Trello: simple task management for a tiny team


I just wanted to write a quick post about a very useful, indispensable, task management tool – especially for small teams: Trello. On the surface, it appears to be a simple todo list, but it’s very open-ended and fun to use, and has terrific mobile apps to boot!

Some of the completed todos on Hawken during crunch

Some of the completed todos on Hawken during crunch

When I worked on Hawken at Adhesive Games, we used some more robust and deeper tools out of necessity. The team grew quite large over time, which required our task management system (Atlassian JIRA) to be tightly integrated with our source control system (Perforce). However there were many periods of intense crunch, and for some of the strictly bug-squashing weeks we needed to be more agile and moved to a quick system of using post-it notes on a big wall. There is a real visceral sense of accomplishment when you grab a note and move it to the “done” stack, and it’s easier to see the massive progress from the team as a whole – a great morale booster. Trello mirrors this approach, and that’s why it’s so satisfying. As a fun fact: the Hawken team started out using Trello when we were only about 9 people or so.

As Sombr is an extremely small (as small as it gets) studio, I like to organize my Trello boards as such:

Trello Boards

  • Company Tasks (business items, marketing, legal, registrations, etc)
  • Game Dev (engineering tasks and bugs for the project)
  • Game Ideas (any feature ideas still in consideration before going to implementation)
  • Game Assets (todos for asset production such as audio and graphics)
  • Game Tools (todos for in-house tool development and tool bugs)

Check it out for your own project. It’s free to use, with paid plans for larger needs, so there’s no risk in seeing if it accommodates your team’s workflow.

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