Deadline Management

A task deadline means "Cantilever needs the current assignee to complete their part of the work by this date in order to meet overall project deadlines"

Therefore, the deadline is "the current responsible party’s internal deadline for completing the work"

Key reviews and events will be noted in the schedule, and will represent the external deadlines for the project as a whole.

This means that if you have a todo with a deadline, and the deadline is in the past, we’ve either missed a client deadline, or someone in the team is waiting on you. Deadlines are serious!

Cantilever uses a two-tiered approach.

  • Events (Reviews, delivery dates, etc) go in the Basecamp calendar with an owner for the deliverables required by that date.
  • Work (Tasks, task categories, Work breakdown categories) go in the todos. Tasks link either to a parent task they belong to, or to an event on the calendar. Each task has an owner, defined by the assignee of the parent task. If there is a due date on a task, it means "I absolutely, critically need the current assignee to complete their part of the work by this date in order to make my own deadlines".

If a date is missed:

  • Task owner must push the date back, since it is now impossible for the work to be delivered by the original date.
  • Based on the missed deadline, task owner must re-plan their workflow and possibly inform stakeholders (internal project manager, client).

The "Overdue tasks" section of Basecamp should never have anything in it.

If you see a date on the horizon that isn’t looking likely, contact the task owner immediately. If the task owner is you, move the date immediately. More information more quickly is crucial.


Based on this method, I can create schedule items for the milestone dates, denoting scheduled items with the ‼️ emoji.