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Why Project Management is Becoming Obsolete

Nov 9, 2018 | By Steven Burns, FAIA | 0 Comments

Topics: A/E/C industry, Core

Let’s be honest. None of us went into this profession so we can be project managers.

If you’re like me, you have an undying passion for design and the built environment. However, with every passing day, as we deal with the realities of our jobs, most of us have witnessed the thrill of our profession, slowly and quietly disintegrate.

For the better part of my 30-plus year career, I’ve been working to find ways to eliminate the seemingly necessary drudge work that we have to do as part of our jobs. The ultimate goal, of course, is to make every waking hour of our days filled with the joy that we get as we work to design buildings, cities and solve the complexities of design and construction.

As an architect who has morphed his career from a traditional practice to software, I’m fortunate to have a front-row seat at BQE Software. Our mission is to totally disrupt the way we work and enable professionals to spend more time doing what they love most - and what their clients hire them to do (hint: which isn’t project management and administration).

Last year, after 4+ years of development we released a radically new cloud platform for architects and engineers called BQE Core. The inherent business intelligence embodied in Core is nothing short of astounding. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, Business Intelligence, here’s a quick definition.

BI is a technology-driven process of analyzing data and presenting actionable information to help you make informed decisions.

Having demonstrated BQE Core to hundreds of AE firms, I almost always hear an audible gasp from the audience when I show them the ground-breaking business intelligence capabilities.

At a recent A/E industry conference, I was asked to give a presentation on the state of artificial and business intelligence. If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you have undoubtedly been hearing about the amazing advances in artificial intelligence. AI actually includes 5 different technologies:

1. Machine Learning
2. Voice Recognition
3. Natural Language Processing
4. Machine Reasoning
5. Deep Neural Networks

Lately, what I’m most excited by are the recent advances we’ve made in our Core platform with regard to artificial intelligence. Our R+D lab is getting ready to release BQE Core integration with Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Google Assistant. Soon to follow will be Apple’s Siri. When thinking about these technologies, I first thought this would be just a quaint, little feature set to broaden the tools we provide and not just limit it to standard web and mobile technologies.
However, it turns out that AI is like nothing we’ve seen before. I’m embarrassed to say that even I was unable to envision what these technologies can do for our industry. Thankfully, the bright, young minds in our engineering department have no similar deficiency of imagination.

Rather than tell you what I’ve seen our Core AI do, stay in touch with our team at BQE Software and you’ll see us roll out this new technology later this year. But what I’ve seen portends the end of the traditional role of a project manager. The A/E firm of the near future will be much less dependent on humans to manage the office and BQE Core is at the cutting edge.

The Author

Steven Burns, FAIA

Steven Burns, FAIA, spent 14 years managing his firm Burns + Beyerl Architects. After creating ArchiOffice®, the smart office and project management solution for architectural firms, Steve brought his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is perfecting the business strategy and product development.

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