Part 1: Trello, the Greatest Project Management Tool
When we first began managing a healthy amount of projects, we started using ActiveCollab. AC has been a great tool but we started to out grow a lot of the functionality it provided and needed a system that was more flexible and more visual. After much searching, and trial periods expiring I heard about a software company that was developing what looked to be a promising PM and collaboration tool.
First off, Trello is free to use. For anyone that has searched for any length of time for PM or collaboration tools know that free is usually the sign of a poor system. I am happy to report that Trello is not only well made and looks good, it also gets the job done faster than any other system that we have tried. I think the secret to their success is that they designed a broad system, meaning you can use it for work or in your personal life, which I do seamlessly.
The functionality of the system is so intuitive it takes very little time to get acclimated. The premiss is simple: Create organizations, create boards, create cards, (aka, tasks) and assign individuals for the given responsibility, (add more than one person if necessary). You visual move the cards through any type of process you want. If Jim, for example, is assigned to a card and he finishes the required task, he can then send it back to his manager for review and approval. When tasks are done they can be stored for further review or archived within the system. It really is that simple.
Of course there are features that I would love to see Trello incorporate, but I know that they are always working on updates and taking suggestions from the user base. How do I know that you might ask? Simple, they have their own production board that they have made public so you can see what ideas they are percolating on and what phase of development projects are in.
Trello has really cut down on our work load by helping us communicate more efficiently within our organization. If you have not tried it yet I would highly recommend it. It might just change the way you do business.
P.S. The iPhone app is pretty darn impressive as well.