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How to use Trello to organize the work of a small development and support team. My experience

Hello to all,

Today I’ll try to outline in general terms how we organized work in Trello when we abandoned Asana and switched to Atlassian products for different divisions.

Introduction:

When I came to my previous place of work, the guys worked through Google Docs, used Skype and nothing else... Later, the management themselves found and voluntarily forcibly placed Asana. It was not bad, better than nothing, but not ideal. All the same, Asana is a specific system, which is not suitable for everything.

I was given a project to develop and support one system. We will not go into the quality of the code and other technical things today, so we will focus on the process.

Main part:

The development and support process itself was one, one came from the other. Again, I will not describe what the process was like before we decided to change it, but after the changes, it became like this:
1) The request comes from customer
2) Prioritization, communication with the customer
3) Deadline Definition
4) Setting the request to the backlog, identifying all assignees
5) Development
6) Testing
7) Closing a task inside a team
8) Closing a task by a customer

Two large divisions are immediately evident here: external work with the customer and internal work with the team. This is not the most trivial task in Trello, so we used two different boards. Then everything is quite simple:
The customer board contains the following columns:
1) New challenge
2) The task is taken into study.
3) Questions to the customer
4) Task planning
5) Task scheduled
6) On check
7) Closed

Yes, there are a lot of statuses, but specifically this customer needed to see the entire cycle of the task in order to understand what stage it was at. It is also important to say that for most of the markers, we used labels. For example, in the 5th column “Task planning” in the label they indicated which sprint it was planned for, and in column 3 “Questions to the customer”, we used labels to display the priority of the questions.

When communication with the customer is over and the task is planned, it is cloned with all correspondence into the internal board, a link to the inclined card is put in the commentary on the tasks. To display the fact that the task is inclined, I also used a label, since there are no connections between tasks in different boards in Trello. Only the development and testing team has access to the internal board. The customer, project manager, analyst have access to the external board.

In the internal board, a completely autonomous process, the development team should not bother much about how they communicate with customers, they saw the functionality. In internal development, we built such columns:
1) Backlog
2) Priority tasks for work
3) In work
4) In testing
5) Internal acceptance of the task
6) Custom approval
7) Task closed by the customer

With labels, we showed priority, and also showed which team the task belongs to. After the task passed the internal acceptance, we transferred the related task to the customer’s board for verification.

As a result, we got a system in which the customer can work, without the use of emails and other messengers, and a team that works on tasks both from the customer and within the team, the tasks simply queue and go through a single workflow.

P.S. We started to use the Jira Software later, and used it for other projects, larger and cross-team.

I will be happy to answer your questions :)

6 comments

Andy - PTC Redundant
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Sep 17, 2019

Great article @Yevhen Rohovets ! The immediate question that comes to mind is: Do you use Power Ups to enhance your effectivity?
If yes, which ones?

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Yevhen Rohovets
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Sep 17, 2019

@Andy - PTC Redundant Thank you for your comment!
At that time, we did not use any Power-Ups, now I work in another company, we use Trello for other purposes, and here we use the Power-Ups to integrate Trello with the calendar (because for some reason we don’t receive notifications when the Due date comes in Trello)

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Thank you for sharing! Would be interesting to hear more about how the customer was involved in the board.

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Erika Nunotani
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Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 24, 2019

Hi @Yevhen Rohovets thanks for sharing your personal Atlassian story! It's weird that you are not receiving notifications when the due date comes. I usually use email notifications for due dates but I noticed that each account can see "Up next" on the homepage which includes cards added and due dates. Maybe this can be a part of your workflow if everyone uses Trello daily.

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Yevhen Rohovets
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Sep 24, 2019

Hi @Erika Nunotani

Thank you for your advice, I will try something to fulfill my needs)

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Mihai Schwarz
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Oct 09, 2019

Nice article! I also think that to get familiar before diving into JIRA, Trello is must use, to organize your team work.

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