Working with a variety of project management tools is, at times, nearly as confounding as the projects themselves. You will have to rifle through a number of applications just to get your point across to your team. It gets even worse when those platforms send notifications at the same time, all of which you have to quickly respond to. Needless to say, this is a source of headaches for managers.
A versatile collaboration software like Jira comes as an ideal solution in this scenario. Although it started out as a bug tracking app, Jira’s current iteration carries agile task management tools and thousands of integrations that consolidate all your needs as a project manager. This limits the need for other applications and promotes efficiency in your workflow.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into the pros and cons of Jira and the impact of its features on task management, milestone tracking, and agile reporting. This way, you will have an idea if Jira would suit your business needs.
A project manager is expected to express team goals and the specifics of each task in dealing with projects. This basic rule keeps the outputs at an optimum level with regard to content and timeliness. Unfortunately, a study by Interact suggests that adopting effective internal communications is easier said than done. Around 57% of employees admitted to not being given clear instructions from their managers.
Compounding this problem is the fact that, according to a related study, 37% of managers in the US aren’t comfortable to directly communicate feedback to their team members. The fear of an undesired reaction keeps leaders from hitting their goals. As a result, team performance can potentially plummet in the long run.
Online collaboration platforms are designed to resolve these concerns. First, the boards provided by a program like Jira ensure that the instructions per task are thorough and always visible. Next, management and their teams need not meet face-to-face often since feedback can be communicated through the platform. Finally, employees won’t have a lot of valid excuses during performance evaluations. After all, KPIs can be underscored using task management tools.
Jira is a popular collaboration software for project management designed to streamline operations through its expansive range of functionalities. These include task management, milestone monitoring, workflow management, and thorough customization. Built with software teams in mind, the platform also helps track coding errors and provides space for reporting software updates.
The various Jira features for task management ascribe to the Scrumban methodology. This is highlighted by the platform’s combination of Scrum and Kanban boards. Teams are free to customize them in accordance with their operational requisites. Meanwhile, managers can slice down complex procedures by fitting departments, team members, tasks, schedules, and performance metrics into the boards.
Furthermore, Jira’s agile Roadmapping tool allows managers to create timelines. With this, the team’s progress and capacity to take in work are easily seen. Managers can also offer accurate estimations to clients as well as beef up reports with the information displayed.
As for integrations, Jira’s portfolio amounts to over 3,000. It links with a huge number of applications, including Zephyr, Tempo Timesheets, ScriptRunner, and Microsoft Teams. The same goes for the apps made by its developer, Atlassian, which include Confluence and Bitbucket.
Mobile phone users can download Jira’s native app for iOS and Android. There, managers can be on top of their projects, even if they are in remote locations. They can also delegate tasks and tweak the workflow through their mobile devices.
Jira has a free package that comes with all the basic functionalities. To upgrade, businesses can avail of the Standard package at $7 per month or the Premium package at $14 per month.
Detailed Jira Review
Detailed Jira Review
Large-scale projects involve scores of complex tasks worked on by a group of people, from ideation to execution. This typically puzzling scenario is simplified by Jira through its combination of Scrum and Kanban boards. You can isolate each branch of work into the boards as well as the people assigned to perform tasks.
Furthermore, project managers can fashion the boards into interactive “to-do” lists so that they can monitor the progress of each team and team member. Key information like deadlines, KPIs, and project requirements and specifics can be inserted into the boards as well. The platform also allows you to create burndown and velocity reports to track a project’s progress and see if the set goals are attainable.
The wide range of functions can cause some confusion with first-time users, but over time, you can master and fully leverage its core features.
It’s easy for managers to get lost in translation with the wide range of tasks and the abundance of information involved in a project. Jira shines in this regard as managers get to view all the projects, project details, and the people responsible for each task in one place. This goes both ways as employees can quickly browse through their tasks, post updates on their progress, and communicate with their bosses on the Scrum and Kanban boards.
The informational ecosystem that Jira grants ensures that everyone working on the project is on the same page. This leads to quicker output delivery and, ultimately, a faster rate of completing projects. Jira’s boards are also flexible enough to accommodate clients should they prefer to monitor a project’s every stage.
Jira’s impact on communications would be even better had it not presented a steep learning curve for non-tech-savvy users. But this concern could be resolved in future updates.
One of Jira’s biggest strengths is the extended functionality afforded by its over 3,000 integrations. In fact, it has its own marketplace for integrations akin to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The options are staggering, as you can download cost trackers, time trackers, project management tools, and instruments for document management, among others. It even links with popular applications like Microsoft Teams, Google Drive and Docs, Slack, and Zephyr.
So, if you find the platform lacking in a particular aspect, chances are, you’ll find several options for it in the Jira Marketplace. They also come with user ratings in case you’re unsure of which app to download.
While it’s true that Jira is agile enough to fit in any type of operation, it offers more than a few extras for software development teams. The platform integrates with Bitbucket, allowing developers to collaborate in coding, code testing, tracking bugs, and software deployment.
Moreover, managers can monitor the shipment status of programs through the Releases function. There, they can view the real-time reports posted by the development team and see if the latest version has been released or if it’s currently being worked on. The platform also utilizes its own query language through which developers can tweak functions and add filters.
Combine the said features with Jira’s task management tools and customized workflows, and the entire operation will be further streamlined.
There’s no single solution to completing a project, given all the variables to take note of. Jira’s developers know this for a fact, as the platform allows you to build your workflow in any which way you prefer. This level of customization ensures that every single process is worked into the diagram, with the team not missing a beat throughout the project cycle. Some struggles in configuring the workflow could be present, however. But the kinks will eventually be ironed out once you learn the ropes.
Monitoring the bigger picture tends to be tough when you’ve got myriad tasks to monitor. With Jira, data from those tasks are collated to form milestones that are enshrined in a timetable. You can check if the team can still take in more work. Likewise, you can offload some of the team’s burden and assign it to other individuals. Furthermore, the team’s performance can be monitored and acted upon accordingly.
The Roadmapping tool is also ideal for project scheduling, especially if the company regularly receives inquiries from potential clients. As you look through a timetable, you can provide accurate estimations to your clientele.
Jira integrates with Confluence, a collaborative tool made by Jira’s developer Atlassian. Confluence adds product and research management to Jira’s capabilities. It provides space for thorough discussions and feedback so that the team can run feasible ideas by their managers. It can also be used for brainstorming if physical meetings aren’t possible at the time. You would probably need it to create a Jira walkthrough so your team won’t have too much trouble navigating the platform’s complex functions.
Confluence lifts Jira’s overall functionality even further by playing host to countless templates that cover various business fields and operations. You can find templates of marketing reports, product requirement reports, and HR reports, among others, on the platform.
As an agile collaboration platform, Jira stores and consolidates information on past projects. Reviewing the data helps teams improve in terms of performance, operations, and possibly the breadth of products or services offered. The data can also be leveraged to generate reports within the platform. Those include sprint reports, velocity charts, burndown charts, burnup charts, and flow diagrams.
The level of customization that Jira bestows does not end with its workflows. If you find the dashboard a little too dull to your liking, you can customize it to suit your functional and aesthetic standards. You can even personalize the filters. The same goes for the labels and color schemes of the Scrum and Kanban boards. Some of the customization features may require a bit of tweaking on Atlassian’s part, but they’re generally easy to navigate.
Jira’s free plan can only do so much when it comes to scalability despite its integrations, so you can look into the project collaboration software’s paid plans for scaling up. And they offer at least a couple of nifty features to make that possible.
Both the Standard ($7/month) and the Premium ($14/month) plans can accommodate up to 5,000 users. With the Standard plan, you get to automate 500 executions per month and gain 250 GB file storage in the process. Enterprises, on the other hand, will enjoy the Premium plan’s unlimited storage and 1,000 executions worth of automation.
Reduce the risk of hacking and other forms of online theft with Jira’s enterprise-grade security. It keeps unwanted individuals off your projects with its SAML single sign-on feature, which beefs up the authentication process. Additionally, the software lets you provision and de-provision users, offers a two-step verification option, and provides API token access. It also integrates with security add-ons to beef up its capabilities, if needed.
Should you need to attend a meeting or visit a prospective client, you can still check up on your team’s progress using Jira’s mobile app. You can perform a lot of the software’s functions on mobile as if you didn’t leave the office. Moreover, you can instantly use the app in client meetings. Through the Roadmapping function, you can provide your clients with a bird’s eye view of a project’s duration, its likely schedule, and the inner workings involved.
Jira is available for iOS and Android users.
Searching for entries in an ocean of tasks and updates is no cakewalk. Thankfully, Jira’s search function filters categories, statuses, and team members. Finding an update or the status of a particular deliverable won’t take too long.
Jira has everything that a project manager can possibly need to manage tasks–streamline project cycles, foster a collaborative environment, track milestones, and leverage data. Whatever the project management platform lacks in features is addressed by its astounding number of integrations. Simply put, Jira is hard to match in terms of its functionalities.
Interestingly, one of its main drawbacks also lies in its vast range of functions. First-time users can find themselves lost and overwhelmed by the number of features. Likewise, those who aren’t familiar with the agile business methodology will be faced with a bit of a learning curve. Nevertheless, when you get accustomed to its core functionalities, you can slice down any complex project and add a measure of organization and efficiency to your workflow.
As stated previously, Jira was initially built with software teams in mind; thus software companies will immediately reap its benefits. The platform’s solutions for coding, tracking updates and errors, and software deployment can optimize your operations. Jira was eventually developed into a collaboration tools software. With this, nearly any type of business or operation will greatly benefit from its task, workflow, and milestone management tools. Startups and small operations can try out Jira’s free version since it’s available for up to 10 users. Those with larger teams can go for any of the reasonably-priced paid plans and see how much the platform impacts their business.
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