April 8, 2019
A popular tool for managing software development projects – can be used for general project management, too
Developed by Atlassian, Jira is a popular tool for software development teams. It comprises several products, including Jira Core, Jira Software, Confluence, and Jira ServiceDesk. All except for the latter can be used for project management. In fact, if your non-development employees have to report bugs for internal software tools, they may be using Jira already. That's why some companies opt to turn Jira into their primary project management tool, so that everything is easily available in one product.
While that idea works, setting up Jira for general project management may take a little more work than other tools. Jira includes some core features that project management software absolutely must have, such as tasks, and a roadmap showing a basic timeline of a project. Then, third-party integrations – such as BigPicture and Atlassian's own Confluence collaborative workspace – help fill in the gaps. It's not a perfect solution, but it's workable, and it may be the most practical option for teams already invested in Jira.
Product focus is primarily on software development teams
Pricing discounts for larger teams
Not purpose built for general project management
What is Jira?
Chances are, if you work with software developers of any stripe, you've heard the name Jira thrown around. Indeed, Jira is one of the most popular options for software project management among competitors like ClickUp.
Jira uses the popular Kanban interface, which is more or less akin to a cork board with a bunch of categories, and note cards that you can move between them. It got its start in 2002 under Atlassian, of HipChat fame, and claims a user base of more than 125,000 teams from startups to large enterprises. Unlike other project management tools, Jira is not meant for generic use, and is instead solely focused on software development.
However, many teams still rely on it for project management, and use various plugins such as BigPicture and Tempo Timesheets to enhance Jira's usefulness for non-developers. Atlassian also recommends using Jira together with Confluence, Atlassian's content collaboration tool.
For this review, we're looking at Jira using its “next-gen” interface, and Confluence.
In This Guide:
Jira Video Overview: Project Management in Action
This video from Atlassian highlights the company's new approach to Kanban boards in their productive project management software, Jira.
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