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Managing the Operations of a Baseball League using Trello

By day I'm the Admin of multiple Atlassian tools, by night (more like late afternoon) I both play and volunteer on the board of directors for a local Slo-Pitch Baseball league.

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This past year we have noticed an increased turn over and lack of engagement in the volunteers we have helping complete the tasks we need to keep the league running.

One of the other directors on the board (who is a Scrummaster in his day job) thought it might be a worthwhile exercise for the board to use some agile methodologies to
identify as a group what we believe to be the largest issues that the league is facing and what we can do to solve those issues.

Once we had compiled what we believed to be the complete list of issues and we had a shared understanding of why these issues exist today, we ranked the importance of resolving the issues.

We accomplished this by everyone being given five votes to put toward any of the ten major issues we identified, or you could use multiple votes toward a single issue.  We weren't overly surprised at the results, which was good, as it meant the board was
alligned in their understanding of what the issues were and what is the most important items to resolve ended up being.

From here, we started working on a list of solutions (a backlog if you will) of smaller tasks or process changes we could implement to begin resolving these issues.

We identified the most important issue being "Unbalanced Workload". This is caused by the fact that we have a smaller subset of the volunteers that end up burning themselves out becuase they take on the majority of the tasks that needed to be completed each year and they get tired of having to bear the weight.

Our board of directors and committee members all consist of a varying number of volunteers that are more than happy to take on work, but as a number of them are new to their respective roles, they don't always know what needs to be completed and who is already doing various tasks.

As this is being discussed the thought running through my head was "If only there was a way that we could list all the tasks that need to be completed. Who is working on what tasks and what still needs to be done and when we need those tasks completed."

As an advocate for the Atlassian tools, Trello was the very next thing popped into my head. Half of the board of directors work in the high tech industry and some are already familiar with Trello as it is one of the tools they use to complete their daily work activities.

We are now in the process of setting up a shared Trello board that will list all of the tasks/items that we need to compelte and the dates they need to be completed by, so that any of the board members can see what still needs to be done.

While this won't solve all of the issues, we think this is a good first step forward as it takes the knowledge of what needs to be done out of volunteer's heads and makes it visible to everyone.  Our hope is that by making the information more transparent it should help balance the number of tasks everyone ends up having to work on which will reduce the individual workload, and help prevent any single person from feeling like they are doing all the work.

99% of the tasks that need to be compelted for the 2019 season have already been done. So unfortunately we won't know if this will yield the results we are looking for until next year.

But we need to lay the ground work now in order to make next year successful!

4 comments

Thanks for sharing, I look forward to hearing how your group enjoys Trello.

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this
Erica Moss Community Manager Jul 02, 2019

@Jimmy Seddon Thanks for sharing this awesome use case, James!

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this
BiancaE Atlassian Team Jul 09, 2019

@Jimmy Seddon  oh! Please do follow up with how it works out! I'd love to know more about it. :)

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this

Thanks for sharing that!

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this

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