Every day I see new articles pop up about how to manage and organise projects, but what about managing and improving your department?

Last year I discovered each member of the UI team was building their own to do list of things they wanted to make better. Improving our boilerplate to make setup quicker, building more reusable components or fixing that bug the plagues every new project. Whatever the issue was, they were being collected by individuals with nobody having an overview of what anyone else wanted to change.

Building a team board

Such a simple, but effective, tool is to have a board for your department. I was interested in having a broad view of what everybody thought we could improve or work on, so suggested we create a team Trello board. A single place to store all team related tasks that can be actioned during downtime. This removes the need for everyone to carry their own todo lists and each task can easily be picked up by somebody else if they become available.

Additional benefits include removing duplicates to avoid wasting time on doubling up work, and anybody can add to it and discuss existing ideas.

Moving forward

As our team board has grown over the last year, I added an 'Agenda' column in order to help focus our bi-weekly department meetings. There would be a 'Topics' card at the top of the column where people could add things they wanted to talk about as checklists. Each meeting would have a card dated, and the day before the meeting items could be picked out of the topics bucket to form the meetings agenda.

So next time you have an idea to introduce something new to your department, create a shared todo list and encourage everyone to start adding to it. It will make it so much easier for the entire team to level up!