Jan 22

How to pick a Project management plugin for Jira?

It’s a red flag if a project manager has to micromanage. But this is what regular Jira is best at – i.e. tasks and granularity. Bring together the shareholders’ interests (company growth, bird’s eye view) and the needs of ordinary team members (“I wish to finish the scheduled issues in time”) and you’re a successful project manager. Since Atlassian vendors noticed this gap long ago, plenty of project management apps for Jira have emerged. However, the majority of those plugins focus on a single aspect of project management. There is a notable exception to this rule, and it shows up when you search for “project management” key phrase on Atlassian Marketplace…

Jira project management plugin

Atlassian Marketplace search results speak for themselves. BigPicture, as the complete project management plugin, or app, ranks first.


So, before you decide, let’s discuss some rules to remember

Rule 1: Four big players are in the “Jira project management plugins” game…

and three of them are biased. Advanced Roadmaps (Portfolio) is focused on roadmaps and long-term goals. So, it’s located a little bit closer to the shareholders (or stakeholders – how they differ?) end of the scale. Check Advanced Roadmaps vs. BigPicture.

Tempo Timesheets and Structure for Jira, on the other hand, are both great for time tracking. We find them closer to the “granularity” end of the scale. What’s more, if you need more project management functionalities with Tempo, then you may need an additional app, Tempo Planner (check BigPicture vs. Tempo Planner and BigPicture vs. Structure).

BigPicture – the ultimate big player – is a single app with focus evenly distributed among major project management tools.

Rule 2: Appetite comes with eating

Agile approaches have gained popularity for a reason. The contemporary projects surprise project managers, and even those with 20-year experience. Agile epitomizes the “Brace for a quick change in the middle of the project” phrase. Can you tell up front, which project management tools you’re going to need for your next project? Doesn’t it sound reasonable to pick a Jira project management plugin that covers modules or functionalities that you’re actually not practicing? Especially when…

Rule 3: Some Jira project management plugins are better priced than others

and for a reason. We proudly develop BigPicture in Poland. Advanced Roadmaps (Portfolio) is an Australian software. Structure comes from the heart of New England, U.S.A, and they code Tempo in Iceland. Now, compare the cost of living in the four countries at Numbeo.com. Could the most complete project management plugin for Jira be accidentally… the cheapest one?

Rule 4: Is your project management addon SAFe® compliant?

A transition from classic project management to Agile methodologies has taken place across the world. Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe®, is a leading methodology. Even if you haven’t still entered the Agile project management world, make sure your project management app of choice supports SAFe®. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

However, BigPicture is great for both classic methodologies and the Agile ones, and for SAFe® in particular.

Rule 5: Pick a plugin that integrates with other Jira apps

Even if you spent hours picking the best Jira project management plugin for your situation, the potential for error still exists. But here is the thing – pick a project management solution that integrates with other Atlassian apps. Then you’ll be able to supplement the project management app you had chosen, to correct for the things that the app is not doing for you. Browse through the list of third-party Jira plugins that our BigPicture is capable of handling.

Must-have functionalities for a Jira project management plugin

We find the below functionalities canonical for any Jira project management addon:

  • Gantt chart – granular visualization of tasks on a timeline for the upcoming month or two
  • roadmap – for setting long-term goals
  • resources module
  • risks module
  • and it should actually be a PPM, or Project Portfolio Management plugin and not just an app for a single project

You’ll find each of them in BigPicture. Try for free!

App selection at HP

The need: Support quarterly roadmap planning.

Two apps reached the final round: BigPicture and Portfolio for Jira. We are using BigPicture to plan our R&D department development cycles. Also, teams’ capacity planning features help us to better plan sprints and avoid overloading of resources. In addition, support is fast and committed. I would recommend this app for any company that needs great planning tools over Jira.


How to select the right Jira app?
Atlassian Summit presentation

Gal Fatal

Gal Fatal
DevOps Manager | HP Indigo
Atlassian User Group Leader


Project management


The good news

Sep 2020
The integration with Trello arriving in BigPicture 8, paves the way for BP to “umbrella portfolio management” league. Let teams in your organization enjoy the tools they love, yet keep an eye on the big picture with Gantt charts, Roadmaps, Program Boards that BigPicture has. More on the new Trello-BigPicture interface.

Sep 2020
The release of BigPicture 8 is fast approaching. So far, we’ve debated on new features version 8 is bringing, such as [Boxes], new Gantt chart 2.0, and Scenarios. Let’s have a closer look at the practical aspect – how to upgrade to BigPicture 8 if you’re on version 7.

Aug 2020
Lately, there seems to be a trend of letting teams keep the tools they love. At this point ‘umbrella’ portfolio management software must step in. Umbrella-style BigPicture 8 has flexible [Boxes] rather than programs, and these boxes can source tasks from Trello and Jira Cloud/Server instances. Azure DevOps and Rally integrations will follow. Check CEO’s, PM’s, team member’s, and admin’s perspectives on BigPicture 8.

Upcoming events

See you at:

  • Global SAFe Summit in Denver, Sep 23-24, 2020

Complete calendar

About The Author

With his automotive background Marcin goes beyond the 'Jira + software development' standard. He likes simple, up-to-five-sentence answers to complex questions.