Advantages and Disadvantages of Trello
Trello is an incredible web-based project management and collaboration tool that would help you plan your projects in one platform. It is incredibly visual and highly adaptable, making your life easier when you have several people working on your project, especially when they are scattered across different physical locations.
The platform was co-founded by Fog Creek Software founder Joel Spolsky and released at a TechCrunch event in 2011. The other founder is Michael Pryor. Joel is already a familiar name in the world of entrepreneurship and startups and his blog, Joel on Software is really very popular. He shares his experiences in launching new products on his blog, and now he helps us manage projects with Trello.
The ease of working with Trello is because of its three tier information system – Boards, Lists and Cards. The projects and information about these projects would be organised into Boards, which would contain Lists.
The Lists will be assigned titles and will have their own Cards. It is these Cards that comprise the basic unit of a Trello Board. Users can drag and drop different lists on a particular board, complete tasks on these lists, create as many boards as you want, save them on the cloud or on your profile, whichever you prefer.
The uses of Trello can be many. Here are some of them:
- Share files (incl. photos & videos) with your team members
- Comment on a card to update workers
- Keep track of to-do lists
- Set coloured labels according to priority
- Perform batch handling of cards in a list
- Insert new cards; this is absolutely limitless
1) Less complex pricing structure
When compared to other project management tools, Trello has less complex pricing structure. You have a version where you can invite unlimited number of members, create boards, cards and lists. But the Business Class version costs $25 per month, but it does provide a horde of features like Google Apps integration, easy bulk export, and the ability for administrators to access and manage all boards (including private) restrict board visibility, incorporate read- only feature etc.
2) Understand instantly when a deadline nears
You will never miss a deadline ever with a Trello Board. When you create Cards, you can add due dates to it. As the date nears, the card will turn yellow, and when you past the date, it will turn red. You can mark the due date ‘complete’ to avoid the red in your board.
3) Mobile friendly
Trello works on every platform. Whether it is on the computer, on the tablet or phone, the tool can reformat itself to any screen size.
4) Trello follows the Kanban system
The Kanban system helps you schedule your task into smaller components by using a system of boards and cards. This system, founded by Toyota in the 1950s plays a major role in revealing bottlenecks in the development process.
5) No more crumbled up Post-in notes on your table
Imagine having an uncluttered table with absolutely no Post-it notes adoring the walls and edges of tables and chairs. Trello is your new Post-it, and it is on the web, where you can easily access it from anywhere in the world. In fact Trello is known as the ‘Kanban of the Future’. No more crumpled up and discarded Post-it notes in the trash can.
6) Instant notifications
Never miss out on a task because you have seamless notifications alerts when tasks are updated, commented upon or removed. And this would reach you by email.
1) Cannot access it when there is no data access
While Trello has many goods to its name, you have to remember that Trello will not work when there is no wifi or if the data access is sketchy. If you are travelling and have to go in the airplane mode, you will not get Trello. You have to be connected to the Interwebs to access the Trello site. Some people do not get comfortable that they cannot access Trello at all times.
2) Difficult to handle big projects
Trello should not be your choice of board when you have to manage a huge project with multiple teams spread across the globe. It is more suitable for simple team projects or when you don’t need to scale.
3) Storage limit
You can have any number of attachments on a Trello card, but there is a 10MB file upload limit for each attachment, if you are a basic member. Business class and Trello Gold members can enjoy a 250MB file upload limit. However, there is no account data storage limit.
4) Problem with commenting
A problem with Trello that needs to be countered is that you cannot edit a comment in the card. Once you post a comment and save it, you will have to write a different comment rather than editing the existing one.
5) It misses some robust agile features
While Trello is an inexpensive tool that helps teams work on projects, it does miss some robust agile features. And it doesn’t make the daily standups any easier because you don’t get a unified high-level view of other people’s work.
6) Cannot create share long-term plans
The board is so simple and assists in early stage software development. But it doesn’t help in road mapping, even if it is for something small as a two- week sprint. You cannot link a large roadmap objective to cards.
7) You cannot review iterations
Working in iterations can be successful only when retrospective is possible. Performance of work will improve when you can set a regular interval to review the work done, and chart out a plan to review iterations. You need something to get an insight into the work that’s done like standup-ready views, tools for long-term planning, reporting etc.
Given the pros and cons, Trello is really a good tool to get your work done. You can alphabetize boards and create different kinds of boards for different aspects in life, whether it is for personal use or professional. This makes it is a must-have.
Picture Source: Flickr.com/ Rosenfeld/ Goldbach
The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at www.Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.