Awesome Bug Tracking and Project Management

Over the past five years, I’ve used a number of different bug tracking and project management systems for various projects. Bugzilla, Mantis, Trac, Redmine, and now JIRA.

Bugzilla was complex to initially setup and felt a bit clunky while using it, so we didn’t use it for very long. We tried Mantis and it just didn’t have the chops to get it done [for our needs.] Trac is a great application. It’s great for bug tracking, but not that great for project management. It leaves a lot to be desired from a project management point of view. Redmine is also a great application, but again, lacking in the project management side of things.

Hello JIRA.

(pronounced JEEra or jee-rah)

JIRA, by Atlassian, is an amazing application.

Product planning for the future should be part of any company that has a roadmap beyond their current project. As a Product Manager, I’m constantly coming up with ideas and often, they don’t fit into the current sprint of development (in an agile development environment). So where do those ideas go? Create them as tickets and plan them into future product releases.

A release could be next month or next year, it doesn’t matter — it just matters that you’re able to get the ideas down and then plan them later on.

After using the previous bug tracking applications I listed, one thing I noticed about all of them (except JIRA), is that they are very static. Very black and white when it comes to the user interface. One thing that JIRA does a really good job of is not forcing you to refresh the page on every action. While this may seem like a small feature, having an AJAX-like interface, it provides a much more fluid experience when using the application.

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One thing I would really like to see JIRA include in future releases is a better way to plan roadmaps for future sprints by theme. For example, if we’re working on the “Maps” project in August and then “Mobile” in September. Right now, there’s no way to really plan by theme, but hopefully they will add that in the near future.

Overall, having used JIRA for the past six months, I’ve been very happy with it. That’s not to say it’s the perfect solution, it certainly has some features which are lacking that I need. But to date, JIRA has solved many problems which other applications couldn’t.

But what about you? What do you use for project management and/or bug tracking? And what have you found to be useful in terms of features?

2 thoughts on “Awesome Bug Tracking and Project Management”

  1. You are SO right with useless UI’s of some of there tools.

    We’ve used Jira in the past on some engagements and we also use Countersoft’s Gemini.

    The best bit about Gemini for me is the inline editing in the items grid – make things SO much quicker during morning meetings! Our Visual Studio devs love their Gemini add-in because it has screen capture baked in.

    Nothing major but these small things do sometimes make a difference.

  2. My current job used Mantis, and I really hated it. The UI is so confusing and looks like it hasn’t been updated since 1999. We considered JIRA and fogbugz, both are quality bug trackers. At the end of the day though our company wasn’t willing to fork out the dough for either… both would have cost us in the thousands.

    So a buddy and I just built a bug tracker (www.thekillingjar.com). Would love to get your take on it. The idea is to have great UI, make it affordable for small companies, and keep it dead simple.

    It might not be what you are looking for, as you seem to be interested more in the project managment and planning aspects of JIRA and less concerned about the straight up bug tracking.

    Still would love to get your feedback on the UI.

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