An update on BrixHQ, Tech23 Innovation Island and interesting Agile Project Management articles

Firstly, thanks to all those customers who took part in our recent customer survey it was greatly appreciated and we’d like to share with you the finding of the survey. We have found the feedback really useful in helping us to steer the future direction of the product and validating our roadmap as well as the current usability of the product. Here’s some of the key feedback and findings that we received from the survey.The survey highlighted the best features of BrixHQ are; 1. The Wall, 2. Ease of Use, 3. Sharing Documents and Info and 4. Editing Projects.
The survey also validated our Roadmap and the key features for BrixHQ going forward are:

Industries using BrixHQ:

Our users numbers continue to climb and thanks to everyone who has signed up recently. All of your feedback and ideas are greatly appreciated.  Here’s how our growth is looking now:

Tech23  (& Innovation Island)
On 23 August we’ll be exhibiting at the Tech23 Conference’s Innovation Island.  Tech23 unearths the innovations happening right here in Australia! 23 innovative young companies in the tech space are given five minutes to show off their business model to an audience of over 400 potential investors, partners and clients check out full details here

Interesting Agile Project Management and related articles this month:

- Agile Outside of Software  - Agile adoption outside of software is nothing new–it dates back very close to the origin of today’s agile methods, predating the term “agile”. However, what is new and noteworthy is the rate and scale of non-software agile adoption being witnessed today. Now–as more companies than ever are exposed to agile methods in their IT practices–these methods are being employed beyond the regular IT domain.

- Agile v’s Waterfall – Use Cases and Nuances- Is it possible to have a new twist on the seemingly endless debate between advocates of Agile software development and those of the waterfall model? Some people, including Coverity’s Rutul Dave, think so.

- Ensuring projects stay within budget – “Software development projects often miss their mark for reasons that are not technical. Indeed, technical bugs play a very small part in the failure of software development projects,” remarked Kareem Tawansi, CEO of software development provider, Solentive Software.

- Agile software developing explained – There is a lot of talk among developers about “Agile” methods. MYOB’s CTO, Simon Raik-Allen, has been there, got the T-Shirt and reports back.

BrixHQ offers users a solution going forward

When we heard that Rob Dempsey and the team over at had decided to shut down, we decided to approach him about offering the users (yourselves) a solution going forward.  We’ve found that there are a lot of synergies between and and believe we have a really good solution to offer you.

We’ve come to an agreement with Rob and the team that we’ll offer customers the ability to convert their data across and get a discount on  a 12 month subscription to BrixHQ.
Robert Dempsey, CEO of says ‘I’m really happy that Pete contacted me about working together to provide everyone using Scrum’d an easy way to transition to an application with very similar goals and features. From my time with Brix I can say that it’s very easy to use so there should be almost zero learning curve when you switch. Perhaps the most important aspect though is the the team behind it, which is highly dedicated to creating an application that works as an enabler of Agile teams and stand behind Agile philosophies. For anyone switching from Scrum’d to Brix I am sure they will not be disappointed” customers can import your data into BrixHQ and it’s a simple process. For more details on how you can take advantage of this offer click here for more details  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop us a note at:

An update on BrixHQ, Angel Loft and Angel Investors and more

It’s been a while since we blogged and it’s about time that we gave you an update and we plan to blog more regularly in the future.  It’s not that we don’t see the value in blogging, it’s just as a time poor start up it hasn’t been a top priority for us.  As the TechCrunch article pointed out here by @msuster as well as conversations with other Start up founders and in particular thanks to Steve Orenstein @sorenstein from Connect2Field  start ups need to blog and here’s our update.

We officially launched the BrixHQ product just over 4 months ago and like any start up we have been through the entrepreneurs roller coaster and when we step back and look at where we are and our goals for the year we are doing well.  We are building a solid business, we value our customers and their feedback and we’re committed to BrixHQ for the long term.

Our Customers and the growth over the last 4 months

From our early Beta customers onboard who provided good solid feedback to us right the way through to our customers we are now working closely with to make the product better.  When we launched we thought we knew who are customers were going to be. We had assumed that they would be companies undertaking software development projects adopting Agile methodologies and looking for online tools.  By and large this has proven to be true except that it isnt just software development projects that customers are using the product for we’ve had customers from many different industries including; Building & Construction and Health & Fitness as well as many others,

To give a clear picture of where we are in terms of customer signs up, here’s how we are tracking from December when we went in Alpha release, into beta shortly thereafter and full release in mid-January through until the end of May

As you can see why we are pretty happy we’re on the right track we’re getting good sign ups and customer feedback and we’re just over 4 months in.

Our Customer acquisition strategy has been all about bootstrapping so we have used paid advertising on specific blogs where our potential customers might be reading, we’ve used twitter and facebook and had independent articles written about the product.  We’ve intentionally avoided some of the more mainstream online advertising mediums as we’ve determined that they just aren’t going to give us bang for buck. Metrics have proven the key to advertising spend for us. It’s great to get a load of traffic from advertising but the conversion to customer is the key to it all.

The Angel Loft & Angel Investors

In March we were privileged to be accepted into Randal Leeb-du Toit’s Angel Loft and also selected to be part of the Angel Loft – Entrepreneur in Residence program.  In summary, AngelLoft’s mission is to provide angel investors and entrepreneurs with the ideal environment within which to have a meeting of the minds. We are based in Sydney where we facilitate our sessions over dinner and other events. We are open, by invitation, to angel members and entrepreneur pitches from anywhere in the world.  And we’re ecstatic to part of the Angel Loft and the Entrepreneur in Residence program.

We attended our first Angel Loft dinner in late March and introduced ourselves and BrixHQ to the group which included a seriously impressive range of Angels and other entrepreneurs.  The evening was a fantastic opportunity to meet the Angels, understand their backgrounds and start to build a relationship with some of the Angels, even if only for feedback.  The feedback and comments that we’ve received from a range of Angels & VC’s that we’ve spoken to since the first dinner include the following; Who are you competitors? How are you different to your competitors?  What’s your business model (i.e. how do you make money)? How are you currently funded? and so on.

There are always two sides to the conversations, some of the key questions that we’ve sought to understand from the Angels are; What types of businesses do you typically invest in? What are the key things you look for when you are considering investing in a business? Do you have any feedback or comments for us?

The first question is crucial, it is important to firstly qualify what sort of businesses the Angels are interested in.  Plus, if you are time poor and want to have a meaningful conversation and future relationship then it is best to get off on the right foot or you can be wasting everyone time.  From our experience the key things Angels are looking to invest in are; 1. a solid business idea that is being executed on, 2. the business has to be scalable (i.e. how big can it become?), 3. revenue – the business has to be on the right trajectory with revenue and growth, it’s great to have a lot of customers but if you dont have revenue then you dont have a business.  4. management team – who are they, what experience do they have and have they done this before.  5. how long can you keep funding yourself through current funding sources.  The great thing about Angels is that they will have feedback and comments for you, it might just be that it’s not for them and they’ll explain why or give specific comment or advice or direction that can help to move your business forward.

There’s nothing new or different from these 5 points above, but all serve as a fantastic litmus test for any business who is in start up mode or looking to raise funding in the future. Also know your business intimately, be able to speak at a high level about your vision and your market, but be prepared to deep dive into the detail as can and will happen.

Coverage of BrixHQ

Some of the write ups and coverage that we’ve received over the last 3 months:


Any and all feedback and comments are greatly appreciated,

Inpependent review of BrixHQ on

Brix is a flexible, adaptable and cost effective agile project management and collaboration tool.

Brix provides you a flexible dashboard with Wall, Gantt Chart, My Tasks and Graphs tabs. You can add a project, sprint or task directly from the dashboard in no time at all. The wall is customizable by the users to meet their requirements.

Gantt Chart tab let you create and manage your Gantt charts by dragging and dropping the tasks. Tasks can be edited directly on the chart. Project members can see the tasks by status on their own customized wall under MyTasks tab and can fillter them by week or month. Project manager can track the projects by velocity, by team member, by status and red flags the tasks those are overdue.

Brix also provides some reports as part of the project which you can fine tune by applying different filters. These reports will help the team to understand the current status of the project and take necessary steps to keep it on the right track.

Brix has different monthly and yearly price model based on the number of team members. But for non-profits its always free. A 30 days free trial sign-up is available for unlimited full access to the system. So, why not give it a shot and let us know your review or comment. Interview with Pete Sanders CEO of Brix Software

GETAPP.COM: Who are you and what is your role in the company?

SANDERS: My name is Pete Sanders and I am the company CEO. I have a Bachelor of Business from University of Technology Sydney and a Diploma in Accounting. Prior to starting Brix, I was General Manager of a Financial Services Software company and I also held senior roles with Reckon Limited (Quicken Australia) and PricewaterhouseCoopers. I am passionate about creating quality solutions that make life easier, more efficient and better for the users. I had the initial idea for Brix and what started as a behemoth of a system was distilled down into what is the Brix 1.0 release which is all about online Agile Project Management.

GETAPP.COM: Can you briefly present your management team?

Scott Montgomerie – CTO & Founder: Scott has been the principle architect of the company’s products and has been involved at an executive level in the overall vision and direction of the company. Prior to joining Brix, Montgomerie was President and CTO of Zigtag Inc., later renamed to Semanti Corp. Montgomerie was the overall architect of Semanti’s semantic and search engine technologies and innovations. Montgomerie is a published researcher in the field of Bioinformatics and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computing Science from the University of Alberta

Kaylene Sanders – CMO: Kaylene has been heavily involved in defining our go to market strategy. Kaylene also runs a small online marketing consultancy specialising in SEO and SEM for small businesses in Australia who are looking to make the most of their spend online and optimising their online presence. Prior to this Kaylene was the Founder and CEO of the Local Childcare Directory, an online childcare directory helping parents find the right childcare for their children in the Sydney area.

GETAPP.COM: Are you a cloud or a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company?

SANDERS: We are a Software-as-a-Service company. We have built BrixHQ as a Software-as-a-Service company from the start.

GETAPP.COM: How do you use and promote usage of cloud computing?

SANDERS: We run the majority of our applications on cloud or software-as-a-service that we use in our business. This includes working with our partner. We promote cloud computing every chance we get as whilst it is clearly the way of the future there are some very real and tangible benefits for our clients and businesses in general.

GETAPP.COM: What are the points of difference of your solutions?

SANDERS: The points of difference of BrixHQ are that we offer an incredibly easy to set up and use project management system. The functionality found in BrixHQ is more than enough to meet the lightweight project management requirements of the majority of organisations. At a more detailed level we offer users a very rich interface to manage their projects with some nice little features like being able to drag and drop tasks on The Wall and on the Gantt chart. The other feedback that we’ve had from our clients is that it is the only Agile Project Management solution they’ve used that includes a Gantt Chart. We appreciate that Gantt Charts aren’t truly agile, however, we use it to visually represent the data in the system rather than being the center of the everything.

GETAPP.COM: How would you like to be evaluated by a prospect?

SANDERS: Does BrixHQ offer the project management functionality they are after. Must have features that make access to the required information easier and be intuitive. Must be an online solution which is easy to set up and work with Well supported for any support or help they might need with the product. And then beyond this we engage our clients to get feedback on our roadmap to validate the future direction of BrixHQ. And last but not least, we’re good value for money.

GETAPP.COM: Why do your customers buy from you?

SANDERS: We offer a functionally rich online agile project management product. We offer Dashboards which can be customised so usually can visually see how their projects are going and report on this. It’s an online project management solution that is very easy to get started with and collaborate with your project team members. BrixHQ is very easy to set up and use. Our pricing model allows users to scale up and down as required on their projects.

GETAPP.COM: Can you mention some of your key clients?

SANDERS: BrixHQ was officially launched in mid-January and whilst we now have over 700 users it is still very early days for us. One of the key clients we are working with is Deloitte Digital.

GETAPP.COM: What do you see as the key trend emerging in the industry?

SANDERS: The key trend emerging that we are seeing is people moving from desktop project management tools to online project management tools that let them run their projects the way they want to and collaborate in real time online.

GETAPP.COM: What is THE most important message you feel you should get across to someone considering buying your solutions?

SANDERS: The most important message for someone considering BrixHQ is that we offer a functionally rich online agile project management solution. We offer whatever support and help you need to work with BrixHQ. And we are building a long term sustainable business that will evolve based on customer and market needs.

GETAPP.COM: Thanks for your time, Pete.

Interesting Agile Project Management Reading in early 2011

Here’s some interesting Agile Project Management posts and content from the first half of Jan 2011. We hope you enjoy the reading and any comments are welcome.

Cubicle wars: Best and worst office setups for tech workers
Practitioners of the Agile Software Development movement have even come up with templates for office furniture arrangements that are physical embodiments of 
See all stories on this topic »

“Mark Plant: Experiments and experience from the UX/Agile divide 
By Martin Belam
One of the evening’s talks was from Mark Plant, who was looking at how user experience design fitted into the agile software development process. His opening point was made with a couple of graphs. The first showed the classic waterfall 
currybetdotnet -

Best practices for mixing Agile and outsourcing
Agile Software Development (Agile, Scrum, Extreme) …. Agile software development works well in small well-contained teams located physically together .…/Best-practices-for-mix

A Thinking Grid for a Definition of Done | Scrum Agile Project 
By scrumxp
This blog post contains an interesting grid that help you analyze every aspect of your scrumproject if you want to declare a sprint done.
Scrum Agile Project Management Expert - http://www.scrumexpert.c Process Improvement
Agile software development needs teams to be motivated, but repetitive  I might even call “conflict” the eighth dimension of agile software development.…COL

Where does the information go? | Agile Project Manager
By admin
In agile software development the main artefacts beside the code are the storyboards. So what happens with all that other stuff? Open university research might have the answer in “Three ‘c’s of agile practice: collaboration, 
Agile Project Manager -

Agile Software Development made easy

Posted: 10 Jan 2011 08:00 AM PST

Deliver Fast.  In a way, that’s a funny principle to have.  I would have thought that’s stating the blinking obvious!  But the reality is that it isn’t.  All too often in software development, things seem to take ages.   It is common for people to think too deeply about…

Visit my blog for the full story, links and lots more content on agile development and agile project management…

12 Keys to Success with Agile | LeadingAgile
By Mike Cottmeyer
Empowered Team Members – One of the problems with traditional software project management, is that we focus too much on activity (more on that later). By having a cross-functional team, we can worry less about the activities the team is 
LeadingAgile -

Gantt Charts Offer the Illusion of Control « BrainsLink
By Vin
Agile software development is often criticized for lack of detailed plans and associated control points. Many managers would like to see gantt charts for agile projects containing carefully laid out tasks and deliverables. 
BrainsLink -

Innovation – does it make sense for business?
By Kate Carruthers
 adoption of agile development methods for software; good project management together with adequate reporting to enable stakeholders to gauge progress; a small tight-knit team who have a clear sense of mission and purpose 
Aide-Memoire -

Agile in the Blue Ocean
By (Badri N Srinivasan)
The term was coined in the year 2001 when the Agile Manifesto was formulated. Agile methods generally promote a disciplined project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation, a leadership philosophy that 
Agile Journal Articles -

Thoughts of a Project Manager; Ryan Endres, PMP: Agile Will Be 
By ryanendres
A PMO has many metrics it tracks its projects for, but with Agile project management you typically only have a burndown chart that is really nothing more than a chart showing 100% down to 0% complete. We want more, right? 
Thoughts of a Project Manager;… -
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