jira project management alternatives
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Jira is one of the most widely-used issue tracking systems on the market. In fact, Jira is used slightly more than GitHub for issue tracking by large companies, but that doesn’t mean it’s the perfect tool for your company.

Why should I look for a Jira alternative?

While Jira does do an outstanding job with issue tracking, it’s not quite on par with other offerings for project management. Some look at it as a bit overly complex. Despite the power you get with a Jira account, there are a lot of features that aren’t exactly user-friendly.

Keep in mind that Jira is primarily focused on agile project management. If your company is only now looking to adopt an agile approach, you must understand the inherent complexities involved. If your teams still use a more traditional workflow, Jira may not be the best fit.

SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)

Fortunately, there are plenty of available options. If you need a project management solution that could also be used for issue tracking, you’ve come to the right place: Let’s take a look at the best alternatives for Jira for both the project management and issue-tracking sides of business.

Jira alternatives ranked

Asana

Asana has quickly grown into a very big fish swimming in a rather large pond and is a great alternative that can serve as both issue and project management — although it does lean a bit more into project management than issue tracking. Asana does an outstanding job of encouraging communication and collaboration throughout your project. Asana is also a platform that enables the handling of every aspect of project management within its single service.

With Asana, you’ll enjoy features like:

  • Built-in collaboration and communication tools, such as real-time chat
  • Multiple workspaces
  • Activity feeds
  • Attachments
  • Permissions and access control
  • Custom fields
  • Boards and calendars
  • Reporting
  • Views
  • Team management
  • Third-party integrations
  • Mobile applications
  • Task dependencies
  • Comments
  • Subtasks
  • Templates

Although Asana does offer a free tier, from my experience, if you opt to test-drive the features for either the Premium or Business plan, you cannot go back to the Basic plan and will be stuck with either creating a new account or upgrading. The Premium plan is $10.99/user/month and the Business plan is $24.99/user/month.

Asana is best used by medium-to-large companies that need serious project management with issue tracking on the side.

ClickUp

ClickUp is one of the most popular productivity tools on the market. This particular take on project management goes well out of its way to offer everything you need. ClickUp not only offers incredible tools for your teams but also includes some of the best product support available.

With an app market that grows every day, you’ll find everything you need to extend the feature set beyond anything you could imagine for your project management. You’ll find ClickApps for priorities, tags, custom fields, workflow customization, third-party integration, automation and more. The ClickUp feature set includes:

  • Organize teams into Spaces
  • Customizable tasks
  • Nested subtasks and checklists
  • Boards, calendars, timelines and other views
  • Automations
  • Templates
  • Linked tasks and documents
  • Integrations
  • Sharing
  • Issue tracking
  • Real-time reporting
  • Workload and box views
  • Goals
  • Milestones

ClickUp offers a free plan as well as:

  • Unlimited for small teams: $5/member/month.
  • Business: $12/member/month.
  • Business Plus: $19/member/month.
  • Enterprise: Contact for details.

View the details for each plan on the ClickUp price matrix. ClickUp is best used for larger, more complex projects that require a high amount of collaboration.

Pivotal Tracker

You may not have heard of Pivotal Tracker yet, but if you need to manage agile projects, this platform might be just the thing. This particular tool is very much targeted at agile software projects, with the addition of backlog lists, hotfixes and iterative team velocity calculation.

Pivotal Tracker starts every project with a story to help empower your team to develop more efficiently and effectively. A story is a small, actionable piece of work that is used as a placeholder for future reflection to help outline what a user might need. These stories help you strike a balance between adding new features and preventing bugs from piling up.

Some of the more important features found in Pivotal Tracker include:

  • Team velocity calculated on the average number of story points completed
  • Emergent iterations
  • Multiple workspaces
  • My Work for a quick-look dashboard
  • Analytics for team and project health
  • Notifications
  • Mentions and following
  • Search
  • File sharing
  • Tasks
  • Labels
  • Story blockers
  • Project history
  • Third-party integrations

Pivotal Tracker pricing includes a free plan for 1-5 collaborators, as well as:

  • Startup: $10/month for 6-10 collaborators.
  • Standard: $6.50/collaborator/month for 11+ collaborators.
  • Enterprise: Contact for details.

Pivotal Tracker is best used by companies with complex, agile software development looking primarily for issue tracking with a side of project management.

Shortcut

Shortcut started as Clubhouse and has quickly become one of Jira’s primary competitors. With a very user-friendly interface, anyone can get up to speed very quickly on this issue-tracking platform. Anyone that considers Jira’s UI to be outdated and clunky will find Shortcut a breath of fresh air.

The feature set found in Shortcut includes the following:

  • Collaboration and documentation via Stories
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Reporting
  • Progress reports
  • Knowledge base
  • Integrations for third-party services such as GitHub, BitBucket and Slack
  • Easy switching between task boards, weekly sprints and quarterly planning
  • Scalable and customizable
  • Roadmaps
  • Milestones
  • Docs
  • REST API Docs
  • Import from both Trello and Jira

Shortcut pricing starts with a free plan and steps up to:

  • Team: $8.50/user/month.
  • Business: $12/user/month.
  • Enterprise: contact for information.

For more information about pricing and features, check out the pricing matrix. Shortcut is best used by larger companies focusing on agile software development.

Trello

Trello has been my go-to for project management for some time. This is primarily due to its amazing Kanban board which is incredibly flexible, so it can serve just about any project of any type. The UI is not only very intuitive but also customizable.

One thing that attracts me to Trello is its Power-Ups feature. Not only are Power-Ups free to all account plans, but you can add an amazing amount of features, such as swimlanes, third-party integrations, countdowns, external sharing and more.

Although Trello does offer plenty of different views, I find the kanban board to be the most effective. The Trello feature set includes things like:

  • Boards, lists and cards
  • Members
  • Due dates
  • Attachments
  • Checklists
  • Timeline view
  • Hundreds of third-party integrations
  • Easily scale to thousands of users
  • Automations
  • Real-time user management
  • Content permissions
  • Industry-leading compliance certifications

Trello offers a free plan as well as:

  • Standard: $5/user/month
  • Premium: $10/user/month
  • Enterprise: $17.50/user/month

Find out more about the features of each plan on the pricing matrix.

Trello is best used for teams who prefer the best kanban board they can find with the addition of added features and integrations.

There you have it: Five alternatives for Jira that are sure to help keep your projects running smoothly and efficiently. No matter what your project needs, you will find a management platform here that will work like a charm.

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