab as it suggests gives a Calendar view of the key milestones, plus a quick glance at the latest activity, such as To-Dos signed off, comments or files added in date order, with a clear indication of who carried out the update. The updates can be clicked on from this view which will take you directly to the To-Do item, comment or download the file to view.
  • Messages - This tab enables you to ask questions or inform all or some project members of an update or issue that doesn’t fall into one of the To-Do categories or discussion threads. A common use of this would be to inform others on the project if you are on annual leave and who to contact in your absence, or to inform us if a key integrated service is down for maintenance.
  • To-Dos - This is sectioned into 5 key areas:
    • Pre project tasks - Post your Kick Off webinar most of these if not all will be signed off, includes tasks such as confirming the ‘Customer to upload completed Tenancy Set up Questionnaire to file area of Base Camp’.
    • Set up of base tenancy - Often the first and last section of the To-Dos to be signed off. Tasks performed in this area include Talis to ‘Validate data in TSQ’ so that involves us checking the information given such as Link Resolver information and coming back to you if we have any questions.
    • Devolved authentication - This is often the quickest section we sign off, if all the IDP information and Test User account details are present and correct on your TSQ, then once we have setup the base tenancy and can login we then invite the identified System Admins to do the same.
    • Hierarchy data load - We often talk about and set to arrange a conference call to discuss this section in detail, involving your VLE contact, so when implementation when looking to integrate this can run smoothly if the two system match. You are able to upload files as you develop them so we can validate them for you.
    • Design and branding of Talis Aspire Reading List tenancy - We direct you to examples of other tenancies for ideas, give you the link to Branding Guidelines and put you in direct contact with a member of our design team. This section takes your through design mockup, Sandbox build and then transfer of the design to your actual tenancy. Each stage requires sign off before we more to the next step. Note we hand over the base tenancy unbranded so you can test it as often the design is the last element to be signed off.
  • Calendar - This tab is not often used standalone as the same information can be found on the Overview tab.
  • Writeboards - This tab is not often used.
  • Time - This tab is not often used.
  • Files - You can upload files as part of comments within the To-Dos which is often best when you have accompanying comments, for instance design assets or hierarchy files you wish us to check. All the files themselves can be accessed via this tab at anytime. Some of the first files will already be in at the Kick Off stage such as your TSQ and the Webinar slides for future reference.

Email notifications

If you are included in a thread then you will receive email notifications each time someone comments, you can even reply on email. A word of caution - a thread can grow quickly so if you are ever lost in conversation, it is often worth heading back to Basecamp to see the full picture.

Signing off on To-Dos

Note you can only sign off To-Dos by ticking the boxes in Basecamp, so if prompted on email, please use the link to get into Basecamp. The items we will ask you to sign off on will often be the last point in each section, and your Talis Support Consultant managing your project or Designer for the Design and branding section of Talis Aspire tenancy will often advise you when this is the next step. All we ask is that when this needs to be discussed within you project team first possibly at a meeting, then just drop us a line so that we aren’t chasing you unnecessarily. If you have any questions or issues prior to sign off, please raise these on a To-Do comment or message and we can look to respond or arrange a conference call as required.

Sign off of the whole project

When the implementation project is fully completed so all other sections of the To-Dos are complete in the Set up of Base Tenancy Section, we then expect a tick against the following To-Do item ‘Customer to sign-off that basic tenancy as specified in TSQ’. As confirmation you are satisfied with the implementation as a whole. Remember the data conversion is a separate project which often will run later than the main Implementation.

FAQs

  • What if I need others to join the project after the kick off webinar? This is very common as once you have talked through the project with us you may decide others need to be involves, simply drop your Project manager a Message on Basecamp post the call with the additional user’s Firstname, Surname, email address, phone number and role in the project. A further invite(s) can then be sent.
  • I’ve not been included in a To-Do thread conversation, but I need to see what has been said what can I do? The beauty of using a tool like Basecamp over email communication is that conversations are organised by sections and individual To-Dos or messages so that at anytime you can go into Basecamp and catch up on what you have missed, and even get involved by added a further comment. Top Tip: Use the Overview tab for a ‘at a glance’ view of the latest updates.
  • I’ve responded by email to the wrong thread what should I do? Don’t worry the Talis Support Consultant managing your project can often spot this and will copy the comment to the correct To-Do or message, likewise you can do the same.
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