Welcome to the third instalment of our blog series focusing on using Trello, as a lightweight, and easy to configure tool, to manage and simplify your software development lifecycle. In this blog, we’ll be exploring requirements management.
In this blog series, we’ll show you how to configure a board to support your team through the entire SDLC, including;
Requirements management with Trello
Once you have identified and agreed on the features you want to develop, you need to track and manage your requirements. Requirements management is an iterative and continual process throughout your project lifecycle.
Epics and stories
Unlike Jira, Trello does not have out-of-the-box issues and epics/stories. Instead, Trello has cards. There are no custom cards in Trello, all cards are the same. So, if all cards are the same, how do you establish that parent-child link which is critical to decomposing your requirements?
To create the parent-child link, you need to use a power-up called hello epics. This power-up lets you attach a parent or child to any card on your Trello board. See the images below.
You can also track the overall status of your child cards from each parent.
With hello-epics, you can easily identify a parent issue and all of its children. It helps product managers keep track of project tasks, and gives the development teams complete visibility of all their work in one place.
Tracking dependencies in Trello
You can also use this same power up and parent-child relationship to track dependencies between your cards. One of the challenges of this power-up is that the documentation is not great, and you are limited to the one link type of parent and child. What I have seen work well (although it can be a bit weird at first) is to use the hello epics card linking with labels. First, you would create the parent-child link, and use the blocked and blocks labels as well. This tells me a card blocks another card lower in the list, and it is also linked to the card it blocks.
Creating work Estimations
Agile software development teams need to be able to estimate the work that needs to be completed and measure against estimations. We measure in the form of story points, and time. Our approach is very much dependent on the methodology our teams follow. In Part 3 of this blog series, we will take a deep dive into Kanban and Scrum teams working within Trello, but for estimation purposes, there are a few ways to handle this much-needed functionality.
The best practice I’ve found is to add the measurement to the card summary (ie (2) Sample Card A). This can get complicated and has no reporting functionality, but there is another power-up I like to use that does provide a lot of this functionality, and also gives you a nice lightweight reporting dashboard called Agile Tools by Corrello.
You can use Agile Tools by Corrello to add story points to cards using the default 'Fibonacci' number options, and display the measurements on the card. You can also set your own custom story point options, which can be imported from numbers in the card titles.
If you use time as a measurement, simply create your own options of story point numbers, and translate them to days-of-effort.
Ranking requirements on a board
Ranking requirements can be done easily in Trello. Like on Jira Kanban boards, you can put the higher ranking requirements ordered in a top to bottom order in a list within the board.
Another element I like to add is the priority of the requirement, which you can do in a few different ways in Trello. One way is to use the out-of-the-box labels, but another way is to create a priority field with the Custom Fields power-up. Here you can create many different kinds of custom fields to include dates, text, and even select lists. To display the priority, I recommend using the select list custom field. This is an added piece of information that can help developers understand the importance of a particular requirement.
Stay tuned for part 4!
Join us again for part 4, where now that we have built out our requirements, we must assign them to our scrum and kanban teams to be executed.
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