One of the great things about a startup is that our users genuinely have an input into how our product is shaped.
We launched briq.works last year, and since then we’ve done a fair number of meetings and demos in architect practices of different shapes and sizes.
Here’s what we’ve learnt so far.
Firstly, we’ve learnt that almost every single practice manages their projects in a way that is unique to them.
We’ve seen projects managed by spreadsheet, post-it note, generic project management software, and even ‘it’s all in my head’. And despite all these systems working pretty well in many cases, there is always something not quite right.
So what is the missing piece of the puzzle? In an ideal world, what would architects like to see in their perfect project management system?
We’ve found that the majority of architects want a project management tool where form follows function. Something that’s straightforward and intuitive to use. That looks good. That suits how they work.
They’d also like a system that’s easily updatable. Because when project timelines are sent to clients early on in the process – prior to engagement – they frequently change.
We’ve learnt that architects would like a tool that can show them who in the practice has got a lot of work on at any one time, and also, how busy the practice as a whole is going to be over the spread of a year.
We’ve found that not everyone uses the RIBA Plan of Work, even if they are working to a similar plan. Most architects work to a framework that suits their practice, their projects and their clients.
And talking of clients, we’ve learned that some practices are wary of giving their clients too much information as a project gets underway. Are concerned that too much information might lead to overload, and an increase in phone calls and emails.
But conversely many wanted a system that would automate and manage that communication and were looking for something that would reassure their clients without overloading them.
We will continue to listen, learn and develop our product based on the feedback of our user community.
What’s your ideal project management system? Drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org to see if briq.works might be right for you.