JIRA Review
The configurable workflows and boards enable us to execute and oversee our own unique process.


What is most valuable?

The configurable workflows and boards make it easy for us to execute and oversee our own unique process. The portfolio feature allows you to conceptualize your roadmap and experiment with various scenarios before committing to execute. Once you learn how to configure the system, it is extremely powerful.

How has it helped my organization?

JIRA has created visibility for our IT organization that did not previously exist.

What needs improvement?

There are some minor quirks, such as zero-point stories not appearing in the portfolio scope. We often poke stories at zero points because we have a very small group that needs outside help from time-to-time. We need to track these stories without impacting team velocity, so we poke them at zero.

These stories will not appear in the scope/schedule in the portfolio because the system interprets zero points as zero scope, even though the issues are open, assigned to the release and assigned to a Sprint. It would be nice to be able to see them in the schedule.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this product for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 5/10. I have only asked two questions in the support forums. One was answered very quickly and the other was never answered.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I previously used CA Agile (a.k.a. ‘Rally’). My company decided to switch to JIRA because we were already using it for bug tracking. Once the Agile/Portfolio features were released, we decided to use JIRA for all IT project planning and tracking.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. One thing I personally don’t like is how the system, by default, assumes that all projects will have a different workflow and screen configuration. This adds complexity in my opinion. It should assume that there is a default workflow and configuration across projects and then allow you to copy and customize the defaults.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is very cheap if you forego the local instance and stick to the cloud.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Microsoft TFS and Targetprocess. Neither had a Portfolio planning feature, which is why we decided to stick with JIRA.

What other advice do I have?

Establish a basic project management methodology and workflow first, with clear roles and responsibilities, and then use this product to execute. It is only as effective as you are disciplined in your sprint planning and execution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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