We’ve all done it at some point, whether it’s our official job title or not—you have a planned project to ship. The team is ready, knees are weak, arms are heavy.
Well, not all of us are on stage ready to spit fire (I certainly lack the talent), but it’s safe to say most of us have worked with our team and planned some sort of project. Starting up a project may or may not make you weak in the knees, regardless, having a solid plan is key to driving big results.
Lucky for you, we have a ready-made Trello board you can easily copy to get your next project off the ground in a matter of seconds!
The Secret Sauce To Project Planning
Before we jump into the specifics, let’s talk about the keys to managing team projects. A good system will help you in three main areas:
Organizing a whole lot of information. And then some.
Tracking tasks and statuses every step of the way.
Reducing bottlenecks by looping in the right stakeholders at the right time.
So, if we translate these directly onto a productivity system, your team needs:
One place to
rule them allstore all the relevant details.
A visual representation of what’s currently being worked on, in addition to what’s been done and which tasks are coming up.
An easy way to bring in the right people at the right stages of the project.
Let’s see what that looks like!
Juggle All The Details, In Style 😎
This is the watchtower position: Your project board.
This is where your team collaborates on all the details—from your kickoff meeting to the last task. Each list has important information so let’s explore this workflow in detail to understand how it can help keep everything, and everyone, on track.
List: Project Resources
Here’s where you store important, high-level details about the project. This list is perfect for any board guidelines/tips (like detailing your board labels) and keeping track of all participants.
It’s also a great place for asynchronous status updates. Teammates can add a weekly (or whichever interval works for you) update. This means, at a glance, you can quickly see the big picture.
✨Bonus: Status updates on cards is a remote-work friendly practice!
List: Questions For The Next Meeting
We’ve all been to a meeting that should’ve been an email. This list is here to make sure your team project meetings don’t fall into this trap!
All team members can add cards to this list with any questions or updates they have to discuss in the stand up. This becomes helpful in two ways:
Develops a natural agenda to help maintain meeting focus.
Sometimes, questions get answered on the card—preventing the need to dedicate time to a topic in a meeting.
Look at that, your team meetings are so focused we can barely contain our excitement.
A study by Atlassian concludes unnecessary meetings cost U.S. businesses $37 billion in salary costs. Save yourself some cash and get your meetings on track.
List: To Do
This one is probably self-explanatory, but I have a word count to hit so let’s talk about it. But seriously—we all need some motivation to do the work we said we would do in those pesky meetings. 😉
Keep a card for all the things going in this list. Any new project task should start here. This is where you can see all the W’s: who is working on what and when it’s due.
This is where some of Trello’s features really shine:
Adding team members to cards quickly shows who owns each task.
Due dates give a quick glimpse at when a task needs to be done.
Comments allow quick, asynchronous discussion to occur and be associated with the task.
- Checklists let you plan out every last detail.
This organizes all the discussion, feedback, and file sharing on a single card that represents something specific. Look at that, so organized someone might actually mistake me for a responsible adult (#adulting).
Then, as each task progresses, you can move it into the other lists that best represent its state.
To keep your To Do list looking as crisp as the Fresh Prince himself, the Pending list is the perfect place for those cards that are almost done. While legal finishes their review, or that last person signs off, you can get the card out of the way and move on to the next item.
It wouldn’t be a real project without some sort of hold up. Instead of letting a card linger, drop it in this list when it’s blocked.
This keeps the To Do list free of distractions, but doesn’t let the card fall through the cracks. Make use of due dates here to resurface a card that’s not getting the attention it needs.
Much like a succulent, it’s easy to neglect and forget to tend to a card. Check out the Card Aging Power-Up to ensure no card goes ignored. This adds an extra visual layer to your boards and prevents a vital card getting missed! (RIP to my aloe plant)
List: Done (AKA Time To Celebrate!)
Enjoy the satisfaction of dropping that card in the Done list. 🎉 You earned it!
In addition to getting completed tasks and cards out of your way, this list provides a good snapshot at what was recently completed by your team. The perfect quick look for someone looking for a speedy status update.
Make Your Next Project That Much Easier
There are always so many moving parts to a project, but keeping track of it all doesn’t have to be headache-inducing. Let this project management board get you and your team started on the right foot!
When you centralize a project and maintain the workflow, you’ll be surprised how all the little details come together. So, give it a shot — future you will thank you!
Good or bad, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Find us on Twitter (@trello)
Next: 3 Ways To Approach Goal Setting As A Team (And Actually Enjoy The Process)