BigPicture and Structure are both project management apps for Jira, but they differ more than one may imagine. Structure basically resembles a very powerful Excel worksheet with sheets full of issues and hierarchy levels. The structures in Structure for Jira have lots of filtering, grouping and auto-sum options. Big Picture, on the other hand, while it also features those crucial work breakdown structures, is balanced for the “visualisation” side of project management work, with its dependency boards, Gantt charts, risk matrices and resource panes.
Both BigPicture and Structure are great for managing “projects at scale”. The two are comprehensive & versatile project management tools, as opposed to the other two apps of the “Big 4”, namely Portfolio (compare BigPicture with Portfolio) and Tempo (BP vs. Tempo Planner), which are to a large degree specialized.
Table 1: Big Picture vs. Structure for Jira
|In a nutshell||All-in-one Project Portfolio Management app for Jira for short- and long-term planning, tracking progress and managing teams. For both agile and waterfall projects.||
Visualize, track and manage progress across large-scale projects with adaptable, user-defined issue hierarchies.
|Key phrases||reach goals, align teams, effectively supervise/manage/control involved projects or portfolio of projects||ordered hierarchical list of issues, called “structures”; cross-project, cross-team; track progress; assign and balance workload among team members; sprints & releases|
with Structure.Gantt, an extension to Structure for Jira
including workload & holiday plans
|Work Breakdown Structure||
Up to BigPicture 6 WBS is present within Gantt chart module; in BigPicture 7 WBS is a standalone module.
the extra check mark for Exel-like auto-sum row below each structure
Hierarchies (Work Breakdown Structures)
|Unlimited hierarchy depth|
|Containers for issues||
the extra check mark for S-JQL — Structure’s special language for finding items according to their position and relationship to other items in the structure
(based on pre-defined queries; triggered when there are changes in Jira)
e.g. dependency boards, resource module with coloring, Gantt chart included by default, SAFe® compliant roadmap, risk matrix
|Sync- and re-sync with Jira|
|Track progress of projects/programs|
|Focus on short-/long-term planning||both short- and long-term||both short- and long-term|
|Dependencies between issues (e.g. task A blocks task B)|
Project management paradigms / methodologies / levels
Team and program levels up to BigPicture 6; starting BigPicture 7 portfolio level, too.
Private REST api
|Supported file types||mpp, mpx, pdf, jpg, png, xml, csv, xls, xlsx, doc, docx (with BigTemplate – an extension of BigPicture)||(a) xls, printable page – with Structure for Jira
(b) pdf, svg – with Structure.Gantt
|Sample import/export features||With BigTemplate, an extension of BigPicture, you can export an entire project in MS Project native MPP/MPX formats or export individual issues to PDF, JPG, PNG files. You can also import MS Project MPP/MPX files.||(a) You can download the structure that you see on the screen as an XLS file.
(b) You can produce PDF of SVG file with your Gantt charts using configurable export.
Requirements & platforms
|Amount of configuration work||moderate||large|
|Structure consists of a single, highly-configurable module, where you create and name your own structures, or views, such as “Planning”, “Tracking”, etc. These structures later function as de facto separate modules. BigPicture, on the other hand, delivers roadmapping (planning), Gantt chart and resource modules out of the box, so it needs less configuration work at the initial stage.|
|Works with||Jira Software, Jira Core, Data Center, Service Desk||Jira Software, Jira Core, Data Center, Service Desk|
|Jira Server / Cloud||Jira Server & Cloud||Jira Server
Jira Cloud users may be interested in the Structure Cloud Early Access Program.
Business data & Pricing
|Jira Server, 100 users, Atlassian Marketplace||$1500/instance||$2000/instance|
|Jira Cloud, 11-100 users tier, Atlassian Marketplace||$2.5/user/month||–|
|Available through||Atlassian Marketplace, Atlassian Solution Partners||Atlassian Marketplace, Atlassian Solution Partners|
|User rating (stars)||3.4/4||3.5/4|
|Atlassian Top Vendor?|
Effort was made to gather accurate data, but these apps are to a certain extent incomparable. Data is current at the time of writing. Help improve the table – e-mail marketing (a) softwareplant.com.
See you in:
- The Hague during European SAFe Summit 2019, May 7-10
- Warsaw for Deviniti Jira Day, May 29-30 – more
Cloud version and improved Project Portfolio Management (PPM) in BigPicture Enterprise 2019. What’s changing?
The entirely new Program Board 2.0 is coming soon. It has both program increment- and sprint-level planning. Look for BigPicture 7.2 on Atlassian Marketplace. More
BigPicture / BigGantt are Jira 8 compatible. More