Jira Pros and Cons
Jira Software, also known as Jira, is a popular tool for Agile project management and is primarily used by IT and software development teams. It offers an extensive range of features such as Kanban boards, Agile reports, and issue tracking. Besides keeping team members in the loop, Jira allows teams to define workflows and create automations. Jira is highly customizable and integrates well with other Atlassian applications.
It also boasts many features, making it challenging for new users unfamiliar with Jira. Some initial training may be required to help them find their way around the tool. Furthermore, Jira has no project budgeting. A flat-rate plan exists for teams up to ten members, but additional users are charged on a per-user basis.
In this Jira review, we will explore project management features, pricing, ease of use, customer support, add ons, and more.
What is Jira?
Jira Software is a project management tool aimed at teams within the IT and software development sectors. It is part of Australian company Atlassian’s product suite which also includes Jira Service Desk, Trello, Confluence, and Bitbucket. Jira Software was originally designed as a bug tracking tool, but functionalities have since expanded to incorporate other Agile features such as Scrum boards to improve workflow.
Jira Software is one of the most well-known technical project management software on the market and is a popular tool used by over 75,000 users in 122 countries. Customers of Jira include HubSpot, Samsung, Dropbox, and VISA.
Facts and Figures
|Founder||Mike Cannon-Brookes, Scott Farquhar|
|CEO||Mike Cannon-Brookes, Scott Farquhar|
Jira Project Management Features
Jira’s project management features are particularly effective for Agile processes as it was primarily developed for IT and software development teams. It allows teams to plan IT projects and manage IT operations, including bug-tracking and recording time spent resolving issues.
Teams can manage tasks by moving them through a Scrum Board, customize workflows, and give comments and feedback all within the application itself. Project managers can give clients access to projects while restricting the content they are allowed to view. The Atlassian Marketplace also serves as a great resource for additional integrations and customizable templates designed to kickstart IT projects right off the bat.
Jira’s highly specialized and customizable IT tools are optimized for Agile project planning. With features such as Kanban and Scrum Boards, teams using Jira can create and assign tasks and gain a snapshot of a project’s progress in one location. Project managers can also measure project progress with progress monitoring features and keep deadlines in mind. Streamlined workflows and automations eliminate silos and roadblocks, ensuring that information and feedback flow smoothly.
Jira Software’s Kanban boards, also known as Scrum Boards, are an excellent tool for mapping tasks and workflows related to software development in one place. Jira’s Scrum Boards function like a Kanban board where cards hold task details and can be moved around freely between workflows such as “To Do”, “In Progress”, and “Completed”. The Scrum Boards can be customized and configured to match all kinds of Agile processes, including sprint planning, user stories, and product backlog.
Project managers can also add in task descriptions, assign tasks to team members, label and categorize cards, and filter cards by users.
Jira Software enables teams to manage multiple projects and Agile development through powerful task management features such as task history, custom attributes, and reporting. Project managers can create tasks, update task details, assign tasks to multiple employees, and break down tasks into subtasks.
Team members can also update task labels, change task types, and add due dates. Last but not least, there are a few ways of adding additional content to a task to provide a clearer picture, such as attaching files and images and linking to Confluence pages.
Setting up workflows is a reliable way of transitioning tasks between statuses. Jira Software allows users to use pre-built workflows or create customized workflows using Jira’s workflow designer. The workflow designer is a visual tool that allows teams to see the layout of their workflows and the relationships between them. Teams can edit and configure different workflow stages, including triggers, conditions, properties, and more. These customizations can be toggled on or off depending on a team’s needs and empower them to have full control over their workflows.
Teams also have the option of importing workflows from the Atlassian Marketplace.
Monitoring the progress of a project helps teams to project their goals and keep deadlines in focus. Besides displaying a progress bar for each item, Jira also enables project managers to view and track a project’s status via time-based progress tracking, resolved issue count progress tracking, and story point progress tracking.
Time-based progress tracking measures time spent on a task against the estimated time needed to complete the rest of the task, whereas resolved count progress tracking calculates the number of resolved issues. Story point progress tracking assesses project progress using sub-tasks. Project managers can also set story points to estimate the size of a task and break it down into sub-tasks if necessary.
Communication & Collaboration
Jira ensures that teams can collaborate closely by offering them dedicated spaces to discuss work. Team members can comment directly within an issue, upload files and attachments, and provide additional content such as code snippets and images. External collaboration is also possible with project managers assigning specific roles to clients and creating custom workflows.
Jira Software’s file-storage capabilities start at 2GB on the free plan and increase according to the different pricing plans. A team on the Standard plan has a 250GB file storage, whereas a team on the Premium plan has unlimited storage. Project administrators also have the option of customizing attachment settings such as file size limit and ZIP support.
Additionally, teams can integrate Confluence with Jira to enjoy greater file storage possibilities. Confluence allows teams to export uploaded content to other formats such as DOCX, PDF, and much more.
Teams using Jira can give external collaborators access to project resources in three ways: permission schemes, issue security schemes, and workflows. The permission schemes allow project managers to decide who can see a particular project inside Jira by assigning them project roles.
Teams that need to restrict the visibility of issues within a project can achieve this with the issue security schemes. It allows internal users to create and comment on issues that external partners cannot access. Finally, through the use of custom workflows, project managers can also route and divert issues to the appropriate audience without having to explicitly grant permissions.
With Jira Software, team members can subscribe to real-time updates by clicking the “Watch” button and provide detailed feedback on an issue. Content can range from simple text updates and images to code snippets, tables, and more. The Jira text editor also supports markdown formatting and automatically converts links and code into readable paragraphs.
If a comment applies only to a specific audience, a user has the option of limiting it to the relevant individuals. Teams can also react to comments with emojis and mention teammates with the @ symbol.
Resource Allocation & Planning
Jira offers teams the ability to track time while completing tasks and resolving issues. All logged time appears automatically within an issue and can be used in Agile reporting. Though lacking project budgeting features, teams can use integrations such as Tempo Budgets found within the Atlassian Marketplace to track and measure project expenditures.
Jira’s time tracking tool helps development teams better understand how long a product will take to develop and is essential for Agile reporting. Jira Software provides the team the ability to record time spent working on tasks and issues. Time tracking in Jira can be configured in the following ways: working hours per day, working days per week, time display format, and default time unit.
All logged time appears automatically in the issue and can be edited and deleted if the user has been granted permission. Though time-tracking is enabled by default, project managers can switch it off any time.
Agile Project Management
Agile teams using Jira can rely on its excellent technical project management features to deliver their product on time. It fully supports different Agile methodologies such as Kanban and Scrum. Teams can manage all of their software development projects in one place while logging issues and bugs using the tracking tool. Jira’s Agile reports also include sprint velocity, sprint burndown, epic burndown, guaranteeing that project managers always have crucial team performance statistics right at their fingertips.
Built specifically for Agile processes, Jira Software supports the Scrum framework via a set of advanced tools. A development team can use the Scrum board to plan sprints, estimate user stories, check velocity, and prioritize urgent issues. With a drag and drop interface, a user can quickly move issues around and reorder them in the backlog.
Jira’s story points feature also enables teams to track tasks better and estimate how much time is needed to complete them. Project managers have access to version management, giving them an overview of a product’s versions, status, development data, and potential problems.
A bug tracking tool is essential to track and record reported bugs in a piece of software. Jira Software allows teams to capture and log bugs by creating an issue and adding relevant details such as description, severity level, screenshots, version, and more. Project managers can also assign and prioritize bugs and configure a custom workflow for each issue type.
Capture for Jira, a tool that snaps screenshots and lets users annotate them, is also a great add-on for teams testing their product. It records details such as browser type and operating system and attaches the information to a Jira ticket.
Jira can be used by IT teams as it offers the necessary tools for structured sprint planning, ticket system, request management, status tracking, issue tracking and moreJira Software facilitates Agile development by helping teams manage their IT projects and deploy products on-time. With Agile project management features such as Kanban, Scrum Boards, and Agile reporting, software development teams can access a wealth of tools that will bring their projects forward. Jira also boasts developer tool integrations such as GitHub and GitLab, rich APIs, and over 3000 third-party applications.
Jira Software helps teams become more efficient and productive by providing them with Agile reports and key performance metrics. The types of Agile reports that Jira support include burndown chart, sprint report, velocity chart, cumulative flow diagram, release burndown, control chart, and epic burndown. With these charts, project managers can gain critical insights into team performance and highlight areas for improvement.
Jira offers a free plan and two paid plans. On the free plan, teams can have up to 10 users and access to some features such as Scrum and Kanban boards, Agile reporting, and customizable workflows. Teams on the paid plans unlock more benefits, including audit logs and increased file storage. On the Premium plans, teams also enjoy unlimited storage and access to 24/7 premium support. Teams who want to give Jira a test run can sign up for a free trial.
On the monthly subscription, Jira charges per user, but the cost per user decreases after 100 users. For example, teams on the Standard plan with 100 users or less pay $7 per user, but teams with 200 users pay $6.50 per user. On the annual subscription, teams pay a fixed sum for each user tier, e.g. teams with 51-100 users pay $7,000 per year and teams with 101-200 users pay $13,000 per year.
For teams who want more control over their data, Jira also offers a self-hosting option that works on a different pricing system. Visit Atlassian’s pricing page for more details.
As part of the Atlassian suite, Jira employs the highest security measures to protect customer data and privacy. Jira is ISO 27001, ISO 27002, PCI-DSS, GDPR certified, and all user data at rest is encrypted with AES-256, whereas data in transit is encrypted with TLS 1.2+. Jira has also completed SOC 2 and SOC 3 audits.
The company uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to store user data and the data centers are located in secure facilities around the world. Automated backups are performed daily, stored in multiple data centers within a particular AWS region, and retained for 30 days. Physical access to Jira’s data centers is limited to authorized personnel with verified biometric access.
All user data stored within the Jira application is only accessed on a need-to basis and Jira employees undergo regular security training. Atlassian has provided a status page hub displaying the operational statuses of all of their products.
Clients can also take measures to safeguard their privacy by entering strong passwords and using SAML Single Sign-on, Two-factor authentication, and SCIM (System for Cross-domain Identity Management).
Jira Software integrates with a wide range of third-party applications outside of the Atlassian suite. They range from project management to design tools and monitoring:
- Adobe XD
- Microsoft Outlook
- Google Sheets
- Bitbucket Cloud
Jira utilizes a clean and modern interface that supports drag and drop functionality. Once logging in, a user will view their system dashboard that displays an overview of assigned tasks and a summarized activity stream. On the left, there is a global menu that navigates to “Dashboards”, “Projects”, “Issues and filters”, and “Jira Settings”.
By clicking on the “+” button on the top left, a user can also create an issue and enter an issue description. There is also a search function that allows users to access documents and issues quickly.
Overall, Jira is user-friendly, easy to use, and provides a pleasant user experience. However, a small learning curve is involved in learning how to use the software due to its broad range of features.
Jira’s mobile apps are easy to use and available on both iOS and Android devices. Project managers can track and manage their team’s work through the app, whereas users can create and edit issues while staying up to date with team projects. Teams can also respond to comments or change tickets description.
Jira is committed to providing great customer support through the following channels:
Teams can browse through Jira’s knowledge base or search by keywords to answer common questions and issues. Some articles range from setting up the Jira Software Cloud to creating and configuring Agile projects.
Jira’s community forum allows users to create threads and start discussions to find answers and support from other Atlassian users.
Finally, Jira also offers direct support via form submission, though users have to be logged into their Atlassian account to do so. Jira also offers an estimated response time when users are submitting a request.
Teams on the free plan can access Jira’s knowledge base and community support, whereas teams on the Standard plan can contact customer support during local business hours. Teams on the Premium plan can enjoy 24/7 premium support.
Jira is a comprehensive and technical tool that offers excellent features, especially for IT and software development teams. Other teams that do not require such specialized features may be better off with one of the alternatives:
Jira is a powerful, Agile-focused project management tool that offers advanced issue tracking capabilities. While Jira can be used for general project management, it is better suited for Agile project management due to the vast amount of technical features the software provides.
Jira supports many popular integrations that extend its functionality. Some of its standout features include Scrum and Kanban boards, Agile reports, and issue tracker. The software also supports collaboration and transparency within teams.
Nonetheless, new users may find Jira’s interface a bit confusing initially, but that can change once some training has been completed and the software is customized as desired. For some teams, the lack of budget features could also be a problem. The paid plans can also become costly when the number of users grows.
Overall, Jira has strong Agile capabilities, making it a great choice for IT and software development teams.