MVL Architects director Chris Lelliott talks about how a strategic focus on project management technology is helping expand and manage collaboration
MVL Architects and Surveyors is a multidisciplinary design and surveying chartered practice with eight employees. It has offices in Surrey, Hampshire and Cardiff. The practice has a long, successful history in residential projects and is now expanding and diversifying its commercial portfolio. In this interview, MVL Architects and Surveyors director Chris Lelliott talks about how a strategic focus on technology is helping the eight-person practice expand and manage project collaboration across the company’s three offices in England and Wales.
Chris Lelliott's role in the practice covers design, project management, practice management and, in particular, how technology is used in the business for strategic advantage. As MVL starts to move into commercial work, he said it was important to get the right technology in place.
'We’re starting to get the right pieces in place and part of that is practice management software,' he said.
'Up until now, we've not really had proper practice management software. We have been working with old-fashioned spreadsheets to sort out what has been going on in the practice, who is doing what, and we have many meetings to keep track of what is happening.'
This is something we hear more often than not when talking to smaller architectural practices - spreadsheets are the mainstay business ‘system’ patching architecture, engineering and construction design practices together. While most design businesses understand the value of technology in other areas, such as design software, the software that helps analyse the health and profitability of the business is left to Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.