A co-worker informed me that JIRA has GANTT Charter functionally which was surprizing to me.
I would assume that this functionally and any other scheduling tools and functions within JIRA would not be comparable to that of MS Project. I have very little knowledge of JIRA, however would someone with knowledge of both products be able to comment ?
Hi Keith, I’m not that familiar with Jira but I have discussed and read a bit on the dilemma. What I hear is that Jira is still a better overall tool for agile development. It’s user friendly, inexpensive, and provides better team collaboration than Project. Project has agile features, but the Task view and SharePoint is too complicated and restrictive. I think I heard that reporting in Jira is simple with many out of the box reports to support agile. Jira settings and configuration are typically managed much closer to the team than in Project.
Project excels in the enterprise portfolio space, programs, and especially large project execution. Project goes up the chain so much better than Jira. Microsoft Teams is a big step in providing the breadth and simplicity needed for small team collaboration. Power BI is simple and I assume will soon (if not now) provide agile templates/content packs for out of the box reporting. That plus a Jira integration that Microsoft says is their future direction (some vendors provide options already) should solidify a solid Microsoft solution.
Pros and cons as I understand it. Please note that some of the above is secondhand. I’m also looking forward to additional comments or corrections and wanted to add to the conversation. Hope that helps…
I have been using MSP and JIRA for a few years now and they way they currently exist, I see them as complementary products. JIRA is great for development teams to manage and collaborate on their tasks. From a project management standpoint, the reporting capability has both strengths and weaknesses. It has a very powerful query language; learning that takes some effort, but it is well worth while. We use these filters, alongside JIRA boards and Dashboards in our project status meetings very effectively. The weakness though is in the stakeholder reporting and I have found I need to replicate the JIRA data into MSP in summary form, to use MSP’s reporting features – that approach is especially effective with custom fields. We will be trialling Portfolio soon, which is another Atlassian tool so sits on top of JIRA projects and I’m hoping that will save me the effort of dual entry into MSP. I see there are quite a few 3rd party tools as well, for adding Gantt chart functions to JIRA and also connectors that create a link between the two products. As they stand though I use them both and set them up to leverage the relative strengths of each.
Jira set up requires a choice of either a Scrum board or a Kanban board. Scrum work is broken down into User Stories that are organized into Sprints (2-weeks is standard). Kanban breaks the work into Issue types that can be tasks, stories, bugs, or Epics. Regardless of the type of work, Issues are moved through four stages: Selected for Development, In Progress, In review, and Done. The idea is to break work down into actionable chunks. Once the Product Owner selects the work for development, anyone can take the issue (task) and work it.
In regards to your schedule question, there is no gantt chart in Jira. Jira is not a scheduling tool in the traditional critical path sense. https://confluence.atlassian.com/confeval/jira-software-evaluator-resources/jira-software-does-jira-software-provide-a-gantt-view-out-of-the-box 3rd-party Add-ons provide Gantt charts, Roadmaps and other views but they are really more of a pretty picture like Visio rather than a scheduling engine. That is what managers like; a pretty picture.
The predicted finish date of work in Jira is known through Story Point estimates and Velocity. It is called Relative Estimating.
You really need to decide if the work you are planning/performing is predictive in nature or not. And the drivers/requirements for the project. And if possible, use of both MS Project and Jira will give different views of the work to better understand the scope through the various phases.
Best to you!
My Experience between seeing Jira and MS Project inter-relationship is that MS Project can keep a set of stories focused on the larger picture. Project can do this in either a Portfolio perspective or a Tier 0 or Tier 1 schedule perspective within an overall effort. Project can maintain the focus on Key Deliverables and Milestones whether this is features and functionality or a physical product that has software and hardware inter-relationships. As much as Jira and Agile might believe there is no time bounding of their activity and the story will be done when the story is done, various stakeholders, shareholders, inter-team dependencies, government certification agencies, and contracts do have time expectations. Someday is not a reasonable response. I have seen many Jira project build a camel based upon a product manager and customer “desires” and “pressures” when the contractual or customer requirement was to build a horse. The excuse of “we did what you asked and prioritized” at the end of the day is a failure of a change control process or lack there in. Not to go down a rabbit hole, but one of the 737 Max software failures was the prioritization. The software bug was known, but was never important enough. There are many other cultural factors at play as well in this tragedy.