Jira is the standard for project management software among Agile teams; it’s the most used platform around the world today.

Most used agile PPM tools in 2020
Most used agile project management tools

Now, as is the case with all tools, there are bumps here and there we learn to live with or work around. But, wouldn’t it be great if we found a way to smooth out the entire experience?

The one project bump in Jira

If you’ve worked with Jira before, you know that the platform is set up in such a way that you can plan out and view epics and issues in the roadmap, from one project only. One. That’s quite the bump if you think about it.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still great if you’re handling one product at a time but the reality with development teams is that their releases can and most probably will include features from many different products that happen to be at various development stages, which means they need to be tracked separately.

For many teams, their lives would be made so much easier if they were able to view epics and issues from different projects at the same time, in one beautiful roadmap.

Existing project roadmaps in Jira Standard

Many of us started by using project roadmaps in Jira; they are now available by default in both company-managed and team-managed projects. Now, these project roadmaps are amazing for visualizing and planning project scope via epics.

But if you’re like us, running many projects in Jira, for each of your products or teams, then a project roadmap simply isn’t enough. Now, most of us want to be able to keep using these project roadmaps in Jira, but alongside a portfolio roadmap that allows us to see epics from select projects, all in one place.

View Jira projects in one place with Swanly portfolio roadmap
Track Jira projects in one place with portfolio roadmap

Which Jira Plan works best?

Say you’ve got, like we do at Jexo, 4 projects representing 3 different development teams and a marketing team.

4 Jira projects imported into Swanly project portfolio roadmap
Swanly portfolio roadmap with 4 Jira projects

Now each of these projects uses epics and a project roadmap to plan the work. But if you wish to see these project roadmaps in one place, there isn’t much you can do with the Standard Jira plan.

Now, yes it’s free for 10 users, and you’ll get charged $7 per user after that, but nonetheless, there’s nothing you can do if you’re looking for visibility and efficiency managing all of the work in a portfolio roadmap. The Standard Plan simply won’t cut it.

Which brings us to the Jira Premium Plan.

The Jira Premium Plan and Advanced Roadmaps

The Jira Premium Plan can be expensive; there I said it! $14 per user is no small fee regardless of how many users you are. So if you’re looking into Advanced Roadmaps for cross-project possibilities, it could be on the expensive side.

Jira's Advanced Roadmaps
Advanced Roadmaps Gantt chart for Jira

Now, if your project is huge and you need a complex tool that can do a million things,  Advanced Roadmaps might be the perfect fit for you. A tool like that offers a variety of possibilities, though difficult to navigate and explore, and of course, requiring a certain setup in order to be able to get the data you actually want to see.

Advanced Roadmaps is quite complex, but you get to view all of your tasks from across projects in a single table, which does however get clustered if you’ve got 400 tasks to handle!

How about a Jira plugin like Swanly instead of Jira Premium?

Now, we’ve gone into quite a bit of detail comparing Swanly to Advanced Roadmaps, so I won’t get into this now. If you’re interested in a product comparison between Swanly and Advanced Roadmaps, simply check out this article!

Swanly: project portfolio roadmap timeline for Jira
Swanly project portfolio roadmap tool

Fundamentally, Swanly is much less complex than Advanced Roadmaps of course. It’s a plug&play app, meaning it’s simple and you can get it up and running within minutes; that’s no small thing! It’s easy to configure and you don’t need any technical background to set it up or work with it.

Plus, the dashboard will give you visibility across projects in Jira, and compartmentalized access to information alongside ready-made reports on the go.

For more on the many things Swanly can do, here’s an article to dig into.

The perfect sync: Swanly + Jira

What’s also great about Swanly is that if you want to keep using project roadmaps in Jira, while being able to see epics (in real time) from select projects in one place, you can simply create a portfolio roadmap in Swanly for that!

Swanly's project portfolio roadmap is in sync with Jira projects and their dates
Portfolio roadmap in sync with Jira projects

You can create the cross-project portfolio roadmap you need for visibility across all your Jira work by importing Jira projects into Swanly, alongside their epics. The Swanly start and end dates of any issue are then automatically connected to your Jira fields, keeping them synchronized. That way you get to keep both Jira roadmaps and Swanly views in sync, using Jira roadmaps on the project level and Swanly on the portfolio level.

For more on how you can create a cross-project epic roadmap in Jira using Swanly, check out Nikki's video below!

What about pricing in Swanly?

Swanly is priced per user: It's completly FREE for up to 10 users, then it’s $1.5 per user (up until 200 users); then it gets cheaper as the number of users increase, all the way down to 31 cents!

That being said, you’d be paying $7 Jira Standard fee + $1.5 for the Swanly plugin, which comes out to $8.5 per user instead of the $14 you’d be paying for Jira Premium, to use Advanced Roadmaps. That’s a significant difference in price. And if you’ve got less than 10 users to begin with, the price is even lower!

So, if your project is ok complexity wise and you’re looking to manage everything from one place instead of a bunch of scattered data all over Jira, and you want instant access to the information you need to make decisions, not to mention you believe in aligning your team and making it easy for everyone, then Swanly is your pick.

Basically, what I’m saying is that Swanly is cheaper, simpler, easier to use, and dare I say prettier. So, why pay more when you can get what you need for much less?