Jira Vs Trello: Which One Is A Better Project Management Tool?

Published on April 6th, 2022

Harsh Vijay
Co-founder, ruttl

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Whether you’re trying to keep multiple projects in check, delegate tasks to your teammates, or have all project-related communication in one place, project management tools can be your one-stop destination.

When we think of project management tools, two popular names come to mind — Jira and Trello.

While both of these tools come from the same company, Atlassian, these tools are still fighting for the same target market. They have many overlapping features as well as differences between them which is why some businesses prefer one over the other.

Let us go into the details and find out whether it is Jira or Trello that would work the best for your business.

Overview of Jira

Jira is one of the best PM tools that was specifically built for software development. Apart from project planning, it also offers issue tracking features. The tool has different dashboards and outlines for agile and scrum techniques. When it comes to add-ons and integrations, Jira has over 1000 add-ons and integrations with different tools and software to help you optimize your development workflows. Jira has many products under its belt such as Jira Core, Jira Software, Jira Service Management, and Jira Align that you can use within your team to work better.

Overview of Trello

At first glance, you think of Trello as a white board where a project is broken down into different stages with each stage having its own tasks. It’s like a Kanban board where you can move one card through different stages (columns). You can visualize the task flow of designing projects, software development projects, or social media campaign projects. It is a lightweight PM tool that is built for general purposes rather than targeting one specific sector. In Trello, you can attach images and documents, comment on tasks and collaborate with your team members. Like Jira, they also offer many integrations that you can make use of.

Jira Vs Trello

Let’s compare Jira and Trello on all the different usecases these tools provide:

Task Management

Be it developing a software, designing a new content guide, or planning your next email marketing campaign, you need to break these projects down into smaller tasks.

Trello excels when it comes to simplistic task management. The tool has a three-part hierarchy: Boards, Lists, and Cards. You can organize these elements as you need, invite team members, assign tasks to teams, schedule due dates for each task, and even attach files to tasks. The one downside to using Trello is that they lack pre-built workflows in the sense that you’ll have to build processes from scratch for any project you want to start or you’ll have to copy existing boards and customize them.

Jira, on the other hand, has pre-built workflows to help development teams develop, test, and launch software. They even have custom workflows for various agile scenarios which makes Jira a great tool for managing agile projects. This can also be a potential drawback for teams that are not working on agile projects as they get far less flexibility. Even for teams who are looking for simple workflows and features, Jira may fail to make the cut.

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Project Management

If you’re dealing with agile projects, specifically software development ones, Jira beats Trello in all regards. Agile project management needs an iterative approach where large projects are broken down into small tasks. Teams can make changes and adjustments in the scope of the project as needed.

Jira helps agile teams with a lot of features such as Scrum and Sprint planning, issue tracking, detailed project reporting, code repositories so that the team can manage their workflow right from coding to testing out the software and tracking application errors. Developers can even pull issues and user stories to the current sprint and assign these tasks to team members. Seeing the number of sprint days remaining, tracking task progress on scrum boards, error tracking, all can be possible with Jira.

Whereas Trello only has a Kanban interface available and it doesn’t offer most of the agile features that Jira has in store.

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Collaboration

Both these tools work equally well when it comes to collaborating with your team. These are some common collaboration features that Jira and Trello offer:

  • Invite teammates to projects so that everyone knows about the project status and different tasks. This builds visibility and transparency in the organization.
  • Comment on specific tasks and everyone on the team will be notified
  • Direct comments to a team member using the @ symbol
  • Share attachments on cards
  • Turn on email, SMS and pop-up notifications so that you can be notified of real-time updates even when you’re not using the tool

Except for these features, Jira also offers traditional collaboration features such as file sharing and messaging.

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Reporting

Many organizations rely on reports to track progress, understand where resource allocation is necessary, what is pushing projects to delay, and if they need to adjust milestones and deadlines.

Jira again turns out to be a clear winner when it comes to the reporting function of a PM tool. Be it their agile reporting features such as sprint planning, burndown charts, or their multiple chart and diagram templates that are built into the software to create valuable reports, Jira can help you keep everything on track and see that the project is progressing as intended.

While Trello has certain built-in report generation add-ons, Jira still provides far more extensive and useful data through their reports.

Hosting

Some businesses prefer having an on-premise software while others like having everything on cloud. Both these storage options have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, you might feel cloud storage to rank a little lower on confidentiality and security whereas you might find on-premise software to be pricey and have little modifications and feature additions.

If you are looking for an on-premise project management software, you’ll have to choose Jira as Trello operates only on cloud.

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Integrations

When it comes to integrations, Jira and Trello both have integrations that help you work smoothly with other tools that your team is using. Trello integrates with Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, MailChimp, OneDrive, Salesforce, among others. Jira integrates with many design tools, software engineering apps, IT Team apps, CRM tools, test management apps, and other notable tools such as Slack, OneDrive, Google Drive, Salesforce, Usersnap, and Dropbox.

When it comes to third-party add-ons, Jira wins the contest as it has far more add-on options than Trello. But if you’re a business that doesn’t require a lot many integrations and add-ons, both of these tools become equal on this front.

Pricing

Trello ranks a little higher when it comes to price comparison with Jira. Both these tools offer four different pricing tiers with one of them being a free plan. Trello’s free tier is beneficial for small teams whereas Jira’s free plan has a user limit of 10 users.

The other plans for Jira and Trello both have different features such as custom fields, advanced checklists, advanced permission controls, data and insights, depending on the plan.

Jira’s Standard tier is most popular amongst small business organizations but they have a storage limit whereas the same tier in Trello has unlimited storage. Moreover, many growing teams will have to upgrade to the Premium version of Jira which again has a higher pricing point than Trello.

Both the PM tools follow the price per user per month model and Jira has expensive pricing tiers as compared to Trello.

Here’s the monthly price comparison for both these tools to help you make an informed decision:

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Pros and cons of Jira

Jira was originated keeping in mind software development teams. The reason why it has so many features like bug tracking and ability to use scrum and sprint techniques for different projects. Here are some pros and cons of Jira.

Pros:

  • One of the best PM tools when it comes to agile projects
  • Large number of integrations and third-party add-ons that you can use to create new features in Jira to meet specific needs.
  • Offers an on-premise option
  • The availability of scrum and sprint features
  • Intuitive task filtering to focus on relevant tasks

Cons:

  • A steep learning curve as it has many features
  • Designed keeping in mind software development teams so doesn’t have a general use design like Trello
  • Requires a little understanding of agile development
  • Could be too complex for small teams that require basic PM features
  • Slightly on the more expensive side than Trello

Pros and cons of Trello

Trello has a very straightforward design and works great for general-use projects such as event planning, managing content requirements, developing marketing campaigns, and so on. Here’s the pros and cons for this PM tool.

Pros:

  • You can begin using this tool with little to no learning curve owing to its ease-of-use
  • They have filtering feature that you can use to narrow down on the relevant cards
  • The general-purpose design works for most teams and it doesn’t turn out to be too complex as well
  • It provides all the basic features that a PM tool should have
  • Kanban board makes the tool extremely visual and helps in easy project tracking

Cons:

  • It doesn’t have many advanced features
  • They do not have that many add-ons and integrations as Jira has
  • Does not work that well for agile projects that require frequent iterations
  • As they have a Kanban board, the tool doesn’t translate well on mobile as it requires a lot of space to display the board
  • Prioritization of tasks isn’t easy

Comparison Table

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Which one should you get - Jira or Trello?

Trello may be your choice if you are looking for a simplistic PM tool that handles all the basic functions like adding tasks, commenting, inviting users, and so on. It offers small teams the right amount of features they need instead of bombarding them with too many complexities.

On the other hand, Jira may be your go-to PM tool if you have larger teams and are looking for a comprehensive tool that can handle all the complex projects you are managing.

Before you decide on any tool, make use of their free plans to get an experience of the tool and then upgrade to their higher pricing tiers.

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