Placker adds progress tracking to Trello by monitoring your Trello boards and detect your cards progress changes when they happen. Because we log the progress dates we can show you the progress status in different ways, the Gantt chart can be used to compare planned versus actual timelines, the dashboard will show you the burndown or completion graphs.

Understand how Placker tracks progress and how you can set it up with Trello.

Why?

Project and work management starts with knowing and tracking your progress, progress helps you to focus your effort on getting your tasks and projects completed and helps you to understand and communicate the status of work for you, your team and your stakeholders.  Placker can automatically track your progress and adds relevant dates to give you the information you need, like:

  • Show the % complete on each of your projects so you can work towards finishing each of them.
  • Zoom in on the number of tasks that are blocked, so you can focus on them specifically.
  • Look at the tasks that are open for each team member so you understand their workload.
  • Understand how your team’s productivity is evolving over time.
  • Compare projects based on the same metrics.
  • Compare planned timelines with actual timelines to understand bottlenecks and draw lessons learned.

We will describe how Placker tracks progress in detail, how you can setup your boards to automatically track progress and how we integrate with Trello.

How does Placker track progress?

Placker adds a progress status attribute to your cards, we support 7 progress states to indicate the progress:

  • No scope – For cards that are not yet ready to be picked up, ideas you might have, backlog items that are not yet planned etc.
  • Open – For cards that are ready and waiting to be picked up, these cards are on the plan to be worked on.
  • Started – For cards that are started and are in progress.
  • Paused – For cards that are started and are paused for some (internal) reason.
  • Blocked – For cards that are started and that are blocked for some (external) reason.
  • Completed – For cards that are completed
  • Cancelled – For cards that are cancelled and no longer active.

These states are linked to dates in Placker, when you update the progress states, placker will log the progress dates to the card, we log 6 dates in Placker:

  • Creation date – Indicates when the card was created
  • Scope date – Indicates when the card was put in the status Open
  • Actual start date – Indicates  when the card was started
  • Actual end date – Indicates when the card was completed
  • Pending start date – Indicates when the card was put in Paused or Blocked state
  • Pending end date – Indicates  when the card was released from Paused or Blocked state

These dates are set automatically and can always be changed by updating the card detail (by double clicking on the card).

Some examples;

  • When you update the status from Open to Started, the start date will be logged to the card.
  • When you update the status from Open to Completed, both the start date and the end dates will be logged.
  • When you update the status back from Completed to Started, the end date will be cleared.

Track your progress automatically

Placker can update the progress attribute automatically in two ways, by updating the progress based on the list the card is in or by adding a label to the card. Both ways work well with Trello as moving cards and adding labels in Trello will be updated in Placker automatically, this will therefore trigger an update of the progress attribute and its dates in Placker.

Track progress by list

You can automatically update the status of your card if you move them from list to list by adding a list status value. This way the card progress status and progress dates are updated automatically while the card is moved from one list to another, as is shown in the picture below.

In case you already have a board layout that depicts a process or flow, you are probably already set to start tracking your progress this way, this is what you need to do:

  1. Go to the board details (double click on the title)
  2. Click on ‘tracking’ to open the board tracking details
  3. Select ‘list’ as the way to track your board progress (instead of hand)
  4. For each of your lists, set the default progress value (or leave it empty, then the status will not be updated if you move from list to list)

List based progress tracking works two ways, if you update the status of the card, also the list will be updated (if needed), this way the cards in your lists and the status is always synchronized between Placker and Trello.

Track progress by label

If your boards are not setup as processes but are categorized in a different way, for example by project, then updating the status by list does not make sense. You can then setup your board to update your card by adding a label to a card. This is show in the overview below, this way members in Trello can still set the status in Placker. An added benefit is that Trello users will know the status as they can see the label as well.

Follow the following steps to setup label based tracking in Placker:

  1. Go to the board details (double click on the title)
  2. Click on ‘tracking’ to open the board tracking details
  3. Select ‘label’ as the way to track your board progress (instead of hand)
  4. For each of your labels, set the default progress value (or leave it empty, then the status will not be updated)

Label based progress tracker works one way, you will need to add a label to the card to update the progress, also removing a label will not reset the progress status. This avoids an accidental reset or update of the progress status and dates.

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