JIRA has not been the most favourable option for development teams in recent times. And there is no shortage of JIRA alternatives out there.
This is making it increasingly hard to decide which alternative is best suited for your team.
What is JIRA anyway?
JIRA is an agile project management tool that is used by software teams. It is developed by Atlassian and is used by over 75,000 teams. Clearly, it has done wonders in shaping the industry.
However, teams are struggling to use it due to many reasons.
Today, teams don’t just want a tool that is functional. They also want a software that is developer friendly and built for speed and efficiency.
With JIRA, you can wring a list of issues and start working on your feature.
But you can’t get your team to care and update progress unless you put a gun to their head.
Some users find JIRA to be clunky, confusing, and hard to learn. Not to forget all the configuration you’ll have to go setup before you can even begin.
if I was dumbledore I would've hid the philosophers stone in jira's ui— I Am Devloper (@iamdevloper) September 21, 2017
Irrespective of why you’re looking for a JIRA alternative, you need to makes sure the tool you pick lets you work with members across teams, plan and track features, and more importantly lets you do what you do best - writing code and building features.
List of 13 JIRA alternatives agile software teams can start using today
Zepel is the simplest project management tool for software product teams. It gives you a snapshot of what’s happening at every level.
Using Zepel, you can bring customer requests, feedback, and bug reports from multiple tools and prioritize easily. The Plan features and track progress of those features visually, and use it as a roadmap to guide and align your team.
After prioritizing, Zepel lets you easily spec and plan features with user stories, tasks, subtasks, enhancements, and bugs. With a simple document-like interface, creating these items is as easy as hitting enter. From there, you can assign, set due dates, add estimation points, share files, add description, and more!
Of course, when you’re evaluating an alternative to JIRA, you want to make sure the tool supports a Scrum team or has Kanban boards. Zepel is flexible enough to support both Scrum and Kanban, so your team can become agile.
With a dedicated Sprint view, you can view your Sprint backlog items, get an overview of the Sprint, see the scrum report in real-time, and track the Sprint in a Scrum Board.
Since many JIRA users switch to Zepel, it understands the importance of a developer’s productivity and has deep integrations with GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab. This allows developers to link items using item ID to pull requests, branch, commits, and automatically update progress in Zepel based on their Git Workflow.
Top Features in Zepel:
- Simple document-like interface to plan features with User Stories, Bugs, Tasks, Subtasks, and Enhancements.
- Add scrum boards
- Advanced search filters
- Dependencies and attachments
- Multiple assignees
- Activity timeline
- Supports scrum and kanban
- Burnup, burndown charts, and cumulative charts
- Deep integrations with GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, Slack, Figma, and more!
- Let’s you bring customer requests and feedback inside Zepel to build customer-focussed products.
- Developer-friendly APIs
- One-click import from JIRA
- Free for 5 members without feature restrictions.
- Starts at $5/member from 6th member.
1. Gvag, a Senior R&D Software Engineer, said:
While I was looking for a Jira alternative I stumbled upon Zepel.io which not only is a note worthy alternative but much much more.
2. Anbin, Co-founder and Principle Engineer, said:
Within 20 minutes of using Zepel, I was convinced that this is the tracking system we are looking for and moved all of our projects there.
You can read all the reviews here.
2. Pivotal Tracker
Pivotal Tracker is a popular alternative to JIRA. It is an agile based project management software that helps teams collaborate and monitor progress in the project’s lifecycle. You can list down features, chores, and bugs, and keep a healthy balance between tech debts and bugs. It allows teams to list down actionable items, assign, prioritize, and set deadlines.
In addition to all these functionalities, it calculates the team’s velocity based on the average estimation points completed in the recent iterations.
Pivotal Tracker is designed for teams to follow only Agile methodology and is not flexible enough to fit other methodologies. This will make it hard for certain teams and team members to adopt the tool, get used to terminologies, and make the full use of the tool.
Key features of Pivotal Tracker:
- Burnup, cumulative flow diagram, and real time cycle time reports.
- Automatic team velocity calculation based on recent iteration.
- Estimation points and prioritization
- File sharing and search
- Labels and project history.
- Free for 5 members with limited features.
- If you have 6-10 members, you’ll pay a flat fee of $10 per month.
- From 11th member, you’ll pay $6.50/member/month.
VersionOne is an agile project management app that supports Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), enterprise scrum, and kanban. It is a great alternative to JIRA solution if you are working at an enterprise company. In terms of functionalities and features, VersionOne has plenty of them to address a variety of software development models and team collaboration.
This means, there will be a learning curve for your team to get up to speed and make the best use of it.
With agile portfolio management and providing more than fifty agile metrics, you can start tracking your team’s progress with reports and get insight into their progress.
Key features on VersionOne:
- Unlimited projects, members, and teams
- Release forecasting
- Sprint member capacity planning
- Timesheets and approvals
- Burndown charts and velocity reports
Pricing: Free – $29/user/month
Workzone is a simple software where teams can organize their work with tasks and subtasks, assign, and get notifications when it’s due.
Workzone is useful for service companies, ad agencies, and unlike many other free JIRA alternatives, even for marketing teams who work with multiple departments or with clients. Projects that use similar processes can use templates and can help save time.
It provides expense tracking, file versioning, reports for each workspace, task dependencies, and can alert team members when the dependent task is ready to be taken up.
The tool doesn’t provide pricing upfront, but you can request a demo and quote for your team when you contact them.
Key features of Workzone:
- Task dependencies
- Upto 200 GB file storage depending on your plan
- Time tracking and resource management
- Set up review and approval process
- Image markups and advanced reporting.
- Team plan starts at $24/member/month.
- Professional plan starts at $34/member/month.
- Enterprise plan starts at $43/member/month.
Binfire is a project and team collaboration tool that is built for remote teams. Unlike other JIRA alternatives, the Binfire team itself is remote which helps them understand the intricacies of the day-to-day problems remote teams have when it comes to project management. This gives them the advantage of building a tool dedicated for remote teams and has nearly everything they would need to manage projects.
It offers resource tracking and task management where tasks, subtasks, and dependencies can be managed by adding multiple tags to each task. This makes it easier to sort and find tasks you’re looking for. It offers the ability to add six-level deep subtasks and the ability to turn a project into a template.
Binfire offers a status report, interactive Gantt chart, and burndown report to allow teams to keep track of their progress.
Key features of Binfire:
- Unlimited projects and boards
- Up to 500 GB file storage depending on your pricing plan.
- Portfolio Boards and Calendars
- Notification options
- Google drive and calendar integrations
- Real time dashboards
- Admin console
- Basic plan starts at $8/member/month.
- Biz plan starts at $12/member/month.
- Corp plan costs $18/member/month.
Basecamp is one of the most popular project management tools that is effective at bringing people from different teams together (not just your engineering teams), so everyone can work on a project together and see it through to completion.
Basecamp doesn’t offer Kanban or Sprints like other free JIRA alternatives for you to follow agile methodology, but provides plenty of other features for you manage your projects.
It allows you to organize tasks in to-do lists with due ranges and dates, assign to team members, so you can keep everyone on the same page. At then end of every project, it summarizes accomplishments and lets you generate reports.
Basecamp gives you a single hub for your team members to share files and documents, have conversations in group chat, and have automatic check-in questions for standups. It includes several integrations that lets you do time tracking, build Gantt charts, reports, and create client proposals.
Its pricing isn’t based on number of members, so you can bring as many team members into your project as you want.
Key features of Basecamp:
- Unlimited projects and users.
- 500 GB storage space.
- Project templates.
- To do checklist with due ranges and due dates to manage deadlines.
- Includes free plan for up to 20 members with limited features.
- $99 per month for unlimited users.
Kanbanize is an agile project management tool that allows teams to visualize key initiatives and break them down into work items by combining kanban boards with simple user interface.
It provides WIP limits per column, role based access, filters, and custom fields, so teams can easily visualize their work just the way they want. Since all of its features revolve around a kanban board, teams can create a different workflow that features a timeline and see the whole progress, but might not be easy to see work with different views.
It provides time tracking to see hours spent on tasks or projects and analytics to monitor performance.
Key features of Kanbanize:
- Board view
- Timeline planner
- Create and manage multiple workflows
- Setup business rules
- Build custom workflow analytics to measure performance.
- $179 per month for 1-15 users.
- $239 per month for 20 users.
Notion is the all in one tool that lets you take notes, use for project management, capture tasks, move them across statuses in a kanban, and track them on a calendar. If you want to go a step further, you can even use it as a CRM tool.
Although it is known for its ease of use and its simplicity, some users have found it a bit intimidating to get started purely because of the number of ways in which you can use it. And as you add more data, the tool begins to get slow.
Key features of Notion:
- Several views - List, boards, tabular columns, and notes.
- Admin tools to manage permissions.
- Public view to make your notion document publicly accessible like a website.
- Version history and unlimited file uploads.
- Free for individuals. Can share with 5 guests.
- Personal Pro plan starts at $5/month.
- Team plan starts at $10/member/month.
Sprintly is one of the popular tools similar to JIRA that lets you see and track all your projects in one board. It provides a robust query language and filtering functions, so project managers can see in real time who is working on what.
Sprintly integrates with GitHub, Bitbucket, Beanstalk, Crashlytics, and Slack.
Key features of Sprintly:
- Sprint views
- Querying capabilities similar to JIRA
- Agile reports
- Integration with third party tools
- No free plan. Includes a free 7-day trial.
- Startup plan starts at $19/month for 6 members.
- Team plan costs $49/month for 14 members.
- Pro plan costs $99/month for 20 members.
- Agency plan costs $199/month for 33 members.
Although owned by Atlassian, Trello is the user friendly tool software development teams use for agile software development.
It’s ideal for small teams for project tracking, project planning, and bug tracking. It’s simple to use since it does not overload you with a lot features and focuses only on kanban boards alone.
If your business needs more capabilities like calendar view, time tracking, and Gantt charts, you will have to upgrade your basic plan to a higher pricing plan. Due to this, many teams begin to look for Trello alternatives that is equally simple, but is packed with capabilities.
Trello integrates with several tools like Box, Dropbox, Bitbucket, GitLab, and more!
Key features on Trello:
- Boards and advanced filters
- Power-up that can be used to include new capabilities as an add on
- 100+ third party integrations
- Calendar and Gantt views
- Free for unlimited users with limited features.
- Business plan starts at $12.50 per user per month when paid monthly.
- Enterprise plan starts at $17.50 per user per month when paid monthly.
You might be interested in this comparison review of Trello vs JIRA
Asana is a great software if you don’t want all the agile features of JIRA and just want to do simple project management, task management or team collaboration.
While it comes with Board, Calendar, and Gantt charts, it might not be the ideal tool if you want to use it as an issue tracker or for agile development. Asana has an integration add on with tools that allow you to do time tracking and resource management, which is great if you’re a services team managing several clients.
Asana has a reasonably intuitive interface that loads faster than JIRA, which is definitely a big plus. A negative aspect of this tool is its steep pricing plan, that leads to teams looking for alternatives to Asana.
Key features of Asana:
- List, Boards, Calendar, Timeline views
- Custom fields
- Assignments, Due dates, and comments
- Workflow automation
- Permission management
- Basic plan is free with limited features for 15 members.
- Premium plan starts at $13.49 per user per month.
- Business plan starts at $30.49 per user per month.
Read this in-depth article to compare Asana vs Trello
Wrike is a JIRA competitor that lets you plan projects and resource management easily.
For a management platform that requires you to go through a pretty steep learning curve and lacks an intuitive interface, once you get a hang of Wrike, you’ll find that the tool can satisfy all your agile development needs.
Key features of Wrike:
- Shared task list
- File sharing
- Boards, Gantt
- Deadline planning with Calendar views
- Notification management
- Shareable dashboards
- Free for up to 5 members.
- Professional plan starts at $9.80/member/month.
- Business plan starts at $24.80/member/month.
Monday is among the popular tools like JIRA and is also widely adopted by non-technical teams.
It comes with several automations and templates that make it easy for your organization to adopt the tool. The tool can be customized to any extent and can be made to fit any team’s needs. Their unique capability is the ability to create useful custom reports.
Key features of Monday:
- Several views - Tabular columns, calendar, gantt, forms, timeline, and more.
- Customizable notifications.
- Ability to automate certain tasks.
- Customizable reports.
- Connects with Box, Slack, Asana, Trello, Toggl, Google Calendar, and more.
- No free plan. Offers a 14-day free trial.
- Pricing starts at $10/member/month to $20/member/month.
- Has restrictions on what features are available depending on the plan you choose.
In case non product/tech folks use Monday for their day to day work, you can setup the Monday as a source which will allow you to bring in work items from within Monday into Zepel for your product/tech teams.