In theory, the world of integrations is designed to make our life easier. By bringing systems together, teammates can share information more quickly, and managers can have more oversight over performance, deadlines, and budgets. But what happens when this individual software and system integrations become too unwieldy or complicated to manage?
In the case of Jira and Confluence , increasing numbers of teams have voiced their concern that they are complicated to understand, too pricey for their organizations, or just not providing the type of value that they need. In many companies, the role of ‘JIRA Administrator’ exists solely to manage the software and assist others with their requests. If you’re a small company, you probably don’t have the headcount to justify one person managing this software.
Nobody is questioning the value of having a project management software that provides workflow collaboration, and a knowledge base merged together. The benefits are enormous — project managers can track and disseminate information more efficiently, while team members are able to access whatever resources they need to keep the project running smoothly. Generally speaking, it’s always more useful to have one center of truth than to have information distributed across multiple locations. Communication becomes much more comfortable when everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done and how to do it.
It would make more sense, then, to use a tool that already has melded the two together and doesn’t require upgrades, integrations, or spending more money. This is truly ‘agile’ as it allows teams to improve collaboration and communication with minimal headaches. One of the fundamental principles of the Agile Manifesto is “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.” Nifty embodies that mentality by bringing people together in a centralized location and empowering them to do their best work.
Let’s take a look at how Nifty stacks up against Jira + Confluence. We’ve broken this out into two main areas, workflows and document storage, to see how they stack up.
Project management workflows are the heart and soul of any project. They need to be customizable, usable, and engaging. Nifty checks all three of those boxes.
Simply put, if your workflow is a circle, and the software you’re using wants you to fit it into a square, you’re going to run into problems. Jira supports many projects, but it can be difficult to customize it — especially if you have a particular way of conducting workflows. On the other hand, Nifty allows you to view workflows by swimlanes, cross-project overviews, and team workloads. This enables you to have much more flexibility in terms of customization and defining workflows, making your job (and your team’s jobs) easier.
Usability is another crucial function for any project management software. If your team members cannot easily use something, chances are it won’t be used at all. Something might meet business needs, but widespread adoption is necessary for something to be practical and useful. According to software review site G2, Nifty ranks number one in usability (in both ease of admin and use) while Jira isn’t in the top 20.
At this point in time, project management software should also have an easy-to-use mobile app. Our phones have increasingly become an extension of our computers as we check emails at night or send project updates while running errands. Nifty’s mobile app has a user-friendly interface, making it easy to keep up with projects and workflows on the go and then transition right back to your computer once you sit down. Compare this to Jira’s mobile app, which, based on user feedback, is not as convenient to use.
Document Management & Communication – Why Confluence is Not Enough
Moving on, we have document management and centralized communication. If workflow management is the heart and soul of a project, document management and communication might be the brain. They act as a knowledge center to support team members, share relevant insights, and ensure everyone moves in the same direction. Nifty is head and shoulders above the competition here: while Confluence has the name brand recognition, Nifty has the functionality that genuinely makes people’s lives easier.
The majority of team members spend excessive amounts of time tracking down information they need to complete their work. This is information stored in emails, chat messages, and documents that can (and should!) be consolidated into a centralized location for easy perusal.
A useful document management tool should make it easy to read and edit project documents. When editing in Confluence, a user needs to go to a separate edit page to make any changes and then confirm all changes that have been made in that working session. There’s no exact way to publish your individual changes, leave feedback or comments, or work collaboratively, leading to confusion and frustration when documents don’t flow as smoothly as, say, Google Docs.
This makes it more challenging to maintain a current database. If user navigation is not always intuitive, it becomes less likely that people will actually use the tool for its designed purpose. Compare that to Nifty, which offers its own collaborative document and notes creation feature along with an in-app integration to Google Docs, Sheets, and Presentations to keep your meeting notes, specifications, and creative copy inside your project. This solution provides the power of the Google suite with the benefits of workflow collaboration cohesion that a standalone document tool falls short on.
Nifty goes one step further by adding in-app communication to the mix. Users can comment directly on tasks or enter a chat based on a task, project, or document to give feedback and guidance on documentation and knowledge sharing. This level of collaboration helps users integrate much more quickly with the tool, ensuring that it becomes their knowledge hub.
If we look back at the first principle of Agile project management — “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools” — we know that it’s more important to prioritize people and how they work and give them processes and tools that will fit their styles. The best tools, after all, are ones that people use — because they work for them. Teams often avoid Jira and Confluence altogether to save time and avoid a more complicated system, resulting in tasks and knowledge being lost in emails, chats, and random documents, instead of the project management center.
In this aspect, Nifty stands apart as your all-in-one project management platform that aligns workflow management, project documentation, collaboration, and communication. Next time you have a project that requires workflow management and document management (probably your next project), step away from the Jira + Confluence combination and bring everything under the Nifty umbrella.