As a business evolves, the number of employees, departments, and projects also scale up in unison. With an increasing number of teams such as Product Development, Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, and so on, management and collaboration across cross-functional teams have become a daunting problem. For continuous development, an effective Project Management Platform is required that will automate the processes and boost productivity.
Trello, a Cloud-Based Project Management Platform makes it easy to keep track of all your projects and ensures that you hit all the deadlines. It was founded in 2011 by Fog Creek Software and was spun out in 2014 to create the foundation of a new business before being sold to Atlassian in January 2017. Trello uses Kanban Principles, a way of Visualizing Workflows, to offer a comprehensive picture of a Project from start to end. Trello’s Boards, Lists, and Cards are used for this purpose.
In this article, you will gain information about how to leverage Trello as a Project Management Tool. You will also gain a holistic understanding of Trello, its key features, and Templates, Metrics and Tips for using Trello Project Management Tool. Read along to find out the benefits of using Trello Project Management Tool, Templates, Metrics and Tips to improve your Boards and Workflows in Trello.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Trello Project Management Software
Trello is an easy-to-use, flexible, visually intuitive Project Management & Collaboration Tool that helps you manage and organize anything. Trello Project Management Software, in a nutshell, shows you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in the process, and on what timeframe. It is like a Virtual Whiteboard filled with sticky notes, divided according to team and projects, and categorized according to their status in the work timeline.
Trello uses Kanban Principles to visualize Workflows to offer a comprehensive picture of a Project from start to end. While using Trello, you can view all the information about a specific item on Trello Dashboards. For example, you can have a different Dashboard for managing Software Development projects and a different Dashboard for Marketing projects. Another constituent of Trello is the Trello Cards, known as the building blocks of any Trello Dashboard, which are used to represent various tasks and ideas. A Card can be anything, such as a task that needs to be completed or something that needs to be remembered. These Cards also contain other useful information, such as Expiration Dates, Tags, and Attachments.
Another important component of Trello is Lists. They are a part of Dashboards and help you to keep track of Trello Cards. These components make Trello a convenient Project Management tool and you can use your Trello Dashboards to monitor the progress of your tasks. Working on Trello for Project Management ensures that every team member has complete visibility over all tasks and their current stage in the Workflow. Teams do not need long email threads or countless meetings to keep track of assignments. Trello Board improves transparency and ensures that tasks are completed on time.
To have further information about Trello Project Management Software, you can follow the Official Documentation.
Key Features of Trello
1) Progress Meter Checklist
The Progress Meter Checklist in Trello Project Management Tool helps in keeping a track of subtasks within a Card in a Trello Board. Multiple Checklists can also be added to a single Card.
2) Card Records Archive
You can archive Cards when you no longer need them on the Board.
3) Data Filters
You can use keywords to filter and display Cards with their Card names as per the individual words in the filter keyword or certain other factors.
4) Deadline Alerts & Notifications
If you set the Card’s due date and are a member of that Card, you will receive a notification about the Card 24 hours before its deadline by default. You will also receive notifications in Trello whenever any action is performed on the Board.
5) Automated Email Notifications
Trello Project Management Software enables email alerts that can be triggered when anything happens to a Card or a Board to which you are subscribed.
6) Activity Logs
The activity feed in Trello Project Management Software displays any updates that occur throughout your Trello Board.
7) Information Backup
Rewind saves incremental backups of customers’ Trello Boards and restores them in an automated fashion.
8) Mobile-Friendly Views
Trello Project Management Software supports user-friendly interfaces for easier navigation for mobile and tablet devices. You can manage your Projects from the comfort of your mobile or desktop. The mobile version of this platform is user-friendly and has an easy-to-understand interface. You will never miss important alerts or tasks on the go.
9) Developer API
Trello Project Management Software provides a basic RESTful web API via which you may interact with each type of resource (e.g., a Card, a Board, or a Member) through their URL.
10) Easy-to-setup & User-friendly
Trello Project Management Software is simple and straightforward to get started with. All you have to do is enter a few details to sign up, and that’s it. You can either just start with a blank Board or choose a Template from its library.
11) 3-tier Pricing Structure
Trello is a free platform, but it also offers Business Class and Enterprise pricing structure. Many teams and individuals keep using the free version, whereas larger teams with sophisticated Workflow can switch to paid versions as they offer increased functionality.
Trello has been designed with collaboration as one of its core features. Once you have completed creating your Board, you can invite team members to join the Board and manage their Tasks. You can also assign Cards to specific team members and add due dates so everyone knows when to turn in their work.
The paid version of Trello comes with Power-ups that allow users to add features and automate their Workflow. The platform also offers seamless integration with multiple platforms like Google Drive, Gmail, Slack, CloudApp, GitHub, Jira, and several third-party applications.
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Trello Templates for Project Management
Trello Project Management uses are endless. Here are a few Project Management Templates to get you started with Trello:
1) Project Management
Created by Trello Marketing Team, Project Management Template is the most effective Trello Board with all the right Lists and Cards to get your Project started. You can start with putting all the documents, designs, specifications, or anything that you have to refer to while working on your project in the Resource List. Next, you can add Cards to the To-Do List and move them to Pending, Blocked, and Done Lists. There is also a List that enables addition of questions for the next meeting.
2) Client Workflow Management
Client Workflow Management Template is created by Jordan L Couch, Attorney at Palace Law. As the name suggests, this Template is for managing Client Workflow. Because an Attorney created this, the List names are set accordingly. You can edit List names according to your Project and industry. This Board allows you to add new Clients, assign Attorneys/team members, and move them into Doing, On Hold, Win, and Lost lists.
Premortem Board is created by Atlassian Team Playbook. Premortem is a managerial strategy where the Project team imagines that their Project has failed and then works backward to understand which elements led to the Project’s failure. This Board helps you to create a premortem of your Project visually.
It allows you to answer difficult and challenging questions such as:
- What could make us miss a deadline?
- What’s helping us hit our deadline?
- What does this Project need that we do not have?
- What do we already have that is needed for this Project?
- What lessons have you learned from past Projects?
- What are you worried about?
- What are you excited about?
- To discuss
- Action items
4) Editorial Workflow
Editorial Workflow is created by Andy Venderbell, Audience Growth Manager at the Wired UK. This Template is excellent for teams that have a repeatable process for managing and updating website content. It allows members to create Cards for ideas and move them through commissioned, ready for section editor, ready for a final edit, ready for SEO, waiting for images, ready for live, and live Lists. With Business Class, users can access Power-ups like Custom Fields, Card Repeater, Calendar Power-up, and Cards Snooze.
5) Program Management
Created by Soniya Ahuja, the Program Management Template is a sophisticated Board that follows various lists like Key Performance Indicators, Metrics and Reporting, Milestones and Important Dates, Risk and Dependencies, Finance and Budget, Open Requirements, Release Management, Training and Certification, Event Management, and Newsletter.
6) Salesforce Project
Created by Shubham Sonar, Salesforce consultant, The Salesforce Project Board is designed for Salesforce Projects where users can start by creating Cards about the Project in the ‘About project‘ list. Then they can move Cards through various lists like Requirement Discussion, Approved Request, Work-in-progress, UAT Review, Production Review, Documentation Review, and Done.
How to use Trello for Project Management?
Trello Project Management Tool allows you to incorporate certain characteristics that optimises Workflow and the overall Project Management Process. The characteristics are as follows:
You can either start with an empty Board or choose one from Trello’s vast collection of Templates. The blank canvas is a great place to begin managing your company’s Project Workflow. Apart from selecting the visuals like background images, Label colors, Card backgrounds, etc., you should also figure out the main stages of your Project progression. The stages will become Lists, and the Tasks under each step will turn into Cards. You can assign Cards to team members along with due dates, Checklists, resources, and much more.
Go beyond the standard ‘To do,’ ‘In the process,’ and ‘Done‘ setup. And tailor your Board to specific stages in your Project. For example, you can have a ‘General information‘ or ‘Resources’ List, which will provide all necessary information and guidance to your team. There can be ‘Paused‘ and ‘Blocked‘ Lists to move Tasks that you won’t be working on at present. You can also split the ‘Done‘ Lists with ‘Completed,’ ‘Ready for final review,’ ‘Testing,’ and ‘Live’ Lists.
After improving the design and look of your Board, map out your Project details and start adding Cards. Create one Card per task and add Checklists if it involves multiple actions. Try to provide as many details in the ‘Description’ as possible on your Cards, so they are self-explanatory to every member. You can also add comments to keep track of any changes or clarifications. If you have any repetitive Tasks, you can automate such Cards with the Butler feature.
You can use Labels, a Time Tracker, and Butler to make the most of your Project on Trello Project Management Tool. You must also determine who is responsible for updating Cards and moving them into the right Lists.
Labels can be used to categorize your Tasks. Make sure you add at least one Label to each Card but do not add too many, as it can clog your Workflow.
Trello Project Management Tool can help keep track of progress in terms of hours and budget. For this, you can look for Time Tracking and Reporting Power-Ups in Trello, where team members can log time against Tasks and export logs as an Excel sheet for an in-depth analysis.
Periodic Board Management goes a long way in the proper organization of your Project. Regular maintenance checks will ensure your Project runs smoothly without becoming cluttered and outdated. You must schedule a time to tidy your Board each week. Run through the following tasks to keep your Board up to date:
- Ensure your Task Cards are relevant to changes in the Project and can be understood by all members.
- Check if all relevant fields like the due date, members, description, and activity are filled in.
- Avoid using too many Labels on your Board because it will become cluttered and hard to filter.
- Check if Cards are in the right List depending on what progress has been made.
- You can have a queries/roadblocks List where team members can create Cards for issues they face with Workflow. You can take them during the weekly maintenance.
- Delete/Archive Cards that are no longer relevant to your Project.
Trello Project Management Tool offers a wide range of integration with several different solutions and products like Slack, Jira, Confluence Cloud, Salesforce, GitHub, Google Drive, Adobe XD, and many more. You can improve your Workflow by adding tools that are frequently used by your Project & Development teams. It will reduce context-switching, ultimately saving time and improving productivity.
Tips for Improving Project Management in Trello
There are certain key points that should be considered to best utilize the Trello Project Management Software. The tips are as follows:
1) Sort Lists for a better overview
It’s a simple tip but can significantly ease your Project Workflow. Lists can get long as you fill them with more and more Cards. Therefore, you can sort them by date to ensure that urgent Tasks are always on the top of your List.
2) Ensure your Cards are self-explanatory
In Trello Project Management Tool, every Card in the Board should have a well-defined Task requirement with Checklists for specific milestones. It’ll be easy for you and your team members to understand and complete their Tasks, access supporting information, and cross-off each Task on the Card within the defined amount of time. A well-defined Card ensures that most work gets done with little to no intervention from Team Leads or Managers.
3) Use snooze for dealing with overdue Task Cards
Even if we do not want to, it is common to miss deadlines at times. And at times, Managers might occasionally underestimate the time it will take employees to complete a task. Therefore, this feature can be of great use in this case.
By default, any Card with an overdue deadline turns red in Trello. It is an excellent reminder to get the work done before it is too late. But what about when a task deadline is moved to an indistinct future? Trello offers a Card snoozing option where you can archive Cards until a specific date and time. However, Card Snooze is a Power-up and is only available for paid members.
4) Embrace keyboard shortcuts
Frequently using keyboard shortcuts can improve your Workflow and save time throughout the day. Some basic shortcuts are shown in the image above. You can operate Cards and Lists faster and add a game element to your Board with these shortcuts.
5) Celebrate small wins with a confetti hack
Celebrating small compliments of your team members can feel good and rewarding. Even if it is a tiny win, such as completing a Project Task, it contributes to overall happiness and job satisfaction.
Trello Project Management Tool can help you celebrate your team members’ achievements with virtual confetti as you move a Card to the ‘Done‘ List. To do so, you can simply add emoji (👖 🎉 🎊 🎇 🎆 ✨) to your ‘Done‘ List title and enjoy a confetti splash.
6) Turn your spreadsheets into Trello Cards
This is the best hack for teams that are moving to Trello between their Projects. You do not have to recreate your Task Lists Card by Card. Instead, you can conveniently migrate your spreadsheet into Trello Cards by copying the information from spreadsheets and pasting them into a new Card. In addition to that, Trello will give you an option to either turn each cell into a separate Card or keep all of them into one Card.
You can even convert your spreadsheet information into a Card’s Checklist. Simply copy-paste the content from a row or column into the Card’s Checklist. Trello will ask you whether you want each cell information in a separate item on the Checklist or not.
In this article, you have learned about Trello as a Project Management Software and its key templates, metrics and tips to optimize Project Management in Trello.
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