Tool Shop: Trello

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of the Microsoft Project Made Easy series. For more project management advice, visit the website TacticalProjectManagement.com.

This free card-based collaboration tool reduces the burden of project management administration with visual-based status updates, personalized task assignments and team activity streaming similar to social media updates. It is ideal for agile teams, but it doesn’t support task sequencing or end-date forecasting.

The challenge with any project is balancing delivery with project management administration. Project status reporting is often time consuming and increases in complexity across distributed teams. In large programs and projects, a project manager may have a project analyst or project coordinator to help manage the schedule, prepare status reports, facilitate the project management mechanics and manage the administrative overhead. As I’ve juggled project management administration, I’ve often asked the question: What if project managers could develop a project status solution without any overhead? 

Trello answered that question when I first reviewed all the useful collaboration and team task management features offered in this card-based project management and collaboration tool.

With Trello, projects are organized on story boards and tasks are grouped into lists. Individual tasks appear as virtual index cards and the application works like a simple workflow system. User-defined lists can be used to convey card status including in-process…

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"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother."

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