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Asana vs Jira: Which Project Management Tool is Best For Your Team

June 20, 2024
Megan Moulton, Enterprise Architect

Asana and Jira have a lot in common. They’re both work management tools, they have beautiful user interfaces (you’d be surprised!), and they have loyal followings. Unlike some other tools, they play together nicely as well. You can connect Jira to Asana using their integration tools and vice versa. That being said, there are key differences that divide these companies. In this article we’ll dive into the features and functions of both tools so you can determine the right fit for your team.

Comparing Asana vs. Jira

Asana

Asana has a concise, simple view of work. You have a structure of projects underneath portfolios, all of which can roll up to give an overview of the work that’s happening. For example, let’s say you’re managing a project team. You may have a portfolio for your team, and all the projects your team is working on underneath individual projects.

Teams like marketing and project management find real benefits in tracking their work quickly and efficiently in these concise views -- rolling up to only one level above.

This one product is no fuss no muss; it’s a one size fits all kind of deal that helps teams collaborate and manage tasks effectively.

Jira

Jira too has the option for concise, simple views of work. But the level of customization and scalability doubles. Instead of a one-size-fits-all all approach, Jira works together seamlessly with other Atlassian products, like Confluence, and Bitbucket.

  • Jira was built with software teams in mind. It has many features designed for software developers and DevOps teams alike, along with just about every other kind of team you can think of thanks to its newly integrated Work Management feature set (formerly a standalone product called Jira Work Management)
  • Jira Service Management is an amazing service desk, perfect for IT teams and HR departments
  • Jira Query Language (JQL) is a function within Jira and Jira Service Management that allows users to create advanced search queries in order to locate issues in Jira.
  • Jira uses issues (AKA tasks, or tickets) to track pieces of work, making the tool a go-to choice for teams who utilize issue tracking.

Jira is composed of projects and the work underneath. Each piece of work has a hierarchy and a dozen ways to label and sort work. This allows you to organize work across multiple teams and projects – giving you the visibility you need into how project progress is going. The rollup view is customizable, allowing you to work from different projects as you see fit. 

Jira is a fully customizable, scalable solution for a variety of teams that each have their own way of working. Whether you use it to align to company goals or complete complex projects for clients, Jira empowers project managers everywhere to stay organized and consistently execute on their projects.

Similarities and Differences
In Task Management

 

Jira

Asana

Views

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Boards (Kanban Boards and Scrum), Calendar, List, Dashboard, Gantt

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Boards, Calendar, List, Dashboard, Gantt

Templates

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Jira has pre-defined templates to get started, but you cannot create your own. However, you can customize them.

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Asana has customizable templates per team

Self Hosted

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Jira offers a data center option, allowing the product to be self-hosted and meet security requirements like Fedramp

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Asana is not available for self-hosting at this time

Customization

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A feature of Jira is its customizability, from the types of fields to unique dashboards

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A feature of Asana is its simplicity. To help with this, views are not truly customizable

Automation

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Workflow automation is available for all projects to streamline work

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Automation is available for all projects to streamline work

Apps and Integrations

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There is a large app and integration store to cover any feature requests your team may need

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Though smaller, there is an app store that covers any feature requests your team may need

Simplicity

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Getting up to speed in Jira may feel daunting with all the features, but getting started is easy with the default projects

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Each project and portfolio is very user-friendly- ensuring new users are off to the races when they start

Scalability Across Teams

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Specific capabilities for all kinds of teams, such as service, DevOps, marketing, and project management

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Asana’s simplicity means it is suitable for teams working in the same way. However, teams that deviate (such as DevOps and service) may be missing several features they need to complete the work

 

Asana vs Jira: A Comprehensive Comparison

If you happen to be out of the polarizing debate of Asana vs Jira, you may be wondering… so what? Which is best? In truth, they all have their pros and cons. What works well for one team may not work for another. They’re both flexible and powerful project management tools that can help you manage client projects, team projects, or internal affairs with considerable ease. After using both extensively for everything from wedding planning to developing a new application, I would say the following:

Asana is the best tool for simple task-tracking across teams that don’t need complexity. Work gets created and finished in an easy view. You need to be honest with yourself here– how big is your team? How complex is your reporting to management? How much integration do you need with other departments?

Jira is the best tool for complex work management for teams and for cross-team collaboration. You have a variety of customization and views that aren’t limited by the product – there are features that scale as your organization grows. The highly configurable tool allows teams with unique ways of working to be able to track task dependencies and business processes in whichever ways suit them best. Again, you need to be realistic with your team's requirements. Sometimes simplicity and ease of use outweigh the need for customization.

Go forth and decide what works best for your team. Either way, you’ll be sure to boost productivity and knock things off your to do list like a pro.

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