Jira Review

An easy-to-understand defect tracking tool with good capabilities and integrations


What is our primary use case?

I'm overseeing the developments done in Jira. 

What is most valuable?

The thing that I do like about Jira is that it is relatively easy to understand. In some respects, you don't have to read a lot of ticket information, and you can start pulling down. Everybody is using it, and it works for a lot of people who are just doing enterprise development, cloud-based development, and things like that. It is built for the general audience. 

It is a good defect tracking tool. It has a lot of capabilities and functionalities. There are a lot of graphs and a lot of tracking. It can be sprint-driven if you want. There is a lot of data that you can pull out for estimations. It has got a lot of out-of-the-box functionalities that are kind of like the Jazz platform for out-of-the-box scrum and other such things. 

It also works well with all the integrated tools that you buy.

What needs improvement?

One thing that I don't like about Jira is that when you do an export, it only allows a thousand issues. So the export feature needs to be better. 

Another thing that I don't like about it is related to epics. There are times when you simultaneously want to have a story tied to two epics, one driving the content change and one driving the format of that evolution. It is not truly a parent-child relationship. It is a single-parent relationship to the stories. It would be nice if you had the capability to tie in multiple epics to a particular story. It is a rare case, but we have that. 

Setting up and executing a triage board should be simpler in the sense of how you do the admin. I come from a regulated space, and there should be easier control of who approves and reviews a system board to oversee all the defects. It should have easier out-of-the-box solutions to allow us to set up a triage board at the system level, at the software board level that reports to the system board, or at the test level that reports to the software board at the system level. There should be out-of-the-box solutions to migrate that and say that who are the three people on the triage board and if they have these admin privileges. Software review board and test review board would be another thing.

We have also had a problem with the integration with Bitbucket Pull Request data. It is an add-on to the tool, but it is not fully integrated. It is not easy from my perspective. Jira, Bitbucket, and Xray should be smoothly integrated. Xray is pretty good, but Bitbucket is standalone. So, when you pull out the data from a comma-separated value and want to move it into a new database, you have to reenter the data. You somehow lose that Pull Request capability. Pull Request through Bitbucket and the review of the code should be easier to manage. You could use a software package called Crucible to go ahead and mark how you did the review, who reviewed it, and who is the independent reviewer or subject matter expert, but that also should be easier to set up. If they want Jira to be the one-stop shop of the view of all of your deliverables, not just from a defect tracking perspective, but also from a requirement perspective, a code perspective, and a testing perspective, it needs to pull out more data and work better as an integration tool. 

I'm using Jira for the requirement repository. When I do requirements, it would be nice if I had the capability to say that for your requirement, I'm going to give you traceability to support a traceability report from Xray. I'm also going to give a requirement ID number in the ticket. You could use Jama and things like that, but it would be nice if Jira supported that.

We had on-prem and cloud deployments. We had to go to on-prem because of the security measures that were deployed. On-cloud didn't have the same capability. If you have one database on the cloud and the other one is on-prem, they don't talk to each other. It would be nice if you pulled it in and you could switch and say that I want to go on-prem because I got greater security risk.

When we go into the regulated space, I require a lot more integration and capability for tools. It is very hard to get tools to perform at that level because they're built for the general audience. In the regulated space, whether you're in medical devices, avionics, or any other regulated environment, tools have to be validated. I've worked with some companies in the past that had the capability to facilitate that validation. With one of the solutions, you could go ahead and buy a validated suite or a requirement package that will validate the tool for your use, but it is such a small market for Jira around the world that nobody really cares about that.

On their website, they show a bunch of tools that work with Jira, but it would be nice if they gave you examples and said that if you're a regulated medical device or regulated, here's a solution that could work for you. Here is Jira. Here is Crucible, and here is Xray, and here is what it'll do for you. They could also ask how do you do the requirement management? Do you use Jama that ties to Jira? It would be awesome if they had some use cases that showed people how to use Jira as the building block and how to add something on the front end for requirement management, and something on the backend for testing, such as Crucible for the peer reviews and Xray for the test management. People would see it and say that I want to do that.

It would also be nice if it could provide some lock-out capabilities based on your development and environment preferences. For example, you can specify that no one can close a defect until it has been tested, or until a particular task is complete, you can't go to the next phase. It would be cool if you could have something like this set up versus someone configuring it in the background.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

They have got 10,000 licenses of Jira, and they have teams around the world deploying it across multiple geographies. All of that works fine.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used them because this company has its own tech support. So, I've been reaching out to them.

What was our ROI?

Most people who turn to Jira say that the return on investment is much better. 

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

Jira and its solution off the shelf are cheap. It is cheap for startups.

What other advice do I have?

It depends on what you want to use Jira for, and what's the problem you're trying to solve. If you're going to do defect tracking and management of an artifact and you have got requirements, code, and tests, and they all got to summarize, you have to then go ahead and take Jira. You can then buy Crucible for the peer reviews and Xray for the test management and get them to work seamlessly with each other. 

I would rate Jira an eight out of ten. It is fairly cheap. For a nine or ten, it would be like DOORS and Jazz platform, but the problem with that is that it would become really expensive.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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