What Is Jira Software and What Is It Used For?

What Is Jira Software and What Is It Used For?

Published on
July 4, 2022
Updated on
September 26, 2022
Author
Luan Campos
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Jira Software is a project management tool that helps streamline and expedite the project pipeline, regardless of the scale and type of project.

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There's no better assistant than Jira Software to keep things in order when it comes to project management. If you've been exploring your options for project management or related pipelines, you've probably heard of this software a lot.

But what exactly is it, and what is it used for? If that's a question on your mind, you're in the right place. In this article, we cover everything you need to know about Jira Software, including its uses, features, and pricing.

Read on to learn all about Jira Software.

What Is Jira Software?

Jira Software is a project management tool that helps streamline and expedite the project pipeline, regardless of the scale and type of project. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust Jira Software to handle their projects, including Cisco, Square, Spotify, eBay, and Airbnb.

While project management is surely this software's specialty, that's not all it offers. Jira Software also provides exceptional bug tracking tools, allowing teams to practice risk management and problem-solving efficiently.

Jira Software's variety of features and use cases and ability to expand keep it at the top of the list of agile project management solutions for information technology (IT) teams.

The best part of Jira Software is that it includes solutions targeted toward each department in an organization, ensuring every team manages its projects efficiently. That includes marketing, operations, human resources (HR), finance, legal, and other teams.

Jira Software's project management system consists of a few comprehensive elements, including project planning, task creation and management, and reporting. Experts recommend that tech-minded project teams use Jira Software alongside agile ceremonies to get the most out of the software.

Key Features

Here are some of the key features Jira Software offers:

  • Jira Software has endless features, but if you find anything missing, you can use Atlassian to add it. The Atlassian Marketplace is an online store that offers third-party software to supplement Jira's capabilities.
  • For example, the Trello-Jira integration allows teams to use their preferred business tool for project execution, automatically syncing data across both platforms.
  • Jira Software's workflows allow teams to view the progress of each operation on a project basis, task basis, or team member basis.
  • Users can customize Jira Software's workflows according to their team's needs. That includes adding last-minute tasks or putting a project under review.
  • Jira Software offers individual and detailed reports for every project to help teams track their progress and analyze actionable insights. These reports may help identify potential bottlenecks, overburdened team members, and timelines for each project task. This tool comes in handy when your project is at risk of scope creep.
  • Jira Software's automation engine allows you to identify repetitive tasks and save manual effort and time. You can use this engine to define trigger actions and reactions.

Pros

Here are some of the pros of using Jira Software.

Powerful Agile Tools

Of course, the main benefit of using Jira Software is that it offers powerful agile tools to work with. The software has the primary purpose of providing agile and scrum project management. It offers various scrum and kanban boards to help teams visualize their workflows and track their projects' progress in real time.

This way, managers can identify which tasks and team members are doing well and which ones are behind on progress. In addition, Jira Software also offers multiple project views and agile sprints, allowing teams to customize their workflows accordingly. These project views include user stories and story points.

Fantastic Reporting

What sets Jira Software apart from other project management solutions is its fantastic reporting. The software offers 16 reports with detailed insights and progress statistics to help teams thoroughly analyze their project performance.

As a result, project managers can gain actionable insights into the performance on a team member, team, task, or project basis. Here are all the reports Jira Software offers:

  • Time Tracking Report
  • User Workload Report
  • Version Workload Report
  • Average Age Report
  • Created vs. Resolved Issues Report
  • Pie Chart Report
  • Recently Created Issues Report
  • Resolution Time Report
  • Single Level Group By Report
  • Time Since Issues Report
  • Cumulative Flow Diagram
  • Control Chart
  • Sprint Report
  • Burndown Chart
  • Release Burndown
  • Velocity Chart

Bug Tracking and Issue Management

Jia Software is also widely known for its bug tracking features and issue management capabilities. Atlassian had one aim in mind when creating Jira: tracking bugs in software projects.

Of course, the software now deals with broader solutions, such as project management and progress tracking, but bug tracking remains its core component. With the help of this functionality, developers can easily locate, track, and record bugs within their projects or software.

The backlog gives you a detailed view of every issue and bug. This way, teams can prioritize which bugs they need to address first, and project managers can appropriately assign each bug-related task to team members.

Safe and Secure

Data security is a factor that cannot be overlooked, which is why Jira Software is the top choice of most project managers who prioritize privacy. This software ensures that admins can create custom roles for each team member while maintaining complete control over which team member has access to certain data.

It's worth noting that Jira Software was made in compliance with GDPR, PCI DSS, ISO/IEC 27001, ISO/IEC 27018, SOC 2, SOC 3, and more. In addition, data on Jira Software is encrypted with TLS 1.2+, and all servers that contain user data are encrypted using AES 256.

Supports Multiple Use Cases

The best part about using Jira Software is its versatility, suitable for software development teams. While Jira's main purpose is to cater to project managers, it certainly isn't limited to that task, and it has versions that support other departments in the organization too.

For example, marketing teams can benefit from Jira Software to plan large-scale events and complex product launches. These projects need to be handled on a task basis, so the software helps them break everything down to make things manageable.

In addition, the HR department of an organization can benefit from Jira Software to improve its recruitment and onboarding process by creating custom workflows. Members can also measure operational performance with this software.

There's something in Jira Software for everyone, as it has a wide range of product offerings that cover all aspects of a business.

Highly Customizable

Jira Software's customizability makes it easy to use and widely preferred over other project management solutions. Using Jira Software, teams can use custom workflows and create visual representations of their progress in the way that suits the organization best.

As a result, businesses benefit from improved accountability and transparency throughout each project. Plus, workflows aren't the only aspect you can customize in Jira Software. The reports, scrum boards, and other aspects are also fully customizable.

Developers can use Jira Query Language (JQL) to create custom filters on the software. Lastly, Jira Software supports the integration of over 3,000 third-party apps, allowing teams to expand the software's functionality in the way that suits them best.

Cons

Here are some of the cons of using Jira Software.

Designed for Technical Users

One of the main downsides of Jira Software is that it's geared toward technical users, which is why nontechnical users will struggle with understanding the interface. In addition, the setup can be somewhat challenging due to the complexity of the user interface.

Of course, software engineers and developers will have no problem getting the hang of Jira Software and its endless features. But it will be a struggle for the average person.

No Timeline Views

Unlike most project management solutions, Jira Software doesn't come with timeline views or Gantt charts. However, these features can help the team identify the connection of one task to a subtask. In addition, project managers can utilize timeline views to adjust the project's schedule in case of a bug or problem.

However, you can solve this issue by getting a separate Gantt chart on the Atlassian marketplace and connecting it to Jira.

Limited Collaboration Tools

Team collaboration isn't exactly a top priority for Jira Software in project management. As a result, the software's team collaboration capabilities are limited to the scrum and kanban boards.

However, you can easily solve this problem by integrating a third-party app such as Slack or similar collaborative tools. In addition, Atlassian offers multiple solutions for collaboration, such as Trello and Confluence.

What Is Jira Used For?

Here are some of the uses of Jira Software.

Agile Teams

Agile teams can use Jira Software for its scrum boards and kanban boards out-of-the-box to practice their agile methodologies. In addition, these boards serve as task management hubs where such teams can map out their tasks into customizable workflows.

As a result, teams can benefit from transparency across the project timelines and visibility into each task's status. In addition, the real-time performance reports and time-tracking capabilities of Jira Software allow teams to keep track of their performance over certain periods.

Estimation and work logging, email notifications, and project-level permissions are other ways to use Jira Software for agile teams.

Requirements and Test Case Management

Nowadays, teams are developing more frequentatively. There's no doubt that Jira Software provides an efficient hub for the collaboration, coding, and release stages of this process. In addition, the software allows integrations with various add-ons for test case management case management.

This way, the quality assurance (QA) testing falls into the software development cycle quite seamlessly, allowing teams to test iteratively and efficiently.

QA teams can benefit from Jira Software's customized screens, issues, workflows, and manual and automated test case management fields.

Project Management

Naturally, project management is one of the most popular use cases of Jira Software. This is mainly due to the software's ability to configure and fit any project. Project managers can use any of the various project templates available on Jira Software or create a custom one that suits their organization best.

Each piece of work can be categorized with Jira Issues (tasks) before they pass through each workflow process step to reach completion. In addition, admins can determine the access of each project, watching who can perform or see certain actions with the help of customizable permissions.

Lastly, project managers can create detailed, informative reports on the progress and productivity of the tasks once they have all project information in one place. Project backlogs, roadmaps, and project and issue customization are other ways you can use Jira Software for project management.

Software Development

There's no doubt that Jira Software's capabilities cater to software developers. The roadmap and planning tools on the software allow teams to manage stakeholders, feature requirements, and budgets from the very first day.

In addition, the integration of various continuous integration and delivery tools facilitates transparency throughout the cycle of software development. Once deployment is ready, the Jira Issue can surface the live production code status information.

In addition, software development teams can easily and gradually roll out new features with the integration of feature flagging tools. Project backlogs, Jira Service Management integration, and sprint planning are a few other ways Jira Software can be used for software development.

DevOps

The processes between IT and software development teams are automated and integrated by DevOps. This allows these teams to build, test, and release their software reliably and within much shorter deadlines.

Jira Software serves as the backbone of Open DevOps by Atlassian, which is an open and integrated toolchain. Throughout the life cycle of DevOps, the software supports the integration of first- and third-party tools.

That includes Bitbucket, GitHub, and Gitlab, along with Confluence, Opsgenie, and similar documentation and monitoring tools. This way, teams can focus on better practices, such as automation, testing, security, observability, feature flagging, continuous delivery, and deployment.

Product Management

Jira Software allows teams to associate custom roadmaps with each project. Then the team can use these roadmaps to get a rough sketch of the long-term view of the project. In addition, they'll be able to track the project's progress and share it with team members.

The best part is that Jira Software allows you to add minute details to each roadmap to consider forecasts and dependencies and ensure that you complete each task on time. There are also options for "live" roadmaps, which allow multiple teams to work in the same space by integrating the Jira Software roadmap into Confluence.

Task Management

Jira Software also simplifies every aspect of task management by allowing each member to create tasks and allowing project managers to assign those tasks appropriately. Managers can add details to the tasks, such as due dates, notes, reminders, priorities, and status.

In addition, they can utilize the Subtasks feature to break down large-scale steps into simpler, more manageable steps. Managers can decide who gets to see the progress status and get notified with every task completion.

Email notifications, issue hierarchy, subtasks, task changelogs, custom fields, task relationships, and project linking are a few aspects of Jira Software's task management solution.

Bug Tracking

Lastly, Jira Software can be used for bug tracking. When problems arise while a team is building a product, the tasks required to solve those problems are considered bug tracking. To prioritize the bigger picture, it's critical for teams to analyze the bugs found in each project.

Once captured, Jira Software automatically assigns and prioritizes each bug. Then the project manager can track the bug's progress until completion. Jira Software can also be used for bug tracking with issue backlogs, customizable workflows, email notifications, bug linking, project-level configuration, and project rules.

How to Use Jira for Project Management

Here are five steps you can follow to use Jira Software for project management.

Project Configuration

First, you must decide on a pre-made Jira Software project template to set up your project. This template will help you quickly configure your project according to your organization's operations. For example, your team may benefit from the kanban board.

If the kanban template isn't exactly to your liking, you can customize the details in whatever way suits you.

Project Plan

Jira Software offers every feature you'll need for the planning of your project, whether it's time-based or a roadmap for software development. Begin with defining project tasks and breaking down each task into digestible steps with the Subtasks feature.

Jira defines tasks as Issues and displays them on digital cards that contain all their details. These include the deadline, priority status, progress, notes, documents, images, reminders, and the team member responsible for the task.

Assemble these tasks into your project plan before determining the dependencies of each task. Jira Software can create different versions of your project plan, allowing you to assess worst- and best-case scenarios.

Team Setup

Now that your project plan is complete, it's time to start setting up your team in Jira Software so you can begin project execution. The project manager can decide which team member gets full access and which team member can only track their progress and complete tasks.

Meanwhile, the admin is responsible for things like settings configuration and third-party app connection. Here, project managers can utilize Jira Software's permission schemes to avoid the manual labor of implementing permissions individually.

This feature especially comes in handy when adding individual contractors to your Jira workflow who should not get access to certain company data. Once your team is fully established on Jira Software, you can assign tasks accordingly and assess everyone's workload.

Tracking

Once the project is planned, the team is set up, and the tasks are assigned, the next step for project management is tracking progress. Jira Software has all the time-tracking capabilities you'd need to see how long every task takes.

This way, you'll be able to assess when the entire project reaches completion. In addition, you can explore the Atlassian Marketplace to expand the time-tracking features of Jira Software. Meanwhile, the software's detailed reports give you insights into potential bottlenecks and missed deadlines.

The default dashboard on Jira Software provides better visibility for the whole team by highlighting key project information. You can also add a calendar view and pie charts and swap out components to track your project better.

Project Completion

Finally, project completion is just around the corner, for which Jira Software offers two approaches.

The first option is to remove the finished project from active use with the help of Jira Software's built-in archive function. This means you can no longer edit or view the project unless you have access to the archives section.

The second option is to shut down all permissions on the project. Now this will become a read-only project so that team members can't add tasks but can still view them for reference.

How to Expand Jira Software

There are the two main ways you can expand the capabilities of Jira Software.

Integrations

Jira Software supports the integration of over 3,000 third-party apps to help you customize your workflow according to your organization's needs. That includes add-ons and plug-ins.

Jira Software only requires software developers to check an average of 2.3 tools to check a project's status, compared to the average of 3.3 tools without Jira Software. Atlassian allows Jira Software users to integrate the best-in-class business management tools to expand the software's capabilities.

That includes Slack, Google, Microsoft, Zoom, Trello, GitHub, Zendesk, and much more. Design teams can benefit from InVision, Figma, and Gliffy integrations, while IT teams can benefit from Jenkins, Opsgenie, and Dynatrace integrations.

Integrations such as Slack, Trello, and Microsoft Teams would suit business teams best, while GitHub, Optimizely, and LaunchDarkly would suit software engineering teams better.

Automation

Jira Software's automation capabilities save project managers a lot more time and manual labor than you'd expect. The software's rule builder helps you configure the right automation rules that work in even the most complex of business scenarios.

These rules are made up of three components: the trigger that sets off the rule, conditions for the rule, and the actions that must occur after the rule is triggered. Here's an example:

When: issue transitioned. If: priority equals highest. Then: send email.

Jira Pricing, Support, and Options

Here's all you need to know about Jira's pricing, support, and other products.

Pricing

Even though Jira Software offers the best project management solution on the market, its packages are surprisingly affordable. Plus, if your team only consists of up to 10 users, you can use Jira Software for free (forever!).

While the free plan, with 2 GB of file storage, doesn't have as many features, it's still a pretty good package to consider when you're on a budget.

If your team prioritizes advanced permissions, project roles, and audit logs, the Standard plan will suit you better. This plan costs $70 per month and offers 250 GB of file storage.

But the Premium plan is even better, as it offers unlimited file storage at only $140 per month! If you'd prefer to go beyond Premium, you may consider Jira Software Cloud Enterprise, the pricing of which you can discuss with the sales team.

The best part is that Jira Software doesn't hold you to long contracts — but you can sign up for annual billing if you know you'll be using this platform indefinitely. Larger businesses would definitely benefit from the discounts on annual billing.

Customer Support

It's worth noting that Jira Software users on the free plan will have to rely on community forums for any help. Meanwhile, Standard plan users get local support, which is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lastly, Premium and Enterprise plan users benefit from 24/7 support.

Options

Besides Jira Software, Jira offers three products for other aspects of business management. Here's all you need to know about Jira Core, Jira Align, and Jira Service Management.

Jira Core

Jira Core is catered toward traditional business use and doesn't require experienced software developers for operation. Some of its features include rules-based automation actions, basic kanban-style boards, and project workflows. This solution costs $5 per user per month.

Jira Align

Jira Align is catered toward agile enterprise planning. Some of its features include visual tools and reports, portfolio management, and the support of flexible, agile frameworks. This solution costs $46,000 per year.

Jira Service Management

Jira Service Management is catered toward IT service management solutions for Dev and Ops teams. Some of its features include service request management, incident management, and change management. This solution costs $60 per month.

Conclusion

There's no doubt that Jira Software wins the race when it comes to agile project management solutions. The software offers various features to accommodate teams and projects of all sizes and departments.

However, each organization requires an experienced software engineer to operate Jira Software efficiently since the software is catered toward tech-minded users. Simply put, you need quality software engineers to make the most out of Jira Software.

So if you want to strengthen your software development team and optimize project management, Revelo is here to help. Revelo is a talent marketplace that connects you with pre-vetted remote software engineers that suit your organization.

Head over to Revelo to hire the best software developers for your company.

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