The Taproom builds custom development solutions for high-growth businesses on Shopify. That work means juggling multiple clients while managing an agile team of developers. When the agency grew from three full-time employees to a team of 20 in 2020, they couldn’t manage every aspect of their projects in Basecamp anymore. They had to add Trello and learn to navigate that tool difference.
Find out how Kelly Vaughn, The Taproom’s CEO & Founder, and Josh Echeverri, Developer, use Unito to get the most out of their tool stack.
One tool and too much noise
Before adding Trello to their tool stack, The Taproom ran everything out of Basecamp. Beginning a relationship with a new client meant bringing them into Basecamp and showing them the ropes of the platform. That way, they could work with complete transparency, keeping clients in the loop every step of the way.
But as the team grew, it quickly became clear that the agency’s developers needed a place to work away from the noise in Basecamp. That’s when Trello was introduced to the mix. “Josh proposed Trello as an option for the developers to more easily track their work. Sounds great, until you need to know which one is the source of truth,” Kelly says.
Any tool stack that includes more than one work management tool runs into this problem eventually. Some teams did all their work in Basecamp, whereas developers relied on Trello to get things done. That meant projects were usually spread out across both tools, and a lot of time was spent hunting for information. It also prevented the agency from working as transparently as it was used to.
Solutions that didn’t scale
To bridge that gap, the team tried turning to Zapier. At first, a single developer on the team had created their own setup, building a custom solution to get important alerts from Basecamp into Trello. But that solution wasn’t scalable for multiple projects and difficult to maintain. And when Josh tried setting up Zapier himself, there was one particular issue that kept popping up: “I tended to find issues connecting member accounts in Trello to assignees in Basecamp and keeping that consistent.”
Because the whole point of adding Trello to the tool stack was managing development work, syncing this field was crucial. Otherwise, even if important to-dos got over to Trello, it wasn’t clear who was responsible for the work involved.
An integration that fits the use case
The Taproom turned to Unito to keep their Basecamp projects and Trello boards aligned. That way, developers could keep the agile workflow they needed in Trello while other collaborators handled the project management and client relations side in Basecamp.
For the agency’s use case, the flexibility and customizability of their integration were crucial. This keeps Trello free of the noise that can build up in Basecamp. By using Unito to connect their tools, Josh was able to account for this: “We want to keep client interactions, comments, and things like that in Basecamp, so I usually take that off when we’re connecting projects.” Each Basecamp to-do also has a link that can take anyone right to the associated Trello card. This means anyone who wants additional context on a task can find it in Trello, but no one else has to scroll through a bunch of comments that aren’t relevant to their work.
More control over the flow of information
With Unito’s rules, Josh can direct Basecamp to-dos to a backlog in Trello. From there, developers can pick up the cards they need to work on and follow their process without worrying about what’s going on in Basecamp. Then, when they’ve finished their work, they just need to mark their Trello card as complete, and the equivalent to-do will be checked off in Basecamp. “Clients have full visibility into Basecamp, which is really great when a developer moves a task in Trello and it’s automatically checked off in Basecamp,” Kelly points out.
By connecting Basecamp and Trello with Unito, everyone at The Taproom can work in the tool they’re most comfortable in without worrying that a crucial update will go unnoticed. No one needs to set up any unnecessary meetings, which is already challenging since the agency works across multiple time zones.
A tool stack that just works
With Unito, the gap between Basecamp and Trello has been completely eliminated. The tasks that need to end up in Trello get there without any extra work, and developers can get things done without having to jump into another tool. There’s no need for a single source of truth since everyone can get the information they need from their tool of choice.
For Kelly, setting up the right integration was crucial to keeping the agency agile: “My biggest concern was around resources. I wanted to make sure our team wasn’t spending potentially billable hours making sure data is correct.”
No more noise
Everyone can work the way they need to. Developers like Josh can stick to the agile workflow they love in Trello, only jumping into Basecamp when their expertise is required. And for Kelly, it means the tool difference isn’t something she has to worry about anymore. She can get to what she does best; whatever it takes to make her agency grow and keep her clients happy.
Agency work is all about process. When you’re working in different tools, that process can get complicated quickly. By adding Unito to the agency’s stack, Kelly and Josh gave the team at The Taproom the support they needed to do better work without worrying about which tool they were using. In Unito, they found a solution that scales with them, so they can keep making great things as they grow.
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