"As a teacher training project at a university, we may not fall into the category of “typical Bitrix24 users.” Regardless, we would like to share our experience of having used Bitrix24 project management tools for slightly over 6 months, what made us choose this product and how we benefited from using it."Go to our website
Our MoSAiK project (modular school practice integration as a starting point for individual competence development, http://mosaik.uni-koblenz-landau.de), which is part of the federal-state program “Quality Teacher Training Campaign” (https://www.qualitaetsoffensive-lehrerbildung.de) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, was launched in 2016 at the University of Koblenz-Landau. The first funding phase ended in summer 2019 followed soon by the second phase, in which we started with 15 sub-projects and 5 central project units.
Analyzing the results from the first phase, we were able to gain one insight at the organizational level: we realized that we had to optimize our communication and work processes on two campuses around 200 km away in order to be able to concentrate better on our actual goal - improving teacher training. Up to then, we’d been using different tools for different purposes: e-mails for internal and external communication, university's own cloud system, Excel spreadsheets for project documentation, and lots of phone calls to discuss important matters. Our 50 or so colleagues in the project understandably wanted these processes to be streamlined and simplified. That led us to research various project management tools, after which we settled on the business professional version of Bitrix24.
We wanted a project management tool that would be capable of documenting the project progress of our 20 sub-projects and central project units over a long period of time. In addition to that, we wanted to have some sort of a group chat/messenger and cloud storage with the usual functions such as sharing and editing documents. Bitrix24 provided all the features we needed. We created separate project groups for all of our sub-projects and central project units, in which internal communication and data exchange could be easily done. The task format also enabled the project progress to be documented and made reporting considerably easier.
We are more than satisfied with how almost all communication is now running through the various group chats, especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic when most of our employees have to work from home - having a reliable communication tool at hand is an immense relief indeed. Thanks to the cloud application, file exchange usually works smoothly, even if some employees still struggle with the desktop application. Another great thing about Bitrix24 is the support chat, which is immediately available to help with minor or major problems.
There are, however, a few things that we believe could be optimized or improved in Bitrix24. One of them is the inability to create several department heads in the employee overview, which would be very important for our project structure. In addition, not all of our employees are able to work with documents simultaneously. It would be helpful for us if this could be done without additional accounts.
After a good six months with Bitrix24, we can sum up that the initial skepticism has largely subsided and most employees now consider Bitrix24 to be really helpful. Although the desire to optimize the processes was quite strong, the introduction of such a project management tool meant a major change in the established work processes, which initially seemed too much of a hassle for some. Apart from these things, we have enjoyed our experience with Bitrix24 so far and are happy to have found a project management tool in Bitrix24 that considerably simplifies our everyday work.