Trello vs. Jira for agile project management

Agile & DevOps, Atlassian

6 November 2018 • 13 min read

    Smart teams take advantage of specialized project management tools. In one of my previous articles, I showed you how to choose the right project management tool for your team. Today I wanted to focus on two different tools – Trello and Jira Core – that offer various benefits and are both connected to agile, one of the most popular methodologies for project management in recent years.

    Project managers who want to implement agile in collaborating, managing work in progress, and delivering products on time can choose from different types of software designed to expedite these processes. Such applications allow advanced task distribution and workflow automation, but also enhance the team transparency. And it’s not only software development teams that take advantage of agile software tools these days.

    Jira Core and Trello are very popular and share some common audiences. They are both owned by the same company called Atlassian. However, they have different strengths and weaknesses. Read on to see my comparison of Trello vs. Jira Core to see which solution will work better for your business.

    Note: Since like Trello, Jira Core is a tool dedicated to business teams I will focus on this tool and not Jira Software.

    Team collaboration

    Collaboration is the core of every successful project. Both Trello and Jira offer some features that make collaboration easier.


    You can invite any number of people to share a board on Trello. That means all users will gain the same visibility into the project status and tasks. To communicate, users can comment directly on cards, @mention other teammate, share attachments, and even use the emojis. You can assign users to particular cards, and they will receive a notification email, SMS, or push notifications, depending on their preference.


    Jira offers its users a broad range of collaboration features inside issues and boards such as file sharing, instant messaging, team member task assignment, and custom notifications. Jira offers a greater number of agile features that come in handy for project managers who would like to organize their work in sprints. In fact, Jira was built specifically to serve agile software development, and it supports Scrum, Kanban, and mixed methodologies.

    Project management

    Every project manager faces the challenge of task management when starting the project. It’s necessary to break down the project tasks into smaller pieces and decide what needs to get done when and by whom. It doesn’t matter if you’re working on a piece of software or marketing campaign – management is a process that requires support from adequate software.


    Trello is a great pick because it’s one of the easiest platforms on the market with a remarkably gentle learning curve. You can easily organize work using the hierarchy of boards, lists, and cards. You can create and organize these elements as you like, assigning cards to users, adding due dates, and attaching files. A Trello board is like a Kanban board divided into columns that reflect stages in your workflow and filled with cards where you place essential information about tasks, now available to your entire team to boost its transparency and productivity. The only problem with Trello is the lack of pre-built workflows.


    With Jira, you get a slightly different approach to task management. Out-of-the-box workflows are designed to help teams build software, but you can create custom workflows that cover other areas such as product development. Jira’s management features offer a lot of flexibility in setting up your process and it’s also possible to build a board for your team. Just like in Trello, you can create tasks in the form of issues where you add all the essential information and assign them to particular users, moving them between columns that mark the stages in your workflow.



    Trello’s basic version is available free of charge. So if you’re looking to spend as little as possible on a collaboration tool, this is a huge advantage. The free version of Trello allows users to benefit from all its project management features and doesn’t impose any limits on the number of boards you can create.

    Trello also offers paid versions: Business Class and Enterprise. By investing in these versions you will gain the ability to synchronize data with other business systems used by your team such as Salesforce, Slack, or Github. You will also get a number of administrative tools that make work even more productive. Trello charges subscription per user per month. And the Enterprise variant offers a tiered pricing system for a specified number of users. Investing in Enterprise, you will get a single sign-on, two-factor authentication, premium user support, and onboarding assistance together with all the Business Class features. If you’re working with code from the repository or data from another business tool, it’s smart to invest in a paid version of Trello.


    Jira doesn’t come in a free variant, but if you’re purchasing it for a small team, the cost is negligible. Moreover, Jira is scalable and can match your demands as your team grows. When purchasing Jira, you pay a per-user subscription fee, and the fee goes down as your company develops.

    Moreover, Jira offers on-premise deployment for users who want to customize their setup. Note that Jira comes in several different versions such as Jira Software, Jira Core, and Jira Service Desk.


    An excellent project management tool will allow a smooth exchange of data between the platform and other systems such as the code repository, helpdesk software, or even a time tracker. Before you invest in either of these tools, make sure that it supports integrations with systems your teams use.


    Trello offers a list of native apps and integration connections including Zendesk, Slack, Github, Salesforce, and Google Drive. You can see the entire list here.


    Jira surpasses Trello with its massive library of native integrations for all kinds of solutions for time tracking, test management, reporting, email, code review, and cloud storage. Jira offers a free developer API for customers who want to set up manual integrations too.

    Key takeaway

    Trello is a simple company board that enables teams to work in an agile way but doesn’t include all the features of agile development. Jira, on the other hand, is a project management tool for traditional agile teams that build, fix, and release software.

    Trello and Jira platforms have different strengths and offer various advantages to teams. Take these the four factors into account when choosing to the tool for your team and you’ll be on your way to making the most of your investment.

    Have you got any questions about how Jira helps in project management? Reach out to me at; I help organizations take full advantage of Atlassian tools and customize them to match their needs.

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