Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Tools to support agile methods

The whole point of managing a project using an agile method is to use lots of coloured cards and post-it notes, but sometimes you have to fall back on a boring old software tool. The thorny question keeps arising: which one do I recommend?

Many different project management tools exist, at different price-points and levels of functionality. A long list is shown below. It is important to be clear about a project's requirements for a tool before selecting. Avoid the temptation to extend any tool you select or to spend much effort integrating it with the rest of your project environment – this is a sure way to lock yourself into a single supplier.

The following list of tools is not exhaustive, though I have kept adding to it as I came across new tools:

  • ]project-open[

  • Achievo

  • ActiveCollab

  • Agilebuddy - reported by a comment on this post to be a full-featured agile project management software tool, which is easy to use and great for Scrum teams. Offered on a subscription model for US$9.95 per user per month

  • Agilefant

  • Agilo – based on the Trac issue-management tool and said to support only a single project at a time

  • airTODO – PMBOK rather than agile, but minimalist (an Eclipse plug-in)

  • AxoSoft's OnTime - available as a hosted cloud solution, a Windows native application or as a web application, one comment under this post has reported that it "great for agile / scrum development". Comparable in scope to Trac, but looks a lot more snazzy

  • Banana Scrum - according to one comment below, this is a nice, web based tool that helps without getting in team's way

  • Extreme Planner

  • Greenhopper – a JIRA plugin favoured by some Scrum teams

  • IceScrum

  • Mingle - provides a shared workspace for agile teams, supporting XP, Scrum and custom hybrid approaches. Includes a virtual card wall, wiki, charts, reports and more. Integrated with issue tracking and continuous build. Priced US$995 per user with substantial discounts for multiple licences, academic institutions etc.

  • Pivotal Tracker

  • ProjectCards – mixed approach that uses both physical cards and software

  • ProjectKoach

  • Rally

  • Rational Team Concert - integrates work item, continuous integration builds and software configuration management (SCM) on the collaborative infrastructure of the Jazz Team Server

  • redMine

  • Scrum Edge - someone commented below that it was much simpler to use than most other Scrum tools

  • Scrumworks - quite popular free open source package, heavily forms-based, can integrate with JIRA

  • Silver Catalyst

  • StuffPlanner – Zühlke's inhouse-developed browser-based tool now at version 0.1 and with an Eclipse Mylyn connector available; access can be provided by arrangement

  • TargetProcess - designed to support Scrum, XP and custom Agile processes particularly in the .NET environment. Includes a comprehensive set of tools and features, including defect-tracking, test management and customer helpdesk portal. Community edition free for up to 5 users

  • teamwork

  • tinyPM

  • VersionOne - very full-featured, supports Scrum, DSDM, XP and AUP across multiple projects. Priced from US$348 per user per year, there is a free "team edition" for one team of up to 10

  • XP Story Studio – no development since 2004

  • XPlanner
  • - a popular free open source planning and tracking tool for XP. Quite simple in keeping with the low-ceremony agile approach
  • xProcess - free open source project management and process improvement tool, focused particularly on agile and priority-driven approaches. Preconfigured processes include Scrum, FDD, Prince2, Unified and others; can be tailored. Gantt/Burndowns/target status continuously updated. See also xProcess Europe

  • XPWeb

A number of web sites compare small subsets of the available software tools, including


Antonio Terreno said...

Nice list, you forgot a good one, Mingle from TW. (http://studios.thoughtworks.com/mingle-agile-project-management)

However, the real wall will be always my favourite!

Immo Hüneke said...

Thanks Antonio, you're too kind.

Mingle is in the list - M comes between I and P! (No, I didn't edit the article after you made the comment! q-: )

Best regards,

Millard said...

I'll state up front that I'm an IBM employee. IBM Rational Team Concert (available in a free community edition as well as paid for versions) does a nice job with Agile planning as well as doing a nice job with Continuous Integration via it's built-in build engine. I did a developerWorks article showing how to use RTC with Scrum and Agile Estimating and Planning (http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/08/0701_ellingsworth/) and for those that prefer video, there is a version of it as jazz.net (https://jazz.net/blog/index.php/author/millarde/).

Ryan said...

Great list, don't forget about Agilebuddy (www.agilebuddy.com) a full-featured agile project management software tool. It is easy to use and great for Scrum teams.

Immo Hüneke said...

Thanks Ryan - I have added it to the list.

christian.britton@mac.com said...

What about Intland Codebeamer and MS Visual Studio Team System 2010?

amoeen said...

What about ScrumEdge?

It's much simpler to use than most other Scrum tools.

Thomas said...

The important aspect is to accomplish the projects successfully. Proper project management is a key to all the success. It is quite difficult to manage and control the project together without an organizational tool. To solve this problem web based Project Management Software has been created by numerous companies.

Andy said...

Nice list, but seems you have not checked out Banana Scrum tool - a nice, web based tool that helps without getting in team's way.

robert said...

then we can use different type of language then how understand then the project are work easily which language.

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Zachary B said...

Hello there Immo,

Great list here and even though it is a bit of an older post, I figured I would still recommend another tool to be added into the mix.

http://www.axosoft.com/ - Great for agile/scrum development.


Nick Fulham said...

I've used this "Agile Board Software"and loved it. It's so user friendly.

I doubt one will ever find a software like this!

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