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User Story – Alexander Dikov

M.O.Z.G StudioLast year we realized that we need project management tool. It was first year when I worked independently, and my corporate experience was completely useless in the new environment.When you only talk to colleagues which placed in the same office with you – it is quite different from organizing work with the clients, who have not prior experience with any collaboration systems and don’t understand why they need to use it. For us, the advantages were obvious: bring order to discussions, get rid of many unstructured emails and more accurately assess the work. A year ago, while working with a large company, we have tried to solve the problem using open-source solution on our server. However, it did not work, because it was too hard to maintain and expected power users skills from anyone using the system.

When we started own studio, I decided to explore the market for a such systems again. I looked at paid, shareware and free systems, searched everywhere, consulted with colleagues. Most of them don’t satisfy my requirements. Like any young business, we could not afford too complex & expensive corporate solutions. We simply did not need 80% of functionality they offer. When I looked at free/shareware solutions the situation was opposite. They either provided a very basic functionality or had pricing linked to your team size. I didn’t like an idea, when I can use PM system for three people, but for the four – have to pay for 50 people even if my project requires one week to complete and will have 10 people involved including customers. You have to be scrappy when you start, spend money wisely and I just did not feel like throwing the money down the drain. Also, I noticed that many systems are focused either on IT-industry, or on big business. We are neither of them.

Finally, I can tell why found Freedcamp most optimal solution for my tasks. The first thing I noticed was a flexibility. Freedcamp doesn’t limit the number of members in the project, or the number of projects. It has limits though by features enabled in your projects. This allows you to have a piece of mind when you create a new project. You simply know it is free for any number of participants and if you will need a paid feature – cost is fixed and is affordable. Any extra module can be purchased separately for the project at any time. If you need Invoices for a particular project, you buy the module. If you need Issue Tracker – also buy the required module. In this case, you only pay for the functions needed at a particular time. Project is finished and you don’t need it? Simply cancel subscription.

The second important aspect of the system is a low threshold of entering. It is hard to achieve, based on my evaluations of other system, but Freedcamp truly empowers my team and customers, educate them and show how such tool saves time. It allows to be more effective, work better together and gives us a competitive advantage because our journey with the client gives them new experience they buy. We just say: “We are going to use Freedcamp. It doesn’t require any special skills or special trainings”. Also, they shouldn’t check Freedcamp all the time, they receive emails with all discussions and updates in tasks by email, including art work we attached. Freedcamp’s basic functionality doesn’t have any features aimed to specify type of business, being, in some sense, universal. In other systems, where they create vertical market PM tool (for engineers, marketers, designers etc.) – language, UI can mislead and turn off clients making project a failure.

Personally, I also like ability to add new version to my attachments anywhere in Freedcamp. In my job it’s very important, because it allows not to litter a discussion or a task with dozens of copies of the same image by constantly posting minor changes. Instead, Freedcamp allows simply add a new version to an old attachment, while retaining the ability to see all previous changes in a well done interface.

Of course, I don’t want to say it has all I want to see, but feature set and design that exists now, and my conversations with Freedcamp team, which is always available and not only listens but reacts quickly for my personal bug reports and feature requests, leads me to believe that it will evolve to be an even better tool for me and my team.

Aleksandr Dikov
Technical Artist/Owner at M.O.Z.G Studio