Project Management Software

Jira: Project management software review

Jira has been a best choice for software improvement groups for a very long time. Meanwhile, a universe of non-developer groups have appeared to general-use PM software like ClickUp, Smartsheet, and Wrike for a much less technical UX. Atlassian’s response to those manufacturers as the marketplace for common workforce and challenge management platforms matures is Jira Work Management.

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Review methodology

This review is predicated on my expertise registering, configuring, and executing a challenge in Jira. The pattern challenge I constructed within the software is a three-month utility improvement timeline with six sprints and over 20 core duties.

Below is the pattern challenge (Figure A). The columns listed embrace activity title, begin and finish dates, assigned contact, standing, period, completion share, and notes. Meanwhile, rows arrange dash duties and subtasks into sprints. Two sprints include a number of subtasks.

Figure A

Image: Sam Ingalls/TechRepublic.

To add extra context, I familiarized myself with Jira’s product documentation, demos, trade critiques and recognition and a comparative evaluation with different software functions. I ran a free trial of the Business plan to check this software.

Jira options & rivals

*in alphabetical order

What is Jira Work Management?

Jira is the flagship software and challenge management platform developed by Atlassian for software improvement groups. Released in 2002, the core product—Jira Software—gives builders instruments to plan, monitor, launch, and report within the software improvement lifecycle.

Almost twenty years later, Atlassian introduced the addition of Jira Work Management to the Jira household of functions in 2021. Through a collaborative platform, Jira Work Management gives groups throughout industries the capabilities the seller constructed for developer and IT providers groups.

What is Atlassian?

In 2002, current faculty graduates Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar launched Atlassian in Sydney, Australia. Jira and Confluence have been launched shortly after whereas the corporate grew slowly till the beginning of the cloud revolution within the late 2000s.

Between two funding rounds in 2010 and 2014, Atlassian raised $210 million earlier than turning into a public firm (NASDAQ:TEAM) in 2015.

Through 20 years, Atlassian has strengthened its portfolio with nearly twenty acquisitions, together with Cenqua (2007), Bitbucket (2010), Trello (2017), OpsGenie (2018), and Jira Align (2019). Together, the Atlassian portfolio extends to collaboration, code management, safety, and repair desk functions.

Figure B

Jira overview

Jira is a challenge management answer out there as a free trial, free plan for groups beneath 10 customers, or premium SaaS subscription. Teams can entry the platform via the corporate’s web site or cell utility for iOS and Android gadgets via the Apple and Google Play shops. All Jira apps can be found via Jira Cloud by Atlassian.

Jira is out there via an online browser or on Apple and Android gadgets by way of Jira Cloud.

Start with the Atlassian web site or cell utility

From the Jira homepage or cell app, new customers can enter their enterprise e mail and full title to set off a verification e mail. Once confirmed, customers choose their workforce trade and performance for suggestions on templates and instruments. Similar to different PM instruments, including teammates by e mail will probably be an ongoing immediate to make the most of team-oriented options like assigning duties.*

Note: While different PM platforms use the time period duties or gadgets for a row’s worth, Jira typically interchangeably makes use of duties with the developer-friendly “issues.”

The Jira Work Management interface (Figure C) guides customers via a Quickstart information to see find out how to begin initiatives, lists, calendars, timelines, and types. This was fast and helpful however a bug prevented me from finishing a step within the onboarding. After dismissing the menu, I used to be free to discover the platform.

Figure C

Teams begin with an empty board view with a navigation menu on the left to begin work.

Jira Work Management options and capabilities

Import present work and rework duties into points

After parsing via almost each platform web page and pertinent documentation, I nonetheless struggled to seek out the place to import my present challenge duties. To save any readers the ache:

Users can import present challenge information by clicking both

  1. the [+] icon on the highest banner and deciding on “Import issues,” or
  2. the gear icon to open “Settings,” choose “System” beneath Jira Settings, scroll down, and choose “External System Import.”

Both choices ship customers to the Jira import engine with choices to add a CSV, JSON, or Trello file, adopted by a reconciliation course of to match preliminary subject values with Jira’s parameters. The subsequent steps have been each complicated and irritating.

The fields matching step (Figure D) included an in depth vary of built-in subject values and the choice to create a subject for any subject varieties that have been lacking to make sure information makes it onto the platform. At least that was true on my first try.

Figure D

The reconciliation step gives a variety of subject values to match in opposition to present information.

Through a half-dozen tries on the import course of, I had no choice to maneuver to the subsequent step on a number of events, forcing a restart, and the beforehand talked about extent of subject values had dissipated. When lastly arriving on the subsequent step, I validated any distinctive subject values earlier than confirming the import. The first time ending the import course of, the info failed to seem on my chosen challenge. Second time ending, and the sixth try, labored.

There is a helpful preview to finish these two steps that shows errors, warnings, and points created accurately for the imported file. Already having spent sufficient time on this, I ignored the truth that the import engine didn’t acknowledge dates, regardless of my following its date format immediate.

Jira accomplished the import with the ensuing List view (Figure E) displaying points by row. Unfortunately, the import engine failed to acknowledge fields like activity standing, assignee (requires e mail), and the beginning and finish dates. With an already small variety of fields wanted, this course of and the guide effort required after to reconcile lacking information was time-consuming, to say the least.

Figure E

Imported information from spreadsheets will look acquainted to customers in List view.

Collaborate throughout completely different challenge views

While the default view is Jira’s Kanban-style Board, all points will sit within the “To Do” lane in the event that they don’t have their standing but. For spreadsheet customers, the List view is extra handy for adjusting concern information. After my import expertise, a bit of time was required to reconcile my preliminary challenge information (Figure A) and what appeared in my import outcomes (Figure E).

List view

The List view breaks down challenge information into rows for duties and columns to outline subject values. Users can drag-and-drop rows vertically or columns horizontally, add columns or subtasks, and open activity particulars. Regrettably, I used to be unable to pick a number of duties to carry out group operations, which meant altering all subject values manually in a time-consuming endeavor.

Note: Much later in my exploration of the software, I landed on the Issues web page which permits for bulk actions to edit, transfer, transition, or watch points in a 4-step Bulk Operation engine. Though that is higher than no group operation choice, the format was outdated and unintuitive relative to competitor platforms.

From the hyperlink featured within the Key # column, groups can open any activity particulars. The in-platform window (Figure F) consists of the duty title, description, information, and feedback, with choices so as to add a subtask, hyperlink duties, or add an app.

Figure F

Users can open, view, and modify particulars for points, and fasten feedback or information.

In the above instance, I’ve connected the onboarding file to the difficulty in addition to feedback to reiterate studying the information. Upon opening the underside proper “More fields” tab, customers may open an extra window (Figure G) to configure time monitoring. While each PM software gives an in depth view of activity information, the built-in time tracker is exclusive and accessible.

Figure G

Teams can estimate and monitor effort spent on duties with a built-in time tracker.


Back to the developer-friendly Board view (Figure H), challenge duties at the moment are cut up into three lanes (To Do, In Progress, and Done) primarily based on modifications to activity standing made in List view.

Like different Kanban board instruments, Jira permits customers to drag-and-drop playing cards horizontally between lanes and vertically inside lanes. Teams may filter their view by assignee, concern sort, label, or precedence, create new playing cards, and open activity particulars with a click on of a card.

From the “More” menu (top-right), customers can customise card views to solely show pertinent particulars, however I might’ve appreciated the choice to create a brand new column.

Figure H

View and modify duties as playing cards divided into lanes primarily based on progress standing.

Calendar and Timeline views: Tasks over time

For groups and customers who admire seeing duties in opposition to time in a challenge, the Calendar and Timeline views provide simply that.

I admire the Calendar view (Figure I), which exhibits the total size of duties fairly than the person begin and finish dates. However, an choice to export to or import from a third-party calendar software can be a pleasant addition.

Figure I

Move to Calendar view to see activity begin and finish dates throughout weeks of time.

The Timeline view (Figure J) equally gives customers the prospect to pick, open, and modify duties particulars on a timescale, but in addition consists of the choice to view the timeline by weeks, months, or quarter. Upon hovering over duties, customers can click on and drag a line between duties to create a visually useful dependency.

Both Calendar and Timeline views additionally permit customers to tug and drop duties alongside the calendar or timescale to regulate the beginning and finish dates.

Figure J

Timeline view shows duties as rows in opposition to a timescale by week, month, or quarter.

Automation: Reduce effort and simplify workflows

From the platform settings, customers can create, view, and modify automations for challenge workflows. In Figure Ok, Jira’s automation engine gives a number of wise examples of automations for any challenge, and customers can discover tons of extra automation rule templates right here.

Figure Ok

Project managers can allow automation guidelines from settings or the platform interface.

Other Jira options

Forms: Customize and gather survey information

Through the Forms software, customers can create surveys that may import on to concern fields. These types assist groups shortly gather responses from throughout the corporate within the Jira platform. Compared to different PM instruments, I discovered Jira’s kind builder fairly easy. Besides enabling challenge fields as prompts, there’s little else one can do to configure and model the shape for launch, which might both be liberating or limiting primarily based on the corporate’s dedication to whitelabelling inside or exterior types.

Templates: Start initiatives quick

Jira Work Management gives over 20 templates for groups throughout design, finance, human sources, authorized, and advertising fields. See extra in Use Cases for various examples.

Project settings gateway

The gear icon labeled “Project settings” on the bottom-left of the Jira Work Management platform opens a protracted listing of choices to configure:

  • Project particulars, folks, and automations
  • Issue varieties, workflows, screens, and fields for challenge information
  • Versions and parts of the challenge
  • Roles, permissions, and notification insurance policies
  • Issue collectors for connecting web site information into Jira Issues
  • Integrating Slack and channel notifications

Access to and understanding these platform options will probably be important to profiting from workforce utilization. That mentioned, the training curve for first-time Jira customers is obvious. While parts of different PM platforms range considerably (e.g., Sheet vs. List vs. Table), Jira Work Management’s use of developer jargon will probably be intimidating for non-software improvement challenge managers.

Summary web page

Atop the platform menu is the Summary web page for an summary of challenge information by activity standing, precedence, workload, and associated initiatives. Clicking on the primary 4 widgets opens the choose duties filtered in List view, however there’s little extra one can do right here.

Figure L

The Summary web page gives an summary of challenge information and metrics

The Atlassian benefit

The Atlassian portfolio goes a lot farther than Jira Work Management with a household of Jira functions, in addition to merchandise protecting:

Collaboration: Confluence and Trello.

Code management: Bitbucket, Sourcetree, Bamboo, Fisheye, and Crucible.

Identity and safety: Atlassian Access and Crowd.

Due to the big range of Atlassian merchandise that can be utilized by tech and non-developer groups of many sorts, corporations that already use many of those merchandise might discover that they’ve entry to higher connectivity and a extra seamless expertise when integrating with these instruments.

The Jira household

It’s no shock to see Atlassian construct out its flagship product’s capabilities for a rising variety of IT professionals, groups, and companies that may additionally profit from challenge management platforms. Beyond the core platform for software improvement and Agile groups, Jira Software, and the addition of Work Management, the suite additionally consists of:

Jira Service Management: IT assist and repair platform for concern and incident management.

Capture for Jira: Session-based testing and bug reporting for remediation.

Status web page: Inform customers with communications about downtime, incidents, and upkeep.

Jira Align: Enterprise Agile-capabilities for visibility, technique, and versatile frameworks at scale.

Bitbucket and Bamboo: Manage code repositories and optimize CI/CD

Acquired by Atlassian in 2010, Bitbucket is the Git-based code internet hosting and collaboration platform for repository management is a useful integration for Jira shoppers managing utility improvement and upkeep.

Bamboo is one other software designed to optimize steady integration and steady improvement pipelines, providing a CI/CD server to automate testing of supply code standing and constructing software. These apps and extra are why Atlassian is a favourite for enterprise organizations bundling a number of merchandise.

Jira Work Management use circumstances and viewers

While Jira Software might current some preliminary onboarding difficulties for non-software improvement groups, Jira Work Management opens the door to a mess of groups throughout industries and capabilities. In all, the Jira household of functions serves greater than 100,00 clients worldwide from startups and small companies to enterprise organizations. Notable shoppers embrace Airbnb, Cisco, Dropbox, eBay, Spotify, and Square.

Use circumstances

  • Bug monitoring and concern management
  • Campaign and content material management
  • General challenge management
  • Go-to-market launch
  • Lead monitoring and gross sales pipeline
  • New worker onboarding and recruitment
  • Performance review system
  • Policy and process management

Types of groups for Jira household functions

  • Finance
  • Human sources
  • Incident response
  • Information expertise
  • Legal corporations
  • Marketing and gross sales
  • Operations and logistics
  • Software improvement

Pros & cons of Jira Work Management

Jira benefits and advantages

  • Familiar interface and terminology for Jira Software groups and customers.
  • Robust documentation for studying the platform and instruments.
  • Built-in time monitoring software for estimating and logging effort in opposition to duties.
  • Over 500 integrations and 3000 extensions to attach workflows between apps.
  • Bundle with Atlassian’s portfolio of instruments like BitBucket, Crucible, and Trello.

Jira disadvantages

  • Newer general-use PM answer nonetheless creating from Jira Software base.
  • Import course of was tough to finish efficiently and failed to incorporate wanted present challenge information.
  • The next studying curve for non-software improvement groups for varied options.
  • Not as intuitive as competing prime PM options, requiring extra troubleshooting.
  • Occasional lagging when shifting pages and occasions the place whole parts are lacking.
  • Some annual plans aren’t value the associated fee relative to month-to-month subscriptions.

Jira Work Management has room to develop

  • Tenured challenge management platform with intensive integrations and use circumstances.
  • Top alternative for software improvement groups with a brand new choices for common PM performance.
  • Less preferrred for non-developer customers and groups relative to main PM options.

While Jira Software stays one of many prime selections for software improvement, its youthful sibling, Jira Work Management nonetheless has room to develop. When thought of alone for non-software improvement groups, I discovered Jira’s common challenge management software to be underwhelming relative to different prime PM platforms. It might feel and appear like rivals, however Jira lacks the identical depth of performance and granular controls over workforce and challenge management.

The caveat: Jira Work Management can be the least costly subscription within the challenge management house. With a strong free plan and a month-to-month subscription of $5 or much less for personnel, Jira could be essentially the most reasonably priced for its worth. Unlike some rivals, Atlassian does provide reductions for bigger groups that means a decrease per consumer price when selecting Jira as a company-wide or enterprise answer.

As a more moderen PM answer, I anticipate Jira Work Management will proceed to develop its performance and UX for common groups. For now, it stays a much less engaging choice for groups on the lookout for essentially the most management and options in a PM platform.

Image: Jira


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