Create a system to plan web, app, and software projects, do hours estimations, and get client approvals on work.
BrainLeaf was built because of a major problem facing JHMG. In the early years of the company, we had to learn about project management, expectation management, information architecture, not to mention how to actually build the project. One of the biggest issues we encountered was how to explain to a client what we were going to be building.
As designers, we didn’t have an innate orientation towards documentation. We just wanted to get started designing the project. But when you’re building a website or software system, particularly software, you have to think about it like a construction project. No builder would ever start work on a project without a blueprint and set of specification documents, and neither should any web or software developer start work on a project without the same thing. As it turned out though, there weren’t many tools for building information architectures the way there are for creating blueprints.
So we built one.
And It turns out that every development team out there needs something similar.
It’s one of those “if I knew then what I know now” kind of things. On the bright side, you have the advantage of working with a team that has built it’s own SaaS and knows the pitfalls.
This system started as an internal architecture building tool, originally developed by Jeremy Minnick, one of the original partners at JHMG. He developed it to help our business developers clarify with clients what was to be built and help the team calculate hours. One day, a designer was looking over the tool and said, “you know, I think everyone would want something like this,” and a new SaaS was born… very, very slowly.
Over the next 5 years, BrainLeaf, as we now know it, slowly took shape and became a reality. Since way back drake the system has been pushing forward as it's own entity. Now, after years of work, and countless hours on the system, it is really starting to take off.