Trello - Limit WIP for Success!
Updated October 04, 2019
Trello - Limit WIP for Success!
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Trello
Presently, we use Trello as a kanban card management system across distributed teams. This helps us to understand the current state of work being done, limit work in progress, manage blockages, and delineate completed work. It's built in sharing makes it ideal for sharing across international teams, as all members have visibility and access into the work cards at all times.
- Flexibility of Cards - can add links, pictures, attachments, etc.
- Built in sharing enables multiple users to collaborate on a board at a time.
- Customizable - it's very easy for me to customize the look and format of my cards to make it easy to identify work that needs to get done.
- Aging - Trello offers an aging functionality that lets you identify old cards, but it's not granular enough to be useful. In short order, old cards all look old.
- Color coding - Trello offers color coding, but not enough unique colors to make many labels of distinct colors.
- Export - Trello does offer export, but not in a user-friendly format. I'd like a CSV export so I can easily manipulate my card data from time to time.
- Trello helps me maintain visibility into what my international teams are doing - even if we can't be in the same room together, we can be on the same board together.
- Trello helps us manage WIP so as to reduce the amount of things we are trying to do simultaneously.
- (Negative) Our teams often use Trello as a crutch for traditional communication - instead assuming people will detect changes on the board on their own.
Trello has a highly intuitive and easy to understand interface. With it's extensive customizability in swim lanes, users can create whatever workflow they desire, and Trello simply supports dragging cards from one column to the next, though it does not offer any sort of rule enforcement of the workflow. Other than that, Trello exposes its features simply and directly, limiting the number of clicks to get from one option to the next.
I've never had to leverage Trello's customer support, so I can't speak to its efficacy. What I can say is that in using Trello for over 2 years, I've not had an issue that I haven't been able to resolve on my own, and most of the time such an issue is user error. I think that speaks well to the design of the product.
Ultimately, we use JIRA and Trello for different things. While each has similar elements to the other, it's really about the workflow you need, and how you must manage it. JIRA offers custom workflows and process-based rule enforcement, whereas Trello simply offers a linear, user-constructed work flow with no verification of process. One is not better than the other, it just depends on what you need, and how lightweight it can be.
Trello is excellent for kanban style management of tasks. It allows for multiple users to be assigned to a task, enabling a team to "swarm" on a card. While it does not enforce any work in progress (WIP) rules, if you're using sensible rules, you can easily see how much work is in progress at any given time. Trello wouldn't be a suitable tool for a full scrum implementation - the board would simply get too busy with an extensive backlog list, current and future sprints, and no concepts of hierarchy amongst the cards.