Trello is awesome!
For those unfamiliar with Trello, it has Boards, Lists and Cards. A Board is a collection of Lists, laid out horizontally on a web page, and you can have as many Boards as you want.
You can have as many lists as you want on a Board, and you can reorder them horizontally.
The items on the lists are Cards. Cards can be drag & dropped from one list to another or reordered vertically within a list. Cards can contain checklists, images, attachments, deadline dates, colored labels, comments from others, and many other things.
Trello’s aim is to help “to organize anything with anyone” in a flexible and visual way. It is extremely easy to use and a vast majority of its functionality comes totally free.
It is also hugely popular; during the past year (9/2014-9/2015), Trello’s global user base has doubled from 5 to 10 million people.
Because of Trello’s flexibility and ease of use, it has wide applicability (just look at these examples) including knowledge work – which of course includes lean/agile development.
So what’s the problem?
Like most good things, flexibility and ease of use come at a price: Trello does not have metrics, time tracking, requirement hierarchies, roadmap level views into sprint-sized items, and the like.
In fact, Trello’s sweet spot are small projects and activities that have little reporting needs. In all other cases – and there are many of those out there – Trello users run into its limitations sooner or later.
There exists a wide array of plugins and integrations of various colors, shapes, quality and price to remove or at least alleviate Trello’s limitations.
You could use Harvest for Time Tracking, Burndown to do Sprint level metrics, Basecamp for project management, Aha for roadmapping … and end up with a price tag of tens of dollars per user for a tool that was free at first. And spend your valuable time in trying to get the pieces of the puzzle done by different parties working together.
Or, you could pick up Agilefant.
Trello <3 Agilefant
Agilefant is well-versed in metrics, time tracking, requirement hierarchies, long-term planning, portfolio management and many of the things you need to support a larger organization or simply a project that requires a bit more in terms of structure than Trello offers.
As a result you have ready functionality to tackle many use cases which would not be possible using Trello alone. By hooking up Trello with Agilefant, you can:
- log spent effort to Trello cards and even checklist items
- see sprint burndowns
- see the progress of longer term endeavors such as projects and releases
- estimate in story points
- link cards to higher level business objectives and do roadmapping
- manage the activities on your Trello boards as a portfolio
Our next blog post will explain how these are done in more detail, as well as provide instructions on how to take it out for a spin.
If you want to beta test our Trello-integration, shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com