JIRA – The Papa John’s of ALMs

It’s a rainy Friday evening after a week of soccer practices, ballet, ice hockey practice, and tutors. My wife is exhausted, driving home with two cranky kids, and I get the dreaded phone call from her.

What do you want to do for dinner tonight?

Since we have a menu we stick to (productivity begins at home?), getting that call means the menu is out. Whatever was on there isn’t happening, and it’s now up to me to make a decision. What are we going to have for dinner tonight?

We live in the suburbs of Washington DC, and there are a plethora of pizza places locally — good pizza places too. But, as this conversation usually goes, I tend to forget about them at that particular moment, and suggest Papa Johns.

Papa Johns.

Up against a wall, panicking for an answer, I pick quite possibly the most mediocre pizza chain to frequent the ‘burbs. Papa Johns is consistent, and the pizza is okay, but the reason why I’m picking it has nothing to do with how good it is and everything to do with its name recognition and its ability to be a reasonable compromise among all other choice.

If you want a mediocre pizza that works in a pinch, Papa Johns is it. Heck, after years of having Papa Johns, you may even be forgiven for thinking it’s the best there is.

Jira is the Papa Johns of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Software.

It works in a pinch, everyone knows about it, and it’s just consistent enough that you can be forgiven for realizing how terrible it is for producing software. You can always configure it to how you really want to work, and you aren’t going to be laughed out of the board room for suggesting Jira. But, it’s going to have the same effect eating Papa Johns will. You’ll be full, but you and your team won’t be satisfied.

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