I worked in a dev team for the last 8+ years and used Jira in most of it. I mostly hated it, literally!
- I have no problem with the Agile Development cycle. They way Jira handles all those epics, stories, etc. adds too much overhead. I feel like Github Project boards, or even Trello does a better job.
- Starting to work on a task and moving it to the finish line can take as much as doing the task itself (in case of a small bug). I admit this is also related to how Jira was set up, but I haven't seen a smooth workflow yet.
- I had to create an "Issue Reporting Tool" that works with the Jira API. As luck would have it, Atlassian was in the middle of updating their API authentication. API documentation and the actual API were not on the same page. Jira's support failed to recognize the problem, and I chased my tail for two weeks. Finally, I proved the inconsistency with some "undeniable" proofs, and finally, support pulled their head from the sand and admitted the issue. I had better support experiences with free Softwares (i.e., ArangoDB).
I know Jira is so popular among programmers and some people might even love it, but I cannot shake the feeling of "Project management should be this cumbersome!" Am I missing something?
The biggest complaint I’ve heard about Jira from team members is that it’s a ‘heavy’ solution. Yet for large teams or teams that want a lot of structure, it does the job better than most other solutions. If the team /company is smaller, a lot of those feature become overhead. Also if your team doesn’t need all the structure, then Trello might be better. If you want something in the middle, Clubhouse is a good compromise between the two. Just like there isn’t one type of car for everyone, there isn’t one agile project management tools that perfect for all teams.
Jira is very flexible and often tends to be abused by setting up a complex processes, but I dont belive Jira force you to add structure and overhead, but often ends up as that. I dont think is a problem of the tool itself but how sometimes its used.
I believe things can be effiecient end effective, even with simple solutions such as postit on a wall, and also like the concept of Card-Conversation-Confirmation: https://www.agilealliance.org/glossary/three-cs/
Atlassian has sadly taken the same approach to their products that SFDC did, which is to force you to their channel partners for the purposes of customization, then upselling. Their platform is far too complicated for the average person to administer, and their marketing is overbearing. Jira itself is a decent tool, and my team is stuck with it for now, but I would rethink that if I was starting from scratch. I give them credit for being very receptive to feedback and pushing updates very often.
I've learned to live with it, but I find it hard to see how it could be a great tool even for large companies, unless a very strict process needs to be followed. The overhead for small teams is annoying at best, and the UI is slow and clunky.
Setting it up for a simple workflow is possible. Problem js that Jira wants to be able to do it all. So much flexibility comes at a price: complexity. Basically Jira is an excellent administration tool for ‘agile’ work but my issue with it that is does not support the team (you can fill your sprint with all your backlog stories and Jira won’t support you with the notion that sprint will probably not reach its goal.
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