Jira is used by development teams around the world. But using Jira on its own might not be enough for your team.
This your guide outlines the best Jira alternatives for testing, requirements, and projects — hosted on-prem and in the cloud
Read along or jump to the section that interests you most:
- What Is Jira?
- Using Jira
- Jira Bug Tracking
- Getting More Out of Jira
- Jira Add-Ons vs. Jira Integrations vs. Jira Replacements
Or go to this blog if you simply want on-premise Jira options.
What Is Jira?
Jira is a popular development tool. It's used primarily for bug tracking and task management.
Where Jira Fits Into Product Development
Jira fits into three of the five phases of the product development.
Jira doesn't play a role in the concept stage.
Jira doesn't play a role in the feasibility stage.
Jira plays a role in managing issues in the development stage. But it doesn't help you manage, track, or fulfill requirements.
Jira manages issues and bugs that come up during implementation. And Jira can track the bugs as they go back into development — and come back to implementation.
But Jira doesn’t provide the documentation for testing against requirements (or testing to resolve issues).
Jira manages defects in this stage and tracks them as they are resolved.
Bug Tracking in Jira
Jira was designed and built for bug tracking. But bug tracking is just one step of the application development lifecycle.
Bugs can be found through software testing. And they're often traced back to requirements. So, it's important to make connections between bugs and requirements and tests.
[RELATED WHITE PAPER: BEYOND BUG TRACKING WITH JIRA]
Getting More Out of Jira
Jira is a powerful tool. But there are things that Jira can't do.
4 Disadvantages of Using Jira Alone
- Lack of connections between issues and other development artifacts.
- Unable to search for requirements related to issues.
- Can’t manage testing (without a lot of manual effort).
- Incomplete visibility over workflows.
How to Get More Out of Jira
To get the most out of Jira, you'll need the best Jira alternatives.
Best Testing Alternatives for Jira
Using Jira for Testing Doesn't Work
Jira testing involves extra steps and extra work. That’s because Jira doesn’t have any built-in testing capabilities.
To make Jira testing work, you need to customize Jira issues. Or you need to add a testing tool so you can get more out of using Jira.
What to Look For in Jira Testing Tools
Adding testing tools to Jira:
- Makes it easy to create test cases that are repeatable.
- Helps you track your testing efforts (and know that tests have actually been run).
- Ensures that you ship quality products on time.
Get the best Jira alternative for testing, whether you need it hosted on-prem or in the cloud. Explore Helix TCM >
Best Requirements Alternatives for Jira
Using Jira to Manage Requirements Doesn't Work
Many organizations who use Jira for bug tracking still keep requirements documents in Microsoft Office. While that’s better than nothing, it’s not enough.
To effectively manage requirements, you need to add a requirements tool to Jira.
Adding Requirements Management to Jira
Without visibility into your requirements, it’s hard to know whether your product will deliver on its promise.
That’s why adding requirements management to Jira is important.
Adding requirements management to Jira:
- Makes it easy to manage requirements change.
- Keeps everyone on the same page.
- Helps you implement the right features at the right time.
- Prevents bugs before they happen.
- Tracks requirements across the lifecycle.
[RELATED WHITE PAPER: 10 SIGNS YOU'VE OUTGROWN YOUR REQUIREMENTS MANAGEMENT TOOL]
Jira and a Requirements Traceability Matrix
You can't create a traceability matrix in Jira. But if you add a requirements management tool that integrates with Jira, you can.
[RELATED RESOURCE: REQUIREMENTS TRACEABILITY MATRIX]
Get the best Jira alternative for managing requirements, hosted on-prem and in the cloud. Explore Helix RM >
Best Project Management Alternatives for Jira
Can Jira Be Used for Project Management?
Jira can keep track of:
- Statuses: where your issues are.
- Transitions: what happens next in the issue workflow.
- Assignees: who is responsible for an issue.
- Resolutions: why an issue went from open to closed.
If that’s all your project needs, you might be satisfied with Jira for project management.
Get started with the best Jira alternative for project management, hosted on-prem and in the cloud. Explore Hansoft >
Comparing Jira Alternatives
There are three types of Jira alternatives.
- Completely replace Jira.
- Get a Jira add-on.
- Integrate Jira with an ALM solution.
The right Jira alternative to you will depend on what you’re looking for.
|Type of Jira Alternative||Jira Add-On||Jira Integration||Jira Replacement|
|Best for…||Teams that just need to add one thing (e.g., testing).||Teams that want to keep using Jira — but need comprehensive ALM.||Teams that have outgrown Jira.|
|Biggest Pro||Easy to get in the Atlassian Marketplace.||Developers can keep using Jira for issues and get the same traceability across the lifecycle.||Scalability that can handle your growing team and projects.|
|Biggest Con||Lack of visibility across the entire lifecycle.||Custom configuration required to sync all data between Jira and the ALM tool.||Potential resistance from developers who like using Jira.|
Jira add-ons are commonly used as Jira alternatives. Explore Jira add-ons >
Benefits of Using Jira Add-Ons
Jira add-ons help you take advantage of more functionality — and keep using Jira.
With a Jira add-on for requirements, you'll:
- See how requirements link to issues.
- Trace requirements across the project lifecycle.
- Reuse requirements across projects.
And with a Jira add-on for testing, you'll:
- Create and manage test cases properly.
- Get visibility into whether or not a test was actually run.
- Reuse test cases and test more efficiently.
Drawbacks to Using Jira Add-Ons
Jira add-ons improve the Jira experience.
But each add-on solves only one part of the problem...
Integrating Jira with ALM tools gives you a complete solution.
Using ALM Tools and Jira
The best ALM and Jira integrations work both ways. You’ll get to see test cases and requirements in Jira. And you’ll be able to see issues in the ALM tool.
Helix ALM offers an out of-the-box Jira integration.
Here are a few ways Helix ALM works with Jira:
- Failed test runs create a Jira defect or task.
- Jira stories or tasks can be created directly from requirements.
- Traceability is instantly available from Jira items to tests, requirements, and defects.
Jira Replacements — Jira On-Prem
Replacing Jira is a popular alternative for teams who need to scale issue management or add traceability.
What to Look For in a Jira Replacement
If you’ve outgrown Jira, it might be time to replace it.
Here’s what you should look for:
- Integrated bug tracking, test management, and requirements management.
- Automatic linking across the lifecycle.
- Traceability matrices that you can create in just a few clicks.
- Forward and backward impact analysis.
- Organization via folders and private folders.
- Support for your methodology (e.g., hybrid Agile).
Helix ALM is a great option for completely replacing Jira. You'll get modules for managing requirements, issues, and test.
Plus, Helix ALM can grow with your team. So, it's a smart choice for replacing Jira.
Jira Server Discontinued
Starting February 2, 2021, Atlassian will stop selling new server licenses. For existing server product users, renewals and upgrades will still be available until February 2, 2024, but the price of maintenance and licenses will increase. And on February 2, 2024, Atlassian will end support for all server products.
For on-prem solutions, both Hansoft and Helix ALM offer server hosting for any number of users. Learn more about these options >>
[COMPARISON: HELIX ALM VS. JIRA]
Find Your Best Option
Helix ALM might just be the Jira alternative you’re looking for — whether you want a replacement, an add-on, or an integration. See for yourself how Helix ALM can deliver more than Jira alone. It can be hosted in the cloud or on-premise Try it for 30 days.