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LAST UPDATED: June 27th, 2019
JIRA is a cross platform advanced project management solution developed in 2002 by enterprise software company Atlassian. The software comes equipped with proprietary bug and issue tracking features. It is suitable for any business type and size and perfect for stakeholders and project managers. The product's name JIRA comes from a shortened version of Gojira, the Japanese name for Godzilla. The founders, Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, started the software company with no sales force. The company has since grown to 12 locations globally with over 1,100 employees, 40,000 customers, and millions of users. The company's headquarters are located in Sydney Australia.

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The Good

  • Team collaboration
  • Features
  • Plans
The JIRA project management software is great for team collaboration efforts. The software displays issues seamlessly with custom agile workflow capabilities. Project managers can assign other members tasks and work together using joint-editing tools to boost efficiency and productivity levels. Users can also monitor progress and updates on projects and tasks with ease in one central location. Supervisors and managers can locate roadblocks that undermine productivity through JIRA's agile project management features. This allows these executives to immediately identify areas of improvement and take quick action in order to meet company objectives. The company also provides hundreds of add-on third-party integrations and applications in its Atlassian's Marketplace to help keep company objectives on track for businesses worldwide. JIRA also comes equipped with a service desk implementation that gives users the ability to collect requests from customers instantaneously and arrange these requests by priority urgency. These rich features help businesses keep customer satisfaction levels high and boosts team productivity levels. Project plans can be detailed and estimated with extreme accuracy. Tasks can be drag-n-dropped in order of priority. JIRA generates comprehensive reports complete with graphs that highlights the completed work and any tasks that are still in progress. There are three pricing plans available from the company. The basic plan accommodates up to 10 users at $10 monthly. The second plan aids developers by the inclusion of JIRA agile and is priced at $20 per month. The third pricing plan adds the Service Desk option and costs the same as the second package. Teams may include up to 10,000 members if the software is hosted in the company's own servers. These packages cost $24,000, $28,000, and $42,000 for the 3 packages respectively. 2000 members can be included if the software is hosted in the Atlassian Cloud for a $1,000-$1,500 price range. JIRA is considered to be commercial software. Non-profit, non-government, non-academic, non-commercial, non-political and secular organizations can use the software without limitation. Open source projects that meet certain criteria set forth by the company are eligible to receive free user licenses for the JIRA software.

The Bad

  • Security breach
  • User interface
  • Expensive
  • Limitations
JIRA had one security breach issue in 2010. A vulnerability in a cross-site scripting issue led to 2 Apache Software Foundation servers being compromised. Passwords were vulnerable to hacking attacks and users were advised to change their passwords n order to protect their private information. The Atlassian company was also targeted as part of this attack. The company admitted that a password database contained passwords that were vulnerable to the potential of being compromised. The user interface is not visually appealing and is clunky at best. It takes time for a new user to get used to the system and understand the terminology JIRA uses. The idea behind the setup was for companies to be able to build a personalized workflow system for themselves rather than relying on a pre-built program that may not fit their needs. However, many of the customizations are hidden so deep in the system that customers may have trouble accessing them. The pricing plans are a bit on the expensive side when compared to other similar programs available online. Licensing costs for smaller organizations may be over the budget for these smaller businesses. Combined with the clunky interface and workflow, these businesses will most likely want to seek out another software company that better suits their unique needs. The software program lacks the ability to add multiple permissions to a particular project. Users also report difficulty in being able to track customer support tickets because of the way the dashboard is set up. The software program can be customized to overcome these issues, but it does eat up a lot of time at first and some IT professionals might find this process to be a major headache. The company provides support and training on its website. However, JIRA does not provide live chat support with its representatives to its customer base. This is disappointing when considering the difficulty with the dashboard customers have. The company could greatly improve its satisfaction levels with its customer base if it would provide this service. Previous users have also reported slow response times of more than a couple days when submitting a ticket.

The Bottom Line

While JIRA states it is a great project management solution for businesses of all sizes and types, it appears to be best suited for large organizations with a great IT department. The clunky user interface and workflow system takes a bit of time to customize properly. Smaller organizations may not have the time to perform these tasks with all the other business tasks they must perform on a daily basis, especially for startups. The software is best suited for tracking bugs and issues and is currently being used by companies such as Facebook, Adobe, Netflix, and more. The company has over 13 years in the industry.
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