Thousands of companies have been using both Asana and Jira to fulfill their PM needs. Asana offers plenty of functionalities for managing both IT and non-IT projects while Jira is widely preferred by product development squads worldwide.
Both of these project management software have their pros and cons. But which of the two apps is ideal for your org in 2021?
Let’s compare Asana vs Jira in-detail and find out. But first, let us have a quick overview of both PM apps.
Quick Overview of Asana
Asana was founded in 2008 by former Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-facebook engineer Justin Rosenstein. And today, it has established itself as a team collaboration application in the PM sector. Although Asana caters to both IT and non-IT companies, it is more popular among non-IT teams like marketing, sales, etc.
Project management in Asana is task-oriented. That is, here, PM revolves around projects and tasks. So, for every project that you create, you can create work items and subtasks, assign them to squad members, add descriptions, tags, comments, and custom fields.
In essence, Asana is a feature-loaded task handling application that provides a platform for your org to communicate and collaborate.
But are these functionalities useful in managing projects for your org? Let’s learn more about Asana and find out.
Pros & Cons of Asana: The good, the bad, the ugly
Here are things about Asana that are likable, not so likable but are tolerable, and aspects you’re most certainly going to hate.
- Asana is very flexible and customizable with its custom templates, custom tags, and custom fields. You can tailor it to serve your needs. You can also find plenty of saved templates to get familiar with.
- Asana supports multiple views to help visualize your projects and monitor progress. Additionally, its workload aspect allows you to view what work and how much work is assigned to whom.
- A great deal of crowd favourite third-party apps are available at your disposal to streamline your workflows.
- Asana’s team communication and collaboration capabilities enable you to keep all your work items and related conversations in one place.
- The learning curve is pretty steep, making onboarding a difficult task. But once you spend a considerable amount of time using Asana, you will find it easy to use this application.
- Budgeting and reporting capabilities to compute and plan your budgets are absent but you can make do without it by creating a custom field to track budgets or using 3rd-party apps with time tracking and budgeting apps like Everhour.
- Asana doesn’t support viewing tasks and subtasks in a single, nestled view. Without nested view it can get task handling difficult since it increases the chance of missing out on a work item.
- Forget about implementing agile frameworks like scrum as it is not a scrum tool. If you require agile capabilities more than simple kanban functionalities, you have no choice but to consider alternatives to Asana that are full-fledged agile tools.
- No provision to add multiple assignees to a task. This can get frustrating when more than one person is working collaboratively on a single task.
- The pricing plan isn’t affordable and quite frankly, you end up paying too many dollars for very little benefits. You can only collaborate with 15 members in its free plan and that too with basic functionalities only.
Asana has a fairly non-complicated pricing structure. Here’s what the pricing looks like.
Quick Overview of Jira
Jira is a product of the company called Atlassian and was founded in 2002. Initially, the whole purpose of this app was to be an issue and bug tracking application.
But today, Jira has grown into a project management tool for agile product development. So, it targets app developers, engineers, and project managers who are on the lookout for PM apps to help build applications.
Since this app is difficult to get a hang of for beginners who are new to project management tools, companies get started with Atlassian’s Trello. And on comparing Trello vs Jira, they move to Jira for more functionality.
Jira is extremely popular among IT firms, big and small, looking to adopt agile for building products. But does that make it perfect for your org? Read on to find out.
The good, the bad, the ugly
Atlassian’s Jira, just like any other PM app, has its pluses, pain points that you can live with, and intolerable minuses.
- Jira is your go-to application for tracking issues and bugs in your product. After all, it is Jira’s USP. You can capture these issues and bugs, assign them to members, prioritize and track them to completion.
- Being very flexible, Jira enables you to customize your workflow using its workflow builder. With this builder, you can now set up rules to define how a task/card should move from one status to another.
- A massive library of third-party apps for use cases of CRM, code review, and more.
- Agile capabilities for building products may be Jira’s strong suit but it still lacks finesse when it comes to assisting development squads in implementing frameworks like scrum as its competitors. You won’t find here the elegant Sprints view that has built-in agile reports such as burnup and burndown charts.
- Even though you can set up some advanced configurations to restrict the visibility of certain work items in certain kanban columns to certain people, this can lead to miscommunication and lost productivity within your squad if not done right.
- Unlike Asana, you can track resources and plan for budgeting but for the monetary aspects of budgeting, you need to use 3rd-party apps like Tempo.
- The roadmap functionality to track the overall progress of the entire project is nice but it lacks facilities to gain some oversight.
- Jira has an external customer service desk to collect bugs and support requests from customers.
- Jira’s design may seem extremely streamlined from the outside but can result in your agile squad getting micromanaged when you dive in. That’s why most developers hate this app, apart from its slow speed. And they prefer alternatives to Jira, which is extremely developer-friendly.
- The primary unit of work here, unlike Asana, is an issue and not a task. This is a terrible place to begin building products as you will think in terms of tickets and not features.
- Creating workflows is hellish due to its complex design.
- The pricing plan limits onboarding to only 10 members in Jira’s free plan and it comes with certain functionality restrictions.
JIRA has a complicated pricing structure. Here’s what the pricing looks like.
"Advanced Project & Task Management Features...But How It's Configured is Key to Success.
Pros: I've been using Atlassian products, JIRA in particular, for over 12 years. It's come a long ways in this span in terms of advanced functionality and additional configurable content, and it's consistently proven itself as a market leader in project and task management services. JIRA reporting, dashboard, task tracking, and project development activities are comprehensively impressively designed, easy to use, and highly collaborative for internal teams.
Cons: The success an end user will yield from the software is highly dependent on it being configured in a manner that aligns with the business needs of the customer organization. For example, I've experienced instances where there are growing pains in how internal teams learn to standardize the way they tag tickets for project and task tracking and then use these identifiers to develop reports, create dashboards, and track schedules. If not setup properly by System Administrators then the ROI will be delayed, making it essential for teams to be properly educated and trained on the system. JIRA provides a wealth of content for training & education but worth noting the difficulty an organization can face if not approached strategically and with strong design plans during the discovery phase of implementation.
Comprehensive comparison of Asana vs Jira
|Views & Features||Asana is packed with utilities from
traditional task handling to squad
collaboration and CRM. But it lacks
agile capabilities other than a
simple kanban board.
Multiple views namely board, gantt,
calendar, and so on.
|Jira offers quite a lot of functionalities
but not nearly as many as Asana
does. Its key highlights include issue
and bug tracking functionalities,
roadmaps, and agile capabilities such
as scrum boards, kanban boards,
agile reports, etc.
Has a number of views such as list,
board,and issue detail view.
|Ease of use & UX||Intuitive UI that is simple and user
friendly but owing to the ton of
functionalities Asana offers, the
learning curve is steep.
|Easy to set up and use but the user
experience isn’t all that good due
to the complexity in its design.
|Developer-friendliness||Asana lacks powerful agile
capabilities and deep integrations
with GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket.
Also, it lacks markdown support,
which makes it hard for devs to
share code snippets with each
other. So, it isn’t very developer
|Jira enables quite deep integrations
with GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket
but it is extremely slow. Also, its over-
engineered workflows cause
micromanagement. Thus, most
developers tend to hate Jira.
|Collaboration & team
|Onboarding members is not that
easy due to its steep learning curve.
Team communication and
collaboration is made efficient with
the conversations utility that holds
all squad-related conversations in
|The extremely steep learning curve
due to its complex design makes
onboarding a mammoth task.
In terms of squad handling, this app
offers many functionalities from
messaging and file sharing to
|Integrations & add-ons||Over 160 well-known 3rd-party apps
from Slack to Salesforce.
|Whopping 2000+ third-party apps
and add-ons are available.
|Pricing||Asana’s free plan allows you to
collaborate up to 15 users with
functionality restrictions. The paid
plans start at $12.50/person.
|Jira allows you to add up to 10
members in its free plan, with limited
functionalities. The paid plans start at
|Pros||- Intuitive UI
- Custom templates, tags, and fields
- Several in-built views and quick
- Workload functionality shows an
overview of how much work each
member is assigned
- Conversations functionality helps
hold squad-related conversations in
|- Powerful agile capabilities
- Efficient issue and bug tracking
- Massive library of third-party apps
- Customizable workflows
- Roadmap functionality
|Cons||- Steep learning curve
- Lacks agile capabilities other than
- Can’t add multiple assignees to an
- No nestled view to view tasks and
|- Being an issue and bug tracker,
Jira’s approach to PM is flawed
- Extremely steep learning curve
- Clunky and slow application
- Boring UI with complex design
- Setting up workflows is a nightmare
|Best for||Non-IT squads such as marketing,
sales, customer success, and so
|Application development companies
that prefer managing projects the
3 Reasons to consider alternatives to Asana and Jira
1. Getting started is a nightmare
When you’re looking to get started or onboard your squad, brace yourself for the steep learning curve ahead. Both the apps offer a ton of utilities and add-ons that can be pretty confusing for a newbie to get started with.
2. Too many features and add-ons but of very little use
Asana is loaded with functionalities but lacks agile capabilities other than simple kanban board, which makes it a bit disappointing considering the price you pay for this app. On the other hand, in a pursuit to be an all-in-one suite for application development companies, Jira also offers plenty of aspects including agile functionalities for scrum and kanban. But it fails to deliver any of these aspects satisfactorily.
3. Pricing is heavy on the pocket
Both Asana and Jira will definitely leave a dent in your wallet, despite offering a free plan. You can add up to 15 members in Asana’s free plan while you can only add a maximum of 10 users in Jira. But since the two apps have restrictions on functionalities, you must choose an appropriate paid plan. Asana’s paid plan starts at 12.50/member/month while Jira’s paid plan starts at $7/user/month.
3 Alternatives to Asana and Jira
Basecamp is a solid tool for project management and is ideal for managing tasks. What makes Basecamp a great alternative to consider is how it effectively brings all members of different squads together. However, Basecamp lacks agile capabilities.
- Messaging platform with a forum-like view for team communication
- Automatic check-ins for frequent status updates
- Controlled client access
- Hill charts to track progress
- File sharing with a storage of 500GB
Basecamp offers a simple plan with a 30-day free trial. At the end of the trial, you will need to pay a flat fee of $99/month for unlimited users.
Remote, service-based companies that don’t require agile methodologies.
Wrike is a Jira counterpart that targets agile product development orgs. Akin to Jira, Wrike also lacks an intuitive user interface and has a very steep learning curve.
- Customizable workspaces
- Easy to share, insightful, visual and dynamic reports
- Boards, Gantt, and Calendar view to track progress and plan deadlines
- Workload and resource administration
- Shareable task lists and dashboards
Wrike is free for up to 5 members. The paid plans start at $9.80/member/month.
Agile product development and non-IT companies that are small in size.
Compare Wrike vs Asana to see which tool is a better bet.
Monday.com is a PM app that is very similar to Asana. This app is also loaded with utilities but lacks agile capabilities. Because of far too many functionalities, it is easy to lose focus and difficult to get started.
- More than sufficient functionalities and multiple views, namely, calendar, gantt, forms, and so on
- Customizable notifications and reports
- Ability to automate certain tasks
- Plenty of templates for almost every type of PM squad
- Several integrations with 3rd party apps like Slack, Asana, Trello, Toggl, Google Calendar, and more
Monday.com’s pricing plan is complex and doesn’t have a free plan. It offers a 14-day trial post which you must choose a paid plan that starts at $10/member/month.
Non-technical IT squads such as marketing, sales, etc.