If you are in the market for project management software, both Asana and Jira are great choices. We will discuss the pros and cons of each so you can decide which is the best fit for your development team’s needs.
What is Asana Project Management Software?
A couple of ex-Facebook employees founded Asana in 2008. Many use the project management software for its collaborative features. While CRM can serve both IT and non-IT organizations (marketing, sales, etc.), Asana is more popular amongst the latter.
A glance at Asana shows that project management in its world seems to be focused on tasks. When you create a new project, you can create subtasks that you assign to specific team members while adding descriptions, comments, tags, and custom fields for added detail. In short, if your organization is seeking software to simply delegate and complete tasks with enhanced collaboration features, Asana may be that solution.
What are the Benefits of Asana?
Below is a list of some of the benefits and pros of Asana, especially as they relate to developers and development teams:
- A solid set of collaboration features that allows your team to communicate in one place without having to switch between different apps.
- Multiple views to help you oversee a project’s progress while also visualizing workload amongst different team members.
- Tons of customization to fit your organization’s needs. If you want to jump right into tasks with Asana, you can do so via saved templates. Or, if you are looking for a more personalized approach, you can customize templates, fields, and tags.
- Impressive integration with third-party apps to help streamline your workflows.
What are Asana PM Software’s Cons?
Here is a list of some of the things we consider Asana’s cons:
- If you are looking for project management software that is intuitive and easy to use right out of the box, Asana may not be the right fit. Its learning curve can be a bit steep, which could take a while for some team members to adjust. However, with some practice, Asana becomes much easier to manage, so keep that in mind.
- Teams who prefer the agile method may find Asana insufficient, even though it offers Kanban capabilities.
- You may overlook some work items since this PM software does not support a single view of tasks and subtasks.
- Organizations seeking robust reporting and budgeting features may find Asana to be lacking. You can overcome this by integrating Asana with a third-party app like Everhour.
- Inability to assign multiple team members to one task can lead to confusion if more than one person is collaborating on something.
- Some may find Asana’s pricing too high compared to similar offerings on the market.
What is Jira Project Management Software?
Atlassian’s Jira started in the project management market six years before Asana, way back in 2002. It began primarily as a bug and issue tracker tool but has since morphed into more as agile development teams use it to manage their projects. If you are a project manager, engineer, or app developer seeking a solution to streamline the app development process, Jira could be just what the doctor ordered.
Teams that lack experience with project management software tend to use another one of Atlassian’s offerings, Trello, to start, as Jira has a bit of a learning curve. Then, after getting used to Trello and finding they need extended functionality, they make the move to Jira. Should your organization do the same? We will start looking at Jira’s pros and cons so you can determine just that.
What are the Benefits of Jira?
Below is a list of some of the benefits and pros of Jira project management software:
- As mentioned, Jira began as a bug and issue tracker. As such, this is one of the PM software’s main strong points since it lets you quickly capture bugs and issues to minimize damage. You can then assign those issues to specific team members, add priorities, and track progress until fixed.
- While impressive on its own, you can extend Jira’s functionality with third-party app integration for various purposes, such as code review, CRM, etc.
- Jira offers a ton of flexibility, primarily through its workflow builder. Use it to customize workflow to your liking.
What are Jira’s Cons?
Here are some of the things we consider to be cons for Jira project management software:
- Thanks to the builder, customization of workflows is a plus, but execution can be difficult due to a complex design.
- The use of issues and not tasks as the primary work unit could lead to confusion down the line.
- Speed is sometimes slow.
- Some developers have griped that Jira’s design can lead to micromanagement.
- Although it offers some resource tracking and budgeting features, you will need to integrate a third-party app like Tempo to truly satisfy your budgeting needs when using Jira.
- Jira’s free plan may seem limited since it only allows for up to 10 team members.
Asana and Jira Comparison
Now that we have revealed some of Asana’s and Jira’s pros and cons separately, it is time to see how they stack up head-to-head.
While Asana’s UI is intuitive and user-friendly, its extensive feature set leads to a somewhat steep learning curve.
Jira’s setup is simple, but once you get into its design, some complexity could prove to be an obstacle for certain team members new to project management software.
Asana boasts a solid set of features that work particularly well for team collaboration, task handling, and CRM. Again, its agile features may seem a bit scarce for teams looking for capabilities beyond Kanban boards. You can enjoy multiple views like calendar, board, Gantt, etc.
Jira’s feature set is strong, but some developers may not find them as robust as Asana’s. Teams will find its bug and issue tracking to be top-notch, and it also offers agile features like Kanban and scrum boards, agile reports, and more. Jira offers issue detail views, boards, and lists to help you visualize projects.
Both pieces of project management software integrate with third-party apps – many of which will be familiar to developers and programmers:
- Asana integrates with over 160 popular third-party apps.
- Jira integrates with a whopping 2,000-plus third-party apps.
Teams can make their communication more efficient via Asana’s collaboration tools. The conversations utility puts all communication in one easy-to-access place. Collaborating via Asana is a joy if you can get past the challenging onboarding stage.
Jira offers plenty of collaborative tools, from messaging to file sharing. It works particularly well for team problem-solving too. Unfortunately, onboarding is anything but easy due to a complex design, so it will take some work before your entire team can get to make use of those collaborative features.
Asana has a free plan for up to 15 teammates. Its paid plans start at $10.99 per person, per month and go up to $24.99.
Jira has a free plan for up to 10 team members. Its paid plans start at $7.50 per person, per month and go up to $14.50.
Asana vs. Jira: The Verdict
Both Jira and Asana are project management software offerings with many pros and cons. In terms of developer needs, Asana may fall a bit short since it lacks a bevy of agile features plus markdown support, which can make it hard for dev team members to share code snippets. Add in some missing integrations for GitLab, GitHub, Bitbucket, etc., and you could say that Asana is best suited for non-IT teams in fields like sales and marketing.
On the flip side, Jira does integrate with those apps listed above, which makes it more developer-friendly. Unfortunately, some devs report a dislike for the PM software since it can be slow, and its workflows lend themselves to micromanagement. Although many app development companies use Jira for agile project management, keep all of the above in mind before choosing it for your organization’s needs.