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Recently I’ve been exploring a few online tools to use to assist with project management. One of those I’ve found particularly useful is Trello.
Trello is essentially an online version of a Kanban board. Like a Kanban board, it has multiple columns in each board, so that tasks can be created on the left hand side, and moved from column to column as the tasks are processed.
Obviously the most common use of Kanban is in software management, so development tasks, or user stories, would move through to development, testing, implementation, etc. However, these are not the only projects that can take advantage of this particular technique.
The replication of the usual physical Kanban board in a digital manner has some clear advantages. Teams which are not physically located in the same space can share the same board, and still be able to manipulate it in real time. Tasks can be assigned to particular people, and re-assigned simply. Extensive notes can also be appended to tasks, which in the real world would probably just make them fall off the board…
Security and privacy can be a concern when moving to using an online solution, particularly when the solution is hosted elsewhere. Trello allows you to create boards which only members of your organisation can see, and even to restrict access to named people. In addition, it is simple to allow certain people from outside of your organisation to use the boards, which has clear uses when it comes to projects across organisations.
The final advantage, of course, is that Trello is a free service. Take a look, and let me know what you think!