Agile project management is more popular than ever. That’s because over 75 percent of organizations realize the value of agile methods for delivering projects. But, given the recent rise in remote work, managers are struggling to find agile project management tools that fit their needs.
This article will guide you through the best agile tools, taking a look at their key features and costs to inform your buying decision!
Specifically, we’re going to look into tools for:
- Agile Planning
- Team/Resource Management
- Agile Estimation
- Scrum Tools for Backlog Management
- Source Control
- Continuous Integration & Deployment
Let’s get started.
Agile Planning Tools
Agile planning sets out a project in an iterative way, allowing you to deliver value faster! This planning happens at many different levels within an organization, but it is especially important for project managers.
To help, here are some of the best agile planning tools.
1. Toggl Plan
Toggl Plan makes the agile planning process simple via the timeline.
The plan timeline shows a clear end-to-end view of your entire project, highlighting key dependencies and milestones.
You can then assign team members, create to-do’s, and add tags. After this, use the monthly, three-monthly, or yearly views to see the high-level roadmap.
Toggl Plan also makes it easy to keep project stakeholders in the loop.
You can share a read-only view of the plan timeline. That way, you can get timely approvals from them, and keep stakeholders up-to-date without bothering them with everyday details.
For up to five users, Toggl Plan is completely free. Need premium features? It’s just $8 per user/month with no minimum on user numbers.
Forecast offers a simple tool for managing all types of projects. Built on a sophisticated AI engine, its strength comes from its automatic ability to deconflict tasks against other projects.
Its timeline allows you to manage dependencies at a glance. This is useful when setting up ceremonies such as stand-ups, sprints, and backlog refinements.
Pricing starts at $29 per seat/month with a minimum of 10 seats. Pro and Enterprise packages are also available, throwing in enhanced reporting and integration features.
Monday.com’s success is built upon simplifying the project management process. The tool focuses on providing visual representations of tasks, team progress, and blockers.
Planning your project is as simple as a click and drag, with bespoke customizations easy to implement. Clarity is king here, with different views available for effective decision making!
No free plans are available. Basic subscriptions start at $8 per seat/month, rising to $16 for Pro. 50+ users or enterprise features will need a bespoke quote.
Agile Team & Resource Management Tools
Team resource management includes managing your team’s workload to maximize efficiency. This ensures team members are assigned to the right projects without being overworked.
Resource management is key for project managers, so let’s take a look at the agile tools that can help.
Agile planning and resource management go hand in hand. Toggl Plan does both for you.
The team timeline gives resource managers an overview of individual workloads. That way, you can identify who has spare capacity and who is flat out.
This will also help identify any scheduling conflicts.
Given agile planning can also be managed in Toggl Plan, it’s simple to assign people to new tasks, safe in the knowledge that no re-allocation will be required.
Team timelines are included in both free and the premium $9 per user, per month plan.
Mavenlink combines project and resource tools to offer an all-in-one agile project management software. It delivers ultimate collaboration by linking up with tools such as Salesforce and Slack.
Filter team members by location or department whilst getting an overall view of their time allocations. Need further information? Break down the task load to see exactly what’s occupying their day.
Mavenlink’s Team plan starts at $19 per seat/month with a minimum of five users. Prices rise for their Professional and Premier plans with additional features available.
Another great tool for resource management is Float. Offering a clean and simple dashboard, Float’s strengths come from its integrated time tracking.
Depending on the focus, switch between people or project views and produce detailed reporting on workloads. Once tasks are complete, Float makes it easy to generate invoices — great for resource budgeting.
For resource planning, Float starts at $5 per seat/month with no minimum on the number of users. Throw in the time tracking and you’re up to $10 per seat/month.
Agile Estimation Tools
At the backlog and iteration levels of the agile planning process, teams need to plan the work ahead of them. There are different techniques to help achieve this including story points, planning poker, and t-shirt sizing!
To ensure the estimation process is structured, try using an agile estimation tool.
The leading agile estimation tool comes from PlanningPoker.com. It takes the poker method of agile estimation and gamifies it with bespoke customizations and modes.
The web app also integrates with tools such as Jira to ensure outputs are effectively recorded. Plus, it also reports on team velocity to assist with future planning.
Get started with planning poker for $14.95/month for up to 10 users. Premium sits at $49.95/month with no limit on user numbers or poker games.
VivifyScrum is an all-in-one agile project management software. This tool includes a planning poker feature too. Simply invite team members to cast their vote on the size of your items.
Given this is part of their larger suite, estimations then feed into the backlog ready to be developed by the team.
According to VivifyScrum’s website, you can get started with up to 10 users for only $10 per month. And you pay more for more users.
Jira is a popular agile development tool and it’s great for estimating. It comes with an Estimate field out of the box which can be set for story points or man-hour estimates.
Naturally, this estimation feeds into the wider agile project management process allowing you to track velocity and compare estimates to actuals.
Jira is free for up to 10 users. If you have a larger team, or want some premium features, pricing plans start at $10 per seat/month.
Backlog (Scrum) Management Tools
When working with agile, and particularly scrum, an up-to-date backlog is key to delivering customer value. Over time a backlog must be adjusted, groomed, and prioritized to ensure the stories are ready for development.
There are a number of backlog management tools out there that streamline the process – here are some of the best tools in this category.
Backlog management is another feature of Toggl Plan.
With Toggle Plan’s boards, you can easily create and manage your backlog items from one place. Utilize tags, to-do’s, and notes to flesh out the requirements before assigning them to the relevant team member.
It’s simple to manage development progress too. Customize the swim lanes and drag-and-drop your items from to-do to done. Clever filtering and a clean one-page view make backlog management easy for the whole team.
Toggl Plan boards are included in both free and premium plans ($9 per user/month)
Trello is one of the earliest Kanban tools for managing backlogs.
It’s really easy to set up and customize. Create custom statuses and drop in task cards accordingly.
Aside from visualizing items through the process, Trello also integrates with popular tools such as G-Suite and Slack.
Get started with Trello for free with no user limits. The Business plan starts at $9.99 per seat/month with the Premium plan at $20 per seat/month.
As the name suggests, Backlog is perfect for all backlog management needs. Its boards ensure visualizing information is a breeze. Backlog also crunches the numbers, providing Burndown and Gantt reporting.
Backlog is great if you’re on the move, with an intuitive app that integrates with tools such as Slack.
Backlog’s free package will set you up for 1 project with a maximum of 10 users. Starter, Standard, and Premium packages are available at $35, $100 & $175 per month respectively.
Source Control Tools
As teams iterate their products, keeping a close eye on the source code is important. The terms ‘source control’ and ‘version control’ are often used interchangeably when managing software code.
Whichever term is used, there are many agile tools that ensure software teams are working on the right thing.
One of the best known agile development tools, Git provides a lightweight solution for managing code. By utilizing Distributed Version Control Systems (DVCSs) it also helps to reduce errors by tracking each change in a different virtual system.
Git is an open-source product with a strong community of world-class developers.
You can download Git for free and host it on your own. If you don’t want to host Git on your own, Github is a popular service (which can also be integrated with Toggl Plan).
Like Git, HelixCore offers a lightweight solution for source control management. It has some handy additional features including update pulls, historical snapshotting, and multi-developer collaboration.
HelixCore provides a thorough auditing system, ensuring teams can track individual changes as part of their compliance processes. Plus, it also integrates into other repositories, including Git, so work can be shared securely.
HelixCore is free for up to five users and 20 workspaces. If you need access for a larger team, subscriptions are available on a bespoke basis.
Apache Subversion or SVN is another popular source control tool.
Its merge feature allows for a quick and easy combination of codebases, ensuring accuracy is maintained. Files can also be locked to restrict unauthorized changes with ‘read-only’ mirrors for external reviews.
SVN is also open source so you’ll pay nothing to use the software as well as get future updates for free.
Continuous Integration & Deployment Tools
Continuous Integration & Deployment Tools are designed to help software development teams make continuous changes to their products. Often referred to as the CI/CD pipeline, operating in this way automates the deployment process and reduces technical complexity.
When it comes to agile development tools, mastering CI/CD is highly beneficial. Here are some of the standout names.
Easily the biggest name in deployment software, Jenkins provides a range of agile software development tools for building, testing and deploying code. It also helps manage environments, making sure that the destination is just as secure as the code.
Jenkins prides itself on its simplicity. Its large array of extensions mean you can bolt on additional features, often at no extra cost.
Jenkins is completely open-source and you’ll pay nothing to use the software with no maximum user numbers.
CircleCI is a specialist tool for rapid software development and publishing. With flexible hosting, configuration and resource options, CircleCI creates the perfect environment for any developer.
It has a range of integrations with services such as Git, Slack, and G-Suite. Workflow jobs take the manual interventions away, allowing teams to deploy and bug-fix faster.
CircleCI has a free plan but it limits the resource power available. The Performance plan allows teams to scale up at $15 per seat/month with the Enterprise plan is available on a bespoke basis.
The final CI/CD tool we’ll take a look at is Bamboo. Utilizing up to 100 remote builds, Bamboo speeds up the concurrent testing and deployment process to give teams fast and actionable feedback.
It automatically detects changes in repositories such as Git and SVN thus creating a fully automated CI pipeline.
Bamboo’s pricing structure works on ‘agents’ rather than users. The initial subscription is just $10 per year. If you need more power, subscriptions are available with up to 1,000 remote agents at $145,000.
Choosing Agile Project Management Tools For Your Team
When it comes to Agile Project Management there are many disciplines that can be improved using agile tools. From managing your agile planning, to software code control, there are many tools out there to improve ways of working.
Choosing a tool comes down to your budget, team size, and the level of automation you’re looking for.
If you are looking for simpler agile project management tools, consider giving Toggl Plan a try.
Toggl Plan is a simple, affordable tool for planning projects, tracking task progress, and managing your team. And if you already use Github, Toggl Plan comes with an integration to help manage software projects.