5 Agile and Scrum Tools for Your Business
One of the major predicted project management trends for 2015 is that Agile will continue to gain popularity with IT projects. And that prediction has proven to be true so far. In VersionOne’s 9th Annual State of Agile Survey, they found that “Approximately 24% of respondents worked in organizations that have practiced Agile for greater than five years, up from 19% in 2013.” Not only is Agile-use growing, but companies are choosing to stay with this project management system.
There are many different types of Agile tools out there. Some are free, some are paid, some are going by the business model called “Freemium” in which you get a filtered version of the software but to get all the awesome features and scalability you have to pay.
When starting the research for the best Agile Tool, there are some key questions you need to ask that will allow you to make the right choice. The answers to these simple questions will not only drive your business to the ideal tool but will also help determine the cost:
- How large is your team? How many users?
- Are there remote resources?
- How scalable is the tool and pricing structure?
- How do you implement and what level of technical support can be expected?
- Is the solution hosted or will you maintain the infrastructure behind it?
So which Agile tools are out there? Which Scrum tools are the best for your business? Which Agile project management tools are the best for your client?
VersionOne is the eighth most popular project management software in the world, and it’s well deserved, considering its intuitive user interface, ability to customize for any style of Agile your team uses (DSDM/ Scrum/ XP/etc.), and visual, easy-to-understand reporting features. Users can pick up VersionOne and quickly learn how to drag-and-drop on the Kanban boards, place comments, and keep up with their teammates’ and personal tasks right from the dashboard. VersionOne also syncs with a host of ALM development tools, including JIRA, GIT, HP Quality Center, and Microsoft Visual Studio, so you won’t have to leave your current workspaces behind.In terms of cost, VersionOne has a free plan for up to 10 users, and several premium plans that companies of different sizes can choose from.
Planbox is a web-based application owned by a privately held company based in Montreal, Canada. Users can easily prioritize backlog items with its four-level structure. They can track the project and the team’s progress with burndown charts and other metrics. Users can collaborate in real-time through the dashboard. Comments and documents can be attached to the tasks. It integrates with many web tools and services and can be accessed from mobile devices. Pricing is based on a set number of users or collaborators billed on a monthly or yearly basis.
TargetProcess is a web based agile project management software that has a highly visual interface to support Scrum, Kanban and other types of agile and lean practices. From a central interface, users can make use of boards, lists, timelines and other custom views to manage their project. It has native apps for iOS and Android devices. Clients include Sony, Cisco, Citrix and Intel. In terms of costs, TargetProcess has free and premium plans, where paid plans include for unlimited entities, public views, and processes. Pricing starts at $20 per user when billed annually. It can also be installed on-premise.
As one of the trusted brands in Agile software, Atlassian JIRA & Agile is quick to deliver a powerful project management tool that can fit most offices. Teams can use this product as either a self-hosted or cloud-based solution. Atlassian JIRA & Agile offers Scrum, Kanban, and integrates with JIRA, Confluence, and other Atlassian products. Project managers can make customized workflows, visualize QA issues, and keep in constant communication with “HipChat,” and the software offers a system called “Release Hub” that makes sure your product is complete when it’s sent out to the final customer. The price starts at $20/month for 10 users and scales up based on users.
Axosoft is a leading Scrum tool that can be used as SaaS or installed on-premise. It has an impressive set of tools for planning backlog items, release, version and sprints. It also has views and reports that can show velocity charts, capacity indicators, burndown charts and a visual drag-and-drop Kanban board. With the use of branded Customer Portal, it can provide updates, accept tickets and share documentation through wikis. Its API allows integration with many web services such as GitHub, Salesforce, and Zendesk. It is free to try for 14 days, and is free for up to 10 users, with several premium plans on a per user basis.
Have you ever used any of these products? Were there any outstanding Agile project management software products that I missed? Share your thoughts and comments below!