Using Trello for Scrum

TrelloA lot of the traffic that comes through this blog is related to folks looking to use Trello for agile development.  If you are using a Kanban/Lean approach, it works really well out of the box. However, if you are using a more Scrum-like approach, you may have noticed the lack of ability to do estimates or burndowns in the tool.  While trying to figure out a good way to do this, it appears I stumbled across some other folks who have already taken this step forward.

The teams behind Burndown for Trello and Scrum for Trello have developed add-ons with Scrum capabilities that Trello is currently missing.  This allows you to maintain points and hours remaining estimates, as well as report on burndown across a Trello board.  I expect the main Trello development team will likely incorporate these types of enhancements in the future, but for now, these add-ons can help bridge the gap.

Scrum for Trello

URL: http://scrumfortrello.com/

Scrum for Trello is a free plugin for Firefox/Chrome that essentially inserts the estimates into the title of your card with a specific syntax. Nothing too fancy, but it allows you to perform the editing directly in Trello with a decent user experience. I’m definitely keeping this one installed.

The syntax is very simple:  Estimated points are surrounded by parentheses ‘(5)’, estimated hours are surrounded by brackets ‘[4]’.  Their site recommends placing the points estimate at the beginning of the title and the hours estimate at the end.  Both values support decimals.

One downside is that I can’t seem to find a way to insert/edit estimates without clicking to edit the title.  This makes it appear as if the plugin isn’t working at first, until you go to edit a title and suddenly have all your Fibonacci options.  Once the team is all trained up on using this (and of course, has the plugin installed) it seems to work great.

Scrum for Trello

Scrum for Trello: Displaying estimates for individual cards and rolled-up total in column.

Burndown for Trello

URL: https://burndownfortrello.com/

Burndown for Trello does have a free version, but you have to manage everything on burndownfortrello.com, which is not as great an experience as having everything in Trello.  They do have a paid version that lets you do this directly in Trello, though, and integrates with Scrum for Trello. However, given that I had to allow Burndown for Trello full access to all my boards in order for even the free version to work, I don’t think I’ll be using this in the future. Hopefully Trello can find a way to integrate this tool directly into a reporting feature (if they haven’t already) for those that really want to get Scrum reports right in Trello.

Burndown for Trello chart

Burndown for Trello: Displaying hours remaining, hours completed for video game ‘Hive’ by BlueLine Game Studios (makers of Burndown for Trello)

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About Jason St-Cyr
Solution Architect with 15 years of experience in the software development field. Into ALM, integrations, software architecture, and stopping slapshots. Find me @Google+

4 Responses to Using Trello for Scrum

  1. Sean Colombo says:

    Hi Jason :)

    Thanks for mentioning Burndown for Trello! In the past months, the integration between Burndown and Scrum for Trello has gotten even better (and has expanded from Chrome & Firefox to also include Safari), but you still need a paid Burndown account to see the burndown charts right in Trello.

    You mentioned not liking to give permission to view board data through the API: we’ve transitioned everything to be served over HTTPS now, so your data is transferred in a very secure way even if you’re using Coffee Shop wi-fi or something equivalent. Our servers still need to be able to access the cards though, unfortunately we don’t have a way around that.

    Thanks again for your feedback, it’s always great to hear what is on a user’s mind! :)

  2. Pingback: How to set up Trello board for Scrum | Agile and ALM

  3. Pingback: Questions on getting started with Scrum | Agile and ALM

  4. Pingback: Tracking hours burndown in Trello | Agile and ALM

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