At my current work place, 2 years ago, we needed an application to track the bugs, features and other todo items for several of our projects. We chose JIRA for various reasons:
- Large feature set
- Pretty good end user interface
- Proven stability and reliability
- Supported by a solid company (Atlassian)
During these 2 years of use, we found some shortcomings, like:
At first, we found it great that Atlassian gives us a chance to be able to give feedback, and voted for the existing tickets. Since the number of votes was pretty high, we expected those issues to be addressed quickly. However, after a while, we realized that this is not going to happen. The only updates were pure PR. From my perspective, their updates can be summarized by: “We don’t plan to fix this in a timely fashion, so just deal with it. But please continue to provide feedback that we will kindly ignore”.
Digging a bit deeper, a pattern emerges: there is a bunch of very old tickets with lots of votes. I think that the 2 following diagrams are showing well how bad the situation is:
How to read this: the ticket JRA-3821 is almost 12 years old and has gathered 1900 votes (!) since its creation. The request is clearly legitimate, and you would actually even assume that this has always been covered by JIRA. All 1948 voters probably assumed so. Yet, the latest comment from Atlassian is:
Thank you to everyone who has voted or commented on this suggestion. […] Unfortunately, we are not planning on addressing this in the foreseeable future.
Which I personally interpret as:
Dear 1948 customers, we have absolutely no interest in you or your needs. Deal with it.”
Another diagram showing a bigger picture:
How to read this: the tickets that are 11 years old have gathered 11000 votes in total since their creation.
From this diagram, it’s clear that Atlassian has accumulated a huge backlog that they fail to process. So the bottom line for you if you consider using JIRA:
- You should go through the tickets with the most votes and find out if you can live with them never being fixed (or evaluate potential 3rd party plugins)
- If you find new shortcomings, you should not count on Atlassian to fix them in a timely fashion, however reasonable or obvious they sound, and despite the significant yearly support fees
16. Feb. 2016: compare this with how Jetbrains do it with Youtrack…
17. May 2016: here are some alternatives to JIRA: