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Five Cool Tools Beyond Jira for Effective Remote Software Team Management

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Ed Ossawa
Senior Contributor

PM on FinTech projects.

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More and more companies opt for outsourcing their software development to offshore or nearshore professionals. There are a plethora of outsourcing partners that offer a large talent pool of proficient software engineers and provide businesses with high-quality services and updated solutions. 

Extra attention should be paid to the effective management of remote software development team to achieve the desired results. In this article, you will find out the main pros and cons of using Jira for managing your remote workers. Also, you will discover other amazing alternatives that you can try out to make the most of your collaboration. Some of the 8allocate clients use them very effectively on their teams so I thought it’d be worthwhile to share a list with a broader audience.

Basics of Remote Software Team Management 

It’s worth to be mentioned that 53% of companies hire remote employees to work on their projects. According to statistics, ⅔ of employers and business owners who have remote staff increased productivity compared to in-house employees. Software development is among the top 5 industries where remote workers are in high demand, which will keep growing. 

The benefits of hiring remote software developers are immense. It reduces expenses, helps to choose the top professionals from all over the world, and minimizes time spent on team management. Once the fuss about remote software developers is explained, let’s get a better understanding of how the remote software team management process is organized. 

Typically, a project team includes a project manager who comes up with a plan, methodology, schedule, deadlines, determines and assigns tasks, and project team members who cope with delegated tasks such as front-end and back-end development, QA and testing, UX/UI design, etc. Also, there is a product owner who makes business decisions and approves a budget. A business analyst who gathers business requirements, documents it, and ensures the project results meet these requirements. 

When Hiring A Dedicated Product Owner Is Crucial For Outsourcing Success

Pros and Cons of Using Jira as a PM Tool

Jira is the most common and basic project management tool that is used in software development. It’s considered one of the most important and effective programs and has plenty of different features and many options for customization. To understand better its potential for software team management, here are the main pros and cons of using this tool. 

Jira Pros: 

  • Software developers already use Jira for performing daily tasks, and it’s more effective to use the same tool for project management as well; 
  • Jira perfectly integrates with different products; 
  • It’s easy to track all the tasks assigned to team members; 
  • It’s possible to create custom workflows based on your team needs; 
  • Jira has flexible dashboards so you can personalize your own Jira;
  • It has many useful functions, such as the possibility to share dashboards, create custom reports, monitor team performance, and track the overall project status. 
  • It allows for saving money on additional project management tools. 

Jira Cons: 

  • Although there is a wide range of different features, it can be difficult to follow the workflow in this tool;
  • The complexity of Jira might be overwhelming; 
  • Employees who are not involved directly in software development don’t usually use Jira; 
  • This tool doesn’t include a timeline view, so it’s difficult to track tasks;
  • In Jira, you won’t find useful project management features such as budget estimation or load balancing. 

Top 5 Alternative Tools for Software Team Management 

Whereas Jira is one of the most popular tools that are used to manage teams, there are many other awesome apps that allow you to monitor, coordinate and make sure all the processes are running smoothly, and your remote team keeps up with all the delegated tasks in the best possible way. 

Targetprocess 

Targetprocess is a perfect alternative to Jira as this tool is used mostly for software development projects. However, it can also be used for marketing, education, and recruitment, as well. The pricing starts from $20 per user yearly, but there is an option of free trial to explore all the potential of this tool. 

Pros: 

  • Extreme flexibility that will be a perfect match for any business/project type; 
  • Enhanced visualization functionality for agile project management;
  • It’s possible to track time spent on a project to measure efficiency; 
  • Android and iOS versions available to start working right away;
  • Modern and appealing interface.

Cons: 

  • The tool is pretty complicated and hard to understand; 
  • Be ready to spend time on setting the tool up. 

Pivotal Tracker 

Another project management tool that will be perfect for remote software team management. The Pivotal Tracker will be accurate to work on agile development projects. The prices vary depending on your company size and needs, but the most basic subscription will cost you $12.50 per user annually. A free trial option is available to test the tool before the final purchase.

Pros: 

  • Great program workflow explicitly designated for software developers;
  • The collaboration between software professionals and managers will be much easier. Comments and tag options are available to make sure managers and team members are on the same page.

Cons: 

  • You will have to adjust to Pivotal vocabulary and specific flow; 
  • Effective but slow interface;
  • Difficult to understand the way it works; 
  • No time-tracking options. 

Clubhouse

Another great option to try out is Clubhouse. This project management tool is quite easy to use, and it will be super convenient for software development teams in particular. If you want to keep things simple and get the core functions, you need this tool, as it is perfect. You can try it free or pay $8.50 per user every month. 

Pros: 

  • It’s super easy to track project progress; 
  • Predictive analytics is available;
  • It’s possible to create tasks fast. The tool is flexible but not complicated; 
  • Customized dashboards available. Track cross-project tasks and narrow down your search with a diverse filtering option. 

Cons: 

  • No impressive innovative features, everything is pretty simple and functional; 
  • No time-tracking feature.

Flow

Flow is a great visual project management tool that covers all day-to-day tasks of your team. You can try it free or choose a basic plan for $5.95 or a pro plan for $11.95 per user monthly. 

Pros:

  • It’s easy to track delegated tasks as you will get a notification once the job is done;
  • Every team member can get a brief overview of each team member’s progress. It can be useful when you need to catch up on the latest project news and advancement. 

Cons: 

  • Designated for Mac users only; 
  • Integration options are quite limited. 

Taiga 

Taiga is a great project management tool for startups and agile development teams. 

For this powerful open-source management platform, the free trial period is available. A regular plan will cost you $5 per user every year. 

Pros:

  • It’s super easy to track bugs;
  • This tool makes collaboration between project managers and software developers much faster and effective;
  • There is an option to mark and track project milestones. 

Cons: 

  • The interface is clear for developers but not friendly enough for everyday users; 
  • For people who are not familiar with coding, this program can be a challenge.  

What Project Management Tool to Choose Your Particular Project?

As you can see, managing a remote team requires efforts, and you should pay to this aspect extra attention to achieve all your goals and get the high-quality results provided by remote software developers.

How to Get The Most Out of Your Remote Software Team

Although Jira is one of the most popular tools that is used for project management, other options are as good and effective. You can try the tools described above and see if they work better for you and your team. 

Do you need help building a dedicated/extended Team or getting ad-hoc resources for your software development project fast and cost-effectively?