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get it done with trello - part i

Trello is a highly visual, easy-to-use collaboration tool that lets you organize projects using Kanban boards. Trello makes it simple to break down projects into components and components into checklists. You can track progress on each component, comment, even vote on tasks or ideas. Fog Creek Software, the maker of Trello, says it will be offered for free, forever.

Here are a couple of the ways that our team uses this tool:

Project Ideas

These are ideas we pitch to our sponsors and stakeholders. 

The columns:
  1. New Ideas: This is where the idea lives until it grows some legs.
  2. Documented Ideas: We've done technical research and requirements gathering.
  3. Proposed Ideas: We've pitched the idea.
  4. Approved Ideas: Sponsors and stakeholders like the idea. It can now be moved to the Project Backlog.

Project Backlog

Our Agile team keeps a Trello board for tracking the state of each project.

The columns:
  1. Accepted: All have agreed that this is a project we will work on. 
  2. Analysis and Planning: We have begun gathering requirements.
  3. Ready: We have gathered enough requirements to begin working on the first release.
  4. In Progress: We're working on it.
  5. Completed: The work is either entirely done, or it has passed from a project-management phase into a product-management phase.
Each project card in Trello card contains links to its Features, which we keep as cases in FogBugz. The cases are unfolded into sub-cases, which are the Feature's Stories. During work iterations, we track these Stories using FogBugz's Kanban plug-in.

Okay, that's a couple of ways. In part II of this series, I will describe how we use this tool for tasks in between working iterations...

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get it done with trello, part ii

Everyone likes to think that the meeting they're sitting in is productive and staying on track. One of the best things about using a Kanban system is that it provides a highly visual representation of your team's progress. I've found that Trello works great for conducting meetings, work sessions, and other group activities. After all, what is a meeting but a short-duration collaborative project? If you go into every meeting with an agenda — as you should — then you have a predefined set of items for the To Do column. Then it is a matter of simply moving them through the steps required to bring them to conclusion. Furthermore, you can use Trello features such as commenting and voting to capture all sorts of information during the session. Here are a couple of the meetings and work sessions we handle using Trello: Agile Iteration Planning The main part of our Iteration Planning is done by the entire team. Once that is completed, the Scrum Master takes care of a