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February 06, 2020

Release planning with Trello - SDLM in Trello, part 5

Rizwan Hasan 3 minute read

Welcome to the final instalment of our blog series where we focus on using Trello, the lightweight and easy to configure tool, to manage and simplify your software development lifecycle (SDLC).

In this blog series, we’ll show you how to configure a board to support your team through the entire SDLC, including; 


  1. Receiving feature requests
  2. Prioritizing feature requests 
  3. Requirements Management
  4. Development with Scrum and Kanban Teams
  5. Release Management

Now we have our features, have broken-down our teams, and developed the product increment it is now time to deploy and release our fantastic work.

Release planning with Trello

In part 4, we completed our sprint, you can view our sprint board below.

Release planning with Trello

As you can see, we now have four stories in our "Done" column. You will also notice the story points which are now complete.

How can we identify which sprint our increment belongs to? To work this out, we will use the Custom Fields power-up by Trello. Being true to Trello, this power-up is lightweight, super easy to configure and has multiple options for the many different kinds of custom fields you can create.

Release planning with Trello

One drawback with this power-up however, is that you cannot filter fields. Filtering, in general, is quite limited in Trello. For the sprint name field, I used the drop-down custom field option.

Release planning with Trello

Release planning with Trello

Release execution with Trello

Now we have our cards displaying the details of the sprint they belong to, we need to release them. To perform this next part, we created a private "Release Board" in Trello

To start with, you will need to move your cards from your team board to the release board. Trello does not allow you to quickly transfer all of your cards from one board to another board, currently the only option is to move the entire list.

This is where it gets a bit interesting. There may be multiple ways to do this, but my solution is to do the following:

Create another 'Done' column on the team board.

Release planning with Trello

Next, move the original 'Done' list to the release board.

Release planning with Trello

Release planning with Trello

Now navigate to the release board, and you will see your 'Done' column on the far right.

Release planning with Trello

Lastly, change the name of your 'Done' column on the release board to match the name of the release.

Release planning with Trello

Managing product increments with Trello

Not all increments will be released in a sprint, so we need to keep track of those which are awaiting release. 

To do this, we need to create a column on the far right of the release board named 'Awaiting Release'.  Over time, your release board may get quite busy so it's good to make a habit of archiving old releases in a way that works well for your team.

Release planning with Trello

Release notes with Trello

Trello is excellent for sharing and managing your release notes. You can use Trello to record pieces of information which you can share with your team, but what if you want to share your notes with your customers?  

One option is to use Trello to document your release notes, and share them with customers in a Release Notes public board. It is an easy place for customers to navigate to and view all the relevant notes for all of your releases.  

Release planning with Trello

Revolutionise your approach with Trello

And so, this concludes our 5-part blog series "Revolutionise your software development lifecycle with Trello." Hopefully, this series has inspired you to try out a few new techniques to manage and simplify your development lifecycle using this easy-to-use yet powerful enterprise tool.

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