Trello includes a large number of Power-Ups to enhance the feature set of the product. These Power-Ups range from the simplistic to the very complex, but almost every one of them has something to offer.
One particular Power-Up came to Trello by way of Jira and focuses on Work Breakdown Structure, which is a tool that integrates scope, cost and schedule baselines to ensure all project plans are in alignment. That Power-Up is called BigPicture, and it empowers your team leader to manage WBS, filter and display selected data via milestones, markers, critical path, progress and even custom views to give you an at-a-glance method of evaluating project statuses.
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BigPicture displays your Trello cards as tasks, which can be allocated on a Gantt chart along with the WBS panel. You’ll also find other features in BigPicture:
- Schedule tasks with drag and drop
- Advanced Work Breakdown Structure
- Tasks linked using dependency links
- Customizable views
- New tasks via Artificial tasks
- Card sorting and viewing
I look at BigPicture as a Gantt chart on steroids. It allows you more control over how things are viewed and how you can manage each item on the chart. If Work Breakdown Structure is how you prefer to manage your projects, BigPicture is exactly the Trello Power-Up you need.
What you’ll need to install BigPicture on Trello
The only thing you’ll need for this is a valid Trello account. You can use either the free or paid plans, as Power-Ups are free for all users. That’s it: Let’s power your account up.
How to install the BigPicture Power-Up
Installing BigPicture is quite simple. First, log into your Trello account. You can use either the web or desktop version of the app. I’ll demonstrate on the desktop app, running on Pop!_OS Linux, but the process is the same regardless of operating system.
Keep in mind BigPicture is added on a board-by-board basis. If you use multiple boards, you’ll have to add the Power-Up individually.
Once you’ve logged in to Trello, navigate to the board you want to use and click the Power-Ups button near the top of the window (Figure A).
On the Power-Ups page, search for BigPicture and then click the associated Add button (Figure B). The installation will finish and you can close the Power-Ups window.
How to use BigPicture
Back on your board, you should now see the BigPicture button (Figure C).
Click BigPicture and the Power-Up will begin generating the view. The first time you open BigPicture, it can take some time before the view is presented. Even after the first opening, BigPicture takes a few seconds to render your data, which is normal.
When BigPicture does finally show itself, you’ll see a Gantt chart with a few extra features (Figure D).
If you hover your cursor over a task, you’ll see a three-button menu. Click that menu to reveal a pop-up (Figure E) that allows you to change the Task Mode between Auto, Manual and Lock, as well as switch between Milestone and Regular Task and control the sorting of your tasks.
You can also drag and drop the tasks in the left pane and drag the timelines in the right pane to change dates.
If you click the View drop-down (Figure F), you can change the Perspective to include basic information, all columns and time-tracking, change the layout between compact, normal and wide, show task structure, markers and critical path, color by label and enable smart labeling.
Click the Data drop-down (Figure G) and you can organize, group, expand, collapse, re-sync and change the mode of all your tasks. Task modes available are Auto, Manual and Lock.
If you click the pencil icon (Figure H), you can then move tasks up and down, indent them to the right or left, and even delete them.
Click on a task and it’ll open a new window with that task ready to edit. If you click the gear icon in the top right corner of the BigPicture window, you can change the Program Lead in the General tab, change the BigPicture owner, and add or remove boards in the Scop Definition tab (Figure I).
That’s all there is to the Trello BigPicture Power-Up. For anyone that prefers Gantt charts and the WBS methodology, this Power-Up should be considered a must-use on Trello. Give it a try and see if it doesn’t help you more easily see the big picture of your project.
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