The Pros and Cons of Using Jira Software for Project Management

Companies that invest in issue and project-tracking software like Jira can improve the quality of their products and deliver them on time with greater confidence and higher satisfaction among their clients. But is using Jira as project management software the best option?

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What is Jira Software?

Jira Software is an Atlassian product initially released in 2002 as a pure issue-tracking solution for software developers. Over the years, various teams across industries—including non-IT teams—have come to use the software for tracking any type of issue, task, or work item, and with good reason. Jira enables teams to plan, track projects, release software, generate reports, and automate processes using a single platform.

Hundreds of thousands of organizations worldwide use Jira for developing software and tracking issues. The scalable solution offers users a robust feature set and enterprise-grade security for every stage of company growth. Its Atlassian Marketplace provides developers additional options to create plugins that extend any feature of the software.

Project Overview on Jira Software Dashboard

Jira Cloud is a complete SaaS solution that provides users the benefit of having immediate access to Atlassian’s latest features with automatic updates. And because Jira is cloud-based, it’s typically a cost-efficient solution that relieves users of the responsibility of worrying about servers, storage, or maintenance.

For users who have unique or complex operating requirements that are not addressed by current cloud plans, Jira offers self-managed Data Center products that are flexible to deploy on various infrastructure configurations.

Jira is ideal for software teams with its feature set and integration capabilities needed for effective agile software development. Jira users can take advantage of other products like Jira Service Desk, now known as Service Management for incident, problem, and change management. A team with simpler needs can try Jira Core, which is a simplified project management tool that can help a team introduce the capabilities of Jira to the organization.

With an increasing number of agile project management practitioners, more and more teams are now using Jira as a project management tool. Companies that use more than one Jira product can use Atlassian Access to provide admins a team management tool to simplify enforcement of company-wide security and access policies.

Read also: How to Use Jira: Project Organization Best Practices

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Jira Software Use Cases

Jira is a customizable workflow engine that allows users to track any issue type, whether a bug, a task, or a work item through its predefined workflows. Users can easily modify and customize a Jira workflow to fit business requirements. This power and flexibility allow teams to use Jira in multiple work environments and across multiple projects.

For Agile Teams

Jira provides teams that practice agile methodologies with ready-to-use Scrum and Kanban boards. Its Scrum and Kanban board contains tasks mapped to customizable workflows. Time tracking and real-time reports enable an agile team to easily track its performance over time.

A Jira Software Kaban Board for Task Management

For Software Development Teams

Software teams use Jira to manage and collaborate with stakeholders, as they develop feature requirements and other specifications. Jira allows teams to build plans and roadmaps that cover the entire software development lifecycle, as well as tracking and managing issues during development and after deployment.

For Requirements and Test Case Management

Jira is an ideal tool for teams that use iterative approaches. The project management tool integrates with many test management tools for a seamless quality assurance process. A team can optimize Jira’s issue-tracking functionality using custom screens, custom fields, and workflows to handle both manual and automated testing.

For Project Management Teams

As a customizable solution, Jira is applicable to a variety of project types. Its project templates can help a small team to start a project quickly. Users can quickly customize a template to fit a unique team workflow. They can track issues, which are equivalent to tasks, and go through each workflow stage using a timeline or Gantt chart until the team completes every task. Jira also includes dashboards and reports for tracking progress, performance, and productivity.

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What are Jira’s Disadvantages and Cons?

Jira is a top choice for many teams and users, but it is not always the most suitable solution for every team and situation.

Challenging Setup

Jira can be challenging to set up. First-time users can experience a steep learning curve. The multiple options for various configurations can overwhelm a team member when used for a simple project. It may not be the best option for someone simply looking for a task management software that “just works” right out of the box.

Missing Communication Tool

Users can get email notifications while tracking issues or projects. However, there is no quick way to send messages directly from Jira. Available integrations with other communication and chat software can solve this problem, but this lack of a tool to communicate from within the Jira environment may be a deal-breaker for some.

Suite of s

Some users find it confusing and costly to build a complete suite of solutions. Jira products include Jira Software for dev teams, Jira Work Management for business teams, Jira Service Management, Opsgenie, Statuspage, Confluence, and Bitbucket, among others. The multiple options can be overwhelming.

Limited Project Management

Jira is ideal for tracking bugs, issues, and the progress of agile projects. But as a project management tool, it lacks certain capabilities such as the feature to manage costs or assess risks, which is often needed in a complete project management solution.

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Jira Advantages and Pros

Jira provides users with a single, powerful platform to effectively manage features, issues, and tasks while building software in a better way.

Agile Work Management

Jira supports teams using Scrum and Kanban with its agile boards. A Scrum team can easily break large and complex projects into manageable tasks to allow them to focus on their sprints and finish faster. A Kanban team can visualize its workflow and set up work-in-progress limits seamlessly to maximize efficiency. Scrum and Kanban templates also help a development team manage its processes.

Organization Alignment

Individual teams and organizations can stay aligned with the Jira advanced roadmap feature. A team can plan together better when they have the visibility and context to make the right decisions while staying aligned with the company’s bigger goals. Roadmaps allow users to roll up work from team level to company-wide initiatives. It also lets users track progress and dependencies with consideration of team capacity.

Read also: How to Build a Project Roadmap for Your Next Software Build

Reports and Insights

Jira provides ready-to-use dashboards and reports that offer up-to-date work information so a team gets timely insights to deliver successful products. Users are able to plan sprints that deliver value to their customers with insights from their backlog. And as they work and deploy, teams get insightful data and reports to track progress and optimize delivery.

Sprint Progress in Jira Software insights

Integrations

Users can easily extend the capability of Jira with thousands of apps and integrations available. A team can choose the tool that works best for their needs. Quick and deep integrations enable designers, developers, and other users to be more productive without having to switch from one application to another.

DevOps Visibility

Jira provides the foundation to help developers focus on building software with the ability to automate and integrate processes with IT teams. It allows dev teams to build, test, and release software faster. Users can visualize and measure progress from start to finish of the whole application lifecycle across built-in and third-party tools.

Regular Release of New Features

Atlassian continuously innovates to provide users regularly with new features that make Jira more capable and friendly. It continues to invest in giving users new project management tools to help them make better decisions. For instance, Burndown Insight brings the information of a burndown report into the board view to help diagnose issues early on. Other new features are quick actions in the backlog, list view in project templates, and roadmaps across multiple teams and projects.

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Ready to try Jira Software?

Jira is one of the best issue and project tracking software available today, with great support for agile project management. It provides a central place that promotes work visibility and team collaboration. Knowing Jira pros and cons can help a team make an informed decision to find the most suitable solution for their project and business needs.

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If Jira doesn’t quite fit your organization’s needs, or if you’re interested in learning more about other top-rated project management solutions, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:

1 Wrike

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Wrike is the most powerful work management platform on the market, enabling teams to plan projects and collaborate in real time. Our award-winning software is trusted by 20,000+ companies across the globe, including Sony, Estée Lauder, and Siemens.

Wrike’s customizable features include Gantt charts, request forms, dashboards, cross-tagging, time tracking, and proofing. Integrate with 400+ apps from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce. Automate repetitive tasks and achieve 50% faster planning. Work from anywhere with 100% access to your files via our mobile and desktop apps.

Whether you’re a small startup or an established brand, Wrike has the solution for you. Paid plans start at $9.80/user/month. Join our community of 2.3 million — start your free two-week trial today.

Learn more about Wrike

2 Smartsheet

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Smartsheet is a leading work execution platform that has real-time work management features, collaboration and automation tools. Users are presented with a familiar and easy-to-use spreadsheet-like interface. However, it has enterprise-grade capabilities that even Fortune 500 companies like Cisco, Bayer, HP, and PayPal are confident to adopt in their business. Strong project management features enable teams to utilize different views of real-time data, and switch easily from Gantt, card, grid and calendar views. Smartsheet has automatic update requests, and can be used for waterfall and agile projects, product launch, sprint planning, and more. The resource management feature provides users the visibility who is busy, and who is not, in real-time. They can also attach files, share sheets, get notified, view the activity log, export, email, and print.

Learn more about Smartsheet

3 ClickUp

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ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.

Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.

Learn more about ClickUp

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