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"The Sibling Rivalry" : Jira vs Trello

Is it just me? Am I getting old? Should I be eating more almonds to keep my memory fresh? Why is it that every time I step out to buy grocery or go out to finish off some chores, I end up coming home and realizing, Oh Gosh! I got the almond butter, cream cheese, eggs …. But forgot the Bread! Now what?

My only life saver is my phone – Which has the list in it, which hopefully I will remember to look at on my next trip outside. We sure can manage without bread for a day or two, another trip to Costco or Whole Foods will not do much harm, but what if this happens at work? Will that be acceptable? Will teams not suffer or will the project deadline be delayed if this keeps happening?

Planning and Management is the only key to avoid these havocs. In today’s world, where offices are transitioning to allow for more remote working options, it has become even more important to organize and communicate in the best way possible.

Project Management Tools help in planning, tracking and managing goals of a project, keeping in mind the time duration. These tools not only function as a backbone in delegating tasks to the team members but also help facilitate speeding up the tasks by visualization. They help in documenting the processes, maintaining transparency throughout, and finally helping to deliver the projects as per the defined SLAs.

The world around us has a number of software options for providing a one stop solution for tracking project progress using visual platforms. The most popular being “The Siblings: Jira and Trello,” owned by Atlassian, An Australian software company.

Two children born to same parents have many similar hereditary features, but they also have their own distinct personality. Similarly, Jira and Trello share a lot in common, but they also possess their own set of characteristics or strengths making them suited for diverse types of projects.

Which one is a better baby, would be a tough call….

But let us try and find out keeping some parameters in mind

Task Management

Both Trello and Jira offer a feature called “Kanban Board View,” which is a column style view allowing users to organize tasks into various columns, which can be custom designed as per needs of a project.

The Kanban View

Trello is one of the simplest platforms to learn and use in project management whereas Jira is a more sophisticated as well as a complex tool, allowing boards beyond Kanban for project management. Jira supports Agile and offers Scrum Boards along with Kanban boards for software development project management. It also provides access to Roadmap Boards, to help teams plan and visualize the project roadmap and the timelines.

Though both Scrum and Kanban boards are equally helpful progress tracking tools; Kanban focuses on visualizing workflow where Scrum concentrates on breaking down complex tasks into smaller tasks, which need to be completed in short, time boxed increments called sprints.

Kanban is like a fluid system that easily adapts to changes in project’s priorities, in comparison scrum follows an extremely specific and rigid methodology.

Agile Methodology

With its flexibility, Trello offers a great platform for Kanban task management, but it does not offer agile reporting to confirm users are conforming to the methodology. On the other hand, JIRA is designed keeping in mind the agile mindset for software development teams and provides advanced features for the same.


In Trello, Boards, Lists and Cards make up the hierarchy whereas in Jira; Epics, Stories, tasks and bugs are used to document the requirements or track project progress.

Trello : Board, Lists and Cards

Jira Board — Epics, Stories and Tasks

Team Collaboration

The free version of Trello allows up to ten boards, it permits collaboration of unlimited members on team boards, ensuring all the team members have visual, editable access to the project details whereas the free version of Jira is good for smaller teams and projects. It limits the access of a board to ten members, offers basic roadmap access and only 2 GB of file storage.

Task planning

Trello lacks sprint planning features in the free version, though custom fields can be used for sprints in the paid version.

Jira — Backlogged Tasks

Jira, on the other hand, has in-built task planning features, allows sorting of back logged tasks based on story points. It in turn helps determine team capacity for each sprint.

Progress Tracking

While Trello does offer customizable workflows throughout the process, it lacks the ability to track multiple sprints over time. It allows tracking one sprint for a Trello board only, thus lacking the capacity to calculate sprint velocity. On the other hand, multiple sprints per project can be created using Jira, allowing for future sprint planning by calculating velocity. Also, reports can be generated in Jira to ensure the team is making considerable progress as per the plan.

Jira Reports


Trello does not offer a product backlog feature, but a Backlog column can be set up manually for housing all tasks that need to be worked on. Whereas Jira offers a backlogging solution, which can house a number of To-do tasks in either the roadmap or backlog, and upcoming tasks can be imported into sprint boards as per plan.

Jira Backlogging — Roadmap

Platform availability

Jira and Trello both are available through a web browser.

Trello offers macOS, iOS, Windows and Android applications. On one hand Jira offers iOS and Android applications for mobile users, on the other, it is dependent on the web version for desktop users

Additional Features and Integrations

Trello’s free version caters to businesses that need a productivity tool for organizing tasks and collaboration on the tasks between team members. It also offers unlimited power-ups/ integrations to third-party applications, Zendesk, Slack, Salesforce, GitHub, and Google Drive to name a few. Jira on other hand has a library of integrations; CRM, reporting, time tracking, code review, cloud storage are examples of some of the popular ones. Jira offers basic features for free but advance features increase exponentially as one moves up on the paid versions.

Comparisson : Trello Vs Jira

We are back to square one! Which tool to choose out of the two siblings?

To sum it up, Jira is a clear winner in terms of features, but then it comes down to “what the tool will be used for.”

Trello is an amazing option for small sized teams that prefer a flexible package for project management. It is a fun as well as flexible tool for meeting the needs of a growing organization with simple yet well-defined user interfaces. If one needs a basic project management board and neither file limits nor board security is the main concern, Trello should be picked.

On the other hand, with a lot of advance features, Jira offers a comprehensive suite for keeping an eye on project progress, bug tracking and agile project management across, but not limited to software industry primarily. I feel Jira should be the preferred tool for businesses planning longer duration projects, requiring roadmap projection, use of agile tools, and reporting.

To get the best of both the worlds….

Like true siblings

“Trello and Jira” can also be integrated!

“Integration of the Siblings”

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