To successfully launch software there’s a need for proper project management. This involves initiating, planning, monitoring, and controlling every activity involved in the development.
You also need to report the project’s status from time to time to stakeholders. Considering that major software projects are often handled by many developers, this may appear as a jumbo task for a project manager.
However, it doesn’t have to be if you use a good software project management tool. What project management software tool should you use? Two very good options are Jira and Asana.
Both tools recognize the other as an alternative hence they are very much alike. This article compares Asana vs Jira to find out the best software for project management.
Jira is software from Atlassian for software teams. The tool helps teams plan, track, release, and report their works and performance.
First, you can compile user issues and other stories to know what part of your software needs working on. Then you can distribute the tasks of different members of your team.
With Jira, you can easily prioritize the most important updates to work on and all members of the team can discuss and collaborate.
You can maintain real-time info about the features of your software to be sure everything is up to date. When it comes to reporting your team performance, you can do that using visual data which is simple to understand.
The software features different workflow templates that you can work with or you can design a unique workflow yourself. Many developer teams choose the software due to the automation.
Jira automation helps you work a lot faster and smarter.
Asana is a project management software for developers and software building teams. The software helps you manage your team’s work, projects, and tasks via a cloud solution.
You’ll find all the busy work of managing software designing works and projects a lot easier with Asana’s organization features. Team members can collaborate from anywhere they are.
The software features different project view styles. You can choose any that best fits your style. Lists allow you to easily assign tasks to team members and they can easily identify the priority ones.
Some boards let you design each stage of the software building so team members can easily identify the important tasks and major issues to fix.
Asana is all about making the best project you can. You can automate repetitive tasks so you and your team can focus on the most rigorous tasks. Also, you can create custom rules for everyone to follow which increases accuracy and reduces errors.
The Jira interface is relatively user-friendly as the completely white background makes every option very visible.
There’s a left sidebar for navigation. From there, you can navigate to different pages including the Backlog, Reports, Roadmap, Issues, Components, and Project Settings amongst others.
The option to create a new project is at the top right corner. You have the option to create team-managed projects or company managed-projects.
It’s up to you to design how you want your project dashboard to look. You can set different boards and columns
The Asana environment consists of five areas. This includes the sidebar, header, top bar, main page, and right pane.
The Sidebar contains options to navigate to different pages and dashboards. This includes the Homepage, Teams, My Tasks, Projects, and Workspace dashboards.
From the Header, you can easily activate actions while the Top Bar features options like Search, Profile Settings, Organization Settings, and Quick Add.
On the Main Page, you can view whatever you’re currently working on. This includes a list of tasks, calendars, conversations, files, and project progress.
You can get more details about your task from the Right Pane.
Also Read: Best Business Software Examples
Jira and Asana both have user-friendly interfaces, easy to get conversant with.
Jira software features two main board types; Scrum boards and Kanban boards.
Scrum boards are optimized for collaboration so teams can easily manage complex projects. Any team member can access these boards at any time.
Scrum boards provide transparency so team members stay focused on projects. The Kanban boards are more for visualizations. They’re most suitable for DevOps software development.
Like the Scrum boards, Kanban boards are very transparent and optimized for efficiency. As a more visual board, team members can easily spot and fix bottlenecks.
It also delivers agile reports via real-time visual metrics.
Boards on Asana work like sticky notes. They help developers stay on track with their projects. You can move them across different sections and projects.
Items you add on your boards are displayed in a List View. To move the boards across different sections of your projects, you just need to drag and drop.
Once you create a new board with Asana, you can easily add sections and tasks using the + button. The tool lets you personalize your boards using cover images.
Asana boards help you sort or filter tasks and custom fields.
Jira has different board types which have more options than Asana boards.
With Jira Timelines, you can monitor the timing and duration of your project issues. This is displayed visually in a Gantt chart so it’s easy to read. You can add or delete issues at will.
Each issue is linked to the team member handling it. As a Gantt chart, there are schedule bars to represent the start and due date of each issue.
The chart view can be set to weeks, months, or quarters. You can easily share these timelines with team members, leaders, or stakeholders when making your reports.
Timeline View on Asana is for monitoring project progress and ensuring that your team meets the deadline. You can easily view any of your project tasks as a timeline by selecting the timeline tab.
Only unscheduled tasks without a date range or due date will not show in a timeline. The software groups all unscheduled tasks in a tab and you can easily hide such tasks.
You can also easily turn an unscheduled task into a scheduled one. Once you drag an unscheduled task into the timeline, a prompt will appear to pick a due date and that’s it.
The Timeline View is the same on Jira and Asana.
Jira Roadmaps will help you track your team’s progress in real-time and easily manage dependencies. You can use them to plan large-scale works months before their execution date.
Some features of the roadmaps include Epics, Child Issues, and Start and Due date. Each roadmap comes with built-in filters to make managing work a lot easier.
You can find and refine roadmaps using keywords and filters like labels, status, issue type, etc. There are also advanced roadmaps to help you track work progress across different teams.
Furthermore, you can easily share and export roadmaps with Jira.
As an Asana user, you can create product roadmaps in just a few minutes. The software features ideal templates to use so you don’t begin from scratch.
With this tool, you can create a timeline view roadmap or a calendar roadmap. There are options to filter your roadmap based on category, priority, or PM amongst others.
From your roadmaps, you can share actionable steps to update members of your team. Also, you can share the roadmaps or simply make them accessible to your stakeholders.
Asana Portfolios work together with the Roadmaps. It allows you to keep track of multiple product lines.
Here, it’s a draw as both support timeline-view roadmaps.
Interesting Comparison: Jira vs GitLab
You can save a lot of working time using Jira automation features. The software allows you to automate any task. It only takes minutes to set up automation and it’s a code-less operation.
Jira features hundreds of automation templates to choose from. There are templates for DevOps, Businesses, Software, and more.
Jira supports global automation that allows you to implement one rule across multiple projects.
Automation with Asana is based on rules. With these rules, you can automate several manual processes and repetitive stuff.
The software comes with a Custom Rules Builder so you can build and customize your own rules from scratch. It works relatively fast and you’ll be done in seconds. There are more than 70 rules to use.
For more accuracy and to eliminate bottlenecks, there are error-proof automation templates you can use. You can also convert some of your custom projects into automation templates.
Automation seamlessly works with third-party tools like Zoom and Outlook.
Jira and Asana both support rule-based automation so it’s another draw.
Jira reports put real-time data and metrics at your fingertips. You get agile reports and intuitive dashboards.
There are different ways to get reports from Jira. Some include Sprint reports, Burndown Chart, Release Burndown, Velocity Chart, Control Chart, Cumulative Flow Diagram, and more.
Specific report trends make it easy for you to work smarter, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions.
These include reports like the Project Issue Analysis, Average Age Report, Created vs Resolved Issues Report, Resolution Time Report, and Recently Created Issues Report.
For forecasting, there’s the Time Tracking Report, User Workload Report, and Version Workload Report.
With Asana, you enjoy Universal Reporting. You can track and get reports from every angle of your tasks and projects in real-time.
These reports are visual, featuring graphs and charts, and they are presented in different dashboards for clarity. You get more insights about a project or task when you click on a data point.
Asana lets you build your reports dashboard from scratch or choose any of the available templates. Every built-in chart and dashboard is fully customizable.
You can share data dashboards with any team member and they too can send in data from their projects.
Jira is the better software as it features uniquely different report templates.
Also Read: Best Bitbucket Alternatives
To track your goals with this software project management tool, you have to make use of the Goals For Jira add-on. This is a premium add-on you can get from the Atlassian marketplace.
The add-on is a simple one. It lets you track your team’s progress and goals within the Jira environment. All you just need to do is to create and specify these goals.
You’ll always get real-time status of the progress of your goals and they are sorted according to priority. With the trend lines, you’ll know if you’re on track or not.
Asana is renowned as a reliable goal-setting software for teams. You can specify your project goals and all tasks involved in completing them from one dashboard.
The software lets you set main goals and sub-goals. You can assign tasks and supporting projects under each. Creating goals on Asana is very simple. It’s just like creating tasks and projects.
The Asana goal tracking system regularly delivers project status updates. You’ll know from the second you achieve your goals.
With the standard goal-tracking system, Asana gets the edge over Jira.
When it comes to integrations, Jira supports so many of them. There’s almost an integration for everything. The software supports direct integration, apps, and add-one. In total, there are more than 3,000 supported integrations.
Jira features Design Teams, IT Teams, Business Teams, and Software Engineering Teams integrations.
Some of these integrations include AdobeXD, Invision, Figma, Jenkins, GitHub, Slack, Zendesk, Google Sheets, Excel, and Optimizely to name a few.
The apps are all available in the Atlassian Marketplace. The majority of them are premium but you can try them free for 30 days before subscription.
Explore: Best Confluence Alternatives
Asana connects with a variety of tools. There are 10 major integration categories supported.
This includes Communication, Connectors, Files, Finance and HR, IT and Development, Marketing and Design, Productivity, Reporting, Sales and Services, and Security and Compliance integrations.
There are also integration collections from major software providers like Google and Microsoft. Some featured integrations include Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Tableau.
Notably, Asana integrates with Jira Cloud. In addition to these integrations, Asana supports a variety of add-ons.
There’s nothing to separate Asana and Jira here as both support many integrations and add-ons.
Jira features a mobile application for Android and iOS devices. This mobile app lets you monitor your projects and team performance on the go and from anywhere.
You can perform a variety of tasks as with the web platform. This includes managing boards & backlogs and creating & editing issues. As a mobile app, you can activate Push Notifications so you never miss any important updates.
Notably, you can install the Jira mobile application on both smartphones and tablets. There are different apps for Jira Cloud (the main app) and Jira Data Center and Server.
The Asana mobile app is a work tracker. It’s available in the Apple App Store and the Google PlayStore. The mobile app is free to download but you still need a subscription to use premium features.
Asana syncs all your task and project activities from the web or desktop app with your mobile app. You can access all reports and metrics in real-time.
From the app, you can conveniently manage your goals, tasks, conversations, portfolios, and more. It’s an app for all screens so it works for not just smartphones but also tablets.
Jira and Asana both have reliable mobile support via their mobile apps.
Also Read: Best Figma Alternatives
Jira is a very secure tool. Your data is safely stored and protected from unauthorized access. Jira administrators employ best security practices in selecting what apps users can install as add-ons.
On your part, you can create customizable permissions for your team members. This limits what each member can access and what edit they can perform.
With the bolstered security safeguards, you can whitelist certain IP addresses thus allowing access from only trusted networks.
Data stored, sent, and received over the Atlassian cloud is securely encrypted with AES-256 encryption.
Asana manages your data via Amazon’s relational database service (RDS). Amazon cloud services are among the most secure in the world.
If you ever encounter database failure or loss, you can easily recover the original data as Asana automatically backs up in different ways.
Data transmission with Asana is done via SAS 70 audited data centers and always uses an SSL connection. You can assign specific permissions to members of your team.
Whenever there’s a new login, you get a login detection email.
Both tools are very secure.
You can get support via Atlassian documentation. In the documentation, you’ll find many resources, questions, and answers about using the Jira software.
To directly contact support, you need to submit a support ticket and you must be logged in. You can also get help by calling the phone numbers of Jira office locations on the website.
Atlassian has an online community where you can communicate with other Jira users to share ideas. You can undergo the Atlassian training to learn more about project management.
Asana features a Help Center, Forum, and Academy. From the Help Center, you can access articles and guides about using the tool.
The forum lets you meet and communicate with other users while the Academy is a platform to learn about the best ways to use Asana.
You can contact the Asana support team directly via contact forms on the support page.
Customer support is commendable on both Asana and Jira.
Also Read: GitLab vs Jenkins
Jira has four pricing plans which are different based on the number of users available. You can pay monthly or yearly and the plans include:
- Free Plan: $0 per month/year – 10 users maximum
- Standard Plan: $7 per month ($700 per year with annual payment)
- Premium Plan; $14 per month ($1,400 per year with annual payment)
- Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing and annual plan only
Note: Jira also features a datacenter
With Asana, you have four plans to choose from. The ideal one to go for depends on the size of your team and you have the option of monthly or annual payments. The plans include:
- Basic Plan: $0 per month
- Premium Plan: $13.49 per month per user ($10.99 per month per user with annual plan)
- Business Plan: $30.49 per user per month ($24.99 per month with annual plan)
- Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing
- Free plan
- User-friendly environment
- Multiple board types
- Good Reporting
- Timelines and Roadmaps
- Mobile app
- Good security and support
- Third-party integrations
- No goal tracker without an add-on
- Mobile app not very user-friendly
- Free plan
- User-friendly environment
- Good reporting
- Suitable for managing other non-software development projects
- Mobile app
- Timelines and Roadmaps
- Good security and support
- Third-party integrations
- No time tracker without integration
- Few supported exporting formats
- Both Jira and Asana are project management tools
- Both are for software development
- With either Asana or Jira, you get a free plan
- Both platforms support third-party integrations
- Both platforms integrate with each other
- They both feature the Gantt chart timeline view
- With either Jira or Asana, you get support for rule-based automation
- They both feature mobile apps
- Asana is better at managing other types of projects than Jira
- Jira has more board types than Asana
- Asana features a standard goal tracker while Jira requires an add-on
- Jira features a standard time tracker, while Asana requires an integration
Asana and Jira are very similar tools. Both tools come with so many project management features that it’s hard to review them all. Nevertheless, Jira has a slight edge over Asana.
Jira is a more versatile project management tool. You have more options for boards, reports, and integrations than Asana. Also, Jira’s pricing is more straightforward and affordable.
Scott L. Macarthur is a marketing consultant and an online author. He is mostly engaged in providing his expertise to startups and SMBs. He is also an author on TheNextWeb.