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Basecamp and Jira can both help your software development team stay on the same page while boosting productivity. Which is the better project management software for you? Keep reading to find out as we dissect Basecamp and Jira in terms of their features, pricing, and strengths and weaknesses.
Basecamp is all-in-one project management software used by over 75,000 organizations across the world. Its clients include big and small teams across various industries, including software development, marketing, IT, and more. What has helped Basecamp build such a large customer base? Its features, which you can completely unlock regardless of which pricing plan you pick.
Basecamp’s highlights include:
Other Basecamp features include direct messages, to-do lists to track work, a single space for storing, sharing, and discussing docs and files, and a project schedule featuring to-dos, milestones, deadlines, and other essential events. The PM software also has a Card Table that mimics Kanban boards, automatic check-ins to keep all team members on the same page, and reports. Project managers and developers can also integrate Basecamp with third-party apps via the software’s “Doors” system for added functionality and familiarity.
A quick look at Basecamp’s pricing might lead you to believe that it is pretty pricey PM software. While that may be true if you are running a small development team, Basecamp can be quite affordable for larger teams. Why? Because Basecamp unlocks all of its features for a flat monthly price. And, once you calculate the per-user price if you have a larger team, you will find that Basecamp’s pricing is very competitive.
Unfortunately, Basecamp does not have a free forever plan unless you get a special discount for being a teacher or student. Its paid plans do have free, 30-day trials, though.
Basecamp’s most affordable plan is the Team offering for $99 per month for up to 10 users. It offers every Basecamp feature (minus client access) along with 2TB of storage. Basecamp Business costs $199 per month for up to 10 users and unlimited clients. Like the Team plan, it unlocks every feature.
At the time of this writing, Basecamp also offers an Unlimited plan. This limited-time offer costs $199 per month for unlimited users and clients. Ideal for larger teams, the Unlimited plan comes with 5TB of storage.
Basecamp’s strengths start with its wide range of features. The PM software gives project managers and developers plenty of bells and whistles to work with, such as task management, to-do lists, reporting, file sharing, superb collaboration, universal search, automatic check-ins, etc.
Get one of Basecamp’s higher-priced plans, and the PM software also works wonders for dealing with outsiders via its client portal that lets project managers share progress, collaborate with stakeholders, and more.
Speaking of higher-priced plans, that could be a Basecamp weakness to some, particularly if you are running a smaller team. Yes, the Team plan costs $99 per month for up to 10 users and unlocks all of Basecamp’s features, but if you only have a few team members, that per-person price may seem too high. And since Basecamp lacks a free forever plan unless you are a teacher or student, you will have to absorb that potentially high per-person price if you want to enjoy the software.
Beyond the potential higher price of the PM software, Basecamp may not be ideal for Agile teams since it was initially designed with the Waterfall methodology in mind. Could Agile development teams use Basecamp? Sure, but some may find it outdated or an awkward fit compared to the more Agile-friendly Jira. And if you seek built-in time tracking to see how long tasks take to complete, Basecamp falls short there as well.
You can learn more about Basecamp by reading our Basecamp Project Management Software Review.
Jira claims to be the top project management software for Agile development teams, and it has over 100,000 organizations that rely on it to stay organized and productive. What makes Jira so popular? A long list of features that :
Basecamp’s Scrum and Kanban boards help project managers stay on top of tasks and oversee progress. Jira eases the setup process a bit with its templates for tracking, DevOps, Scrum, Kanban, etc., and it makes everyday life easier with its drag-and-drop automation.
Project managers can gain necessary insight through Jira’s multiple views, dashboards, and various reports (sprint reports, burnup and burndown charts, version reports, cumulative flow diagrams, etc.) The PM software has roadmaps to keep development teams on the same page, custom fields, filters, and workflows, plus integrations with thousands of third-party apps. Jira also has bug-tracking capabilities and Open DevOps. And since the latter helps developers focus on code, Jira claims that its software has helped some customers see a 900 percent increase in deployments and a 50 percent decrease in cycle time.
Jira has four pricing plans to choose from, beginning with its Free version that allows for ten users and unlimited boards and offers reporting, backlog and basic roadmaps, and community support:
The Standard plan costs $7.75 per user, per month for up to 35,000 users. It offers everything from Free, plus data residency, audit logs, user roles and permissions, and business hour support.
Nearly double the price is the Premium plan. For $15.25 per user, per month, it gives developers advanced roadmaps, unlimited storage, project archiving, sandbox and release tracks, and guaranteed uptime with around-the-clock Premium support.
Lastly is the Enterprise plan, which comes with custom pricing. It offers unlimited sites, centralized user subscriptions and security controls, and 24/7 Enterprise support.
Jira excels in many areas, making it a tough matchup for Basecamp. The PM software is Agile-friendly, highly customizable, and flexible. It can serve teams of varying sizes from one to 20,000 members, making it excellent for scaling. The development-related templates are a plus, as are Open DevOps, multiple views, and seamless drag-and-drop automation. And if security is a concern, Jira is strong there too.
Where could Jira use improvement? While loaded with features, it may take some time to enjoy them since the software has a steep learning curve. The interface is not intuitive, and Jira can feel clunky at times. Developers may not run into these issues due to advanced technical expertise, but other users may have trouble adapting to Jira. Other gripes about Jira include collaboration that is lacking unless you use third-party integrations, troubles migrating from the software to other solutions, a limited free plan, and pricing that may be high compared to the competition.
How do Basecamp and Jira differ? While both are full of features, Basecamp has less of a learning curve and is easier to use. Basecamp is particularly strong with all of its collaborative features, while Jira may require some third-party integrations to help your development team communicate as you wish.
Collaboration is not the only reason development teams choose PM software, though, and when it comes to other features, Jira may have more to offer with bug tracking, Open DevOps, and the like. And as mentioned, Jira is more Agile-friendly than Basecamp, so if your development team follows that methodology, that may factor into your decision of which PM software to choose.
Both Basecamp and Jira are solid PM software solutions used by teams worldwide. Which is the better fit for your development team? If collaboration is critical, Basecamp is tough to beat as it has so many ways to keep in touch, regardless of whether you are working together in an office or remotely. And if user-friendliness is important, Basecamp is the easier PM software to adapt to.
However, if you have an Agile development team willing to take some time to learn the software and enjoy all of its advanced features, Jira may be the better pick. Smaller teams looking for complimentary PM software may also find Jira’s Free plan sufficient, whereas Basecamp does not have a no-cost offering.
Still not certain that Jira or Basecamp are the right project management tools for your software development team? We have a great roundup of the Best Project Management Software for Developers to help you find other PM solutions.
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