Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

Project Management tool and its connection to Project Updates in Tactical Meetings

In our circle, we have been using Trello to track our projects. We are trying to develop some good practices together such as asking role fillers to define each project clearly with outcome, expected completion dates, labeling priorities. We have also been referring to Trello in the Project Update part in Tactical Meetings. The facilitator reads through the cards/projects and asks 'any updates'?

It's been taking us some efforts to find a good structure to arrange the lists and cards in Trello. Recently we started trying a new way or organizing:  give a list to each role;  under the list, the role filler adds one card for each project. We have yet to see how this works. 

Here's the problem. 

We will have many projects on Trello.  Some projects will be quite detailed. If the facilitator reads through every card and ask for 'any updates', it will take too long; and many projects updates will not be interesting to other members. If we share update of each project, it will become meaningless sharing/reporting. And we are not a very big circle - just 8 people.


How can we use Trello for Project Updates part in Tactical Meetings?  Will it be better that we choose to ask each role about the updates of all their projects under the role instead of asking for an update of each project? 

What project management tools are you using? And how do you use that for Tactical Meetings?








4 Replies

Hi Yan,


We work with many software companies that have a similar management tool system and that question often comes up.

There are many different ways of doing the “Progress Update” step of the tactical meeting:

1/ You could use GlassFrog and all circle members could just update GlassFrog with their main projects/the projects they deem useful to share updates on

+ : it allows to have only the essential projects

- : it takes some time to update GlassFrog on top of your management system

2/ You could do the progress update on Trello and in this case, I wouldn't go through each project as a facilitator but rather frame a bit and ask per role or person: “go through all your projects and give update only if there is an update to share or move on to the next project”

+ : the process is very efficient and you don't have to copy/paste project on GlassFrog

- : you have two platforms for the tactical meeting and need to juggle between Trello and GlassFrog


At iGi, we only use GlassFrog for tactical meetings and of course, everyone has its own trusted system so we still need to copy/paste the main projects/projects other roles would like visibility on GlassFrog.


Moreover, I'd like to draw your attention on the fact that this step is actually “Progress Update” and not just “Project Updates”

See section 4.2.3 of the Constitution: “(d) Progress Updates: During this step, the Facilitator asks each participant to highlight progress towards achieving any Project or expressing any Accountability of any of the participant’s Roles in the Circle. Participants may only share progress made since the last report given, and not the general status of a Project or Accountability. Each participant may decide which Projects or Accountabilities are worth reporting on, however if another Circle Member explicitly requested updates on a specific Project, that one must be included until it’s either completed or dropped. For progress updates about a Project or Accountability of a Sub-Circle, the Facilitator must allow both the Lead Link and Rep Link of the Sub-Circle the opportunity to share updates.”


Thanks Margaux for your detailed response - it surely help me clarify and know what to do next and how to communicate this to my team members.

I will recommend my team to use Trello for tracking projects, and we will go to Trello for "Project Update". Switching between Glassfrog and Trello shouldn't be a problems for us. This approach should work better for us than to select projects and copy them into Glassfrog.

Also thank you for bringing up the article on constitution. That also help me get clearer on the purpose of Project Update and reporting in that it's not to 'manage' or 'control' but more about members fulfilling their duty of transparency and providing information to others if they should ask for that. 


You're most welcome!

Bernard Marie Chiquet

To add on Margaux's comments, I would add that according to Section 4.2.3 " A Circle may adopt a Policy to add to or change this required process". We've done that with some Scrum-powered teams in software industry.