Jira vs Trello: Comparing Features, Benefits and Pricing

Jira and Trello are project management solutions by Altassian that allow software teams to plan and track their projects. Jira is geared toward startups, small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) and enterprises, while Trello is great for small or mid-size businesses.

We’ve compared Trello and Asana to emphasize key differences and the factors to take into account for a buying decision.

Product Overviews

The following are excerpts from our Jira and Trello reviews that summarize each solution:

Jira: Jira Software is a project management tool that allows teams to easily plan, track, release and report on new software or software upgrades, as well as track any associated issues. Jira supports several agile methodologies, including Scrum boards and Kanban boards. Users can follow its built-in workflow templates or customize their own.

Trello: Trello is a cloud-based project management app designed to help individuals and teams collaborate better and keep their projects organized. All the details of a project are in what Trello refers to as “boards”. Each board is categorized with lists, with each list including individual cards that have further details on a project, such as the team members involved, task checklists, discussions and comments.

One unique feature of Trello is its Power-Ups. Power-Ups turn each board into what Trello calls “living applications” by adding different features and integrations.

How They Stack Up

Features

Jira: Jira Software has scrum boards that enable teams to stay focus on the tasks at hand and deliver value as fast as possible. It also has Kanban boards that give teams visibility into tasks and workflow, output and cycle times.

Users can also access several reports, such as sprint reports, burn-down/up charts and velocity charts that offer real-time visibility into a team’s performance.

Additionally, Portfolio for Jira is a portfolio management tool that agile teams can use to plan out roadmaps for their projects. Some of its features include a real-time visual roadmap, multiple scenario planning, the capability to estimate start and end dates for projects, resource management and unlimited hierarchies.

Trello: Trello is a customizable Kanban board for teams that want to work “agile, but aren’t observing the whole liturgy of agile development.” That’s because it doesn’t provide most of the agile features that traditional software development teams want, including Scrum and sprint planning, detailed project reporting, a backlog of user stories, code repositories and issue tracking.

Trello’s approach to task and project management is visual. It uses boards that correspond to projects. Within boards, there are cards that represent individual tasks. Users can set up task lists and cards that can be assigned to specific team members. Think of Trello as a digital whiteboard with high-tech sticky notes.

Trello lets members discuss a project or task in real time. It keeps everybody informed through task assignments, an activity log, and email notifications. Members can easily be added to a board where they are free to vote on ideas contained in the cards.

Bottom Line: With Trello, members can organize their teams’ projects visually. They can build project-related boards for their teams, create lists for each project and add cards for each task within each project. Much like with Trello, teams can use Jira to manage their work by creating stories for projects and issues for individual tasks. However, unlike Trello, Jira includes reports, such as burn-down charts, to show how teams work and where they can improve.

Benefits

Jira: Benefits include:

  • Connecting software teams so members can update one another in real time as tasks are started and completed.
  • Advanced prioritization, which allows team members to see which tasks need to be completed right away and which can be done later.
  • Complete visibility, allowing team members to see which task needs completed next and increase productivity.
  • The ability for teams to access every aspect of a project’s development with just a few clicks.

Trello: Benefits include:

  • Minimizing confusion around project assignments with simple tools to organize tasks and track progress.
  • Customizable lists that allow users to follow metrics they are most interested in and use automated notifications to keep informed of all changes.
  • Simple collaboration that allows entire teams to participate in important discussions, send notes, share files and comment on individual tasks.
  • The ability to easily upload files straight from Dropbox, Box or Google Drive accounts.

Bottom Line: Trello, which offers any type of project tracking, is great for teams looking to virtually brainstorm ideas visually and display users’ thoughts in order. Jira was designed for software teams, so it mainly targets developers, software builders and project managers working on software projects.

Customer Service & Support

Jira: Atlassian’s support portal includes a comprehensive online knowledge base, video tutorials, community forums and a suggestion forum where users can request features and report bugs. Users can also submit support requests.

Atlassian’s annual software maintenance plan is optional and not included in the price of a subscription or license. The plan includes online support as well as software updates. A separate Premier Support plan includes 24/7 phone support, a 30-minute response time for extremely critical issues and onboarding services.

Trello: Trello’s knowledge base includes articles categorized by topic. Additionally, users can access the Getting Started guide and Trello’s training webinar to learn more about Trello. The Trello community is another resource where users can get advice and ideas from other Trello users.

The Business Class plan includes priority email support with a response time within one business day. The Enterprise plan includes both priority email and priority phone support with a quicker response time (less than one business day).

Bottom Line: Jira offers a comprehensive online knowledge base that includes extensive user documentation, discussion forums, webinars and video tutorials. For a fee, Jira also provides access to phone and email support for more technical issues. Trello’s customer support mainly relies on its comprehensive online knowledge base, user documentation and webinars. Trello also offers paid email and phone support. However, unlike Trello, Jira’s paid plan offers 24/7 phone support and 30-minute responses to critical issues.

Pricing

Jira: Jira offers a choice of either cloud or on-premise hosting.

For cloud-based deployment, companies with small teams of up to 10 users can pay a flat rate of $10 per month. For larger teams (11 to 100 users), the subscription price is $7 per user per month. Jira Software provides an online calculator for companies with over 100 users to calculate their costs. Jira also accepts annual subscription payments.

Jira offers two pricing plans for companies that want to host Jira Software on their servers (i.e., on-premise deployment): Server and Data Center.

The Server license is a one-time payment that varies based on the number of users. For example, a company with 10 users would pay $10, whereas a company with 250 users would pay $13,200. The Server license includes one free year of software maintenance.

The price for the Data Center licensing plan also varies depending on the number of users. A company with 500 users can pay about $12,000 per year, whereas a company with 30,000 users can pay about $336,000 a year.

The Portfolio for Jira tool (either standalone or used with Jira Software) costs a flat fee of $10 per month for up to 10 users and $3.50 per user per month for 11 to 100 users, if deploying in the cloud. Its on-premise version costs a one-time payment of $10 for up to 10 users. Companies with more than 10 users can expect to pay more, depending on the pricing tier they select.

Trello: Trello, which is only available as a cloud-hosted service, offers three payment options: Free, Business Class and Enterprise.

The free option offers unlimited boards, lists, cards, members, checklists, and attachments as well as one Power-Up per board. Users can attach files up to 10 MB or link any file from Google Drive, Dropbox, Box or OneDrive.

The Business Class plan is $9.99 per user per month when paid annually. It includes everything in the free version plus unlimited Power-Ups and the ability to attach files up to 250 MB.

The Enterprise option is $20.83 or less per user per month when paid annually. It comes with all the features in Business Class plus enhanced security and support, as well as personalized onboarding assistance.

Bottom Line: Since Trello is only available in the cloud, it would not be suited for companies looking for on-premise project management software. Jira, on the other hand, offers both an on-premise and a cloud-hosted version. The basic pricing of Jira starts at $10 per month, while Trello offers a free account.

Takeaways

Jira and Trello, which meet the needs of Scrum or Kanban, offer dashboards and card views for managing a team’s tasks. Trello offers simple task lists and is an easy-to-use project and task management tool for small to mid-size companies, while Jira offers a comprehensive project management and tracking tool for larger-scale projects.

Since Jira was designed for software teams, it mainly targets software builders, developers, or project managers working on software projects. In contrast, Trello has a much broader target audience, as it basically offers any kind of project tracking.

Before purchasing a product, organizations should evaluate each tool to decide which best fits their needs.

If you’re entirely new to project management tools, take a look at our Project Management Definitive Guide. It offers a full overview of market trends, must-have features and common challenges to avoid.

Finally, if you’re looking for software alternatives, our detailed reviews is a good place to start.

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