Let’s talk about goals for a second. (and completely ignore that I sadly was the first person to miss my blog week deadline, better late than never right?) Early this year us folks here at PV all got together and set out goals for ourselves both personal and corporate. One of my goals was to get better organized and improve team communication on projects.
* Back Story * A couple years ago we developed what we called the “Project Wall of Awesomeness” to get a better handle of all PV projects going on, their status and who was responsible for what.
Cue me searching our server for a picture of this in use and coming up empty handed. Now imagine this bad boy in use, a whole giant wall floor to ceiling, with each vertical column representing a person, then the top section for projects IN PROGRESS, middle one for TO DO and bottom for and jobs WAITING. The column on the right with the cute robot was affectionately named NAILED IT and was reserved for completed jobs. How did we keep track of jobs? an elaborate system of coloured post it notes worked wonders. Now, this system worked well for us for a while, it was a place to gather each morning and discuss what was on the agenda for everyone for the day quickly and easily. Sadly as time went on, we grew, and we had one of our designers move to Calgary – we needed to evolve and bring this project board online.
So we developed PEG.
PEG is basically is an online version of our project board, programmed by one of our resident web wizards, Renee. Once online we jumped in full swing and stopped using the poor project board of awesomeness. And while it worked for a while, it really lacked a lot of the functionality that we needed from it. We kept adding to the list of “wants” for PEG 2.0 and never having time to dedicate to making it happen. Slowly over time PEG got used less and less.
I thought there has to be a better way to keep on top of projects. So after a chat with my husband, he told me about Trello, and how his web team uses it to keep him in the loop on the progress of his website. So I did some research and the more I found out the more I liked. There is a free program out there that will basically do everything I want PEG to do? Wait, its FREE?? Surely just a basic version of it is free but all of the functionality we need will be in the “premium” version? NOPE it’s FREE. Now there is a GOLD version which has a few more neat features and more storage, but for what we need its FREE. Well I was sold.
Here’s how I set it up. Each employee has their own board within the organization:
Now under each board everyone has a list for the various status of a project, much like our original projects board. But with the flexibility of Trello we have also one upped that and made some custom columns for some people, such as my “to assign out” column .
Every job has it’s own card. I can assign the card to anyone involved on the job so we can all stay in the loop. This works well as we can keep all info pertaining to a job in the same place, including important info, requirements, files, which services are actioned, and keep a record of all changes and revisions. We also set up checklists when applicable to make sure all details of a job are completed. With the deadlines option and calendar Power-Up view we can easily see what job deadlines are coming up. I can also see very quickly who is working on what and what the status is of any job at any time. In short, our inter-office communication on jobs is way better than ever before.
We’ve been using this system for over a month now and I have to say it has helped our workflows a lot, and everyone really likes using it. Everyday I find myself saying how awesome Trello is. So thanks to the folks at Fog Creek Software, you have made an awesome product that truly has improved our workflows.
Trello, you are AWESOME.