Jira and Rally, both project management software are structured around Agile Project Management techniques and uses. To truly understand which application is better for agile teams in between Rally vs Jira, you first should understand what Agile Project Management means and then how software might be useful to support this process.
Only then you can hope to judge and understand which is best for your company and your company’s needs and requirements.
What is Agile?
First, let’s talk about normal project management. It involves an overall goal with a deadline and these are set at the beginning of the project and for the end. You do all the efforts and do not back off until you are done.
Agile management focuses on sprints, sprints refer to small iterative periods that focus upon smaller goals that will eventually hit the ultimate goal. The goal is to produce a version of the product quickly and then enhance it through multiple improvements and reflections. First evolved as a project management tool in software but later evolved across business sectors.
Some common terms that you will hear in Agile project management and teams include:
1. Scrum Master
A scrum master person guides and mentors the team and does all they can to remove impediments to success. They are more like a team facilitator instead of a team leader.
2. Product Manager
This person sets the scope of the project and is unlikely to be involved in the production itself. This product owner may even be the client or it may also be an executive. There are certain that they will reflect and define the scope as the production is in process.
Sprint is a period of smaller actions, commonly completed within a day, which is then reflected and adapted upon before the next sprint. A sprint will have planning, backlog, and a review.
4. Daily Scrum
A short meeting, usually at the starting of the day, is whenever a project team meets and shares progress, reflects, and put goals for the sprint that day.
5. Road Map
The roadmap helps to break down the ultimate product goal into small attainable goals, this is the high-level plan that truly spans the entire project or whole project.
6. Time box
A fixed period when a sprint is taking place, which has a defined goal to be achieved.
7. User Story
User story defines the need of the end-user which is expressed briefly and then broken down into lots of tasks or stories as well as allocated points. These are then reflected on a task-board or storyboard, where the notes represent the tasks/stories that needed to be completed.
The Rally Approach
Rally Software, formerly referred to as Agile Central, is software that supports all the stages of agile planning and execution. It is known as an agile software solution that lets project teams and companies plan, manage, prioritize, manage, track and continuously enhance workflow.
There are a lot of mid-sized companies and large enterprises that use the software to help them align work to business goals, deliver customer value to customers and empower teams to work efficiently and effectively. Some tools include portfolio Kanban, risk dashboard, release tracking, iteration status, and GitHub connector. Rally can easily integrate with Jira, CA, Excel, GitHub, Micro Focus, and Jenkins. Let’s discuss a few features of the rally approach,
1. Team Board
Rally Board has a Team Board that assists in aligning daily work to business strategy. The Team Board flexibly supports Kanban and Scrum and lets teams manage their workflow without having admin help. They can easily view all the work across all stages, from ideas generation to a completion outcome.
Members can easily create new cards and edit and move them across the board. You can do a single click on a card and with one click you can reveal additional details using a pop-over, so you can get more assistance about a user story or defect without leaving the page.
2. Work Views
Rally Software simply includes a Work Views feature that simply allows users to manage the work of one or multiple teams over a single team. This feature allows users to manage the work of one or multiple teams on a single page. This feature allows product managers, scrum masters, teams, and owners conveniently find work. They can view and review the backlogs across multiple teams.
Users can see and save a view that displays all the projects of single or multiple teams. It serves as the central hub where teams can collaborate over a project, decide on prioritization, and track progress on a frequent basis. Teams can easily visualize projects from multiple aspects, either by the list, board, or timeline. Work Views will simplify how a team’s day-to-day work aligns with their company’s strategic goals.
3. Capacity Planning
Capacity planning showcases how a company’s business priorities jumble up against the capacity of its teams respectively. Rally software assists you in team delivery and balancing work allocations. You can easily prioritize the business needs just according to the work capacity of your agile teams. Your capacity planning will ensure that the teams plan the right set of work for the next work iteration. This tool offers roll-ups progress, alignment, dependencies, and plans on health, so the teams can assist the right decisions and have the right focus.
The Jira Approach
Jira Software is a project tracking software for all the members of your agile software development team. The main features of Jira software include planning prints, releasing software in an organized manner, tracking tasks, and other issues. Jira is highly customizable and you can easily select a ready-to-use workflow or create one of your own with multiple tools. It helps the teams to conveniently track their performance with visual tools and reports. You can even simply extend its functionality with over 3,000 apps available over Atlassian Marketplace.
Let’s take a look at some of the features of The Jira Approach,
1. Kanban boards/Scrum
Jira’s approach offers functional Scrum boards for enhanced transparency and communication, leading to sprint planning and iterative development. It also focuses on improving the team focus and organization. Multiple teams can use it, from software to development, sales to marketing, and HR teams. Jira offers flexible and versatile Kanban boards that offer full flexibility for new and previous tasks so they can simply deliver work at maximum capacity and efficiency. WIP (Work in progress) feature allows them to spot out and prevent bottlenecks for a better and smoother workflow.
Jira comes with a built-in automation engine that is easy to use without coding, helps boost productivity and teams can easily automate at scale. Teams can easily save a lot of time with the Jira automation tools, the products and integrations can all be utilized with a simple drag and drop. Automation comes with built-in manual rules and templates so you never have to start from scratch. The users can automate the tasks and assignments according to their software releases, along with plenty of other tasks.
3. Agile reporting
Jira software includes plenty of agile reports that are readily available to utilize for your business. Agile reporting offers real-time insights for better performance in almost every sprint while the reporting tools help to generate sprint reports that help choose and prevent scope creep. Moreover, they can track progress toward sprint goals, burn down charts and release reports to monitor and track if a release is falling behind schedule or not. There are velocity charts that help to get a better estimation of their capacity and category.
Key Differences: Jira vs. Rally Software Review
Let’s discuss a bit about pricing, there exists a free version of Jira software that offers a storage capacity of around 2GB that can be easily used by a small team of over 10 users. The standard pricing of Jira begins at $7.00 per user per month and this goes up to 20,000 users as well. The features include storage of 250 GB and support between local business hours. Jira premium versions begin at $14.50 per user per month, and this includes unlimited storage and 24/7 support.
In Rally free version software, you get the opportunity for 10 users and add up to 5 projects. In the enterprise version, there is an option for unlimited users, and it can be easily deployed on-premises or over the cloud as well. The enterprise version includes multiple analytics tools with portfolio management, the pricing depends upon the kind of business and their specific requirements as well. You can check over their website or simply contact their sales team to get the exact customized pricing as well.
2. Software Limitations
The basic setup of Jira is a bit complex and it can become a hassle to install it without proper customer support. Sounds exhausting, right? There is even a limitation on the file size for uploading over Jira, it has some major powerful integrations, but plenty of options are still missing. It can be difficult for new project managers to use Jira as their primary software for agile teams and it requires a good understanding of the agile techniques before you start using Jira. Usually, companies back off on technical software as it gets a bit complex and that’s the case with Jira.
On the other hand, Rally Software is typically a bit less complex and more flexible. It is mainly used only for the purpose of agile software development projects especially, typically not recommended for any other kinds of projects. There are multiple levels of nesting that are used in rally software which can lead to a lot of confusion in the project too.
3. Workflow Management
One of the features that give an edge to Jira as compared to other software is its dynamic workflow engine. One of the top features is workflow management which allows you to add transitions, conditions, functions, validators, etc. for each step in the workflow. You can simply extend the Jira workflow by using the multiple versatile plug-in modules.
While Rally does not provide any major dynamic workflow management, the workflow in Rally software is quite fixed and won’t give you enough room for diversity. You cannot customize the workflows according to your team’s preference.
Ready to decide on Rally vs. Jira yet?
This detailed comparison shows that both the software are highly capable of handling Agile teams of any size to focus on their day-to-day work while moving towards greater business goals as well. Jira Software works best for companies that work around flexibility as their primary focus for every project. Also for small businesses and enterprises that can easily deploy for customer support, product development, workflow management, progress report, and much more.
Rally Software is the perfect choice for companies that has a strict requirement to adopt agile methods across all the business stages, from portfolio planning to campaign execution, to continuous improvement and project tracking with its high-quality enterprise-grade solution methodologies. That was all about both the software, their features, and key differences.
Regardless, they will help you in planning and managing end-to-end software development projects based on agile principles. Go ahead now and start implementing them in your business!