Users indicate Jira’s two major drawbacks – little visualization and missing “management umbrella”. Many points out that these shortages are so deeply embedded in Jira, that they will likely remain for years to come. Hundreds of third-party apps try to patch Jira in these two aspects. If you want to make your Jira odyssey easier, take your time and find a supplement – one app rather than five or ten. Select an app that is booming and not stagnating. All-in-one BigPicture is on the rise and here is how it supplements Jira.
Abundance of arrows, tree structures, color-coded counters
If you like how Jira Cloud has recently picked up timeline view, you’ll enjoy BigPicture. The tool has not one, but an array of modules for both predictive and agile project portfolio management. Overview, Roadmap, Scope, Gantt, Board, Resources, Calendar, Risks, and Reports modules combine business features with abundant visualization.
BigPicture is an all-in-one solution and all nine modules promote getting the job done by using colors, arrows, and collapsible tree-like task structures.
While Jira has Sprints, as well as Kanban and Scrum boards, it fails at the medium and top levels of decision-making. In an effort to fix that, Atlassian added the ‘Agile at Scale’ category to its Marketplace. BigPicture rules the roost here. Why?
BigPicture adds numerous scaling agile qualities. These facilitate high-level, strategic planning in fully/partially agile organizations. But most importantly, BigPicture lets you track “hybrid” portfolios – ones that blend agile, hybrid, and classic projects, ARTs, stages, LeSS Requirement areas, etc.
Which specific features lend BigPicture those hybrid Portfolio Management + Agile at scale powers?
BigPicture’s Board varies greatly from what Jira has to offer. Time-box planning, soft and “hard” task dependencies, swimlanes for teams, as well as iteration and Program Increment support – they all make the Board applicable to any agile methodology.
Jira doesn’t have anything even close to Overview. BigPicture’s Overview module is the actual place for managing portfolios – a high-level “cap” for other modules. Here converge, in a tree-like structure, the agile, hybrid, and classic projects, as well as SAFe ARTs, LeSS Requirement Areas, and Stages.
While Jira has just ‘projects’, Overview lets you custom-design your own high-level types that you can later reuse within BigPicture Overview. For instance, if your methodology provided for ‘Breeds’, you could custom-design the ‘Breed’ Box type, behaving very differently, and featuring different views than the default Agile and Classic projects. This ‘custom-design’ capability is a BigPicture Enterprise feature.
Another project management staple that Jira does not do is objective and goal management. BigPicture module shines here with its iterative, quarterly, and timeline roadmaps. More on the three here. Notably, both Jira issues and “artificial” objectives can become roadmap items.
Quickly embed plain and structured BigPicture views in Jira dashboards and within Confluence pages. Currently, Overview, Gantt, Calendar, and Risks gadgets are available. Soon a new Roadmap gadget will pop up, too. These gadgets have the power to bring the otherwise complicated Jira closer to senior managers.
The four qualities – Board and Roadmap modules, Overview, and gadgets – make scaling agile easier. Combined with Gantt and Risks modules, they give you full control over agile-and-classic project management. Indeed, Jira + BigPicture is more graspable than Jira alone!
Tasks in addition to issues and tickets
Jira has its arduous issues, also known as tickets. BigPicture, while recognizing Jira issues, adds the so-called basic tasks, which are devoid of excess fields and – hence – lighter.
Basic tasks are tailor-made for project management, while Jira issues were designed for issue tracking. Make your life easier using basic tasks when the sophistication of issues is not needed.
Third-party tools allowed into the Atlassian ecosystem
Think of this telling quote: A unified system for a company counting up to 10,000 or more employees, where every team needs to do something in a different way, just can’t be simple for everyone.1
There are two reasons why it makes sense to keep data in two or more tools and to aggregate them under the BigPicture umbrella:
- For some users mastering a simple tool, such as Trello, is all they ever need to do. They do not need to delve into Jira and negotiate its steep learning curve.
- Several software administrators, rather than one Jira super-administrator can be a good thing for the organization, too, in terms of the dispersion of risks. A Trello administrator being closer to an end user might be beneficial, too.
BigPicture already interconnects its projects with Trello boards, and will soon be able to visualize and aggregate tasks from multiple Jira instances at once, Azure DevOps Server, and more third-party tools.
Once again, Jira + an all-in-one app from the Marketplace can make your life easier compared to the plain Jira experience. Very few apps available for the Atlassian ecosystem are both of the all-in-one kind and booming. BigPicture is.
Contemporary project managers no longer need to use a tool separate from the one their teams use. A BigPicture project/product manager scopes and schedules work with the very same toolset that teams take advantage of.