I’m a bit ambivalent about Trello as a project management tool – I know others love it, but me, I prefer something that looks a bit more spreadsheety.
If you’ve not heard of Trello – here’s a video that explains it.
Anyway, I did manage to make use of Trello in a pleasing way during a session at Channel Shift Camp, which I facilitated, which was called ‘transformation ticklist’.
The aim was to produce a checklist of things that really ought to happen when redesigning a product or service. With only 45 minutes we weren’t going to all the whole thing done, but we could at least make a start.
My original plan was to use a traditional post-it note and flip chat approach, but being lazy, I didn’t fancy doing the write up afterwards. What else could I use to get the same effect?
I settled on Trello. I created a new project board, cleared it of all lists bar one, and displayed it on a big screen in the room so everyone could see it.
The first thing we did to start building the transformation ticklist was to have people shout out ideas for things that need doing in a transformation project, in no particular order. All these were recorded in a list as individual cards in a list called ‘activities’ in Trello.
Then we identified the stages we’d need to go through that each of the activities could be put into, and these were created as new lists on the board.
The final activity was spent taking activities from our first list and distributing them around the various stages.
You can see the public version of the ticklist. Also email me if you’d like access to it for editing and so on.
What went well
Using Trello for this workshop went pretty well. People liked the idea, possibly because it was a bit new, and it certainly saved time on writing up, messing about with post-its and so on.
What went not so well
The system isn’t as hackable as pen and paper. We wanted activities to take place across the life of our ticklist, rather than being part of a linear process and this was difficult to make clear. Also, the writing on the screen was too small at times for people to be able to read comfortably.
I’ll definitely be trying this again in future, and would love to hear if others give it a go!