Atlassian has released the latest version of their flagship J2EE-based issue tracking and project management product, JIRA 3.3. JIRA 3.3 includes some of the most requested features and improvements, including:
- support for multiple project filtering
- new bulk move capabilities
- extended date and number searching
- additional language translations
- improved performance
- much more (a total of 130 individual improvements were included in this release).
Atlassian offers source access (under a developer license) with all commercial licenses and free licenses of their software for eligible non-profit organisations and open source projects.
To download a fully functional, free evaluation, try an online demo, or just find out more abouut JIRA, please visit: http://www.atlassian.com/jira
To read about the features highlighted in this announcement and the other 130 improvements, features and bug fixes, please see the full JIRA 3.3 release notes
I don't really see anything in Jira that supports project management other than issue tracking. Yes, you could bastardize the issue tracking to monitor deliverables - as some have done with bugzilla - but that's only an extremely small part of project management and could as easily be accomplished with a shared-view spreadsheet.
So, what elements substantiate the claim that JIRA is a project management system?
There are a couple of reports useful for project management:
* Time Tracking Report
* User Workload Report
* Version Workload Reports
Issues get assigned to versions, which can map roughly to milestones in a project. You can pull up reports on how much progress has been made towards a particular milestone. Progress on a particular issue can be tracked via a worklog.
Additionally, it appears Atlassian would like to add Gantt charts generated from the issue metadata:http://blogs.atlassian.com/rebelutionary/archives/images/gantt-chart-report.html
In short, without having used it myself, it appears Jira can pick up most of the PM stuff I've seen MS Project used for.
Those features are what I (and others) would categorize as a software development management system - not project management as defined by, say, the Project Management Institute (http:pmi.org) or ITIL. That is, it is useful for tracking the progress of development against a work breakdown structure, but not, for example, tracking progress against a budget, feature coverage, requirements/story tracking/prioritization, sign-offs, etc.
Having said that, given that many folks in the software development world view project management as simply the management of the software development process, I understand the claim now. Thanks!
While I agree that Jira isn't really a project management tool it does have a number of features which can be used to manage projects. As mentioned above you can track time against an item (that item could be production of a requiremtn spec to building a module).
Not sure what you classify as feature coverage but you can log any type of issue, new features, changes, defects etc.. and categorize by component, release, individual issue owners etc..
The tool has a highly customizable workflow and change history. If you want to track completion of any step and approval just define a workflow step and set appropriate approval groups.
No tools do everything and each tool should be chosen for what you are trying to accomplish, but this and excel can make a fine project management suite for a lot of projects.
I agree that Jira has a number of useful features and is worthy of consideration as one of the tools to be used during a project. My original question was more aimed at whether the narrow scope of the tool (i.e. issue tracking and resolution) was sufficient for it to claim to be a project management system and, tangentially, what is generally meant by 'project management system'.
I admit I haven't explored the workflow aspect sufficiently well to have an opinion - I'll try to take a look at it soon.
As I suspected, it comes down to the what you think a 'project' is comprised of. Often we, as software developers, think of a project in terms of 'here is a set of requirements, here is some code, and here are some unit tests to say that it works, so the project is done, right?'
To a certain extent, I blame Microsoft Project for this - not because it is a bad product - but because it has helped to define 'Project Management' as software delivery management or, more precisely, the tracking of a work breakdown structure.
Other groups have a broader scope when defining what a project is - a scope which includes issues such as 'why are we doing this at all?', 'can we afford it?', 'what return are we expecting on this?', 'how will we offer this to the customers?', 'who is going to maintain this in production?', etc. The actual development in this process is, really, a very small (albeit essential) part of the whole management of the project.
In a larger sense, what I am seeing is the same word - 'Project Management' - being used to express two totally different concepts: one more tightly constrained in scope than the other. One seems to be 'project lifecycle management' and the other 'project software development management'. There are even acronyms for each of these - PDLC and SDLC. If I make this distinction, then its easy to see how Jira or Xplanner or Gnats (i.e. tools for SDLC) fits into the bigger picture.
Well, this has probably veered into the realm of philosophy, so I'll stop. Thanks for the pointer to the workflow aspect. I'll take a look.
Other groups have a broader scope when defining what a project is - a scope which includes issues such as 'why are we doing this at all?', 'can we afford it?', 'what return are we expecting on this?', 'how will we offer this to the customers?', 'who is going to maintain this in production?', etc.
These issues pertain more to Product Management than Project Management.
what we are using as say "project management" planning feature ist the roadmap feature. It is a very good was to plan your iterations. You can specify tasks, divide them into subtask and assign persons to it. Including estimates for the duration of work, the actual status and the total time spent. By including change requests and bugs into the planning you get an excellent overview of you project status.
See for example the JBoss AS roadmap as an example:JBoss AS Roadmap
Maybe it is not a tool that fits ever PMI or ITIL theory but in practise it was very useful for us.
- Mirko -codecentric
- your code is our source
the ui look and feel is very comfortable.
Jira-Mike is also one of the guys behind Open Symphony and Jira (and Confluence) use most, if not all, of the OpenS frameworks such as Web Work and Sitemesh.