According to the 2021 State of Agile Report, Jira is the top project management and software development tool for Agile teams. Over 100,000 organizations use Jira for its various features, but that does not necessarily mean that your software development team should use it too. To help you determine if Jira is the right fit for your needs, we will give you a quick rundown of the software’s features, pricing, and strengths and weaknesses. Then, we will reveal several Jira alternatives, so you have a wide variety of PM software choices to mull over.
Jira Project Management Features
Why do so many Agile teams use Jira for their software development and project management needs? Because the software offers a ton of features to boost collaboration and productivity amongst developer, project managers, and stakeholders, such as:
- Powerful Scrum and Kanban boards for managing work
- Templates for Scrum, Kanban, tracking, and DevOps
- Roadmaps to keep teams in sync
- Out-of-the-box dashboards and reporting
- Permission settings
- Custom fields
- Easy automation with drag and drop
- Open DevOps
- Solid bug tracking
- The ability to manage projects as a team or company
- Workflows you can customize to fit varying work styles
- Over 3,000 integrations with third-party apps
Jira offers four different pricing plans. There is a Free plan for up to 10 users that can help small teams plan and track their work more efficiently. The Standard plan costs $7.75 per user, per month and is geared towards growing teams. Larger organizations looking to scale their collaborative and tracking efforts can sign up for the Premium plan for an average of $15.25 per user per month. Lastly, there is an Enterprise plan for organizations with enhanced security, governance, and global scale needs. You will need to contact Jira for Enterprise pricing.
Jira Strengths And Weaknesses
Jira has many strengths as a project management tool for software developers, but it also has some weaknesses that may push you to look elsewhere. Here is how the PM software stacks up:
Jira Pros for Software Developers:
- Customizable workflows, filters, and boards
- Drag-and-drop automation
- Multiple views
- Instant insight via dashboards and reports (burndown charts, sprint reports, cumulative flow diagrams, burnup charts, version reports)
- Development-related templates give you a quick head start
- Solid integrations with popular apps
- Open DevOps helps teams access their favorite tools all in one place
- Can result in faster deployments and decreased cycle times
- Serves teams of all sizes between 1-20,000 members
- Ideal for scaling
- Excellent security
- All of Jira’s advanced features and offerings could be a downfall due to added complexity and a steep learning curve
- Out-of-the-box collaboration is weak without the help of integrations
- Interface is not user-friendly
- Software may feel clunky to use on a frequent basis
- Non-developers within an organization may have a hard time using Jira
- Cannot assign multiple team members to a task
- If you decide to use another project management solution in the future, migrating from Jira could be difficult
- Limited free plan
- Depending on the plan, pricing could be higher than competitors
You can learn more about Jira in our Jira Project Management Software Review.
Alternatives To Jira Project Management
Although Jira seems like the go-to project management solution for Agile development teams and others who love its slew of features, it is not the only tool of its kind on the market.
Here are some Jira alternatives that may better suit your development team’s needs and budget.
ProofHub Project Management
ProofHub is another user-friendly Jira alternative with features ideal for Agile teams. You can use the tool to manage projects of all sizes thanks to features like:
- Multiple views (table, Kanban, Gantt, etc.)
- Task management (assign tasks to multiple members, deadlines, prioritization)
- Custom roles
- Custom workflows
- Collaboration via chat, discussions, email, proofing, announcements, and @mentions
- File management and version control
- Project templates
- Multiple calendar views
- Timesheets, workload reports, and project and resource reports
- Activity logs
- Integrations with popular apps like Dropbox, OneDrive, and QuickBooks
Unlike other PM software that charges you per user, ProofHub offers flat pricing with no contracts. ProofHub does not have a free forever plan, but it does offer free trials. Its cheapest offering is the Essential plan for $45 per month when billed annually.
Agile teams looking for a Jira alternative may find Pivotal Tracker a better fit. This top Jira competitor calculates team velocity so you can see how fast your team is moving, and it has a guided tracker tool to break large projects into manageable tasks to ensure members do not get overwhelmed. Other Pivotal Tracker features include:
- A shared backlog to keep teams organized and priorities clear
- Multi-project workspaces to compare projects side-by-side and make drag-and-drop adjustments via one screen
- A My Work panel that displays all of your responsibilities, regardless of how many teams you work for
- Project overview with cumulative flow, cycle time, and burnup reports
- GitHub integration
- Conversations, user mentions, file sharing, and notifications
- Integrations with Slack, Zendesk, and over 100 other third-party apps
Pivotal Tracker has a Free plan for up to five collaborators, and its paid plans start at $10 per month for up to 10 collaborators.
Binfire is all-in-one project management software that uses AI to help you eliminate busy work so you can focus on more important things. Teams that work remotely can use Binfire to create a virtual office to collaborate, tackle tasks, and view project progress no matter where they are located. Binfire’s features can suit a wide variety of teams, whether they adopt the Agile, Waterfall, or hybrid methodologies and its highlights include:
- A user-friendly interface with a limited need for onboarding
- An integrated Slack conversation tool for collaboration
- Task management
- Personal and project dashboards
- Project templates
- Comments on files and tasks
- Interactive Gantt chart and whiteboard
- Integrations with Google Docs, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
- Time tracking
- Activity stream and project calendar
Binfire has a Free plan for small teams, and its paid plans start at $6.50 per user, per month when billed annually.
Kanbanize calls itself the leading Kanban platform. Agile teams can use it to deliver three times faster thanks to features like:
- Vertical and horizontal scaling
- User-friendly Kanban boards with customizable work items
- Workflow, workspace, and dependency management
- Email integration
- Integration with dev tools, cloud storage, and other apps
- Project forecasting
- Work-In-Progress limits to reduce multitasking and overload
Kanbanize offers a free trial. Its cheapest plan starts at $149 per month when billed annually.
Shortcut offers much of the functionality Jira provides, but with a much simpler and more user-friendly interface. That is why thousands of teams worldwide are using Shortcut to accelerate and increase the efficiency of their software development processes. With Shortcut, you can quickly switch between quarterly planning, weekly sprints, and task boards with just one click.
Collaboration and tracking issues are a breeze, and integrations allow you to seamlessly extract info from Slack, GitHub, and other apps to have everything in one place. Other reasons to choose Shortcut as your Jira alternative include:
- Customization and scalability
- Robust reporting via burndown charts, lead time, and cycle time reports
- A powerful API for building custom integrations and workflows
- Iterations and sprints (with detailed reporting for each)
- Document collaboration
- Kanban boards, roadmaps, and milestones
Shortcut has a Free plan to help small software teams ship quickly. Its paid plans start at $8.50 per user, per month.
Project Management Software and Tools for Developers
Still not finding a solution that fits your software development team’s project management needs? We have a series of other round-ups featuring popular PM tools and software for developers that might help you narrow the field down a little more: