- Free plan for up to 10 users
- Various project templates
- Countless integrations
- Seamless automation
- Detailed real-time reporting
- Complex layout and terminology
- Pricing structure
- No budgeting and invoicing
Whether it’s for software development, marketing, or finance, every businessperson can benefit from a reliable online project management platform. Fortunately, the Australian company Atlassian developed Jira Software in 2002 to provide seamless project management tools for all kinds of businesses.
Using basic and advanced project boards alike, Jira Software can easily become your business’s most reliable asset for both short-term and ongoing projects. The templates available make it effortless to manage workflows, while the automation tools save a lot of time on small tasks.
However, such an advanced product comes at a price, as Jira Software can be a bit expensive. That being said, the software has a free plan and a free trial that lasts for up to 30 days for paid subscriptions.
Creating and assigning tasks is at the heart of project management, and Jira Software makes it effortless to do so. In addition, the platform provides various dashboards for every user, which are essentially collections of tasks. Dashboards can be turned into to-do lists, a stream of recent activity in a project, and more.
However, a task can only have one assignee. It's also important to note that main tasks are called epics and subtasks are known as issues on Jira Software. Confusingly, the terms ‘task’ and ‘subtask’ are also used on certain project boards but they mean the same as epics and issues.
Of course, the platform comes with task dependency, which is referred to as issue linking. Moreover, task start dates and deadlines can be set, which can be conveniently edited on a timeline.
With that in mind, Jira Software offers several project views, such as Kanban boards, Gantt charts, calendars, and more. However, the terminology is a bit different here as well, as Gantt charts are called timelines in regular projects and roadmaps on Scrum boards.
Furthermore, Jira Software has a built-in time tracker that reveals which employees are available. However, this is as far as it gets, as users must integrate third-party time tracking software to allocate time spent on tasks.
To make up for its limited time-tracking functionalities, Jira Software provides extremely detailed real-time reporting tools. This offers a detailed overview of a project, such as the average task resolution time, from creation to marking it as completed.
Additionally, the platform comes with advanced reporting, such as release burndown reports, which reveal whether a project was completed within its scope. The platform’s velocity charts also track whether milestones were met on time. Having said that, there’s still room for the software to improve, especially when it comes to reports including expenses, budgeting, and invoicing.
Last but not least, Jira Software offers audit trails about task and subtask progress, such as who modified a task and when.
Jira Software provides an extensive list of automation rules, consisting of three parts: a trigger, a condition, and an action. For example, if a team member creates a high priority subtask, a rule can extend the deadlines of every other subtask. In this scenario, the trigger is the creation of the subtask, and the action is when deadlines extend. However, if the trigger doesn’t meet a condition – high priority – the automation fails.
While this may seem a bit overwhelming, it’s actually the other way around. Specifically, Jira Software’s automation tools work seamlessly, proven by the fact that you get a notification even if the automation fails.
To make project workflows more streamlined, Jira Software integrates with over 1,000 third-party apps. This includes software for cloud storage, internet security, and time-tracking software.
There are also add-ons for Atlassian’s other platforms, such as Jira Work Management and Confluence. The former provides templates to be used in projects, while the latter lets you update your team regarding daily matters via blog posts.
Another noteworthy integration is Microsoft 365, which provides add-ons for multiple apps in one powerful office suite. For example, Microsoft Outlook can be integrated to create tasks out of emails. Meanwhile, Microsoft Teams can import to-dos from Jira Software and vice versa, so a project’s progress can be updated without changing platforms too often.
Although there’s no way to directly import projects from a competitor other than fellow Atlassian products, setting up Jira Software is quite straightforward. As such, users must either create projects from scratch or import them from an Excel file. A significant time-saving factor is that Jira Software provides numerous templates for this end.
Other than the ones coming with the platform, such as bug reporting, it’s possible to import templates from Jira Work Management. This includes templates for marketing campaigns, remote employee onboarding, content management, and many more.
Better yet, the platform provides unlimited project boards. It’s also handy that anyone can create projects and tasks. Speaking of which, inviting team members via email is also straightforward. Finally, if anyone’s ever stuck, Jira Software offers handy getting-started videos and guides to help users through the initial steps.
Users must rely on Jira Software’s web application when managing projects on a PC, Mac, or MacBook. Although the platform has no desktop app, it’s possible to receive desktop notifications about new tasks and updated projects by installing In-App & Desktop Notifications for Jira. Other than that, users can get notifications via email too.
Meanwhile, Jira Software’s mobile app for Android and iOS works like a charm, as the tabs are organized better than on the software’s web platform. It’s also convenient that the mobile app gives access to Atlassian’s Jira Service Management and allows recordings to be inserted into new and existing workflows with one tap by using the built-in video recorder.
While the mobile app can’t import templates, it’s possible to work on the ones created on the web platform. In addition, it can send push notifications regarding project updates, comments, and more.
Jira Software’s pricing structure is complicated, to say the least. The monthly plan is user-based, having the same monthly price for up to 120 users. After that threshold, Jira does get cheaper the more seats you get. Surprisingly, the annual plans work with user ranges. For example, it costs $790 per year regardless of whether you have 1 or 10 users. In other words, it only makes sense to go for the yearly billing cycle when you’re near the end of one of the user thresholds, which can provide a discount of up to 17%. On the bright side, the company does offer a free-forever plan for up to 10 users, which is good enough for a start-up.
With access to unlimited project boards, audit trails, and 250GB storage space, Standard is a sure way to find out what Jira Software is all about. That being said, a Premium subscription unlocks project archiving to avoid getting overcrowded with too many tasks. There’s also an Enterprise plan, which comes with extras like enforced two-factor authentication and separated dashboards for subsidiaries.
Finally, it’s worth taking advantage of the various free trials for Jira Software’s paid plans available. For one, the company offers a 7-day free trial. However, users who start with a free account get an extended version of the trial, which goes up to 14 days for Standard and 30 days for Premium. Finally, all subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Atlassian provides various direct support channels to make itself available for users. While 24/7 help is reserved for Premium subscribers, the company does answer questions via email, support tickets, and its active community forums. Another way of contacting Atlassian’s agents is via social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Moreover, the company also has a YouTube channel, where it showcases demos of all its platforms.
Another way of getting support is by checking Atlassian’s incredibly detailed FAQ sections to learn how to easily create projects and tasks, get started with roadmaps, and much more. Lastly, the company’s blog contains popular project management topics, such as how to avoid scope creep and unnecessary micromanagement.
Jira Software makes project management a breeze, especially with its detailed task and project creation tools. The platform also provides project templates for bug reporting and Scrum. Plus, it seamlessly integrates with other Atlassian platforms for even more customization.
In addition, Jira Software’s straightforward automation tools are also praise-worthy. Also, real-time reporting streamlines processes by giving the team a detailed overview of projects’ progress. The cherry on top is that you’ll miss nothing happening to your projects with the platform’s simple yet versatile mobile app.
That being said, it takes time to get used to the platform, especially when it comes to Jira Software’s terminology. It would also be useful to integrate budgeting tools to map out a project’s costs and invoicing to conduct direct payment. On the flip side, the appealing free plan is great for any team up to 10 users who are taking the first steps in project management.
Best Online Project Management Software of 2024
|Editor's Choice 2024
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