Jira Review

Designed for project management, meets all IT software development needs, and integrates with Power BI

What is our primary use case?

We used it in my previous organization for project management, product management, and release management. In my current organization, where I started working a week ago, we are using Jira strictly for help-desk tickets. We are using DevOps for our release management. So, we've got DevOps, Jira, and some homegrown stuff, and I'm trying to figure out what's going to work best for this new organization.

I've used Jira and Confluence previously, and this is my first time using the help-desk ticketing system. It is cool and not a whole lot different than SolarWinds or Zendesk, except the appearance of it is more Jira.

How has it helped my organization?

We were using Microsoft OneNote for systems engineering and network engineering. It was being used for our documentation, environments, and services, and it was a nightmare. We transitioned everybody and copied everything into Confluence. We were then able to tag specific tickets to the notes, and there were links between what work was recently done and the most updated notes in Confluence.

What is most valuable?

The roadmap feature and the ability to integrate with Power BI are probably the most valuable features in it. It is a great solution. I absolutely love it. It is a tool that was designed for project management, and it has been awesome to work with it so far. I also love Confluence.

What needs improvement?

They can maybe dumb down the directions for building the automation a little bit because to be able to build out the automation, I had to play around with it and learn what all the fields meant and what they were referencing. I don't have an IT background originally. My background is in biology, and I got into project management by chance. I am good at it, but I haven't really worked with coding languages. In terms of writing automation, it is easier for devs because they intuitively know what they're being asked, but as a PM who originally didn't have IT experience, it was a little bit daunting at first.

It could also have an extra hierarchy to be able to allow tasks under stories. It could be the way it is set up at our organization, but currently, under stories, you can have sub-tasks, but you can't create a task. Being able to customize your hierarchy a little bit more would be beneficial because sometimes, the devs would say, "Well, here's a story, and now we need sub-tasks," but as we were building out the sub-tasks, sometimes we had to go a step lower to dig in a little bit more, and we couldn't do that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has never gone down for me. It was always reliable, even from the mobile app.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It was fine. It seemed to integrate with all of our systems with ease. At my previous organization, there were probably 500 or 600 people using Jira. There were many different roles including product management, project management, VPs of IT and Ops, IT data services, developers, network engineers, systems engineers, and CBAs. It was a full scale of IT professionals.

At my current organization, where I started working a week ago, we are using Jira, but there are only a handful of people who are actually using it. It is strictly for help-desk tickets. I am trying to implement it and roll it out to the organization on a much larger scale, and I'm going to have to talk to them about pricing and other things. In this new organization, there are probably about 500 or 600 employees in total. Assuming I get the buy-in from everyone, which I don't think would be a problem, I would probably need at least a hundred licenses for users and then expand from there as needed.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't interacted with their technical support, but I bet they would have been awesome.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used Smartsheet, MS Project, and Trello. Jira is more software-development-specific and a much easier tool to use.

How was the initial setup?

In my previous organization, I believe its initial setup was complex. I was not at the administrative user level. I was given admin privileges for certain projects but not for the whole Jira. This is the first time I actually have admin privileges over all of Jira, and it was set up for me.

It probably took a few days. It would have also involved a lot of conversations and other stuff.

What about the implementation team?

It would have been in-house. In terms of maintenance, it didn't seem to need maintenance from our side.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise going with the entire Atlassian suite. Don't just use one aspect of Jira, unless you have a very specific need for using bits and pieces. Jira is better when Confluence and everything can be integrated, and you have source code management and all of that from the same software or platform.

I would rate Jira a ten out of ten. I love Jira. It has the ability to just do everything, and it is a one-stop shop for all of your IT software development needs.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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