Why on earth would someone look for alternatives to Jira? The tool has been around for almost two decades, but as time goes by, more and more companies choose to kick it to the curb and set out to look for Jira alternatives. This is not to say that Jira is flawed, but rather that in the age of fierce market competition, companies get the luxury to choose the tool that fits their project needs like a glove. So what is Jira, why are many project managers keen on exploring other options and, finally, what are the best options out there? Let’s take a look.
For starters, what is Jira?
Jira is today one of the most recognized issue-tracking and project management software in the world, especially in the IT sector. Although it was initially designed for issue-tracking only, many more features followed along and now the tool is particularly popular among project and product managers as well as software engineers and testers. When it comes to specific project management matters, Jira can help with task management, project reports creating, workflow management, and project analytics. However, considering how competitive the project market is, there are lots of alternatives to Jira that considerably outrank it and even offer integration options. But before we look at those Jira software alternatives, let’s first consider why you might actually need the switch.
Why do teams look for Jira alternatives?
Jira is a powerful tool, proven to effectively help teams stay on top of their tasks, but there are valid reasons why companies that have already tried it might wish to switch to another solution. Just like any other tool out there, this one has some flaws too.
Companies with a limited IT budget see little point in dropping cash on Jira license when there are cheaper alternatives available like Asana or Trello. And let’s not forget about the age-old bugbear of Jira – steep learning curve . Some companies end up using Jira only for its bug tracking and management functionalities, which is a bit of a shame because this platform goes above and beyond bug tracking by providing tools for project planning and collaboration too.
There are numerous reasons why teams decide to drop Jira and move on. Some of the most important factors include:
- It’s too complex
There are lots of facets to Jira, which makes it difficult for teams to master the tool. Onboarding takes quite a lot of time and effort but it is not always relevant to small teams that don’t really need all the features the tool offers.
- No option to manage multiple projects
As your company experiences exponential growth, your teams will expand and you will have to manage multiple projects simultaneously. However, with Jira, it’s just not on the table. You should either buy a Jira Portfolio add-on or switch to more advanced Jira Portfolio alternatives altogether.
- Not relevant for every team
Since it was initially developed as software for tracking issues and bugs, Jira is now very popular in IT settings and it still has a lot of gears for developers. But what about all the other companies, like advertising agencies or fashion companies, that also need a relevant project management solution? They usually look for popular Jira alternatives.
- A limited number of assignees
In many cases, you will have multiple people working on the same task, or maybe even the whole team with everyone making their own contribution. However, Jira only gives you the option to assign one person to a task, while everyone else will only be able to follow the task and add their comments. For many companies, this is a red flag, and for good reasons.
- Out-of-date interface
When it comes to complex tools, an easy and simple interface is indispensable. However, Jira is still lagging behind with that factor which often makes its user experience frustrating and compels teams to consider alternatives to Jira Agile.
Best alternatives to Jira
For some people, giving up on Jira can be a huge decision, especially if it is the only project management software they ever used. However, there's no need to worry, current Jira competitors provide a great user experience. Here are the top alternatives to Jira to check out and compare.
Forecast is a universal project and resource management tool aimed at helping companies run all of their project operations, including budgeting and scheduling, within a single platform. It is one of the best Jira alternatives for finance matters as you get the option to do budget management. On top of that, Forecast has a number of other valuable features like baseline, retainers, resource schedule, which are not available in Jira.
Project managers often name administrative work as one of the least favourite and most time-consuming parts of their job description, but the good news is that Forecast will considerably reduce your non-billable work like resource allocation, filling out timesheets, and project planning so that you could turn your attention to something more important.
Here’s what Joanne Reid, Head of PMO at Sagittarius, says about their experience with Forecast:
Thanks to Forecast we've reached about 90% of our time as billable within delivery and it's all activity that benefits the client first and foremost.
Finally, the platform can give you something most basic Jira alternatives and Jira itself cannot: access to the big picture. You can analyze your project performance in real time and make strategic decisions to scale the company by getting complete financial and operational visibility across your project portfolio. And now the cherry on top — Forecast has the best Jira integration option on the market. In short, it’s a two-way sync, so everything you update in Jira ends up in Forecast and vice versa.
Forecast is an excellent option for teams with 10+ members and its pricing usually falls between €27 and €46/month per seat. To get acquainted with the platform you can either book a demo or sign up for a free 14-day trial.
Wrike is certainly among the leaders on the list of Jira Confluence alternatives. It is a cloud-based project management tool that helps teams simplify planning and improve collaboration. You can use the tool to generate real-time reports, discuss project details, share important information like project reports, and manage your communication with stakeholders in one place. Among the features Wrike has that Jira doesn’t are cost-to-completion tracking and customizable templates.
Compared to Jira, Wrike is slightly more expensive as you’d have to pay from $9.8/month per person. But other than that, Wrike offers a free trial and a free version if you feel like it’s the tool you’ve been looking for.
Workzone is often named as one of the best Jira & Trello alternatives: it is as powerful as Jira and as simple as Trello, basically the golden middle between the two. This platform is a popular choice for teams with non-technical users and it offers a wide range of features, just like Jira. Among the features you might find particularly useful are various project and task templates, time tracking, workload reports, and task dependencies.
However, unlike the aforementioned Jira and Wrike, Workzone is noticeably more expensive: paid deals start from $24/month per person, but if you choose to go for their Enterprise plan, the price tag might be up to $43/month for each user.
Asana is a very decent option if you are looking for Jira Kanban alternatives: it gives you four different options when looking at your projects, Kanban-style being only one of them. You get to monitor your projects in real time, set priorities and deadlines, assign tasks to specific team members, and identify your risks in advance.
There is a free basic plan, which is great if you are looking for Jira alternatives for startups. But there is also a Premium plan for $10.99/month per user, and a Business plan for $24.99/month.
Hygger is not as common because it’s niche-oriented so you won’t usually see it on the list of best Jira alternatives. Nevertheless, it’s still an excellent project management tool for IT teams. It is simple software with an extensive list of essential features like roadmap planning, time tracking, and Kanban boards. With Hygger you can easily visualize your workload and define your timelines.
There is a free Basic plan available, but with limited storage of 100MB. If you need more storage you can purchase their Standard plan for $7 or Enterprise plan for $14/month per user.
Mavenlink is a giant on the market of project management software and one of the best Jira alternatives for service organizations. Mavenlink offers you a good mix of collaborative resource planning and project management features, centralizing all of your project information in one place. Among the features you might particularly enjoy here are advanced analytics, time tracking, and project accounting.
The Mavenlink team are not as flexible and transparent about their pricing as other companies, but there is a free demo you can try. Alternatively, you can make a request for a quote to learn more about their paid plans.
Clickup is one of the best Jira alternatives for one simple reason that it’s easy-to-use and cheap. It has a good intuitive interface, unlike Jira, and offers you integrations with other platforms like Slack and GitHub. If you are not looking for a sophisticated tool and Jira is just too complex for your small team, Clickup will make a good substitution.
You can use a free version with a storage limitation (100 MB only), or you can choose to purchase a plan for $5/month and get unlimited storage.
Proofhub usually gets a recognized place in the lists of better alternatives to Jira because you get more flexibility with task management. You can use Kanban boards, simple to-do lists, and agile workflows, which also makes this tool one of the best Jira Agile alternatives. From Gantt charts, easy-to-use interface, and file management to time tracking, and even online discussions — you can enjoy all of these and many more features in Proofhub.
NB: Proofhub has a slightly different pricing protocol here: you don’t pay per user, but get a specific plan like the Ultimate Control plan for $89/month which allows you to add unlimited users and projects.
The last one on our list today — Paymo, great project management software for creative agencies, design firms, social media & business consultants, and even IT companies. Here you get the option to do budget and portfolio management, time & expense tracking, and resource management. An important fact to remember here: this tool offers you Kanban boards, but it’s not on the list of Scrum boards Jira alternatives because those are not available here.
There is a free trial and a free version available, but if you need access to advanced features you can purchase a plan starting from $9.56/month.
Gone are those days when users were constantly in fear that if they don’t use a certain tool, they might blow their chances at landing the next great job. The level of user freedom and satisfaction provided by the market players is so impressive you can hardly tell which one is best for your project. The only question left to answer is whether you have the itch to try something new and helpful.
Jira is without a doubt a worthy candidate on any list of project management software, but with all the other advanced tools out there, it’s basically a drop in the ocean. For you to enhance team productivity and reinvent your project management style, identifying the exact needs of your company, projects, and team members is paramount. Based on the data you collect you can make a well-informed decision whether to go with the tried and tested Jira or to settle for a more advanced solution that makes a perfect match with your needs.