A new tool is hoping to inject intelligence and a little personality into project management for small and medium businesses.
His name is Sheldon, and he’s here to help, as the branding says. Launched publicly earlier this month, Sheldon has in fact been at work for two years inside Flick Software.
Jason Flick, the company’s namesake and founder of Kanata’s You.i TV, says Sheldon arose from a common problem he and his team was encountering.
“I don’t know how many startups now that I’ve mentored or worked with or incubated, they always get past six or seven people and it gets very difficult to figure out who’s working on what, how we’re going to resource this, and then tracking that,” he tells Techopia.
Managing those resources – specifically the team members aspect – is critical for ensuring projects’ success. Flick says that large enterprises often have their own tools for resource allocation, but Sheldon targets the SMEs that can’t afford a proprietary solution, instead relying on massive, confusing spreadsheets to keep some semblance of order.
“We built it for them, as their secret tool to be efficient,” he says. “Sheldon wants to help the smaller guys.”
The fun and quirky personification of Sheldon is intentional. The ten-person team, for which Flick acts as an advisor, consists entirely as millennials, who sourced the software-as-a-service’s personality from characters such as the Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper. The tool’s other features, including tracking project time and collecting data is meant to be done in a fun way.
The information Sheldon collects makes him smarter, too. He can learn from previous projects, drawing conclusions about who works well with one another, which team fits which client, and how matching various personality types will affect the final product. It can also quantify diversity, highlighting variations in age, gender, and background to ensure a team avoids homogeneity.
“The success of the project is based on the team that’s on it,” Flick says.
In its first few months, Sheldon is onboarding users for free and building up its data reserves. Eventually, the HR tool could be expanded for recruitment and determining culture fits at companies.