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Jul 27

Pros and cons of Jira BigPicture

Pros and cons of Jira BigPicturePros and cons of BigPicture… compared with what? Other project management/planning plugins for Jira as well as stand-alone PPM platforms, such as MS Project, Monday, or Asana seem to be relevant reference points. All of those enable visualizing processes in the form of a neat Gantt chart or an agile roadmap – depending on the framework.

Given all the above landmarks, let’s dive into the pros and cons of Jira BigPicture.


Pros Cons
BigPicture is currently the most comprehensive and complete project/product management app for Jira. Not a single plugin available from Atlassian Marketplace has Gantt charts, Scope, Roadmaps, Program Board, Resources, Teams, Risks, and Reports bundled together. The budgeting in BigPicture is in its infancy.

Although it could be developed in the future, today you might find it insufficient for advanced finance management. However, you can easily reinforce BigPicture with Tempo – a popular time-tracking and finance management solution for Jira. You need BigPicture Enterprise extension for that. Workload Plans, Holiday Plans, Teams, and Skills can be synchronized with their counterparts in Tempo Timesheets, Planner, and Budgets.

Or: set up ‘cost’, ‘revenue’, and ‘profitability’ custom fields in your Jira, then reveal them in BigPicture’s Scope or Gantt chart module, and apply sum, avg, min, max aggregation to these columns. This can be a simple, yet powerful workaround.

Value for money. I’m not aware of a single app from Atlassian Marketplace with this high price-performance ratio. Check BigPicture pricing. Performance could be an issue at hyper-massive-scale load. But you have control over it. A decent laptop is one option. Computing is increasingly done in your browser, and BigPicture is no exception to the trend. Another thing is that you can limit the number of tasks loaded to the view (more on that), as BigPicture is capable of thousands at a time.
# of releases. BigPicture is a VERY actively developed app. Bug fixes, new features, milestone version releases – we count them in dozens per year. Check the ‘Versions’ tab on Atlassian Marketplace for exact numbers. And compare those with the competition.

PMs tend to oversee that factor. The number of releases per timebox more or less equals the number of developers that develop a product. BigPicture is a large undertaking (a team of 120).

No native task manager. Currently, BigPicture sits on top of Jira. Starting version 8 interfaces to Trello, Azure DevOps Server (TFS), and a number of Jira instances will be made available, more on that. Only the standalone, will have its own, yet simplistic, task manager.

Why? BigPicture is a PMO choice – the app was primarily designed to aggregate and visualize data, rather than thousands of tasks. We let your teams keep the tools they love. Beautifully.

Related to that is the market outlook for BigPicture.

Will your tool of choice last into the 2030s? Plugins developed by minor developers do exist. With the launch of the Cloud Security/Bug Bounty Program, Atlassian attempts to get rid of them.

We’re taking further pro-sustainability steps and will finally be a standalone solution, yet will continue working with Jira.

No mobile app.

You need a 12-inch viewport and the computing power of a notebook. Most project managers pass over that.

BP is an approach-agnostic/methodology-agnostic system. It allows you to neatly visualize and manage work in your preferred agile, traditional, or hybrid frameworks, though it comes with a handful of smart preset configurations you can choose from or modify to adjust the tool to your organization’s unique requirements.

BigPicture features the Gantt chart, while others avoid mentioning the name of this proven tool. Microsoft Project-based organizations migrate to Jira for BigPicture/BigGantt’s Gantt chart.

Learning curve and configuration time reflect how sophisticated BigPicture is compared with other project management apps for Jira. But:

  • ‘Evaluate with sample data’ feature is there when you create a program in BigPicture
  • the support team usually responds with 24 hours
  • the better you know BP, the more you appreciate all the switches and controls
  • BigPicture training courses are available from our partners
True PPM, not just ‘project management’. check the screenshot below for the bird’s eye view BP delivers.

Look up ‘PPM’ or ‘Project Portfolio Management’ key phrases on the marketplace. What do you see?

BigPicture is built for clarity and transparency. With BigPicture 8, you can customize a true PPM command centre for your business – a one-stop-shop with all metrics, data and process visualizations, and statistics that matter for you.

Let teams keep the tools they love.

If teams in your organization are using many different task management tools, transferring them all into Jira could be cumbersome and costly. Fortunately, BP can be smoothly integrated with leading task management platforms, such as Trello or Microsoft Azure DevOps, so your teams can keep their preferred tools, while you obtain a comprehensive view of their performance.


BigPicture 8 portfolio dashboard - Overview

The Overview module of BigPicture 8. This version is a true PPM solution, at last. You will be able to source tasks from Trello, Azure DevOps, and Jira instances to individual [Boxes] (rows) in the view.



The above set of pros and cons holds true for an “average” project manager. Nobody such exists, right? We do have conversations with clients here and there, and the pros and cons in the table keep coming back like a boomerang. If you need more, check these in-depth comparisons:

BigPicture vs. Advanced Roadmaps – classic players.

Jira Align – an emerging competitor. Pros and Cons of BigPicture.

Jira + BigPicture vs. Microsoft Project

BigPicture and others named Agile at Scale. Who’s in the collection?


About The Author

With his automotive background Marcin goes beyond the 'Jira + software development' standard. He likes simple, up-to-five-sentence answers to complex questions.