Jun 05

Risk management in Jira. How to locate a decent plugin?

Risk management popularity by sector

Google tends to display their search suggestions by the popularity of a key phrase.

It’s not a coincidence the ‘risk management in project management’ key phrase ranks first on Google (see fig.). While the finance, healthcare, and aviation sectors may have their own, safety-critical risk management workflows, most Jira users need just a “regular”, and not industry-specific risk management plugin. One that’s capable of a risk matrix and a risk register for each project. How to choose a good add-on for Jira?

Another question that we’ll try to answer: is it more reasonable to have a dedicated risk management plugin? Or perhaps, could the risk matrix and register be integrated into a bigger body, specifically a project management add-on for Jira. To give you an answer, we’ll compare the features of BigPicture, and specifically its Risk module, with competitors, most of whom do the risk management and nothing else. All the apps compiled in the below table are available from Atlassian Marketplace.

Agile Risk Management BigPicture Essential Risk Management for Confluence Risk Management for Jira Risk Register Risk Safe SoftComply Risk Manager Teamworkx Matrix for Jira
Vendor ilmCon SoftwarePlant Tanja Wolff jPlugs ProjectBalm Snow Line Software SPRL SoftComply catworkx GmbH
Jira Server yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Data Center yes yes yes yes
Cloud yes yes
yes yes
# of active instances 26 10348 143 226 1510 22 174 25
Marketplace rating
/# of reviews
n/a 3.3
n/a 3.6
# of releases (I – V 2020)
~how actively an app is developed
1 19 0 2 7 0 1 1
Launched 2018 2014 2019 2009 2016 2018 2017 2019
Atlassian Top Vendor yes yes yes yes yes
Price Cloud 100 users user/month $2.8 free $1.75 $5
Price Server 100 users annually $300 $2000 $850 $750 $440 $4500 $900


Risk matrix yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Can you configure the titles and graduation of the axes? yes yes yes yes yes yes
Can you design the risk card? yes yes
Risk register yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Can you choose columns (add new/remove existing ones) for the Risk register? yes yes yes yes
Cross-project/program view yes yes yes
# of risk registers per Jira project several several n/a one one one several several
Can you map the plugin’s native risk-related fields to Jira custom fields? yes yes yes
Configurable risk level colors yes yes yes yes yes
Compare risks: before and after mitigation yes yes yes
Risks gadget for Confluence or Jira dashboard yes yes yes
for Jira dashboard
Interesting extra features History chart (overall risk level on a timeline).

Calculation of financial damage. Editable formulas.

Highly configurable plugin.

BigPicture is a project/product portfolio management app and has other modules but Risks: Scope, Roadmap, Gantt chart, Program Board, Resources, Teams, Reports.

Drag & drop cards on the matrix. Edit risk items inline (in the matrix/register), e.g. change assignees this way.

Starting BigPicture version 8, the Roadmap is another module with the heatmap mode. For instance, you could represent objectives at risk by highlighting them in red.

Template- and placeholder-based plugin for Confluence: Risk management strategy and risk card templates are available, as well as Risk report – kind of a substitute for Risk matrix. Highly configurable, if you can edit Html. Declared compatibility: ISO 31000, Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI. Rather than per-project risks register, there is Risks widget within Jira issue detail view. There is a per-project Risk matrix, though, called ROAM report. Highly configurable plugin for safety-critical domains.

The flow of risks from the initial to the final state.

Risk Management Plan and Report.

ISO 14971, FMEA, project risk templates.

Quick filters, JQL can be employed to limit issues shown in the matrix.

Drag & drop cards on the matrix.

Click a card on the matrix to preview a Jira issue.

Beyond risk management: the app is flexible, good for other uses. For instance, display Jira tasks on a matrix based on the cost to benefit ratio.

An effort was made to gather accurate data, but these apps are sometimes incomparable. Data current at the time of writing. Help improve the table – e-mail marketing (a) softwareplant.com.



If you need to manage risks and to run projects at the same time, BigPicture is a viable option. It has the standard risk matrix and risk register available for each program. Some features that BigPicture has, are absent from competitors. With BP you can design how the risk cards appear, and you can also add/remove columns in the risk register. The price of BigPicture is much lower if you compare it with the alternative bundle – a dedicated risk management plugin + some project management app.

Jira risk matrix, risk register

Risk matrix + risk register in Jira BigPicture. Note that Risks is just one of the modules. Others are Scope, Roadmap, cross-team Board, Gantt chart, Resources, Teams, and Reports.


Risk card configuration

Design risk cards that appear on the matrix. You can add ‘Resolution’, ‘Resolution date’, and ‘SAFe Risk ROAM’ fields, for instance. Some of these fields come from BigPicture, not from Jira.


How to manage risks in project management?

Read this tutorial with screenshots: Risk management with BigPicture plugin for Jira.

Or watch this video webinar:



The good news

Feb 2021
Firstly, what is the true cost of PPM software implementation? Traditional vs. hidden costs. How to reduce the latter? Read more

Feb 2021
Secondly, is Gantt chart an agile tool? Check three applications of modern Gantt charts in agile management.

Jan 2021
Thridly, deciding between BigPicture and BigPicture Enterprise? Check 6 signs your organization should upgrade to BigPicture Enterprise.

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.