Kanban / Trello - Do I need a board for Boss and a board for Me?
December 29, 2017 12:14 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to start using Trello to create a Kanboard board my boss can view to see what I'm working on. However, I want to be able to restrict what he sees. How do I do this?

There's an old expression -- don't show how the sausage is being made. In other words, don't show tasks 1-9 on a 10-task project.

I want to show my boss what I'm working on, but not show how the sausage is being made. In other words, he doesn't need to see Every. Single. Task. A certain amount will be for me and me alone. Plus, I want to be able to use one board to Rule Them All (for home and work), and he doesn't need to see "Pick Up Son from Preschool" on the card right next to "Put together annual report."

Does Trello (or another similar software tool) allow me to select which cards my Boss can see and which ones he can't? Or do I need to create a separate board (Boss View) vs. one for me?
posted by zooropa to Work & Money (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Some tools offer granular per-task visibility settings, but Trello is not one of them. (Unless it's available as a paid option or something.)

The basic assumption with a Kanban/Scrum-style board is that tasks are interchangeable between multiple members of a team. If your tasks are so granular that they aren't relevant to anybody else looking at the board, then they probably don't need to be tracked.

Think of it more like you've got multiple people making sausages. (Which is almost literally the origin of kanban -- it was used for industrial processes before it got applied to software.) Maybe different people are doing different steps of the sausage-making process, but they need visibility into the status of the other steps in order to know if they should switch stations or not. And, even more importantly, so does the supervisor managing their part of the line. At the same time, nobody else needs to know whether your sausage casing is 25% or 60% stuffed, they just need to know how many casings you've finished stuffing and how much filling is still waiting to be stuffed.

For the same reason, it doesn't necessarily make sense to have personal stuff and work stuff on the same board. Ideally, you'd be able to have an aggregate view that shows multiple boards on the same page, but if Trello supports that it's probably a paid feature.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:02 PM on December 29, 2017

You can select "members" for a card, but honestly, you're going to want to just have a separate board. It'll be way easier than to make sure you're inviting your boss to only certain cards.

If you're up for it, you can maybe use something like this and use tags to mark which cards you want to be synced.
posted by pyro979 at 2:09 PM on December 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

You definitely want to create a separate board (which to be honest I found super stress relieving, depending on whether I was behind on home tasks or work tasks at any particular time, so you may end up appreciating that).

But I think for what you describe, you actually want to create a team and then a board within that team. I'm not a Trello expert but that would be what I would suggest exploring.
posted by librarylis at 9:38 AM on January 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

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