Jira Review

An agile solution which allows for planning and visibility, but lacks scalability and governance


What is our primary use case?

We are using the recent version.

We use it for story and sprint planning, as well as for reporting. 

How has it helped my organization?

The solution benefits our organization with its agility, planning and visibility in respect of large teams spanning different geo locations.

What is most valuable?

The tool is well known and popular to use. 

The sprint planning is pretty good, as are the reporting piece, retrospective reporting and the planning board. 

It is a great tool from the planning perspective, such as that of capacity and sprint planning. 

What needs improvement?

As the solution is highly configurable, it has very poor governance. There is nothing which comes out of Jira to go into the product. It is free for all and anyone can create with it. This means that the responsibility lies with the user community to create some form of governance. 

Moreover, the solution is geared to small teams. It lacks scalability. 

The tool is not good at the enterprise level. This means that, depending on how the person installed the software, the issue of performance may increase commensurate with the number of projects. While plugin for x-ray exists, it is not that mature in test management. Although it's a good tool for many of the smaller clients, once a person goes deeper into it, it's not there, even though it will get the work done. 

It is a less desirable solution in controlled environments, such as science, banking and finance, in which there is a need for certain compliance supports.

The solution is not that great for audit histories. It's a great tool when much integration is involved. With cold products, things can always be achieved through other means. 

When the teams collaborate, they need multiple metrics to be tracked. With this comes the issue of direct impacts, such as the appearance of one's UI and its usability aspects. The screens have changed greatly in appearance over the last ten years. This is an issue which every software dealt with in line with the growth of usage and complexity. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Jira for nearly ten years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is good for small teams. It lacks scalability. It does not work well when it must be used across multiple domains and multiple teams which need to collaborate. 

The Atlassian strategy is that the solution be open to all to encourage collaboration. But, this raises the issue of how to control the data input and the tool and all that it comprises in respect of the reporting that is generated. This means that poor data quality in the geo projects will equate with poor reporting on it. 

As such, supplementation by the teams or organizations using it is required. They must come up with their own rules of governance about who can do what. 

The product is not being extensively used at the moment. It is a niche product. I have not seen usage behind it. It involves ID users for certain teams. 

We do not have plans to increase usage. This will depend on the feedback we receive. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not made use of technical support. 

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

We did not switch to Jira. It is simply one of the products that we also use in addition to an in-house micro focus ALM. 

How was the initial setup?

While I was not involved in the initial setup, my understanding is that it is simple. Atlassian puts out many different products and I cannot say for certain how I would have handled ones which are on-premises, compared to those which are cloud-based or server products. 

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

I am not in a position to comment on the licensing. 

What other advice do I have?

We make use of the solution on Jira Cloud. 

While I cannot say with certainty, I would estimate the number of users in our organization at a thousand-plus. 

This figure contemplates different departments, such as that involving support. 

My advice is that someone in a large enterprise first give consideration to the issue of governance before implementing the solution. For a small team it is ready to use straight out of the box. One need just try and stay with the default workflows. There is no need to overengineer the product. 

The product is good, stable and very cost-effective for small teams. These are some of its advantages. 

I rate Jira as a seven out of ten. 

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