I planned much of the development required to achieve my MVP this week. I had a running list of tasks tracked in Trello, but I wanted a better estimate of how long each task would take and how I should sequence these tasks. Being a good DoD contractor, I turned to MS Project to help with this.
It was actually pretty easy to do. After plugging everything in, adding my presumed bill rate, and leveling the schedule, I got a good idea of how much investment I am making in the product and when the MVP should be ready
Like all plans, it is only as good as my assumptions. I have done most of what I need to do to make the MVP before, so I am relatively confident in my estimates, but I am sure something will emerge that I didn't plan for. Hence, the need for some management reserve.
From MS Project, I reworked everything back into Trello. I have more confidence in my lists now and know how to order and give precedence to tasks. Trello will continue being my daily resource, but I will try to keep MS Project relatively up-to-date so I can measure against my estimates and add features to my larger plan over time.
In other words, MS Project is a useful tool for estimating, sequencing, and planning, but Trello will prove more useful in tracking day-to-day tasks and progress. It has a simplicity and elegance at that level, which MS Project lacks.