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Jira vs Microsoft Planner: A Head-to-Head Comparison of Best Project Management Tools

Tools like Asana or Trello are not the only popular project management tools. Jira and Microsoft Planner are the new choices among project managers. However, both are into the battlefield because of their impressive features. Our blog post on Jira vs Microsoft planner compares each one’s strengths and weaknesses, making the decision easy for you.

Jira vs Microsoft Planner: A Head-to-Head Comparison of Best Project Management Tools

First, Evaluate Your Project Management Needs

Many project managers face difficulty when choosing the best project management tool because they consider only cost. Well, that’s important but there are other factors too.  We have discussed each one concisely for easy understanding.

What is Your Project Management Approach?

Most of the software projects follow an agile approach because it offers continuous delivery and improvement. However, the traditional approach i.e. waterfall methodology is still relevant where each stage is started after the completion of the previous one.

What’s your go-to approach? Answering this will help you decide on what features you need in the project management tool.

Do You Have a Small Team?

The size of your team plays a great role in choosing the Jira or Microsoft planner tool. It's because each tool allows a limited number of users. For example, Jira allows 10 members to work simultaneously. The advanced plans allow more users.

Do You Have Project Management Experts?

Many project management tools are not easy to use. They have complex functionalities and processes that are difficult to master. If your team has a better understanding of project management phases and practices, getting familiar with the tool would be easy.

Is Your Project Complex?

The nature of your software project helps in easily selecting the right project management tool. A simple project with less dependency and a straightforward approach requires a less complex tool. That also means you have to pay less.

Know what you need based on these questions and then you are ready to find out which is best- Jira or Microsoft project planner.

Also Read: Critical Path Method in Project Management

Learn About Jira Software 

Developed by Atlassian and launched in 2002, Jira is one of the best agile project management tools. It has fantastic features for planning, tracking, releasing, and supporting software projects. In simple words, Jira can be defined as a single source of truth for the software SDLC.

Jira is also great for issue tracking, making it the first choice of more than 300,000 companies worldwide. It supports thousands of integrations and apps for the smooth management of software projects. From agile teams, and DevOps teams to product managers; everyone trusts Jira due to its stunning features.

Key Features

  • Boards: Jira has two agile boards for project visibility- Scrum and Kanban. These boards help the team members work in sprints and prioritize tasks for the smooth development of the project.
  • Timeline: The tool shows the entire timeline of the project, from the date of task creation to completion in an easy manner. This roadmap helps track the progress of the project and keep everyone on the same page.
  • Insights: Jira offers dozens of reports to look into the project and teams’ performance. Users can even generate custom reports to track the progress their way. Nothing goes overlooked with the Jira.
  • Integrations: Get work done faster with Jira as the tool has an app for every use case. There are more than 3000+ apps on the Atlassian marketplace to connect with Slack, Google, Zoom, and any app you use. It has tools for your design team, IT team, business, and even software team.  

Pros of Jira

  1. Easy to use because of simple UI.
  2. Fast loading speed. 
  3. Save time with workflow automation.
  4. Easy to collaborate with other teams.
  5. Good for task management. 
  6. Advanced reporting and powerful issue tracking.

Cons of Jira

  1. Costly for small organizations.
  2. Limited built-in testing features.
  3. Suitable only for agile projects.

If the limitations of Jira software annoy you, switch to Microsoft Project Planner.

Introduction to Microsoft Project Planner

Unlike Jira, MS Project Planner cannot be counted as a complete project management tool. However, it's competing with Jira because of its attractive features and similarity such as Kanban boards. The tool allows task management internally or collaborates with other tools like Teams.

Here are a few features that make Microsoft Planner a worthy component of Jira:

  1. Offers visual insights of tasks in various styles like Kanban boards, pie charts, etc.
  2. Works in collaboration with Microsoft SharePoint and Office Online.
  3. Schedules events for team members.
  4. Provides guest access to users outside the team or an organization.
  5. Adds extra elements like due dates, and color-coded labels for easy management of tasks.
  6. Works on Android and iOS devices besides desktops.
  7. Integrates with other Microsoft tools.

Pros of Microsoft Planner

  1. Make scheduling and timelines easy to understand with visual cues.
  2. Easy project planning with multiple options like Grid, Kanban boards, and Gantt view.
  3. Reduces the need to access multiple software by integrating with Microsoft tools.
  4. Comprehensive reporting with pre-built report templates. 

Cons of Microsoft Planner

  1. Takes time to get familiar with the tool.
  2. Expensive for individuals and small teams.
  3. Not suitable for small projects.
  4. Has limited customization options.

Jira vs Microsoft: Which is the Best Project Management Tool?

After reviewing both Jira and Microsoft planner, it's time to decide. Both have useful features required for efficient tasks and project management. However, the cons of each may be the deciding factor depending upon what you are looking for.

Cost is the next factor here. The price of Jira starts from $7.75/month whereas Microsoft Planner costs $10/ month. Remember this is per-user cost. Moreover, both offer free trial options. So, if you are still in confusion go for the trial versions and check out which suits the best according to your project requirements.  

The Final Verdict

There is no best project management tool as every project has unique requirements. So, Jira vs Microsoft Planner is applicable only if you have finalized these tools. The final decision depends on two factors- project methodology and the cost you can afford.

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