Project management

Rally vs Jira: comparison of project management software

Rally and Jira are two project management solutions designed to work with common agile methodologies. Jira excels in flexibility, while Rally is a highly dedicated tool intended to operate within the agile framework.

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Project management tools based on agile methodologies have become the norm in software development. This has led to many different solutions coming to market, often making it difficult to decide which tool is best for your team. Jira and Rally are two popular options that share many similarities but differ in terms of flexibility and specific uses.

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What is Jira?

Jira is a mature project management tool that started years ago as a basic bug tracking solution. It has since evolved into a complete project management software package integrating all agile methodologies.

Much of Jira’s strength and popularity comes from its flexibility and ability to adjust workflows on the fly. This, along with the thousands of integrations available, helps make Jira adaptable to almost any environment.

What is the rally?

Similar to Jira, Rally is a project management solution; however, it forgoes the flexibility of Jira to instead focus on a specific type of software development workflow. As such, Rally offers the ability to see how teams are allocated and whether resources are fully utilized, with several tools specifically designed for this task.

For those who fully embrace the agile methodology, Rally’s dedicated features and workflow in this direction will make it a good choice.

Rally vs Jira: Feature Comparison

These two project management tools share many features, but users will have a different experience with each when it comes to the specifics. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most important differences between these features.

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Characteristic Rally Jira
Cloud and on-premises options Nope Yes
Scrum and Kanban support Yes Yes
Thousands of plugins for integrations Nope Yes
Customizable organizational levels Yes Nope
Integrated resource management Yes Nope

Agile reports

Rally and Jira both offer agile reporting features, but Jira is more advanced in this regard. Rally’s reporting tools are somewhat basic, with few filters and other options. Often, scrum masters will need to export this data to another program such as Excel to clean it up further.

Jira, on the other hand, offers a more streamlined and feature-rich approach to reporting, with filters and other tools needed to customize reports for maximum usability. It also has a robust advanced search function to help further with reporting, which Rally does not offer.


Both Rally and Jira allow customization of the dashboard based on specific criteria relevant to the work your teams are involved in.

For Jira, this is called their gadget system, where tile-like gadgets can be dragged and dropped directly from the dashboard overview of any project. This makes it easy to make certain changes on the fly, independent of other aspects, and is one of Jira’s main strengths of flexibility.

Comparatively, Rally offers an app-based customization feature, which also provides a wizard to help you install the most common apps for someone in your role. For example, if you tell the assistant that you are a scrum master, it will preload the most common applications for that role. Additionally, Rally offers a second layer to this, known as Custom Pages, which can include apps used only for the short term or for a specific initiative or project and then removed. But that requires diving into another layer.

Resource management

Jira doesn’t come with built-in high-level resource management tools, and instead users will have to go to their free plugin repository to find a solution, which can be hit or miss.

Rally takes the lead in this regard with its built-in agile capacity planning tools, which provide a quick overview of which resources are fully utilized and which have the capacity to support more. If capacity planning is important to your team’s workflow, then Rally excels at it with its built-in features.

Choosing between Rally and Jira

They are two closely related project management tools, with neither really outperforming the other from an overall perspective. The choice will really come down to a few key features, such as resource management or reporting.

Another key distinction is the flexibility that Jira has over Rally. In fact, Jira has become so flexible that it’s often used to handle other business projects outside of software development. But of course, with that flexibility, it makes it more of a jack-of-all-trades, so some areas are missing.

Rally, on the other hand, is for those who are completely immersed in agile methodologies and want a solution that aligns perfectly with those strategies without a lot of extra features that fall outside of this scope.

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