The Pros and Cons of Using Jira Software

Bug tracking systems enable software development teams to quickly resolve issues found in design, coding, specs, or features. 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 for project management the best option?

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What is Jira Software?

Jira Software is a product of Atlassian, initially released in 2002 as a purely 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 all types of issues, tasks, and work items. They do so because, like other issue and project tracking software, Jira enables teams to plan, track projects, release software, generate reports, and automate processes using a single platform.

Today, more than 100,000 organizations worldwide use Jira Software for building their software and tracking issues. This scalable solution delivers robust feature sets with enterprise-grade security for every stage of growth. And its Atlassian Marketplace allows developers to create plugins that extend the features of the software.

With the increasing number of agile practitioners, more teams than ever are now using Jira for project management.

Project Overview on Jira Software Dashboard

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

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Jira Software Use Cases

Jira Software is a customizable workflow engine that allows users to track issues, bugs, tasks, and other work items through predefined workflows that users can modify to fit their requirements.

This power and flexibility allow Jira to be used in multiple work environments.

For Agile Teams

Jira provides teams that practice agile methodologies with ready-to-use Scrum and Kanban boards. These boards contain tasks mapped to customizable workflows. Time tracking and real-time reports enable agile teams to easily track their 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 software 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 platform integrates with many test management tools for a seamless quality assurance process. Teams 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 wide range of variety of project types. Its project templates can help teams start a project quickly, or can be quickly customized to the team’s unique workflow. Teams can track issues, which are equivalent to tasks, and go through each workflow stage until completion. Jira also includes dashboards and reports for tracking progress, performance, and productivity.

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Jira Disadvantages and Cons

Jira is a top choice of 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 be overwhelming for simple projects, and for teams who are looking for something 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 dealbreaker for some.

Suite of Products

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 for service management, Opsgenie, Statuspage, Confluence, and Bitbucket, among others. The multiple options can be overwhelming.

Limited Project Management

Jira Software is ideal for tracking bugs, issues, and the progress of agile projects. But as a project management tool, it lacks features to manage costs or assess risks, features often needed in a complete project management experience.

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Jira Advantages and Pros

Agile Work Management

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

Organization Alignment

Individual teams and organizations can stay aligned with Jira roadmaps. Teams 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 teams get 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. Teams can choose the tools that work 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 give developers the tool to 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 with new features that make Jira more capable and friendly. It continues to invest in giving users new 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 Software is one of the best issue and project tracking software available today, with great support for agile. It provides a central place that promotes work visibility and team collaboration. The pros and cons of using Jira Software can help teams make an informed decision as they find the most suitable solution for their project and business needs.

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Recommended Project Management Software

If you’re interested in learning more about other top-rated project management solutions, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.