Why Trello is ineffective as a Software Project Management Tool?

Why Trello is ineffective as a Software Project Management Tool?

What is Trello?

Trello is a collaboration tool that puts emphasis on boards instead of traditional lists.

Why it's not good as PM tool?

Trello is not an effective Project Management tool as it's main focus is in collaboration in general. Yet plenty of people insist on using it - particularly from the Software Development world when more appropriate tools are available - many of them free and open source.

What makes Trello bad for Software Development?

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There is no structure to begin with. You can organise it in the way you want, which can be a benefit, but often times, for well structured systems such as Scrum, it requires a lot of effort.

Likewise, there is no way to enforce a certain philosophy. For instance, someone else with access rights can change the name of any card. As it's easy to do, such mistakes might occur. Additionally, people working on the same project might have different workflow. So how does Trello makes it possible to follow a certain process e.g. Scrum with the least amount of work?

Demo Taiga

In Taiga, you can assign a task or an issue to a single person who is responsible for it. You can also add watchers for others to keep track of. In Trello, such an important part of task delegation is non existent. You can add members freely as you want without assigning responsibility to a single person. So where's the problem in that?

  1. When you are added to a card along with several members, you don't really know who is in charge.
  2. Two or more people can work on the same task - which I experienced more than once within a few months - resulting in time lost and frustration.

In the User Interface (UI), as a project management tool, the description and comment sections are too small on a laptop - compared with JIRA for instance.

The image copy and paste behaviour is strange in the comments. Sometimes it's displayed as an actual image, other times as an attachment. In Taiga, you can either attach the image or copy and paste - always resulting in an expected behaviour.

In the Kanban Methodology, focus is important; yet in Trello, there is no to limit the amount of cards in a possible list. For example, you cannot limit the amount of cards in an In Progress list. This is helpful for trying to finish a task before moving onto another - or not trying to do too many things - resulting in less quality.

The lists can become long and the user has to scroll horizontally a lot. Sometimes a list of tables is enough to illustrate the idea.

Pros of Trello

As the success speaks for itself, Trello has garnered a huge customer base as it excels in many basic things namely:

  • excellent free tier
  • low barrier of entry for supervisors and non technical people
  • intuitive and easy to understand / learn UI
  • easy to share stuff
  • plenty of high class integration and plugins

Since the Atlassian takeover, a number of interesting updates have shown up, namely,

  • due date
  • customise card color

What are the alternatives?





Jira (10 USB for 10 users)