While Agile should never be about tools (we all know what the Agile Manifesto says about tools), the fact remains that there is a growing number of software solutions aimed at Agile teams and that they can be very helpful when employed smartly.
This Agile tools guide includes both software developed specifically for Agile teams and those that can be useful for them despite not being originally aimed at them. In this guide, you will find solutions for project and product management, remote collaboration, Scrum Events, Agile transformation and other uses.
It is a living list and it will be updated as we come across new tools that catch our eye.
We will kick our Agile tools guide off with a tool we know the best, our own VivifyScrum. VivifyScrum started off as a Scrum and Kanban collaboration tool. Over the years, the team has built on it, adding new features and functionalities, turning it into a full-fledged Agile project management tool. VivifyScrum boasts high-powered collaboration boards and task management, comprehensive statistics and reports, as well as team management features, a built-in time tracker and invoicing. It is a tool well-suited for both small teams and large organizations with multiple projects going on at once.
- Customizable, versatile collaboration boards
- High-powered task management
- Team management perfect for large organizations
- Comprehensive stats and reporting functionalities
- Time-tracker and worklogs
- In-app invoicing
- Free Plan with unlimited users, boards and items
- Premium Plan with advanced features - $8 per user/month
Atlassian’s JIRA has become so ubiquitous that, for many people, it has become a presence inseparable from their day-to-day work, like Gmail for example. JIRA was originally an issue tracking tool, but it grew into a project management platform over the years, much thanks to third-party solutions that expanded on its original functionalities. Collaboration in JIRA is based on Scrum and Kanban boards and companies add various plug-ins to their JIRA setup, based on their needs. This can make for a quite cumbersome and unintuitive experience which often requires a specialized team to set up and maintain the system.
- Customizable Agile collaboration boards
- Large number of plugins via Atlassian Marketplace
- Elaborate reporting
- Resources management
- Custom workflows
- Up to 10 users - $10 monthly flat fee
- 11-100 users - $7 per user/month
While Trello regularly makes various lists of project management tools, it should be pointed out it is not exactly one as it lacks some of the most basic project management functionalities. It is, in fact, a highly visual collaboration tool based on Kanban boards. Its default layout is very lightweight, with good flexibility which allows for experimentation. This has made it a popular collaboration tool for teams from various industries who can (after a bit of tinkering) tailor it to their needs. Trello becomes more useful thanks to Power-Ups - integrations with other tools such as JIRA, Zendesk, Custom Fields and others.
- Lightweight, customizable collaborative Kanban boards
- Clean interface
- Flexibility for different types of work and teams
- Availability of Power-Ups which expand its usability
- Free plan (limited functionalities and Power-Ups)
- Business Class - $9.99 per user/month (when paid annually)
- Enterprise - $20.83 or less per user/month (when paid annually)
Active Collab is a versatile project management tool that covers the needs of most teams and organizations. It has task management, project management, team management, as well as some very useful client management features, including invoicing. A time tracker is also available in-app. It has a number of integrations with payment systems, allowing for easy invoicing and customer payments. It is also part of the Zapier ecosystem, enabling integrations with other tools from the ecosystem.
- Customizable task management
- Useful project templates
- In-app discussions for team collaboration
- Powerful client management features
- Easy invoicing
- 5 members - $25/month
- 15 members - $49/month
- 30 members - $99/month
- 60 members - $199/month
- ∞ members - $299/month
A 50% discount on cloud plans for educational institutions and non-profit organizations.
VersionOne is an elder member of the Agile ecosystem (since 2002), an enterprise solution that helps large organizations develop and deliver software. It is a powerful Agile application lifecycle management platform that covers everything from team to portfolio level of a company. Among features available in VersionOne, you will find Agile portfolio management, project management, business intelligence, collaboration, program management, quality management, and hub integration. It supports various Agile methodologies and frameworks such as Scrum, Kanban, SAFe®, Lean and XP.
- Agile portfolio management
- Complete vertical enterprise solution
- DevOps support
- Value stream management
- Powerful analytics and comprehensive reporting
- Release planning functionalities
- Agile transformation support
- Pricing available upon request
Blossom is a super-light project management tool aimed at software developers and development companies. Its collaboration features are based on Kanban and provide a visual-based experience that is extremely easy on the eyes. Blossom also has a feature for stand-up meetings that is perfect for distributed companies, as well as a roadmapping feature. The tool also boasts performance analytics that help teams identify bottlenecks and other issues that may impede product delivery. As a tool aimed primarily at developers, Blossom has a tight integration with GitHub.
- Kanban collaboration boards
- Project roadmapping
- Stand-up meeting feature
- Daily team email digest
- Integrations with GitHub, Slack, HipChat and Flowdock
- Pricing available upon request
The next on our list of Agile tools is LeanKit, a Kanban software for lean project management which is all about the continuous improvement of the work process and the evolution of the workflow. Collaboration in LeanKit is based on highly customizable Kanban boards which show the flow of work and help identify impediments. On the organization level, LeanKit enables users to keep track of the entire portfolio of projects and ensure that no work is wasted. The tool got a welcome facelift in early 2018, addressing the issue most commonly raised about it.
- Highly customizable Kanban boards
- Great support for Lean projects
- Connections feature for managing multiple projects
- Useful analytics and reports
Yodiz is an Agile project management tool which covers the full vertical of developing and releasing a piece of software. It provides teams and organizations with the ability to oversee and manage roadmaps, epics, backlogs, sprints and releases in one tool. It also has a visual issue tracker feature which helps small-to-medium sized teams manage their issue tracking. Yodiz is part of the Zapier ecosystem, enabling integrations with hundreds of other applications.
- Full vertical Agile project management
- Easy to use interface
- Very useful visual issue tracker
- Prioritization of customer requirements across different levels
- Delivery tracking with real-time notifications
Taiga is an open source tool for Agile project management. The teams collaborate on Scrum or Kanban boards and the tool also provides the Epics feature which ensures large projects are planned and executed properly. In Taiga, teams can also build their own project Wikis that act as documentation which can be edited by anyone on the team. The tool also has an issue tracker. Taiga is used by a number of public projects whose teams can ask for outside help and provide help for others.
- Open source
- Scrum and Kanban boards collaboration
- Epics feature for large projects
- Issue tracker
- Easy integration with other tools
- Strong community
The next piece of software in our Agile tools guide is PivotalTracker, an Agile project management tool geared towards software development teams and organizations. Collaboration in PivotalTracker starts with Stories which are then followed through the workflow. The tool features good predictive capabilities for planning future iterations and making sure milestones are achievable. It also comes with powerful analytics and multi-project view perfect for interdependent projects. Integrations with other tools and add-ons expand its capabilities.
- Story-based approach to projects
- Multi-project view
- Large number of add-on tools and integrations
- Predictive team analytics
- Visibility of story blockers
- Free for up to 3 team members and 2 projects
- Startup plan - $12.50 - $29.17 (depending on the number of team members)
- Pro plan - $62.50 - $250.00 (depending on the number of team members)
- Enterprise plan - pricing available upon request
With an ever-growing number of distributed Agile teams working together on projects (not the perfect setup, but a reality nonetheless), there is also an increased need for tools that help them collaborate as they would if they were collocated. This is where RealtimeBoard comes in, a tool that provides an infinite collaboration whiteboard where cross-functional teams can share ideas, work out solutions and visualize work. It can act as a Scrum or Kanban board and it can be the perfect tool for remote Sprint Plannings and Backlog refinement sessions, just to name a few agile uses.
- Infinite workspace
- Complete whiteboard solution for distributed Agile teams
- Huge number of possible Agile applications
- Support for various input formats
- Integrations with cloud storage services, product development and graphic design tools
- Dedication to security
While Agile generally tries to keep planning to a minimum, the vast majority of products developed by Agile teams still have a roadmap which ensures the product is built in a sensible manner. Aha! is a product roadmapping tool which helps determine the product vision, set smart strategic goals and define initiatives that will work towards those goals. Aha! also allows for definition of requirements and features for the product being developed and provides the team with exhaustive analytics which show how the progress of the project.
- Strategic layer to Agile product development
- Data-educated roadmaps for Agile products
- Customization and integrations for a better-suited experience
- Powerful analytics
- Idea crowdsourcing feature
One of the major reasons why companies and organizations become Agile is to nurture innovation from within and ensure their employees are empowered in this respect. Unfortunately, for large organizations, this process can be so unwieldy that a large number of good ideas simply fall through the cracks. Planbox is a platform that ensures this does not happen. It provides a structure for crowdsourcing ideas, collaborative idea management, open innovation, design thinking, Agile experimentation and innovation jams. Planbox also provides mechanisms for collaborating on ideas with external stakeholders.
- Enterprise innovation management
- Ideas management
- Work and agile experimentation platform
- Market research tool
- Open innovation features to collaborate with employees, customers, partners and suppliers
Pricing available upon request
Some Agile teams use physical whiteboards while others go digital. In many cases, teams keep a physical board while also employing a digital one, usually because they have remote team members. In such situations, synchronization of different boards can get tricky. In comes Spartez with their Agile Cards (available for JIRA, Trello, Visual Studio and Salesforce at the moment), a tool for printing out digital story cards so they can be used on physical boards. The system also works vice-versa, letting teams take photos of the physical whiteboard and update the digital one according to the latest changes.
- Synchronization of physical and digital Agile boards (works both ways)
- Card customization options
- Printing cards straight from the tool (JIRA)
- Up to 10 users - flat $5 monthly fee
- 11 - 100 users $1.25 per user/month
YouTrack is an issue tracker and project management tool for agile software development. It has the majority of project management features that agile teams require, but it is the issue tracker aspect of the tool that really makes it stand out. With YouTrack, teams can fix bugs from GitHub, Bitbucket or GitLab commits, link issues with code reviews in Upsource and work with tasks from their IDE. Issues can also be linked with test cases from TestLink and TestRail. Instant issue reporting is also available.
- Powerful and versatile issue tracker
- Scrum, Kanban and custom workflows
- Time management and estimations
- Inline editing and command dialog available
- In cloud - starting from $20 for 15 users
- Standalone - starting from $500 for 25 users
Retrospectives are an essential part of working in Scrum but there are not too many tools aimed at helping teams do truly useful Retros. Retrium is a tool that does exactly this - help team get the most out of their Retrospectives. It allows for individual brainstorming of Retro ideas, categorization of ideas into specific themes, voting on the most important issues and ideas and creation of an action plan for improving the team. Retrium comes with a toolbox of Retrospective facilitation techniques that users can apply - Mad Sad Glad, 4Ls, Start Stop Continue and others.
- Multiple facilitation techniques
- Suitable for distributed teams
- Categorization of ideas into themes
- Feature for coming up with an action plan
- Team Edition - $29 per active team room
- Enterprise Edition - pricing available upon request
One of the hardest things to do as a distributed Agile team is making sure that you make the most of your meetings. Jell is a tool that helps distributed Agile teams with their Daily Standups, regardless of the approach or framework. The tool sets up a format for Daily Standups where the team gets updates on who is working on what and what they did previously. Jell also facilitates check-ins for additional communication. In addition to this, the tool helps the team understand how individual and team goals and performance affect the big picture. Jell integrates with Slack, GitHub, JIRA and a number of other tools.
- Simple and intuitive Daily Standup feature
- Additional Check-Ins for added communication
- Alignment of goals across the project vertical
- Integrations with other commonly used tools
- Starter - $5 per user/month
- Plus - $10 per user/month
- Enterprise - pricing available upon request
It is a well-known fact that many organizations which decide to become Agile struggle with the process, often ending up with underwhelming results and all kinds of faux-Agile processes and teams. Agile Cockpit is an Agile transformation platform that helps avoid such outcomes by providing the organization with actionable data. The Agile Cockpit platform includes applications for Backlog management, gathering feedback, self-assessments of role holders in the organization, expense tracking, reporting and cross-vertical Kanban boards. The company also provides professional assessments and Agile training to large enterprises.
- Backlog management application
- App for gathering feedback
- ‘State of’ assessment tools
- Expense tracking application
- Reporting application
- Additional assessments and training
- $1 per user/month per App that is used
- Only custom packages available
At the core of every successful Agile product is a well-designed and well-maintained Product Backlog. StoryHub.io is a superbly lightweight solution for backlog management released very recently (at the moment of writing this guide). It represents the entire product backlog on a single storyboard, allowing for an instant overview of all the stories, their priority and the effect they will have on the product. StoryHub.io helps keep track of milestones and deadlines and it helps teams find out how their work affects them. The tool also features clean, useful interactive charts. The Active Sprint feature is still very basic, but, after all, this is not the priority for the tool.
- Impressively lightweight and highly visible Product Backlog
- Big-picture board
- Milestones, deadlines and predictions
- Insightful metrics and interactive charts
- Velocity estimations
- Basic - $19 per month (1 project, 5 members)
- Standard - $49 per month (5 projects, 10 members)
- Enterprise - pricing available upon request
Hygger is a product management software for Agile teams which follows a top-down kind of process. It starts with collecting of ideas, requests, research and anything else that might influence the product. The ideas are then given value and effort estimations and they are then put on the priority matrix (ICE, RICE prioritization). This enables the team to build the roadmap for the product. Hygger also provides Scrum and Kanban boards for delivering the product, complete with time tracking and some additional features.
- Idea management and prioritization
- Detailed roadmapping for product planning
- Kanban and Scrum boards
- In-app time tracking and estimations
- Standard - $9 per user/month
- Enterprise - $18 per user/month
One of the best (and unfortunately seldom done) ways to approach Product Backlog management is story mapping. With story mapping, the Backlog is turned from a list into a map that provides a more structured and scalable overview of the story hierarchy and groups. FeatureMap was developed precisely for this, giving teams unlimited maps for any project and helping them make visible the logic behind the product. Story cards are enriched with details and they can even host discussions on individual stories. FeatureMap also keeps track of what is happening with stories. It can be integrated into JIRA and Trello.
- Unlimited virtual story map
- Easy organization of stories into big picture
- Detailed story cards
- Discussions within story cards
- Tracking of story card status
- Integrations with JIRA and Trello
- FeatureMap Starter - free (2 maps and limited functionalities)
- FeatureMap Premium - $6 per user/month
Usabilla was not developed specifically for Agile teams, but if someone understands how important user feedback is for developing good software, it’s Agile teams. Usabilla offers user feedback gathering solutions for websites, mobile apps, individual web pages and emails. It enables Agile teams to get exhaustive and actionable user feedback on their product, as well as reports on any bugs. The tool features precise targeting for teams who want very specific feedback, as well as very detailed information about the users who provided their feedback (device type, battery status, screen resolution, etc.).
- Customized, non-intrusive feedback forms
- Advanced targeting functionality
- Visual representation of user feedback
- Data-rich results enabling proper reaction
- Pricing is customized per customers’ needs
One of the tenets of Agile software development is releasing software early and often instead of doing a single massive release every few months. While this has many advantages, it can sometimes lead to somewhat buggy releases. It is for this reason that Agile teams like to have an error monitoring ally and Airbrake provides exactly this kind of support. Airbrake catches errors as they happen, shows the exact trail of what led to the error and provides the context and the scope of the error in question. Airbrake enables teams to monitor their entire stacks and their product across all devices.
- Real-time error alerts
- Backtraces and Breadcrumbs for revealing trail of errors
- Aggregations which show variations in errors
- Streamlining of debugging process
- Custom variables for tracking important attributes
- Features for discovering trends in release quality
- Integrations with Slack, JIRA, Assembla, GitHub, GitLab, Zapier, etc.
There is no shortage of testing tools out there, but not that many of them are tailored specifically to Agile teams. TestRail is one such tool - specially designed for iterative development, sprints and frequent releases. It supports manual, automated and exploratory tests and it provides teams with data-rich agile testing reports and metrics. One of its distinctive features is the ability to predict future QA workload by factoring in past estimates compared against actual time that was spent on testing.
- Developed specifically for Agile testing
- Support for manual, automatic and Agile exploratory tests
- Burndown charts
- Predictive capabilities
- Data-rich analytics and reports for Agile teams
- Integration with Rally, Assembla, YouTrack, Trac, GitHub, JIRA and many more
- TestRail Cloud - $30 per user/month
- TestRail Server - $290 per user/year
Scrimba was originally developed as a tool for sharing screencasts and aimed at people who wish to teach or learn how to code. However, it can now also be used to collaborate on code remotely. Instead of telling you what you can do with Scrimba, we’ll let one of the creators, Per Harald Borgen explain it himself.
For distributed teams that still want to do Pair Programming, Scrimba is the perfect, super-lightweight solution.
- Peer-to-peer collaborative coding
- Super-lightweight (events, not video)
- Terminal access
- Live streaming of browser
- Free at the moment
The person behind Mountain Goat Software is Mike Cohn, one of the co-founders of both Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance and a true Scrum veteran. While Mountain Goat Software focuses on learning Agile and providing training, they also developed a few free Scrum tools - Velocity Range Calculator, Relative Weighting, Theme Screening, Theme Scoring, Project Success Sliders and Planning Poker. As you can guess, the tools are mostly used for planning and User Story management. They are simple, basic tools, but they can be very useful if used smartly.
- Estimating future velocity
- Prioritization of features, epics, themes, entire products and projects
- Communication of project expectations by stakeholders
- Planning Poker
Parabol is a software made for agile teams and everyone interested in continuous improvement. It is an online, multiuser Retrospective application and check-in meeting software perfect for co-located or remote teams. Parabol is free to get started and it is open-source. The tool offers customizable Retro templates to suit every agile team. This includes popular formats such as: "Start-Stop-Continue", "Glad-Sad-Mad", "4Ls", "Sailboat", "Working & Stuck".
- Multiuser grouping
- Customizable Retro templates
- Rich formatting and emojis
- Integrations (including Slack)
- Meeting summaries
- Assignable actions
- Data Export
- 3 Free Retrospectives per organization
- $5 per active user per month for Unlimited Retrospectives
- Free if a user self-hosts or creates a new organization