DEV Community


Posted on

Rethinking Project Management Tools: Our Switch from Trello to MS Planner

Several years ago, I worked at a company where we relied heavily on Trello for team management. At the time, there was a significant lack of organization in the tool's usage, with team members accessing it via personal user accounts. As the usage of the tool expanded with the addition of new projects, we did see a beneficial increase in effective communication. However, this expansion also brought to light several significant risks.

The first alarm bell rang when an owner of a critical board was on the verge of leaving the organization. This situation made us realize that several contractors, some of whom were no longer engaged with us, still had access. In some cases, these contractors were operating their own boards. We also discovered that some bug tickets contained data that should not have been stored outside the organization's secured systems. Moreover, personal accounts did not adhere to our organization's password management standards. This lack of compliance posed a risk of potential breaches, especially if these passwords were reused on other platforms that could be compromised.

Given these risks, we devised a solution with the following steps:

  1. We identified all active boards and determined their specific purposes.

  2. We chose Microsoft Planner as our new project management tool, given its similar functionality to Trello and its integration with our Teams application.

  3. We informed the person responsible for Teams within the organization about our plans, highlighting the potential risk reassessment and the need for additional training and support.

  4. We designed a decommissioning plan to archive data and reach out to current and past owners to delete their content.

  5. We exported the boards to JSON files for future reference, handing them over to the MS Teams application owner for safekeeping.

  6. We selected a migration tool, in this case,, to facilitate the transition from Trello to MS Planner.
    Upon completion of the migration, we communicated the outcome to all stakeholders.

  7. We updated our onboarding materials on the company wiki, noting the switch to MS Planner from Trello and summarizing the reasons behind the change.

Following our successful migration to MS Planner, we noticed substantial improvements. It was simpler to integrate with our internal applications, leading to a noticeable boost in productivity. The increased tool usage resulted in reduced cost per user, enhancing overall efficiency.

While Trello is undoubtedly a valuable tool, it requires careful management to prevent inadvertent exposure of the organization to potential risks. If organizational policies are implemented in the tool's usage, it can be better aligned with the company's risk appetite. With careful planning and a strategic approach, we were able to navigate these challenges and ensure a smooth transition to a more secure, productive project management system.

Top comments (0)