Buttress

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Summary

How Buttress Architects leverages the project visibility provided by CMap to make better business decisions.

Situation

The Buttress Architects team creates high-quality architectural solutions with purpose, sensibility, and appeal. With two studios and a staff of more than seventy, the practice was growing despite challenges with achieving transparency on project performance.

“We had a fundamental lack of visibility about where our projects stood regarding our resourcing plans, which limited our ability to manage against budgets,” said Andy Avery, the practice director at Buttress Architects. “We didn’t have a firm understanding of how long it actually takes to perform a particular task or stage of a project. Consequently, we left money on the table because we submitted bids based on rules of thumb and instinct instead of clear data.”

With such a low level of insight into projects, it was also difficult for the directors to evaluate the causes of the success or failure of a project. Again, the directors had to make judgment calls about current projects to inform management decisions about future projects.

“We had an accounting tool, but that wasn’t enough,” said Andy. “After looking at several software solutions, we decided to go with CMap because of its in-depth project-management capabilities and ability to integrate with our chosen information management system.”

Solution

A business management tool, CMap helps professional service organizations win more work and deliver it more profitably. The platform replaces problematic spreadsheets and disparate software tools while enabling access to all business data and capabilities through a unified system.

“Before using CMap, we couldn’t access real-time information about our business, and when we did get the information we needed to make strategic decisions, it was often too late to do anything to correct things that may have been veering off the path,” said Andy. “Now, we have a level of visibility that we knew was possible.”

Andy is pleased that the visibility level has increased throughout the entire practice. 

“CMap is not just for the management team or the directors,” said Andy. “We’ve extended the power of CMap’s visibility to all the people who are actually working on the projects. That’s a massive change for us. It allows staff to take more responsibility and control the project's destiny. It’s that sense of ownership that supports our collaborative culture.”

Results

  • Improved Internal Communications - “Now that our teams are better informed with CMap, they challenge us about why a certain fee might be too low or why a particular task has been added to a project,” said Andy. “This questioning helps improve our project management.”
  • More Accurate Bidding - Thanks to informed internal debates about income and expenses fueled by information visible in CMap, bids on new projects are more accurate.
  • Helpful Custom Reports - “We’re starting to use the report builder more and more,” said Andy. “Our custom reports help us hone in on the aspects of the business we want more information about. They help with human resources management and interrogating project performance."
“I recommend CMap if you’re looking for a platform that gives you good transparency regarding project performance.”

- Andy Avery, Director

Company:
Buttress
Industry
Architects
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