Github Projects vs Jira - CSCI-5828-Foundations-Sftware-Engr/5828_s23 GitHub Wiki

Team: Innovation Insurgents!! Author: Ishika Patel


Project planning and management tools are an essential part of the software development process. They help teams manage complex projects, track progress, and collaborate effectively. There are several tools out there that industries and develpers utililize for project planning, and this wiki page will cover an analysis between Github Projects, a newer tool, and Jira, an established industry tool.

Jira was developed and launched in 2002 by Atlassian. The inspiration behind Jira is rooted in the need for better project management tools by the company's founders. Mike and Scott, the founders, were incredibly dissatisfied with existing project management solutions available at the time. The pair, who were developers themselves, sought to create a tool that was specifically tailored to the needs of software developers.

A less senior tool, Github Projects was introduced in 2016 to enable developers to manage and monitor project tasks within the Github platform directly. The inspiration for Github Projects was driven by feedback from users who expressed a desire for an improved approach to managing their work and progress tracking in GitHub itself.

Github Projects Overview

Github Projects is a project planning tool that uses a Kanban-style board to manage and visualize project tasks, enabling users to track progress and prioritize work. Some of its core functionality includes: customizable workflows, buit out project templates for users, issue tracking, tracking of milestones, categorization of issues with lables, issue assignment, reporting features, and a major collaboration edge right in the repository. Github projects is a relatively new tool comapred to Jira, but has stellarly met the needs to developers. It is widely used by various industry organizations that work on software development projects. Some examples of organizations that use GitHub Projects include: Microsoft on VS Code, Mozilla for SuMo (Support Mozilla) and NASA on various open-soruce explorations!

Now that we've covered the history and features of Github Projects, let's take a closer look at its strengths and weaknesses. By examining the advantages and drawbacks of this tool, we can gain a better understanding of its suitability for different types of software development projects.


  1. Integration with Github for seamless code management and collaboration.
  2. Easy-to-use interface.
  3. Kanban-style boards provide a straightforward way to manage project tasks and progress.
  4. Popular for working on open source or public projects.


  1. Lack of support for more advanced Agile methodologies.
  2. Limited customization options for workflows and boards.
  3. Limited reporting options, which can make it difficult to track progress in detail.
  4. Not as feature-rich, which may make it less suitable for larger, more complex projects or teams.
  5. Limited support and documentation available.

Jira Overview

Atlassian Jira is a project planning tool that primarily leverages an Agile metodology support for project management which offers a range of features to help teams effectively manage their projects. With Jira, you can create customizable project workflows to match your team's specific needs and support multiple Agile methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban. Its core functionality includes: user stories and epics to break down large project requirements, sprint planning, ability to create high-leel roadmaps for stakeholders, issue tracking, time tracking to display how much time was spent on specific task themselves and estimated remaining work time, additonal custom fields and filters for organization, reporting and a wide variety of integration with Slack, Confluence, Trello, and Bitbucket. According to Atlassian, "65,000+ companies globally have adopted Jira for its flexibility to support any type of project and extensibility to work with thousands of apps and integrations."

Now that we've covered the history and features of Jira, let's take a closer look at its strengths and weaknesses. By examining the advantages and drawbacks of this tool, we can gain a better understanding of its suitability for different types of software development projects.


  1. Support for Agile methodologies beyond Kanban.
  2. Customizable workflows that can be tailored to the needs of the team.
  3. Extensive reporting options, including burn-down charts and velocity charts, to help measure progress and identify areas for improvement.
  4. Integrates with a wide range of other tools.
  5. Good support and documentation available.


  1. Extremely complex and difficult to learn for some users, high barrier of entry.
  2. High cost for larger teams or enterprise-level features.
  3. Limited flexiblilty and customization in the user interface.
  4. Can be slow or resource-intensive for large projects.

Let's Compare the Two!

Jira and Github Projects are two popular project planning tools that are commonly used by software developers. While both tools have similar features, they differ in terms of their focus and the needs they address. Here is a comparison of Jira and Github Projects and why a software developer might use one over the other:

In terms of use case and target audience, Jira is primarily focused on project management, while Github Projects is integrated with Github, a platform focused on version control and collaboration. Jira offers more comprehensive support for Agile methodologies such as Scrum, while Github Projects offers a simpler Kanban-style board. Scrum is one of the most popular project planning frameworks which gives Jira an edge in indsutry.

When diving into functionality, the two offer very similar workflow, reporting and project planning featues. However, Jira offers more flexibility in terms of customizing workflows, while Github Projects offers more straightforward, pre-defined workflows. In terms of workflows, a major positive about Github Projects are the availiable ready-made project templates offered to start off! Both tools offer integrations with other tools, but Github Projects is more tightly integrated with Github, making it easier to manage code changes alongside project management. Not to mention, Github Projects is generally easier to use and navigate, while Jira is much more complex and require more training.


In conclusion, Jira is a more robust project planning tool with advanced features and customization options, making it a good fit for larger teams or more complex projects. However, it can be more complex and costly to implement. Github Projects, on the other hand, is a simpler and more affordable tool that is integrated with Github and ideal for smaller teams working on open source or public projects. However, it may not be suitable for larger or more complex projects with more demanding project management needs.


Gilberto Briscoe-Martinez:

Great comparison! Something I'm curious about is the automation capabilities of both of these systems. Are there any major differences in how the Jira or GitHub Projects approach them? Is one more feature rich than the other?

Cameron Mattson:

This was a very comprehensive essay, that provided a structured view of project planning tools. Knowing very little to nothing about jira and github project, this essay caters to all types of audiences.

Having a picture that better details each of the project tools would be the only thing I'd like to see, but other than that, well done.

Supraja Kumbargeri:

Great job on the article. I like how you explained a bit of the history of both the tools, it explains what problem they were trying to solve and makes sense why they are the way they are. To further improve the article, you could include pictures of the basic layout of both tools.