Jira Review 2023: Jira Software System Features, Pros & Cons
It’s hard to find a negative Jira review. Many users tend to have only good things to say about the software.
Could this self-proclaimed “number one development tool used by Agile teams'' be as good as it claims to be? Let’s find out in this in-depth Jira review as we unpack its features, pros, cons and put that number one claim to the test.
Jira review 2023: Is Jira software any good?
A quick answer to the question: yes. It’s a great project management tool, as you’ll find over the course of our Jira software review. Real-world users generally have only good things to say about the software too. The only real downside is that Jira is more suited for technical users.
Indeed, you can find Jira listed on our own best project management software comparison article.
There’s a free version of the app that you can use to familiarize yourself with it, and it has a ton of great features like its industry-leading Scrum boards, Kanban boards, roadmap, and automation amongst others. You can also get a sense of how the platform is a great issue tracking and management tool.
Jira pricing plans
First of all, how much does Jira cost? Let’s first review Jira prices:
How much is Jira for nonprofits?
Atlassian offers Jira for free to registered charitable nonprofit, non-political, or non-academic organizations without religious affiliations if they sign up for a self-managed data center. Nonprofits get 75% off list price for cloud subscriptions. You can fill out a “Community License Request” on Atlassian’s website to start the vetting process.
Are there any Jira coupon codes or promo discount vouchers?
If you’re looking for codes from Jira and Atlassian, a quick keyword search is your best bet. Deals are always changing, and it’s sometimes possible to find coupons and vouchers from 3rd party sites, though not always guaranteed. You can always keep checking for special offers directly on Jira’s site.
Jira overview: What is Jira software & what is Jira used for?
Before diving into its features, pros, and cons, here’s a quick Jira software overview.
Jira is a proprietary software that was developed by Atlassian for issue tracking, bug tracking, and agile project management.
First released in 2002, Atlassian claims that Jira has been used by over 180,000 customers across 190 countries. Jira is available in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, and German on macOS, Windows, and Linux. It also has a mobile app version for Android and iOS devices.
There are four main Jira packages that are currently offered by Atlassian: Jira Work Management, Jira Service Management, Jira Align, and Jira Software.
Jira Work Management is basically a project management tool. Jira Service Management is for IT operations, and Jira Align is meant for product and portfolio management.
Jira Software was initially used to track bugs and issues. However, it has grown to become a powerful help desk management, task management, product management, and agile project management software for agile workflows and teams that want quick results.
Jira is also a great test management tool for software development. It integrates seamlessly with other Atlassian products like Confluence, Bitbucket, and Trello, and other third-party apps, add-ons, and plugins. There’s also the Atlassian marketplace where different apps and add-ons like the Gantt chart, or draw.io can be purchased by Jira users.
Jira free vs paid: what’s the difference?
Jira offers a free version for small teams of up to 10 users and up to three different paid plans. Here’s a quick comparison of these plans.
The Free plan is a limited version of the full Jira software. Only a maximum of 10 users can access it at once, and it comes with sufficient features for a small team. However, it comes with a limited 2 gig storage, and can only automate one project at a time.
The Standard plan follows as an improvement on the free plan. It allows up to 20,000 users and starts at an average price of $7.50 per user billed monthly, or $75 per user billed annually.
But there’s a catch; only a minimum of 10 users can pay for the Standard plan. Unlike the Free plan, the Standard plan comes with 250gig of storage, advanced permissions, and full support during business hours. The standard plan is ideal for growing teams.
The Premium plan takes the Standard plan up a notch. It also maxes out at 20,000 users and starts at an average price of $14.50 per user billed monthly, or $145 per user billed annually.
It charges a minimum of 10 users at once, and It comes with everything in the standard plan, unlimited storage, and 24/7 premium support. It is the ideal solution for growing organizations!
The Enterprise plan is the absolute best that Jira has to offer. Unlimited storage, and unlimited restrictions on every available feature. It allows for the automation of an unlimited number of projects on any scale at any given time.
Enterprise comes with its own unique 24/7 customer support, and costs a minimum of $128,000 per year. It has no monthly subscription, and allows a minimum of 801 users, to a maximum of 20,000 users. This makes it an ideal solution for companies on a global scale.
This list of plans is all based on Jira’s cloud-based options. Formerly, for large teams that require a more accessible onsite alternative, Jira offered its server-based service at a starting price of $42,000 annually for a team of 500 users, and it goes upwards from there.
However, Jira no longer supports server-based services, and it will be ending support for pre-existing servers on the 2nd of February 2024.
Jira features list
The main features of Jira are:
Scrum and Kanban boards
Reports and Analytics
Security and Permissions
1. Scrum and Kanban boards
Scrum boards and Kanban boards are useful in visualizing goals, targets, and they are a mainstay of team members that practice agile methodology. With Scrum boards, teams can make use of different time-based sessions referred to as sprints that have multiple sub-tasks. A sprint basically refers to the duration a particular task is expected to take.
Kanban is also quite similar to Scrum. But unlike Scrum which uses sprints for different milestones, Kanban is for the project as a whole, and considers the time it takes to go from the beginning to the end of the project.
Jira’s Scrum and kanban boards are known for their functionality. They’re colorful and allow for a very wide range of customizations. Jira comes with “Scrum tools” that make the process of creating your Scrum as easy as possible by splitting it into five easy-to-follow steps: Choose your project type, fill your backlog with previous teamwork, create your sprint, view your roadmap, and improve on your Scrum with agile reports.
Jira’s boards are fully customizable to suit the workflow of software development teams, marketing teams, and project management teams.
Jira roadmaps come in two variations: basic and advanced. With the roadmaps feature, you can easily make plans with your team members, and work together in sync. The advanced roadmaps that are available to premium and enterprise users allow your project planning to span over multiple teams.
Jira’s roadmaps integrate with your Scrum board and allow you to move your sprints and backlogs over to your roadmaps. When your board and roadmaps are fully integrated, it becomes easy to track dependencies within your team and visualize them on the roadmap.
You can also use Epics to create projects with multiple steps within the roadmap. Epics in Jira is another word for goals. Jira’s basic roadmaps are available for free and standard users, while the advanced roadmaps are available for premium and enterprise users.
The main difference between the basic and advanced roadmap is the support for multiple team collaborations and an envision feature that allows you to create the best and worst-case scenarios for each task within your roadmaps in the advanced version.
3. Customizable Workflow
Jira’s custom workflow feature does exactly what it suggests. It allows you to create custom workflows that model your team’s processes, and are suited to your task. You could either build a workflow from scratch or edit one of the numerous pre-existing templates.
Custom workflows on Jira consist of four major parts: Status, Assignee, Transition, and Resolutions.
Status shows the current state of a task or an issue. Assignee is the user to which a task or an issue was assigned. Transition is the connection between two different Statuses, and Resolution is the concluded state of the whole process. The 4 parts are the building blocks of custom workflows on Jira.
4. Reports and Analytics
Jira comes with one of the most in-depth reports features among project management software. With its host of agile reports, analytics data, and charts, agile teams can easily make data-driven decisions.
Some of these reports include Sprint report, which provides an in-depth analysis of each sprint on your Scrum board.
Burndown chart, that tracks progress within your sprints. Release burndown, which tracks product release dates for software development teams.
Jiras velocity chart tracks the time it takes to move from one sprint to another to estimate how long future sprints will take. Cumulative flow diagram tracks issues and blockages within a Kanban board. Control Charts determine the future performance of cycles on a Kanban board.
There are Time tracking reports, average age report, recently created issues report, user workload reports, resolution time reports, and a whole lot more. If getting detailed reports is the major thing you want from a management solution software, Jira’s definitely got you covered.
The dashboard is the main display you see when you log in to your Jira account. Jira’s dashboard makes it to our list of features because of how customizable, comprehensive, yet easy to use it is. The endless list of reports that Jira offers, can all be easily seen on the dashboard.
The default dashboard is quite comprehensive enough, but it’s also overly simplified. However, you can tweak it to your individual needs. If you run the premium or enterprise plan, the global admin can—with the consent of the team stakeholders, choose a designated dashboard layout that every other user has to follow.
Customizing your Jira dashboard is quite easy. Jira comes with multiple dashboard layout templates that you can choose from. Upon choosing the right layout, you can then fill each layout with a preconfigured “gadget”. A gadget in Jira is any section that displays summaries of team progress, reports, or analytics in real-time.
Upon selecting the right gadgets, you can proceed to create a wallboard to display your preferred graphs and charts.
Jira’s automation feature is a great task management tool that takes away the need to manually handle repetitive tasks using “Rules”.
Rules is another unique Jira term that basically means the minimum requirement or the specified conditions that need to be in place before the automation process can begin. There are three parts to Jira’s automation process: Triggers, Conditions, and Actions.
Triggers are the preset rules that start the automation process. Conditions refine the process, and Actions are the tasks that are performed. When Rules are triggered in Jira, you receive a notification that lets you know the exact rule it is, and the trigger.
You’ll also receive a notification if the triggers are met, but actions don't begin. Oftentimes, this would be due to conflicting conditions within the rule.
Jira comes with hundreds of automated templates that you can choose from, and edit to suit your needs. Some of the more popular ones include: auto-assign issues, daily Slack summary, sync work, and connecting Jira with Bitbucket, GitHub, or GitLab.
Jira integrates with a host of other apps and services like Google, Microsoft, Zoom, Dropbox, Slack, Confluence, Bitbucket, Trello, and Adobe, amongst others. Overall, Jira claims to have over 3000 Integrations! The whole idea of these integrations is to bring apps that you’re already familiar with, over to your Jira profile.
With these integrations, you can further improve the functionality of your Jira software. Agile development teams will also find these integrations very useful, especially when they have to use other tools that aren’t available on Jira.
8. Issue Tracking
Jira originally started as an issue tracking software, and it’s no surprise that its issue tracking feature has evolved over the years to become one of the best you can find on the market right now.
Jira issue tracking feature provides insight on consumer needs, bugs, and any other possible overlapping errors within your organization. Every issue created in Jira has a life cycle and can be linked to a backlog of other events to allow easy traceability.
There are three major ways to track issues on Jira: The issue navigator, using Scrum and kanban boards, or Jira queues.
Jira’s issue navigator is quite complex, and to fully utilize it, you’d need to have mastered JQL—Jira query language. Scrum and Kanban boards are more straightforward and would be the obvious go-to for Agile teams. Jira queues are a more simplified way to track issues and are more suited towards non-technical users.
9. Security and Permission
A lot of company information will be easily accessible and available on Jira. It just makes sense to have top-notch security and permissions set up that ensures that the right information is only accessible to the right user.
To ensure the utmost security, every data on Jira is encrypted using TLS 1.2+. The servers that host Jira’s software online are also encrypted using industry-standard AES 256 encryption. If you’re an admin, you’d be able to customize the roles and permission of every user placed under you and to limit their functions to only a specified section.
Jira’s premium and enterprise plan take security to a whole new level with their IP allow listing that ensures that only computers from trusted networks, with verifiable IP addresses, can access your Jira instance.
10. Mobile app
The Jira mobile app is a watered-down version issue-focused on the main desktop app. The user interface is well optimized for the smaller display on mobile devices, and its main purpose is to give Jira users quick access to their issues on the go.
You could say that the Jira mobile app was intended to work alongside the issue tracking features of Jira.
On the mobile app, your activities are limited to performing basic activities like viewing issues, making comments, and assigning issues to users. However, the mobile version can not create or modify issues. You’d have to do that on the desktop version of Jira.
Jira pros and cons
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Jira:
Some of its advantages: Jira has a user-friendly interface, and is fully customizable to suit the unique needs and workflow of many teams across different niches. Its fully customizable dashboard, numerous integrations, and supply of “gadgets” make Jira a great piece of software for development projects of any kind. You can basically tweak it to suit your unique workflow and user experience.
83% of Fortune 500 companies use Jira, and that is no accident. Jira is a great tool for collaboration, and multiple teams within global companies agree. It supports up to 20,000 users, and its tight integration with collaboration software like Trello, and Slack extend its usefulness for everyday work.
Finally, Jira is also highly traceable. Its roadmap and reports features make Jira a great tracking tool for issues and flaws, especially for Agile software teams. Jira’s Kanban and Scrum tools have basically become the industry standard.
There are some potential problems with Jira. For one, while the user interface is fully customizable, this flexibility can be overwhelming. New users might find it hard to understand the at-times highly populated and colorful user interface. For certain use cases, it might feel like “too much.”
Depending on who you ask, Jira might be considered to be perfectly priced. But small firms would likely disagree. If your business is small scale, and can’t push Jira to its maximum capabilities, then it might be too expensive.
Jira also feels geared towards more technical users. Engineers and developers might not have issues with using Jira on a daily basis, but the average person would most likely spend a lot of time on tutorials and How-to documentation. The good news is that Jira readily offers these videos and documents on their website, and there's a lot of other free content on the internet.
Jira complaints & praise (from real Jira customer reviews)
Aside from our own assessment of the pros and cons of Jira, there are many Jira reviews online, which are very informative. Here’s a taste of what people are saying:
Praise for Jira
Scrum and kanban flow manager is great for organizing tasks in one place.
Handles a diverse range of tasks, with easy onboarding and the updated user interface is super functional.
Connectivity to bitbucket extends the all-in-one functionality for development workflow.
Creating and assigning tasks is really easy, and you can set triggers to get alerts in Slack.
Huge number of integrations.
Easy to customize and create workflows and coding.
Complaints about Jira
Initial configuration can be daunting as the app has so many capabilities. For example, figuring out what features to use and which to disable.
Only allows you to assign tasks to users within your organization, which can cause issues when you’re working with freelancers or contractors.
Reports can be hard to decipher and obtain actionable data from.
Porting tables from Excel into Jira’s comment box doesn’t work very well.
Querying system language (JQL) can be tough for new users to grasp.
Mobile interface could use some updates to increase efficiency.
Review of Jira support
Quite a number of Jira users had no issue with Jira’s customer support and rightly so. Jira support is good at responding to emails, live support and Jira tickets. Jira tickets, by the way, are events that must be investigated or a work item that must be addressed.
There is also a lot of readily available documentation that handles virtually any sort of issues you might come across while using the software. Also there’s the Atlassian community. With over four million users, you can almost always find answers to gnawing questions and get the guidance you need.
Is Jira worth it? Our conclusion
At this point, you’ve probably come to your own conclusion as to whether Jira is worth it or not. Nevertheless, here’s our answer to the question: is Jira worth it?
Yes, but with some caveats. We’d recommend Jira if you’re an organization that practices agile, a software company, or if you have team members working in dedicated technical roles.
If your organization doesn’t check any of these boxes, then we’d advise you to check out our list of the top Jira alternatives instead.
After all, although 83% of Fortune 500 companies use Jira, the remaining 17% aren’t in the wrong either.
Our final Jira rating
Taking into account its functionalities, reviews, and pricing, Jira earns a rating of 4.6 out of 5.
Is Jira any good?
Yes, Jira is good management software. If you’re looking for a sophisticated, feature-packed project and task management software that provides top value, then Jira should be your go-to. However, the setup process is somewhat involved, and you’ll need to work with your team to get everyone familiar with the software.
What is the best aspect of Jira
If we had to choose, we’d say it’s Jira’s Agile project management features—Scrum and Kanban boards, roadmap, and reports. Jira’s Agile features are probably among the best you can find right now. Jira lets you blend Scrum and kanban techniques to create your own unique technique.
Who uses Jira?
Every team or organization at different scales can use Jira. On the bigger side of things, technology companies like Samsung and Unity use Jira, as do pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and retail giant Walmart. That said, Jira’s features feel more suited to agile-oriented and technical teams.