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Jira vs Trello - what's possible? What's not?

Fabienne Gerhard
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April 28, 2021

I know we are here in Enterprise group but I really wanna know your opinion here and have a discussion about this. Pretty sure we all know about the differences and also about the similarities of the products. After the last Trello update those two products came closer together (in some ways) 

Now what I want to know from you - have you ever thought about managing a bigger or mid-sized project with Trello? What do you use it for in enterprise environment?

For me coming from the design/marketing/communication branch (long, long time) ago - I made the experience that the appearance and handling of Trello in this parts of the company (also HR and other non-tech departments) is easier but may not work out for complex, big projects. 

Would love to hear what you think and what experiences you made.

(Another thing is that you don't need too much IT support 😄)

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Dirk Ronsmans
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April 28, 2021

Going to be watching this discussion :)

I've yet to understand the use of Trello if you already have a Jira instance.. I know there are a lot of Trello fans out there so come on! Convince me! 

I do feel Trello is easier and if you don't have a Jira, sure it makes sense. But now with Jira Work Management coming so close to Trello it's getting harder and harder to figure out what to choose.

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Fabienne Gerhard
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April 28, 2021

Yeah absolutely @Dirk Ronsmans especially when it comes to project management! I'm really looking forward to this discussion and hoping for interesting input 

Akhtaruzzaman SM April 28, 2021

Yes absolutely Trello with other Project Management like Wrike it works brilliantly.It is a Input Easy phenomena we may try. AKTAR

Marjorie
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October 27, 2021

@Dirk Ronsmans I am following too.  And, I am struggling with why Trello...

Alexey
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April 28, 2021

Trello is a great tool for housewives to keep 'er shopping lists and utility bills in fit. Joking =)
Been using Trello for 6 or 7 years, personal/family and for projects/work.

Used it for large and complex projects which lasted for years with 50+ people, including many departments, etc. As a tracker, as CRM system, as HR module, as Customer support, and even as a Partner program (affiliate).  It's really versatile even in generic mode w/o any power-ups.

Its main pros - you won't need any special skills or knowledge to set up the project, just register, drop a few words in a Kanban board, add labels and within few minutes you can create a roadmap or a plan. It works great for start-ups, experimental projects, pivots - anything that falls under the 'quick and dirty' or 20/80 rule.

Cons are - you can't go too much into details. Labels, checklists and that's basically it. Time tracking/estimation is meh, even with a 3rd party addons it still hard to manage, especially changes. From a project manager's perspective, it was always been a nightmare for me. For every basic stuff, you need to get addons, and at the end that all together looks like a big workaround.

This year in Jan I switched all main projects to Jira, boi what a relief!

I still use Trello for generic stuff, for instance, we need to update PCI DSS certification, so we created a board, dropped there 3 people, created a bunch of cards, and start tracking the progress. For us, is a throw-away shopping list, but serious business is now done in Jira/Jira Service Management.

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Dirk Ronsmans
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April 28, 2021

So how would a trello board where you track the progress then be different from Jira Work Management? (previously Jira Core)?

I'm really trying to understand real world examples on how one would work with Trello. It's one of those products that has always eluded me.

I just can't seem to figure out what type of work I would put in to to Trello .. *shame on me*

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Alexey
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April 28, 2021

@Dirk RonsmansSorry, i came just in time JSD renamed to JSM and I never seen Core.
Like I said, we still use it for a small mini-project, when 1-4 people need to distribute (split) work and track many things. Especially If you do not need that information later.

Jira is too complicated and heavy, even if you can clone a template, still too many fields and stuff.

If the title, brief description, assignee and basic labels are sufficient for the job, then go Trello.

If you need to track time, add some automation, have different logic on statuses, need many fields to distribute the information and need to analyze data - go for Jira Software.

Oh there is also 'next-gen' Jira, its like Trello on steroids, with some power-ups. That is something in between but in my case too generic to be good for proper management and too complicated to build a simple plan. 

I can share some examples of how I used Trello if it's not enought.

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Fabienne Gerhard
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April 28, 2021

Hi @Alexey 

this sounds super interesting. I would love to see a template example of how you are using Trello in the mentioned small projects.

As you said Jira can be heavy and is not as adjustable as Trello. Especially for not so technically people (in my cases). Cards & boards easier to create and costumize - Kanban ready (which was not available in Core).

Automation would be a thing with Butler (but that's another point)

Would love to see an example if you don't mind!

Thanks in advance

Alexey
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April 29, 2021

@Fabienne Gerhardi cant share boards as they are filled with personal data. But I think users can write an article somewhere in community space, so probable I could describe some use cases.

John Fetzik
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April 28, 2021

I would say the difference is one of scale and control vs flexibility.

Jira lets the admins control the structure of and access to the project. You can enforce company standards and manage large groups of users and roles.

Trello is more ad hoc, letting users decide the structure and flow of everything. Great for smaller teams that need/want flexibility that they can control directly.

In our case Jira is used for our embedded systems hardware and software product development. Which can be teams of 100+ and company policy defines the official workflow.

The free version of Trello is used by individuals or small teams to manage tasks for smaller projects. For example organizing the installation of a new machine on the shop floor. This may include a dozen people across multiple departments and even external folks from the supplier. But the entire "project" may only have a couple dozen tasks and has a specific beginning and end date. There is no enforced workflow and the overhead of creating Jira Projects doesn't make sense when the entire project may only last a couple months.

A lot of Trello use is migrating to Microsoft Teams Planner, because our use case is shared task management.

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Fabienne Gerhard
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April 28, 2021

Good and interesting points @John Fetzik especially flexibility! Also control is a very good point. Wondering if this may be a boost for Trello in this new times.

Free version of Trello is not a very good option in Enterprise in my opinion. 

Microsoft Teams Planner - never heard of have to say 😌

Dave Liao
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May 17, 2021

@John Fetzik - John, your answer hits the nail on the head better than many I've seen. 💯 There's a fair bit of overlap with a power-up'd Trello board vs. a lightly-amped Jira Cloud instance.

I've been playing with Teams Planner, and it's not bad. (It even has an app, like Trello!) The price doesn't hurt either, especially if you're paying for Microsoft 365. 😅

Dirk Ronsmans
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May 17, 2021

@Dave Liao ,

We've actually been playing with Teams Planner a bit for some quick and dirty agile project planning/task follow up. (since we don't have Jira Software at that client)

It "works" let's keep it at that :) One of those "if you don't have anything better this will do"

Dave Liao
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May 18, 2021

@Dirk Ronsmans - haha yes... I'm just happy the mobile app has dark mode. Hmm, I have no idea how good its offline support is, but it can't be as good as Trello's 😉

Opportunity to introduce Jira Cloud or Trello to their team? 👀

Brant Schroeder
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May 3, 2021

We use Jira across the enterprise and as our teams want more control and oversight over their projects they move on to Jira.  Jira has so many tools that allow you to track and get real-time insights into large and complex projects.  It also allows you to implement stricter controls for monitoring your projects.  Trello is a great tool that provides teams with a flexible way to manage work.  We see a lot of teams start with it for project work and graduate to Jira from it.  Trello works better for reoccurring work or operational tasks that are done over and over.  We see a lot of teams use it for that.

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Vero Rivas
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May 8, 2021

Hi @Fabienne Gerhard 

   The truth is that I use Trello for almost everything and I have never thought of integrating both applications, I also like the freedom of trello, its app and being able to have separate processes, but both products are wonderful

Cheers

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Fabienne Gerhard
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May 17, 2021

Hi @Vero Rivas sorry for not answering earlier! I also enjoy using the Trello App 👍 

G subramanyam
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May 9, 2021

Hi @Fabienne Gerhard I feel it easy with Jira rather than Trello in handling/ managing multiple and complex projects/ teams.

I still need to understand/ explore how Trello can be fit in for complex projects? But, I can see Trello can be used at portfolio level as a bird's eye view!

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Fabienne Gerhard
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May 18, 2021

Hi @G subramanyam - that was my first point too. The longer I worked with different teams and complex levels and reading through all the posts here, I get other perspectives on that. 

M Amine
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June 21, 2021

Trello is not that customizable. For my point of view Trello is good fit for small business or for personal use not for Entreprise having big teams and needing insight on portfolio roadmap, teams ...etc . 

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Fabienne Gerhard
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July 22, 2021

Hi @M Amine - interesting point. There were several complex and heavy projects managed with Trello I heard of. 

Alex Koxaras _Relational_
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July 23, 2021

Interesting thread!

My opinion would be that for bigger projects with many people involved, high customizable solutions and issue security levels, jira is preferable. I think that big scaled companies will not use trello, perhaps because they have linked it to not being so "professional". I have limited experience with trello to be honest, and I could see using it by scrum teams (with a powerup), or with kanban teams.

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Huwen Arnone _Deiser_
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July 30, 2021

I remember the first time I saw Jira Cloud; my only thought was: "Trello," BOOM! But if you go deeper, you realize; basically, Trello is focused on sporadic project collaborations with business teams (even though nowadays we have Team Central and Jira Work Management, which are interesting options as well), and Jira is to manage more complex projects.

In the end, it all depends on the use case each team (or person) gives to these tools, and that's the beauty of it and why the Atlassian universe of tools is so fascinating to me. And that's also why this thread is so cool. 😎

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Suvradip Paul
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August 7, 2021

Thanks for raising @Fabienne Gerhard !

I have just read the comment above and as always it's interesting and covering different aspects.

I think this question reminds me of something - Alien vs Predator movie or the recent Godzilla vs Kong!! Sorry, just joking on a Saturday night!

It depends on the nature of userbase, the nature of organisation and the end goal( I mean the intended solution for a problem statement). So I would not hurt the emotions of Trello and Jira people and vote for any one of them and I think Atlassian created and maintains and evolves these products keeping a track of all these factors.

Cheers

Suvradip 

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Paloma Fondon Araujo
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August 8, 2021

I think that for more complex teams and projects it may be easier to use Jira with Trello, but for simpler projects, without integrations with tools, etc., and especially for small teams that are just starting, it may be easier to manage tasks with Trello. I had a case of a small marketing team, who preferred not to include the project in Jira and to do it in Trello and Confluence. It was a really good decision since they quickly learned how to use it and they loved the idea, and so did I!

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Ajay _view26_
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August 17, 2021

Hi @Fabienne Gerhard 

For me getting started with Trello was quick .. and I use it for simple use-cases such as employee on-boarding checklist , Marketing topics etc .. The lanes can be quickly configured without having to understand the Jira Workflow & Board concept ...

Lately  Jira Work Management features are quite similar to the recent Trello Feature announcement ...( Calendar View, Table View etc )

Certainly Atlassian is providing ample choices .. 😉

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Fabienne Gerhard
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October 27, 2021

Hi @Ajay _view26_ - that's also something I was thinking when the new Trello Features were announced. Really a good point and thanks for mentioning.

What I see as a big difference are the workflow possibilities - or maybe it's just that I use Jira when I need complex workflows and never got deep into Trello for that. Did you or someone else ever try this out? I know that butler is super mighty but from my point of view will never be the same as automations.

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