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How PTC Turns Retail Dreams Into (Augmented) Reality With Trello

How PTC uses Trello to build the IKEA Place App

If the smell of the iconic Swedish meatballs isn’t enough to draw you in, the aisles stocked with beautiful decor, furniture, and cooking ware will be. Ah, IKEA. The never-ending dreamland of all things ‘home’.

What’s not so dreamy is when you buy the seemingly perfect couch or piece of furniture and to your surprise—it doesn’t fit in the space you’d planned for it.

That’s the classic problem TWNKLS | AR, a PTC Company (also known as PTC) set out to help IKEA solve so their customers could browse and purchase furniture that is just right for their spaces.

In 2018, PTC entered into an innovation fair hosted by IKEA and pitched their idea for IKEA Place. By using augmented reality (AR), the IKEA Place app allows users to virtually try out furniture in their home before buying, or point their camera at a space and explore products that might be a good fit.

PTC’s idea was exactly what IKEA and their customers were looking for. PTC was named the innovation fair winner, and a beautiful partnership was born.

Sadly, apps aren’t magically born and carried via stork to laptops or mobile devices. Instead, exceptionally intelligent people (spanning multiple departments, teams, and organizations) must work together to plan, develop, and execute them.

When the PTC team realized they would need support from their own firm, plus IKEA and other strategic partners to build the IKEA Place app, they knew they needed an easy-to-use, collaborative tool.

Andy Barker, the Project Manager who led the team through ideation and production at blazing speeds explains:

“With so many partners internally and externally, people either weren’t willing or weren’t able to open their own system. We needed to collaborate and get started quickly.”

Pair that with differing tech-savviness, time zones, and other software in use by the teams, the PTC and IKEA teams knew they needed a solution—and fast. That’s when Development Manager, Jefferson Scomacao, suggested using Trello, and they never looked back.

After using Trello in previous jobs, Jefferson knew how easy it was to add team members, set up intuitive boards, and share them with external partners in seconds while maintaining control over permissions.

Jefferson was confident this would be a fast, simple solution for everyone (even those who had never used it before) that would easily integrate with the rest of PTC’s Atlassian ecosystem. And he was right.

Nail Down Loose Screws With The Trello Product Roadmap Template

The PTC team quickly began setting up boards for each of their workflows: roadmapping, task tracking, and quality assurance (QA) testing. The (then) small but mighty app took its first steps.

The Product Roadmap board houses a backlog of future plans for the Place app and provides a high-level overview of in-progress and completed work. As users move narrow down their work through each list and card, details are easily accessed and visible.

Jefferson reports that using Trello helped increase the number of roadmap items documented and tracked from “new” to “completed” by 20-40% as well as keep teams focused and organized as new requests come in.

“When IKEA asks about a new feature, we can tell them if it’s on the roadmap and when it’s scheduled,” he says. “This helps us protect ourselves from getting off track and understand what we’re focused on.”

Create Board From Template

Keep Quality And Performance High Through Trello

Jefferson reports that managing QA in Trello helped “save the day.”

QA was a major source of stress during the development of IKEA Place because 30 different QA partners were tracking their work in spreadsheets and Word documents. This made it difficult for developers to track and integrate bugs with Jira and nearly impossible for leadership to see problems, solutions, and regressions.

Now using Trello, it’s easier for QA specialists to create new sessions and understand what leaders are looking for. Managers can also track QA data, make more informed decisions, and transfer information to other systems if needed. As a result, the number of total issues dropped by 85% and performance (measured by the percentage of issues fixed) increased by over 125%.

Create Board From Template

PTC's IKEA project team also used Power-Ups to customize their boards to fit their workflow and integrate with other essential systems for collaboration and development.

For example, the team added Custom Fields to track versions, bug types, and assignees. Power-Up integrations also pass information between Trello and Google Drive, Slack, Giphy, Blue Jeans, and OneDrive.

How The IKEA Place App Helps Turn Houses Into Homes

Trello and its powerful integrations have been a game-changer for PTC's IKEA project team, empowering the entire development team to collaborate much faster and more easily than ever.

And let’s be honest—what this really means is faster, easier, and hassle-free furniture shopping for everyone else. We’re calling that a win.

Create your own copies of the Product Roadmap Board and Quality Assurance Board today to set your team on the right track from anywhere in the world, and be sure to explore hundreds of other sample workflows in the Trello community template gallery.

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