Jira vs. PivotalTracker

Looking for the perfect tool to run your scrum projects? Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you. There are many tools out there, however, and each one of them have pros and cons. One thing I can do is go over two of the tools I have used, which hopefully could help you narrow down your search.

Let’s start with pricing. While each of the tools I have used come out to that exact same price for 15, 25, and 50 users, Jira would cost significantly less for up to 10 users. I would like to mention that Jira also offers a cloud version and server version (which, you host yourself). However, with that being said, this comparison is only for the cloud version. The big plus I see here is that with Jira you get the Agile tool,in addition to the bug tracking tool. With PivotalTracker, you only get an Agile tool.

UX. Each have pretty nice UX, but PivotalTracker may be a bit simpler, which could get the user “up-and-running” in less time than Jira. Jira has many more features and if you are trying to learn all of them, then you might just be looking at a few weeks worth of learning.

Customization. They both have customization options. Once again, this could turn into weeks of learning with Jira. Contrarily, PivotalTracker is far more limiting on what can be customized.

Reports. They both offer burndown charts, velocity charts, and historical trends. Jira also offers an estimation chart. While PivotalTracker does not offer estimation charts, I do not find this to be very important. All you need to do is know the total amount of story points, your team velocity, and sprints length to figure out your deadlines.

Task assignment. PivotalTracker offers multiple members assignment, while Jira only allows one user per task. Depending on your workflow, this may be a problem.

Administration effort. Big companies tend to create the roll of Jira administrator. This is one person that deals with Jira 100% of their working hours. This means that if you are working with large scale projects, things can get a bit hairy in Jira.

So what do we take away from all this? I will leave the decision up to you, however I believe that for smaller (strictly scrum tracking) size projects, PivotalTracker may be a better  scrum tool option. For large scale projects (multiple teams or enterprise type situations) Jira may in fact hold the crown.

Here is a quick comparison chart:

Jira vs. PivotalTracker

Jira

PivotalTracker

Web-based
 √  √
Mobil app
   
API
   
Multi-user
 X  
User roles
   X
Notifications
   
Milestone Tracking
 X  √
Gantt Charts
   X
Cost Tracking
   X
Kamban support
   X
Custom Fields
   X