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I'm exploring Trello as a Kanban tool, and am hung up on how to track story points with it. This isn't something that Trello natively supports, so I've been re-purposing labels to carry this information.

This has a couple of significant short-comings. For example:

  • There's currently a limit of six labels, so I can't carry the entire Planning Poker sequence.
  • It makes it hard to color-code blocked or pull-ready tasks unless I leave red and green unused, further limiting my available labels.
  • There's no obvious way to automatically calculate story points or WIP without digging into the API or writing an external utility.

How can I effectively track story points with Trello without creating side-effects as outlined above?

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The way we solved this problem was to use Scrum for Trello Chrome extension. Yes, that means that anyone viewing Trello as a Kanban tool needs to do so via Chrome, but in our group that wasn't a problem -- your mileage may vary.

At the card level, the extension adds the ability to assign point value to the card:

Scrum for Trello - card view

At the list level, the extension shows the points for each card, and also calculates points for the list (for us, list == sprint):

Scrum for Trello - list view

This allows us to continue to use labels as labels, and eliminates the need to program against the API just to visualize points.

We only use points to guide us during planning (we plan up to a certain number), and as a check at the end of the sprint (how many did we accomplish). We do not spend any more time than that (e.g. simple notation) calculating velocity or doing anything more with the numbers. Therefore, the simple use of the extension to display the numbers, without the ability to export or report on these numbers, works perfectly for us. Again, depending on your group and your needs, your mileage may vary.

  • I use this too, it works OK as far as it goes. – RichVel May 19 '13 at 11:04
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There is now a Power-Up which lets you track Story Points on your cards without having to use a Chrome plugin or store data in card titles as the Scrum for Trello plugin does.

You can check it out here getcorrello.com/AgileTools At time of writing it supports story points on cards and importing those points from the Scrum for Trello plugin. In future there should be WIP limits support and other features :)

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