A guide to seamless Trello integration with Jira

Apps, Atlassian

12 January 2017 • 13 min read

    Communication is the key to success. However, to make it so, we need to guarantee seamless flow of information both inside and outside the company. Surely, no one’s eager to give access to project management tools to unauthorized people, who may move, edit or delete something unintentionally. Even though there are permissions and other settings to prevent that from happening, sometimes s#!t happens and even those fail. That’s why for companies which use Jira to manage complex development projects and Trello for non-technical purposes, the best possible option is to integrate both tools.

    Why integrate Trello with Jira

    While Trello provides something many non-technical teams have been looking for – a simple interface combined with maximum functionality, Jira empowers technical teams in driving development process. Consequently, such division in project management tools may result in a poor communication inside as well as outside the companies, limiting the knowledge of both colleagues from other departments and external customers about what’s going on in the technical teams. And, as we’ve already mentioned at the beginning, communication is the key to success. So, how integrating Trello with Jira can help with that?

    Share your roadmap with customers and stakeholders

    Frequently, we need to share the progress of our work with external stakeholders or even our customers to let them know what’s in our plans in the foreseeable future or what feature or app we’re currently developing. We store most of such information in Jira on roadmapsScrum or Kanban boards, usually divided into multiple pieces assigned to various team members. Integrating Jira with Trello, though, enables us to synchronize all the important details from Jira projects to Trello boards. Thanks to this, we can present the roadmap of the project in a clear and interesting way to our customers, especially when working on a custom app or feature proposed by them.

    Synchronizing Jira with Trello gives us a chance to present complex projects in a clear roadmap

    Synchronizing Jira with Trello gives us a chance to present complex projects in a clear roadmap

    Teams unite!

    Usually, teams are divided when it comes to which department uses what project management tool. Unlike development teams which tend to go for more complex software like Jira, other departments often choose more intuitive tools like Trello to manage their projects. This may result in poor or even lack of communication, limiting insight into what teams using Jira are up to and vice versa. Flawless synchronization between Jira issues and Trello cards enables swift communication between all the teams, guarantees transparency and being up-to-date with what’s on other departments’ agenda. 

    Gather feedback and ideas

    Most IT companies focus on addressing people’s basic needs either connected to their work or their private life. That’s why IT is an industry that likes gathering ideas from customers. To do it, we can use either project management tools like Trello to make the boards public or create a dedicated request type in Jira Service Desk.  So, we don’t have to call each of our clients, send e-mails or surveys to ask what they need most. We need to create a public Trello board, enable anyone to add cards, synchronize it with our Jira, so that each feature request automatically gets to the support or even development team.

    How to connect Jira projects with Trello boards

    Seeing as integrating Jira with Trello gives many benefits, it’s no surprise that there are so many tools dedicated solely to that. Even though focused on the same functionality, each app offers different capabilities to do it. For example, Trello Sync for Jira gives us the possibility to seamlessly connect Jira with Trello in any direction directly from the side menu in our Jira project, because Jira admins can enable Project admins to do it by selecting which types of synchronization will be visible for them.

    One-way synchronization

    Connecting Jira with Trello one-way is a good choice when we don’t want to give access to our Jira instances to unauthorized people like our customers or stakeholders, but we still want to gather some feedback or share our plans with them. Depending on our needs, we can either choose to set an outgoing synchronization to create Trello cards from Jira issues or vice versa – an incoming synchronization to create Jira issues from Trello cards. To configure outgoing synchronization, we need to:

    1. On the configuration screen, provide link to the Trello Board we want to synchronize with Jira project.
    2. Provide Trello board’s credentials from Developer API Keys by Trello.
    3. Choose Outgoing option and select Jira fields we want to synchronize with Trello cards.
    4. Select where we want to copy Jira issues:
      1. List by issue type creates separate Trello list for each issue type;
      2. List by issue status does the same as previous one, but for each issue status;
      3. Selected Trello list copies issues to the existing Trello list.
    5. Click Finish to set up the connection.

    This recording shows how to integrate Jira with Trello and set up one-way synchronization

    When configuring the incoming synchronization, we only need to follow the first three steps and choose Incoming option.

    Two-way synchronization

    To make it easier for our teams to stay up-to-date with what’s going on in other departments, we should go for two-way synchronization. This option enables to copy Jira issues to Trello cards and vice-versa and sync them each time there’s any update. The configuration looks just like setting up the outgoing integration, but at the third step we need to choose Two-way and select Jira issue type we want to copy all Trello cards to.

    Map full details from Jira issues to Trello cards

    For one thing, integrating Jira projects with Trello boards really enhances cross-team collaboration. With tools like Trello Sync for Jira, we can effortlessly synchronize all the important details like summaries, descriptions, labels, attachments, issue keys, priorities, comments, and more from Jira issues to Trello cards. We won’t event break a sweat worrying if we selected all important data to synchronize, because we can easily edit the connection later on and change whatever we need.

    If you’d like to learn more about Trello Sync for Jira, take a free 30-day trial from the Atlassian Marketplace. You can also book a live demo via Calendly, if you’d like to see the app in action, or read more on letting your team work faster and easier in Jira Software:

    Also published on the Atlassian Community.

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