How gunpowderlabs Uses Trello

Anton Zolotov •

Trello is a tool for organizing things. We use it to organize projects. Trello consists of multiple boards. A board has one or more lists. Each list can have cards.

Lists and cards can move between boards.

Who manages the board?

The Product Manager manages the board.

Who should look at the board?

All project stakeholders should look at the board, and refer to it as the authoritative source of the project status.

Why Trello?

Trello is flexible, fast, affordable, and works well on mobile. We wrote about why we switched from Pivotal Tracker to Trello before.

How do cards move through the board?

You should look at the board from right to left. For example, if there are cards in Current, these should be completed before starting another card from Backlog.

Working like this ensures that bottlenecks are identified quickly and reduces the time it takes to complete each item.

What do all these lists mean?


The icebox contains everything we want to get done eventually. Think of it as a “Someday” bucket.


The backlog contains all items that the team decided to build in the order of business priority. The most important items are at the top, the least important are at the bottom.


The items being worked on are in the Current list. They’re moved here from Backblog by a developer, or from Ready for Testing by the tester (if the item didn’t pass).

Ready for Testing

When an item is ready for the tester, the developer moves it into the Ready for Testing list.

Ready for Signoff

When an item has passed the tester, she moves it to the Ready for Signoff list, where the Product Owner is responsible for checking it.

Live—Week of…

Items that have been accepted by the Product Owner move to the Live list. This list is archived each iteration, and a new list is created for the next iteration.

How many things should I work on?

We like to start with a limit of 2 cards per engineer, though this varies by project. For a pair of engineerrs, that means that no more than 4 cards can be in the Current list at the same time.

Can we use a different project management tool?

We don’t categorically say “no”. If your team is used to a different tool and we’re working with them, we’re not going to insist on using our tools.

Where can I get more info on how to use Trello?

Their knowledge base has great resources.

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