Trello For The User Group

I’m trying Trello this year to manage both SQLSaturday and our other events. Part of that is giving the whole team visibility of the work that remains to be done, part is having artifacts that are reusable (if not perfectly) year over year, and part is just having a system better than what we have now (notes + spreadsheet + tribal knowledge).

Here’s what I have so far, very much a work in progress:

The template column is where I hope to win on the events other than SQLSaturday (which has a lot more moving parts). Right now I try to plan quarterly for the next quarter, here is what is on the card:

This is for our quarterly evening meetup (the typical user group meeting). It needs some work, but it’s a start.

For SQLSaturday I hoped to do one template card as well, but it’s hard to manage. You can link cards to the checklist items, that works ok. But if you add new cards you’d have to manually add them to the parent card. For a single event that’s fine, it’s only when you think about how to copy them all over and reset for the next year that it matters a little (copy over minus comments, clear the checkboxes, maybe other stuff?). I’ll worry about that later! Maybe the biggest win out of just typing away on this starter/parent card was thinking about how to break the work down into deliberate blocks.

One of the items above is website configuration, on the Pre-Launch checklist. That’s a great task to hand off, but they have to know the work to do. Here it is:

This is the one to schedule the planning meetings (sticking to my do work in chunks approach):

At point there was task management built in to the SQLSaturday tools and it came with a default set of tasks, but it went away – not well known, too basic, maybe not filled in enough. The volunteer tasks/assignments functionality is I think the replacement, sort of. There is no easy way to load them up using what you used the year before (that said, I think it works great for room proctors and “day off” assignments, but I don’t know if we’ll use that or not this year).

I’ve put maybe 5 or 6 hours into getting to what you see above, though if you knew where you were going from the start it would be less (and less still if you could just import it/copy the Board – I’ll share if someone wants to try it).

My vision is for two Trello boards. One for the non-profit side of things, cards for things like filing the tax return, board meetings, etc, and this one that would be used for all the event planning. You could make the case for having a separate Trello board for SQLSaturday, but I’m hoping that seeing it all together is a powerful message when I show it at events (and especially as I work on finding the next leader(s) in Orlando.

Will it work? For task management I’m confident it will. Will the volunteers like it? We’ll see. I think the part that I’m most restless about is the re-usability of the SQLSaturday cards. If that ends up not being too painful I’ll be thrilled.