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Whether you are from a hi-tech industry or not, project management is the fundamental building block to any company’s operation. The goal of organized project management is to execute the project in the most efficient way through the right use of resources, delegation, communication, and prioritization.
Jira, a popular software for project management, has been around for a long time. Is it still as efficient? Does it meet the needs of a smarter and fast-paced world? Let’s cover those questions in this article.
Any project or initiative in the company requires a blend of talent, resources, information, planning, and supervision. To a very limited extent, such project management can be done manually at the expense of time and effort. However, a project management tool can be a game changer for a sophisticated project or initiative.
Imagine mapping your task from initiation to completion with all the planning, execution, communication, and monitoring at a single mutual point- that is where a project management tool helps. Here are some goals of project management:
Jira is a project management tool provided by Atlassian. Jira is among the most popular tools for project management and collaboration. It is a way to help teams organize and map their projects for better coordination, visibility, and efficiency.
In fact, the tool is so popular that it is among the most used enterprise sites. The tool can help across all different industries and support various operations such as designing, engineering, marketing, human resources, and even sales. The platform includes a handful of modules and features to support the flexible needs of any company or team.
Project management tools require a certain amount of flexibility so that they can meet the unique needs and goals of different companies. These tools have to align with company practices, processes, and team size in order to serve their purpose.
Here are several ways Jira software helps with project management:
Jira software allows the creation of tasks or tickets on the project board. Teams can arrange, assign, describe, manage, and track these tasks in the most comfortable and flexible manner.
Jira allows teams to follow standard agile methodologies, including Kanban and Scrum. As such, Jira can help manage project boards with sprint plans, backlogs, and roadmaps so teams can embrace proven methodologies in the latest manner.
Every company has underlying standard operating procedures that revolve around the specific needs of cross-functional teams. Jira allows users to customize workflows to streamline operations, approvals, and processes.
Some tasks require assistance from different team members. A project management system must allow a way for different team members to communicate and coordinate effectively. Jira allows users to comment on tickets while mentioning relevant team members and notifying them.
A project’s performance has to be measurable or visualized in order to track the momentum and consistency easily. A project management tool can translate insights and statistics into visuals for better decision-making. It can also represent any error or roadblock in the execution.
A project management system may have to work hand-in-hand with any existing tools or software that users use. A PMS must work seamlessly with these tools to create a complete ecosystem. These tools might include third-party integrations with dev tools, testing programs, and version control systems.
Jira software provides a set of add-ons, extensions, and plug-ins that teams can add to their project management system. These small packages bring a set of additional functionalities that can better serve users’ needs. They can even be added or removed as per the situation, providing flexibility.
Atlassian caters to a very wide community of users, and as such, there is a significant amount of information, guidance, and discussions available on the internet. Such a wide community becomes an exceptional asset for Jira users who may need some guidance or information.
The list of features provided by project management systems is as long as the list of different project execution needs. However, it is not just about the number of features but the user experience a PMS creates through them.
Jira is a sophisticated tool with a large map of features and modules. However, there are several areas where Jira is unable to keep up with the new-age needs of the day. Here are some of them:
With all its tools, features, and add-ons, Jira can be a very complex system to set up and use initially. For unfamiliar users, it is extremely hard to get used to the depths and reach the full abilities of the platform. The time & effort to get a grip on the software can be challenging.
Jira lacks the simplicity of task hierarchies for ease of navigation and access. Jira’s diverse modules and features rely on actions scattered across the platform, making it a complex maze that often reduces users’ productivity.
Jira’s features are built around managing tasks and executing them in parallel. However, there needs to be a better link between those tasks and the different goals of the project. That way the entire project management system should focus on output instead of processes.
Jira has been around for a while now, with significant updates throughout the years. However, the overall user interface is still pretty congested for some users and lacks the intuitive experience the new-age software products provide.
Jira software has a broad range of customization abilities. However, unless the user has decent experience using the tool, it would need a lot of time and experimentation to customize. Jira is a bit tricky when it comes to customizing workflows, establishing standard processes, and adding unique fields.
Every organization seeks scalability in their project management tool so that their processes and solution can keep up with their business growth. More projects lead to a higher volume of data, and that’s where Jira’s performance falls beyond a certain limit.
Jira must improve on better managing more users, issues, tasks, attachments, add-ons, and so on without compromising its speed or productivity or relying on expert infrastructural setup.
Another area of confusion that new users face is that Jira provides two levels of settings; project settings and general settings. Therefore, the change under project settings will not be reflected elsewhere unless you change it from the general setting too. Confusing, right?
Jira is not popularly used as a single product; rather, it comprises different products that add to a suite of solutions. There are different products, such as Jira Software for dev teams, Jira Work Management for business teams, Jira Service Management, Confluence, Bitbucket, and Opsgenie. As one can imagine, implementing these tools can be an overwhelming task.
Jira lacks the ability to track the time in a particular activity. The gap in reporting working hours for particular tasks results in a lack of visibility. If a company is not able to track hours invested, then it is not possible to consider resource costs and to bill the clients accordingly.
As a project management system, Jira completely missed out on a few very important areas. One of them is managing costs, as project management has a lot to do with resource costs. Another major concern with Jira is that it doesn’t offer risk assessment abilities. Without these essentials, Jira is efficient enough from the task management perspective.
Jira’s marketplace provides many add-ons and extensions to support further functionalities. However, as a standalone product, there are a few more things to work on, such as:
Jira must work on improving the ease of onboarding a new user. While there are tutorials for many features, Jira is still very complicated for a user to work on. In Jira, the hierarchy among issues, tasks, epics, stories, and sub-tasks is as complicated as it gets.
While Jira software offers tutorials, they consume more time for new users to learn and work with even the platform’s basic features. An intuitive platform where a user can choose only to work the necessary features can help save money and simplify the platform.
No leadership team or C-level executive would be satisfied only with the list of epics and tasks. As such, there is a demand for project management solutions to focus on achieving goals rather than just executing tasks. A result-oriented project management system can yield much more productivity and clarity to the project.
The product still requires better reporting capabilities to keep up with the recent tools. Better reporting and visualization can help gain more flexibility to manipulate data and derive graphs. It would eliminate the additional need to work with another tool like Microsoft Excel.
Users would want to work with an integrated ecosystem instead of juggling between several different tools. For instance, currently, users often have to juggle from Jira to Confluence and other tools for their communication and documentation needs, putting different information or different platforms. On top of that, Jira also lacks a review mechanism.
Improving project management with AI & automation is the talk of the town. Project management tools are racing towards implementing cutting-edge technologies to boost productivity and decrease manual efforts. Likewise, Jira should also use automation & AI in different areas of operations, such as creating issues, sending out emails, and automating reviews.
The new-age needs from the project management system define what Jira must become. From the user interface to easy setup and from automation to a singular dashboard, Jira still has a few things to accomplish to become the ideal project management solution.
It is evident that the needs of users change with time. Jira software has served a huge number of projects for many companies across industries till now. It is wishful to believe that Atlassian works hard to upgrade Jira to meet user expectations. Otherwise, there are many other new players in the market that are catching up to speed.41
In today’s fast-paced world, users need easy usage and an intuitive interface for their productive workforce. Jira’s wild popularity and market share will rely on how quickly it can fill these gaps for the new generation of users!
Anshi has over 12 years of experience in demand generation, digital marketing, and managing global teams. In her prior role as head of marketing operations for a high growth US healthcare tech organization she transformed marketing from cost to revenue center.
Published June 12, 2023, Updated June 12, 2023
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