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Trello – Mellow

Trello hits emotional high notes with a compelling project dashboard and an intuitive design, but productivity is hindered by loaded graphics and an inadequate creation environment.

We are assessing leading collaboration tools against four criteria that we see as critical to the future of this space. The criteria we used to assess Atlassian’s Trello’s effectiveness as an enterprise tool are:

  1. Debates lead to elegant solutions.
  2. Project partitioning and allocation is efficient.
  3. Progress monitoring improves capital allocation.
  4. Risk mitigation improves project outcomes.

The strength of Trello is in how flow is visualized, point three in the list above. Trello is encumbered with unnecessary graphics; it does not help funnel discussion into actions and certainly provides no risk management. Collaboration is about accomplishing something untenable without group action. Risk mitigation must therefore be an element therein.

Our Take

Atlassian Corporation, an Australian multinational, seems rightfully focused on preserving whatever advantage its product offering enjoys by, among other means, taking the competition out of the market. Trello could be considered a direct replacement for Atlassian’s other main collaboration offering: Confluence. Atlassian seems to delineate the market along technical/creative lines:

  • Confluence for manufacturing/research/development.
  • Trello for design/consulting/marketing.

Unfortunately, this perceived customer segmentation does not ring true. Human collaboration transcends industry processes and operational idiosyncrasies. Project teams are not looking for “fun” and “visual” means to interact. Sure, these characteristics help make the software compelling but killer solutions ought to be intuitive, gamify the brainstorming process, provide a lean work flow, and help leaders manage risk.

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Taking the Bore Out of Collaboration

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