What Is Jira?

Jira is a software application used for issue tracking and project management. The tool, developed by the Australian software company Atlassian, has become widely used by agile development teams to track bugs, stories, epics, and other tasks.

What Is the History of Jira?

Atlassian introduced Jira in 2002 as an issue-tracking tool for software companies.

Fun fact: Atlassian named its product after “Gojira,” which means Godzilla in Japanese. The idea for the name came about because, before they developed the tool, Atlassian’s coders used a bug-tracking software tool called Bugzilla.

What Types of Teams Use It Today?

As it grew in popularity, and as the agile development methodology became more widely used by software companies, Atlassian expanded the Jira platform to offer services to different types of teams. Today, it offers a number of internal products, including:

Jira Core

This is the platform’s basic project-management tool, designed for non-technical teams. Departments such as HR, marketing, finance, and operations use the Core tool for change requests, workflow approvals, and general task management.

Jira Software

This is the version designed for software development teams. Jira Software offers all of Core’s features but also includes agile functionality. Software teams use this tool for bug tracking, managing basic software-development tasks, and product management.

Note: Jira Software is also designed to support development teams that use Kanban, Scrum and other popular agile frameworks.

Jira Service Desk

This is an add-on developed for IT teams. Call center managers, helpdesk agents, and other support professionals use Jira Service Desk for issue ticketing, incident management, and change management.

How Does It Work in Product Management?

We noted above that product management is one of the common use cases for Jira Software. By integrating the tool with its product roadmap, a product team can also sync the status of its day-to-day tasks with its big-picture strategy.

Here are a couple of ways a Jira-roadmap integration can benefit your product team.

1. Pull Issue-Completion Updates from Jira into Your Roadmap

With the right product roadmap software, your product team can automatically sync updates of tasks in Jira with its roadmap. This will allow you to display an up-to-date picture of your development progress, and it will help make your team’s roadmap a single source of truth.

Read About ProductPlan's Jira Integration➜

2. Prioritize Issues from Jira Using Your Roadmap App

The right product roadmap software will also have tools to help you weigh the costs and benefits of initiatives and decide which your team should work on first. Here’s how.

Let’s say your team maintains a list of epics, stories, and other projects you’d like to work on, but you’re not sure which to pursue next. You can important all of those items into your roadmap app, then use the app’s Parking Lot platform to create side-by-side comparisons of the items and weigh them against each other according to factors such as:

  • Customer value
  • Implementation effort
  • Operational costs
  • Potential revenue
  • Risks

Related Terms:

agile / Scrum agile framework / kanban / backlog / weighted scoring

Learn About Other Great Applications for Product Teams: The Product Manager’s Toolkit