Want your team to become more agile? We help you choose the right project management application.
‘Agile’ project management has taken software industry by storm over the past decade – enabling developers to deliver applications quickly while meeting customers’ needs – and now other areas of business are also adopting the methodology.
As we’ve explained previously, agile takes a faster, more iterative and collaborative approach to projects than the traditional ‘waterfall’ method of project management.
Changing the way you work isn’t necessarily easy, however. Thankfully, there are applications that can help you and your team make the transition.
But which agile tool should you use? There are so many out there that making a choice can seem daunting. Here we’ll help you make the right choice.
What to look for
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to agile, so different teams should look for different things in an agile tool. However, there are a few basic things to keep in mind when making your choice.
You should ensure the agile tool:
- Doesn’t add needless extra features or complexity that disrupts your workflow
- Allows you to track project progress
- Lets you take down notes, such as feedback or requests from users and other stakeholders
- Supports ‘scrum’ – for teams that follow this style of agile – by allowing you to review ‘sprints’ (designated periods of time to rapidly accelerate the project) so you can take of notes on the lessons to take forward into the next one.
But above all, keep it simple. Remember, agile is about streamlining the process of delivering a project.
Here are some of the more impressive agile tools available for you to use as a starting point.
Asana focuses on collaboration to help agile teams work more cohesively on scrum projects, providing dashboards and conversations to keep everyone on track
Who’s it for? Everybody from independent developers to enterprises
Key features: Project tracking, mobile app, real-time collaboration, goal-setting, multiple workspaces, team management.
Pricing: Free for up to 15 users; US$9.99 per user per month for Premium subscription.
Atlassian JIRA is one of the most commonly used tools, according to Version One’s 10th Annual State of Agile report, with 51% of respondents using it, JIRA lets you plan and track projects and improve team performance with real-time data
Who’s it for? Small and large businesses.
Key features: Trello-like Scrum boards, real-time sprint performance data, bug tracker, mobile apps, developer tool integrations.
Pricing: US$10 per month for up to 10 users; from US$75 per month for 15 users.
Pivotal Tracker gives teams one view of all their project priorities, and has workspaces that let you view your projects side by side, as well as team analytics.
Who’s it for? Everybody from independent developers to enterprises.
Key features: Automatic planning that encourages consistency, one view for entire project, workspaces for multiple projects, performance data, integrations with 140 apps.
Pricing: Free for up to three users; from US$12.50 (five private projects and five users) for startups; from $62.50 (15 users and unlimited projects) for ‘pro’ users.
Taiga is an open source agile tool that its creators say is a reaction to bloated, ugly software they had been stuck using
Who’s it for? Agile developers, designers and project managers
Key features: Supports Scrum, Kanban and Epics project styles, simple and clean interface, almost fully customisable, users vote on upcoming features
Pricing: Free for one ‘private’ project with up to four users, US$19 per month for five private projects with up to 25 users, ranging up to US$99 per month for 50 private projects.
Version One’s strength lies in its focus on collaboration and scaling agile for a whole company, though the interface has room for improvement
Who’s it for? Small to large businesses
Key features: Ability to scale, collaboration forums, user requests, management insight, integrates with enterprise tools and team tools
Pricing: Free for one project and up to 10 users; enterprise edition starts at US$29.99.
Most of these tools have free options or trials that allow you to assess them, which we'd strongly recommend you to do before parting with any cash. If none of these suit the way you work, there are plenty of other options, as revealed in our comparison of project management tools.
This feature is based on an article that originally appeared at IT Pro.