Asana vs Jira: 2024 Comparison

Asana vs Jira: 2024 Comparison

Asana and Jira are two of the most popular project management tools available today.

But how do they stack up against each other?

Which one manages tasks better?
Which one helps you allocate resources more effectively?
Which one is more affordable?

Discover all the answers in our detailed comparison guide.

A. Project and Task Management

Get. Things. Done. 

You and every project manager likely live by those words.

It’s also the heart and soul of any project management software. 

This is why, before anything else, you must evaluate a tool’s ability to help you manage your tasks and projects.

Features to look out for:

  • Project structure: A simple, intuitive way to organize work and toggle through multiple projects, tasks, boards, etc. 
  • Views: Board, list, timeline, Gantt, and other types of views that let you visualize various types of information within each project.
  • Tasks & subtasks: Dedicated spaces offering the ability to drill down to the smallest level of actionable detail about each project item. 
  • Statuses: Effortless ways to communicate the exact progress of each task, board, project, etc.
  • Checklists: Quick to-do lists for each task so things don’t fall through the cracks 
  • Task templates: Easy-to-copy templates to create identical tasks at scale across multiple projects. 
  • Assignees: The ability to assign tasks, boards, or projects to individual team members, groups, or even teams. 
  • Priorities: A way to communicate the urgency level of each task, subtask, or project. 
  • Automations: Trigger-based (if X happens then do Y); ways to automate repetitive actions such as notifications, comments, status updates, etc.

1. Project Structure / Hierarchy

a. Asana

Split your Asana workspace into individual Tasks, Projects, and Portfolios leading up to high-level Goals.

Goals > Portfolios > Projects > Tasks > Subtasks 

  • Goals: High-level targets for the team to work towards.
  • Portfolios: Containers for similar-themed Tasks and Projects. 
  • Projects: Divide your work into specific projects to indicate specific initiatives and objectives. 
  • Tasks: Individual actionable items within projects with due dates that can be assigned to specific team members. 
  • Subtasks: Smaller actions within individual tasks.

b. Jira

Based on your needs, you could choose between two of Jira’s primary project management offerings:

  • Jira Work Management for more broad-scale project management 
  • Jira Software for software development teams to manage issues
For Jira Work Management

Choose between:

  • Company-managed projects: Set up and controlled entirely by the Jira admin in your team. This utilizes a similar configuration across all projects. 
  • Team-managed projects: Set up and controlled entirely by a designated project admin. This setup is independent of other projects.

Projects > Boards > Issue Cards

  • Projects: A shared space to document, organize, and track your work.
  • Board: A Kanban-style board to visualize all issues in a customizable workflow. 
  • Issue Cards: Summary of individual issues you’re working on.

For Jira Software

Jira Software’s default hierarchy contains:

Epics > Stories/Tasks > Sub-tasks

  • Epics: High-level objects/priorities the team is working towards — comprising multiple Stories and Tasks. 
  • Stories/Tasks: Functional requirements that the team is developing. 
  • Sub-task: Actionable items that make up Stories. 

You can customize this hierarchy with marketplace apps and add Initiatives containing multiple Epics.

2. Views

a. Asana

Asana offers six handy ways to visualize your projects and tasks:

  • Kanban board: Organize your work like sticky notes on a board. You can track progress through different stages with this view. 
  • List: Presents your work as a to-do list, capturing every task in a project or process in one place.
  • Timeline: Maps out project plans on a timeline to show the relationship between tasks and keep work on track. 
  • Calendar: Provides a calendar view of work to spot scheduling conflicts and overlaps. 
  • Gantt chart: Offers a bird’s-eye view of projects, schedules, and dependencies.
  • Files: Shows you all the images, documents, and files attached to tasks in a project.

b. Jira

Jira Software

Jira Software comes with the following preconfigured views:

  • Basic: A table format that shows issue details such as start and due dates, status, the hierarchy of issues, and timeframes. 
  • Sprint capacity management: A table format that zooms in on capacity across issues to help you optimize sprints and iterations. 
  • Top-level planning: A table format to give you a high-level overview of all issues and their relationship with each other. 
  • Dependency management: A table format to showcase only issues that have dependencies in the plan to spot which ones are blocking progress.

Jira Work Management

Jira Work Management offers the following views:

  • Board: A Kanban-style board to get a progress snapshot of work yet to be started, in progress, and completed. 
  • List: A single list to view all issues in the project for a quick scan. Get a quick glimpse of the issue type, summary, status, assignee, etc.  
  • Timeline: A Gantt chart view to visualize the timing and sequence of individual issues. 
  • Calendar: All project issues organized by start and due dates on a calendar format. 

Besides this, you can access Overviews that offer a high-level, aggregated view of work across multiple projects.

3. Tasks & Subtasks

a. Asana

Set up tasks with clear ownership of different to-do’s and actionable steps in a project. 

Tasks can provide information on:

  • Assignees and collaborators
  • Task Description for details or instructions
  • Start and Due Dates
  • Attachments
  • Task Dependencies
  • Custom Fields for Labels

Break tasks up into smaller subtasks to divide the work among a team.

b. Jira

For Jira Work Management

Track tasks of a larger workflow as issues in Jira Work Management. 

An issue can have:

  • Subtasks to split an issue into smaller to-dos
  • Assignees to complete the work
  • Reporters to monitor the work
  • Descriptions
  • Labels
  • Time tracking
  • Status
  • Attachments

Note: Subtasks can be assigned to the person assigned the parent issue or to other people involved in the project.

For Jira Software

Break work into smaller chunks or tasks with issues.

An issue allows you to add other relevant information, such as:

  • Assignees who’ll work on the task
  • Reporter whom the assignee must report to
  • Child issues or subtasks to complete within the issue
  • Priority
  • Start date and end date
  • Labels
  • Status
  • Attachment

Subtasks can be linked to issues to create a task dependency.

4. Statuses

a. Asana

Use the Overview tab in the project to get a complete picture of the project’s current status: On Track, At Risk, Off Track, or Complete.

At the Project or Portfolio level, use the Custom Fields options to set various progress stages or any other field you need to communicate about. Then, you can select the relevant option to update a Task’s status.

b. Jira

In both Jira Software and Jira Work Management, use the default ‘To do,’ ‘In progress,’ and ‘Done’ statuses to indicate progress. Each status has a dedicated column on the Board. You can customize the statuses to suit your workflow.

 

5. Checklists

a. Asana

Asana doesn’t offer the functionality to add checklists to your tasks. 

b. Jira

Jira doesn’t offer native functionality to add checklists to your tasks. 

6. Task Templates

a. Asana

Create repeatable workflows via task templates that let you automatically set details like:

  • Task type
  • Task title
  • Assignee
  • Project
  • Due date
  • Dependencies
  • Tags
  • Attachments

You can create a task template by converting an existing task into a template. 

Note: This closes the current task.

b. Jira

Jira doesn’t have a native capability of creating issue templates. However, it does allow you to auto-populate an issue’s fields based on pre-set values in team-managed projects.

7. Assignees

a. Asana

You can assign tasks only to one person at a time. However, you can add multiple collaborators who can view and edit the task alongside the assignee.

b. Jira

To assign an issue to a team in Jira Software, go to the Fields menu and add the Team column to your Board. This will let you assign any issue to a whole team.

8. Priorities

a. Asana

Asana

Add a custom field for priority levels on your project. Set low, medium, and high priority levels for each task.

b. Jira

Jira Software

Suppose you’re using Jira Software’s Agile project management features and have enabled ranking in the project’s settings. You can rank an issue by dragging and dropping it to the relevant position in the Scrum or Kanban backlog. 

You can also set priorities using custom fields in the issue’s settings. This now lets you add custom priority levels to each issue. 

Jira Work Management

Create a new field with various priority levels and save it to add custom priority levels to each issue. 

9. Automations

a. Asana

Streamline your project workflows with Asana’s rules and other automations.

  • Rules: Set up automation rules to perform an action based on a trigger — E.g., When you create a task within a certain project, automatically assign it to the project’s manager.
  • Bundles: Create Bundles of fields, sections, rules, and task templates and apply them to multiple projects at once.
  • Form automations: Create forms and automate actions based on form responses.

b. Jira

Both Jira Software and Jira Work Management offer an extensive library of automations. Create automation rules by setting triggers, conditions (refining criteria), and actions.

B. Time Management

Time is money for a reason. 

The right software can be the difference between pinching pennies and raking in the big bucks.

Effective project management software offers effortless time management features to help you befriend the clock. 

With the right one, expect to keep all your tasks running as scheduled and meet your deadlines with ease. 

Features to look out for include:

  • Due dates: Communicate expected delivery dates.  
  • Time estimates: Make capacity decisions based on how much time each task or project is expected to take. 
  • Time tracking: Measure productivity with accurate time consumption data for each team member. 

1. Due Dates

a. Asana

You can set custom due dates as a feature in project templates in Asana. 

b. Jira

Jira Software

You can schedule a deadline by adding a due date while creating or editing an issue. However, you need Schedule Issues permission from an administrator. 

Jira Work Management

You can add due dates for issues in Jira Work Management by adding a Custom Field.

Alternatively, you can schedule due dates for items in your business projects by dragging them to the specific date on your calendar.

2. Time Estimates

a. Asana

Use time estimates to set a projected time and compare it with the actual time spent on a task. The field is only available after enabling the native time-tracking feature.

b. Jira

You can add time estimates to the time tracking feature to show assignees how much time they have left to complete an issue. The timer counts down based on how much time they track while working on the issue.

It works for both Jira Work Management and Jira Software. 

3. Time Tracking

a. Asana

Asana’s embedded time tracker allows you to measure exactly how long work takes by monitoring screen activity. 

Using the embedded time tracker, you can also: 

  • Manually track the time spent on tasks.
  • Stop the timer and come back to the task later.
  • Open a detailed log to see who tracked time for a task and when.

b. Jira

The native time tracking feature in Jira Work Management and Jira Software enables users to record the time they spend working on issues. 

C. Reporting

What you can’t measure, you can’t improve. 

Reporting and analytics features can help you track real-time progress, monitor key metrics, and sniff out bottlenecks like a detective.  

Armed with these insights, your team can stay ahead of the curve no matter the situation. 

Expect better resource management, superior deadline compliance, and a more focused and decisive team.

Features to look out for include:

  • Goals and milestones: Record targets for the whole team to see and work towards.
  • Dashboards: Visualize data from all corners of the team into a user-friendly, interactive interface.
  • Gantt charts: Keep your plans flexible with Gantt charts that allow you to adjust timelines based on changing resource availability and task completion ratio. 

1. Goals & Milestones

a. Asana

In terms of goal-setting, Asana enables you to:

  • Create company-wide and team-specific Goals
  • Set milestones for tasks.
  • Access activity history of goal interactions
  • Filter to see Open, Closed, or All goals
  • Categorize goals as objectives, key results, or individual goals

b. Jira

Jira Software lets you combine issues from boards, projects, and filters to map your goals with Jira plans. Other capabilities include:

  • Establish and view dependencies that can affect your plan.
  • Experiment with plans without impacting issues.
  • Set due dates, sprint dates, release dates, etc.

2. Dashboards

a. Asana

Asana Dashboards provide quick access to crucial project progress and task completion data​​.

Share them with your team members and customize these Dashboards with the following types of charts:

  • Column
  • Donut
  • Assignee
  • Burn, and 
  • Line charts

b. Jira

Jira Software and Jira Work Management dashboards both offer an initial view upon login to create multiple personalized displays for diverse project overviews.

You can customize the dashboard with gadgets that summarize issue data. Available gadgets include:

  • Charts
  • Labels
  • Issue calendar
  • Assigned to me
  • Quick links
  • Roadmaps

Select a layout preference for your dashboards, star favorites, and share dashboards with others. You can also find shared dashboards by filtering per owner, group, or project.

3. Gantt Charts

a. Asana

Asana’s Gantt view allows you to:

  • Filter by task status (All, Complete, Incomplete)
  • Sort by period (Day, week, month, quarter, half-year, year)
  • Select multiple tasks and set dependencies.
  • Map chart colors to custom fields (E.g., teams or task statuses)
  • Mark a moment in your project progress as a baseline to compare against future progress.

b. Jira

Jira Software

Jira Software allows you to create Gantt charts in two ways — Roadmaps (timeline view) and advanced roadmaps.

Basic roadmaps are great for planning dates, dependencies, and deliverables for a single team and project.

Meanwhile, advanced roadmaps offer the following additional features:

  • Plan and track work across teams, visualize data, and plan for future progress or obstacles.
  • Select issue sources from boards, projects, or filters to gather data for plan creation.
  • Expand issue hierarchies above the epic level to track larger goals.
  • Allocate work, manage team capacity, and evaluate risks.
  • Explore alternative paths through scenarios and plan for different outcomes.
  • Define milestones, manage shippable chunks of work, and align dates across multiple projects with single-project or cross-project releases.
Jira Work Management

Jira Work Management doesn’t offer roadmaps, but the Timeline view can function as a Gantt chart.

It allows you to adjust start and due dates, and reorder, link, and filter issues.

D. User Management

Software, features, and other tech things aside, the real heroes of any project are your team members. So make sure to pick the kind of project management software that puts them front and center!

How do you do this?

Look for software that knows what different team members need and helps you deliver the right experience. 

Features to look out for include:

  • User groups: Create internal teams representing various departments, functions, or projects. 
  • Permission levels: Grant different access levels depending on the users’ information requirements and the company’s security concerns. 
  • Guest users: Invite team members from other companies/teams to collaborate with your team without compromising on confidential data. 

1. User Groups

a. Asana

Add a group of users to a team that can collaborate on specific tasks and projects. 

Teams can be public (anyone in the organization can join), private (by invite only), or membership by request (team members can request to join). 

Adjust the privacy settings for each team and change access levels for individual members within it. 

A team can have shared access to all projects, permission settings, invitations, messages, calendars, and more.

b. Jira

Create groups of people who share similar responsibilities and require similar access to issues. Grant each group a different permission level on each project. 

2. Permission Levels

a. Asana

Make projects or tasks private by restricting commenting and editing access. This way, you can secure your conversations. 

You can also hide projects or tasks so only people added to or mentioned in them can comment or edit.

b. Jira

Jira Software

Jira Software lets you choose between whether people are Administrators, Members, or Viewers on a team-managed project. Create more custom roles for each project to share the most relevant projects, tasks, and conversations with each team member. 

Jira Work Management

Add or remove people to projects based on your requirements. You can also assign them one or multiple roles on the project. 

3. Guest Users

a. Asana

Collaborate with external users (such as clients and vendors) by creating a guest profile. Share limited access to projects and tasks with them for transparency without letting them in on internal communications.

b. Jira

Jira Software and Jira Work Management don’t have guest users. But you can allow anonymous users to view, search, and create issues without logging in. 

E. Collaboration

In project management, collaboration and communication are like a ballroom dance — if everyone isn’t in sync, you’re just stepping on each other’s toes!

A project manager should encourage their team to be on the same page regarding everything happening on the project. This could involve regular meetings, periodic status updates, shared checklists, etc. 

But things can get tricky when you add different team structures (remote, hybrid, distributed, etc.). 

The trick is to balance ‘informing everyone’ with ‘over-communicating.’ 

The solution is to forge a shared space where the whole team can contribute without hampering individual productivity. Picking a suitable project management software is the first step toward achieving this goal. 

Features to look for include: 

  • Comments: Simple ways to send feedback or discuss a task or project. 
  • Threads: Keep all relevant comments in a single thread. 
  • Tagging/@mention: Mention a team member on a task, in comments, or in any shared space to notify them. 
  • Sharing tasks: Share tasks with relevant team members for efficient collaboration.
  • File management: Attach and store files, create and annotate documents, etc., for ready access to project documentation. 
  • Notifications: Customize how team members receive notifications.

1. Comments, Threads, & Tagging

a. Asana

Add a comment to any task to mention team members or share thoughts, questions, and feedback. Make your comments informative with the help of emojis, links, and rich text formatting.

b. Jira

Add comments, code snippets, images, tables, and more on issues for better communication. 

Mention teammates in the comments and react to comments with emojis.

Copy the link to each comment to share externally.

Vote on issues to indicate their importance to team members. 

2. File Management

a. Asana

Attach files to tasks or comments to provide more information to collaborators. 

Get a quick glimpse of all files attached to various tasks with the File view. 

Comment on images, PDFs, GIFs, and BMP files.

b. Jira

Both Jira Software and Jira Work Management offer you the option to attach files to each issue to describe them better. You can also attach these files in comments or long text fields.

Just copy-paste the link to attach files from external services like Dropbox or Google Drive.

3. Notifications

a. Asana

Choose which project members get notified when you add tasks, publish status updates, or send messages to avoid cluttering everyone’s inboxes. Schedule notifications to send due date reminders to keep things on track. 

Adjust your settings to change what notifications you receive on email, browser, or on the platform.

b. Jira

Both Jira Software and Jira Work Management let you choose which team members are notified about issue-related changes. 

Watchers, assignees, users, reporters, or project leads can get notified of changes such as:

  • Comments
  • New issue logged
  • Issues deleted, etc. 

F. Customer Support

Individual users in smaller teams often face a steep learning curve with most project management software. 

In their case, having access to responsive support executives and a wealth of helpful resources can make a significant difference, turning a frustrating experience into a positive one.

However, customer support is just as crucial for larger teams. 

Even if these teams initially received thorough onboarding and training, their needs and use cases tend to evolve over time. Continuous and adaptable customer support becomes essential to address these changing needs effectively.

With adequate customer support, you can:

  • Derive maximum value from the app with the help of professional guidance whenever required
  • Ensure your team is making full use of all the features you’re paying for
  • Learn from case studies of other teams using the same software
  • Expand your use cases with time
  • Learn about the features your team uses the most and avoid spending on those you don’t need
  • Solve minor issues on your end by going through help resources
  • Get hands-on support when you get stuck
  • Keep a record of all your complaints and feedback for the platform to aid future buying decisions
  • Send feedback to the app’s developers so they can design the features you most desire

Features to look for include: 

  • Detailed knowledge bases and documentation to aid DIY solutions to common issues
  • Case studies, templates, guides, and other resources
  • Easy access to resources for all types of users — free or paid
  • Async support executives to cover for the time difference
  • Live agents who can respond via chat or phone 
  • Screenshots and recordings to display how the tool works
  • Translations to resources in other languages, if needed

Asana

  • Asana Help: Step-by-step guides on specific features
  • Asana Forum: Insights from a community of Asana users and experts 
  • Asana Developer’s Guide: Guide to how you can customize your Asana experience with the help of their API
  • Asana Guide: Tips, tricks, and advice to get the most from Asana
  • Asana Academy: Interactive courses and webinars to learn Asana
  • Customer support: Email, Help Desk, Chat

Jira

  • Atlassian University: Product training and certifications for Jira, Confluence, Trello, and more
  • Atlassian Playbook: Free workshop resources to address common team challenges 
  • Atlassian Documentation: Help to administer Atlassian products
  • Atlassian Community: Ask questions to product experts and fellow users
  • Atlassian Support: Resources for users and administrators
  • Migration Program: Cloud migration support for all teams
  • Enterprise Services: Support for enterprise teams
  • Customer Support: Email/Help Desk, Chat, 24/7 Live rep, Phone

G. Platforms Supported

Distributed and field teams might not always be armed with laptops or computers. 

But that doesn’t mean productivity has to stop.

With a mobile-friendly project management tool, the workflow keeps humming along, turning those smartphones into mighty workflow tools.

More reason to look into this?

If your company follows a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach, your team members need the freedom to switch between various devices. 

With support for all types of apps, you can:

  • Ensure uniform access irrespective of device type
  • Save on the cost of buying the same types of devices for the whole team
  • Give all team members a chance to log work from anywhere, anytime

Features to look for include: 

  • App support for the latest Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android versions.
  • Maximum coverage for all key features across devices

Asana

  • Browser: Chrome, Firefox, Safari
  • Desktop: Mac, Windows (64-bit), Windows (32-bit)
  • Mobile: iOS, Android

Jira

  • Browser: Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari for desktops, Safari and Chrome for mobile devices
  • On-Premise: Windows, Linux
  • Desktop: Windows, Linux
  • Mobile: iOS, Android

H. Pricing

Whether you have deep pockets or shoestring budgets, there’s project management software out there for every kind of organization. 

But the confusing combination of features and numbers on pricing pages can make it difficult to choose. 

Here are some easy tips for starters.

If you plan on buying the software subscription for just yourself or a small team that’s not likely to grow rapidly anytime soon — stick to the free plan as long as possible. Or pick the cheapest monthly subscription possible. These should cover most of your feature requirements comfortably in most cases. 

However, if you expect to hire rapidly and grow to a sizable number, go for a plan that grows with you — ideally with a per-user rate that doesn’t add up exponentially. 

Finally, most software offers flexible enterprise plans that let you cherry-pick your favorite features into a custom package. If you’re part of such a team, it’s best to contact the sales team and get the best deal possible. 

Asana Pricing

Asana’s pricing structure is as follows:

  • Personal (Free): Up to 10 users, three views
  • Starter ($13.49/user/month): Everything in free plus up to 500 users, all views, 250 automations a month
  • Advanced ($30.49/user/month): Everything in Starter plus 25,000 automations, goals, approvals, native time tracking
  • Enterprise (Contact sales for pricing): Everything in Advanced plus unlimited users, Asana Intelligence, Unlimited views, service accounts
  • Enterprise+ (Contact sales for pricing): Everything in Enterprise plus audit logs, and data loss prevention, eDiscovery, and archiving integrations

Jira Pricing

Jira Software has the following pricing options:

  • Free: Up to 10 users, 2GB storage
  • Standard ($8.15/user/month): Everything from Free plus up to 35,000 seats, user roles and permissions, 250GB of storage
  • Premium ($16/user/month): Everything from Standard plus AI features, Advanced roadmaps, and premium support
  • Enterprise (Contact sales for pricing): Everything from Premium plus multiples site, enterprise support, and centralized security controls

Jira Work Management has these plans:

  • Free: Up to 10 users, 2GB storage
  • Standard ($5/user/month): Everything from Free plus up to 35,000 seats, project roles, 250GB or storage
  • Premium ($10/user/month): Everything in Standard plus Atlassian Intelligence, premium support, and unlimited support

I. Best Suited To

Picking the right project management tool is like finding the perfect pair of shoes. They must be a snug fit but also leave you some wiggle room to get comfortable! 

In other words, the tool you pick must fit all your current needs and grow alongside your future requirements, too. 

So make sure you’ve covered all bases in your research when picking project management software for your team. 

One way to do this is to check what types of teams your choice serves best. 

For instance, what works for a small software development team might not suit a large marketing agency. 

When hunting for a PM solution, it’s vital to match the tool’s features and use cases with your team’s workflow. Tailor your search to find a tool with all the necessary features to manage your tasks and boost productivity.

Asana Verdict

Asana is an excellent all-rounder project management tool tailored to diverse team sizes and project needs.

It has an extensive free plan for teams of up to 10 people, with unlimited projects, messages, file storage, and more. This could make it a safe choice for small teams looking to try before they buy.

For more complex projects, Asana is also well-equipped for:

  • Agile projects
  • Sprints
  • Product management
  • Managing content marketing
  • Tracking work requests
  • Creating dashboards and custom reports (including expense, milestone, goals, and workload reports)
  • Protecting your data through privacy and security compliance

One of Asana’s limitations is that you can only assign a task to one person at a time. This is intended to make roles as clear as possible. However, adding collaborators to oversee projects involves extra steps.

While Asana might be the perfect tool for smaller project management teams looking for an all-in-one solution, as your team expands, you might be better off looking at tools better equipped for dealing with larger workforces.

Jira Verdict

In particular, Jira is expertly designed for:

  • Software development teams
  • DevOps teams
  • Product management teams
  • Agile teams

It’s perfect for managing complex projects with many moving parts, granular tasks, and dependencies. Additionally, it’s well set up to handle work requests for things like bug fixing or IT support tickets.

Jira takes visualizing work to a whole new level so that you can spot all the intricacies and interconnectedness of your issues and projects.

However, all this functionality means it’s far too complicated for most standard project management teams. 

Jira can be a game changer for technical teams that use its agile and issue management features.  

However, teams with simpler needs may find that Jira has a lot of features that just won’t be useful for their work.