Agile All The Way Down
January 16, 2018
Agile All The Way Down
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Trello
Trello makes it easier for Agile teams to keep track of what everyone is working on with minimal administrative overhead. The simple, manoeuvrable base interface is one of Trello's greatest strengths - in the past, a pain point when tracking project status during standups was the drudgery associated with updating Kanban and Sprint boards on clunkier interfaces like a physical whiteboard or JIRA boards. JIRA allows for greater abstraction of complex tasks and larger organisations, but oftentimes what is needed is simply something lightweight that does not feel like a chore to update. Trello also makes it easy to set up custom workflows for different teams by editing the lists on a board. If you work in a team of 5-10 people and want to trim the fat in your Agile ceremonies, Trello is definitely a tool to consider. The Trello user interface is extremely smooth and responsive, which can reduce the drag when collaborating with teammembers.
- Kanban Boards
- Rich ecosystem of integrations
- Attractive, deceptively simply yet powerful card-based interface
- Simplicity is its greatest strength but also its greatest challenge when used by large teams. Personally I am not sure how well an organisation with 100-200 people would fare based on Trello alone, unless they had strong commitments to Agile methodologies at all levels of the organisation.
- Certain basic features like card sub-tasks and epics are only available as "Power Ups", which have limits on how many are active at one time. While it's understandable that Trello would have this model, I feel that some features should come with the bare-bones version of the product, such as sub-tasks and epics, since they are essential for productivity.
- Reduced project management overhead and ceremonial overhead
- Better project-related engagement from teammates
Trello is extremely well-suited for Agile development environments and iterative development approaches. It may be less appropriate for organisations that have strict ceremonial requirements or are strongly Waterfall in their methodology. In those environments, Trello won't be as useful, and there are better tools for tracking Waterfall development cycles. As mentioned, I am also not certain of how well Trello would perform in a large corporate business. It would certainly be worth investigating if such a business were strongly Agile, but it may not have the required complexity to track cross-functional teamwork or integrate teams with different development styles.