The new Sitelife construction site software: 4 questions to CONTAKT product manager.
In joint development with our partner b.i.m.m. GmbH we have developed the construction site software Sitelife. The software solution Sitelife stands for the digital planning, tracking and analysis of construction projects in an interlocking web platform. The modules Documenting and Analysing Basic are already available.
Today in the interview: Product Manager Florian Eschauer on the development process.
What was the most exciting part of the development of Sitelife for you?
I think the most exciting part of the development of Sitelife is still ahead of us, as we will of course develop a lot over the next few years. In the work we've done over the last year, working with a wide variety of construction companies and subcontractors has been incredibly valuable. Evaluating this content, identifying common problems and proposing solutions was the basis for our 3 modules. Combining these in such a way as to create a solution that is complex in itself but remains very simple in application was and continues to be the most exciting part of the development.
How did you decide in product management which functions would be implemented in the software?
Software must solve problems - that is the primary goal and therefore also sets the guard rails in which we move. In addition, at CONTAKT we often talk about "better data for better decisions". I am constantly working to make this promise a reality for our customers. At the same time, it is also the internal yardstick for all decisions made regarding the product.
In the initial software development, the first thing is always to map the basic functionality. This is necessary to be able to start using the software at all. Once this step has been completed, a broad-based feedback gathering process begins to find out where there is a need for improvement. This feedback is analysed in detail, the underlying problems are filtered out and based on this, new functions are designed and then also developed.
Of course, there are other influencing factors in addition to customer feedback, such as our vision or strategically important functionalities, but the same applies here: First create a good database and use this as a basis for prioritisation. So I don't so much decide what to implement, but rather focus on setting priorities, which more or less automatically lead to the prioritisation of functions.
What is new and different about Sitelife?
If you deal with construction, you quickly realise that every project is unique, additionally the processes in the construction companies are different and project managers as well as site managers bring even more variance into the process. Against this backdrop, developing software for the construction site that is intuitive to use and can be widely deployed is a mammoth task.
But this is exactly the point that is new and different in Sitelife compared to the competition. The combination of planning, documentation and analysis - together with a building model - is new in itself. Now Sitelife offers the possibility to handle all construction sites - whether lean, last planner, cycle planning or classic - with all the advantages that digital project management brings with it. There are good solutions on the market for each of these topics, but none has yet managed to bridge the gap. That is precisely our goal.
The product is now ready for the construction site. In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in integrating it on the construction site?
I can't let the statement "the product is now ready" stand for software. We are constantly developing and will not take our foot off the accelerator in the next few years, because standing still is like taking a step backwards.
But on the question of the biggest challenge: handling construction sites has always been a job where experience is extremely important, this experience is based on learned analogue processes and these are only changed reluctantly, because we are creatures of habit. In order to implement new solutions in tightly calculated projects, courageous pioneers are needed who are willing to embrace new digital processes and demonstrate that they simplify the work. We support the start of digital project management as best we can, but this can only succeed if a team stands behind such a project as a whole, because one person alone has never successfully completed a construction project.
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