2018 04 30 19 06 33
June 07, 2018

Revolutionise your software development lifecycle with Trello (Part 4/4)

Rizwan Hasan 4 minute read

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

In part 1 we covered how to use Trello to manage feature requests, answering questions like: 

  • How to collect features from your customers?
  • How to identify what features are most important to your customers?
  • How to make decisions on what features to select for development?

In part 2 we covered how to manage requirements, discussing items like:

  • Managing epics and stories
  • Dependency mapping
  • Estimation
  • Ranking

In part 3, we focused on development teams, and how scrum and kanban teams can track their development work in Trello, including:

  • Assigning requirements to the development team
  • Managing sprint planning
  • Running and executing sprints
  • Closing sprints
  • Conducting retrospectives
  • Kanban teams

Now that we have our features have decomposed our teams and developed the product increment.  It is now time to deploy and release our fantastic work.  In this final installment of our four-part blog series, we will cover release management, focusing on using Trello for:

  • Release planning and execution
  • Managing product increments not yet ready for release
  • Release notes

Release planning with Trello

In part 3, we completed our sprint, you can view our sprint board below.

Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 6.54.30 AM

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 and super easy to configure.

It has multiple options for the many different kinds of custom fields you can create.

Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 10.49.56 AM

One drawback with this power-up 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.

Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 7.58.04 AM

Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 6.58.15 AM

Release execution with Trello

Now that we have our cards displaying the details of the sprint they belong to, we need to release them. To perform this next part, we d created a private "Release Board" in Trello. Admittedly this process is not perfect, but it works.

Let's walk through our approach, step-by-step.

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.

Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 10.56.02 AM

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

Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 10.56.25 AM

Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 10.56.47 AM

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

Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 10.57.42 AM

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

Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 10.57.59 AM

Managing product increments with Trello

We have covered a lot of ground in this post.  However, we have now cleaned our team board, we have a new 'Done' column, and we have successfully transferred all our sprint items to our release.  While it is great to be able to release an increment at the end of every sprint, however not all increments will be released. 

So how do we make sure we also track those increments?

To do this, we need to create a column on the far right of the release board named 'Awaiting Release.'  If you have multiple increments awaiting release, create another list.  Over time, your release board may get quite busy so its good to make a habit of archiving old releases in a way that works well for your team.

Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 11.05.15 AM

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.  

Again, by creating this additional view for customers, your board may get quite populated.  So maybe choose to create another board to coincide with the time of a significant release and regularly archive old releases.  There are many options to make this work, its a matter of choosing what works best for your team, and your customers.  

Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 11.11.01 AM

Revolutionise your approach with Trello

And so, this concludes our four-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.