15+ Best Agile Project Management Tools For Work

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Choosing the right Agile Project Management Tool for your organization for management of projects/programs or tasks/ tickets can be a daunting task.  This blog aims to introduce the various tools and their features  in the market . There are a plethora of agile management tools available in the market at various price points, selecting the right agile project management tool is an important decision with far reaching consequences. This blog captures various tools in the market for agile project management and a short introduction to some of them.

This blog will attempt all variations of the following questions, which we get a lot  – 

What are the various agile project management tools in the market?

What are the best agile project tools you have used as consultants?

What is the best agile project tracking tool?

Can you list top agile project planning tools?

What are the top 5 tools of agile project management we should consider?

Which are the best agile tools?

Can you please give me a quick reference list of top agile tools?

What are the pros and cons of some of the most popular agile tools?

Where can I find a comprehensive agile tools list?

What is the best agile project management tool?

What is Agile Methodology?

Agile is a methodology or it could be called a set of behaviors and values terming it to be a mindset. Agile revolves around 12 principles and a set of values. The ability to imbibe these principles and possess the values in any industry for an individual or organization makes one Agile. The three states of Agile are Knowing Agile, Doing Agile, and Being Agile. By knowing Agile you are getting hold of these values and principles and doing state is when you make an effort to follow these principles and incorporate them into your practices, Being Agile is when Agility becomes your second nature. 

So why did this mindset or methodology come into existence? Agile methodology came into existence with the ever-changing needs of customers in this fast-paced world. Agile is about faster delivery while facing continuous demands from the market, gaining quick wins from the user, and understanding the relevance and currency of the product being developed throughout the development phase of the product/service, accommodating changes during the development phase without compromising on quality or time. 

Working hand in hand with businesses and clients is key to delivering value-added services or products in today’s VUCA world. Continuously incorporating customer feedback, making improvements, and showcasing value-added deliverables at frequent intervals is important to – 

  • Correct course faster
  • Embrace the change needed
  • Keep the customer engaged

It is also crucial to effectively engage team members and other concerned stakeholders- preferably face to face and to continually evolve the team in terms of pertinent technology advancements. We also need to prepare the team to improve in areas of performance, stability, resilience, etc through better technical design and architecture. This plays a major role in delivering value-added functionality, satisfying our customers, and managing other challenges posted in the VUCA world. To be able to cater to all the above Knowing, Doing, and Being Agile plays a major role. 

Agile ways of working embrace change. Transparency, visibility, collaboration, 

are key elements for a successful agile implementation. To bring these elements to the forefront, project management tools play a major role and act as catalysts in agile ways of project management. Majority of the tools in the market provide a platform for communication, discussion across teams. The tools present the progress of various projects under one window allowing stakeholders to get real time updates and stay aligned. Tasks,dependencies,issues can be easily managed with the help of these tools.

Best Agile Project Management Tools

Below are some of the agile project management tools in the market. Majority of the agile management tools listed below share many common features. Some of the tools widely used in the industry are JIRA, Asana, Trello and Github. 

Nifty

Nifty

Nifty is a project management tool which can be used when using the Scrum and Kanban frameworks in Agile project management. 

Key Features: Activity boards, Milestone Timeline view, Calendar view, Integrated  discussion tool, Workload dashboard, Budget tracking, efficient dependency management 

Widely Used For: Project management, Program management

Pros: All in one tool for handling multiple projects in 1 tool with collaboration done within. Seamless Collaboration with various facets of project like marketing, legal, HR, Mobile apps

Setup and Administration: Admins and project manager role

Limitations: Limited templates, Not heavy with customisation options

 

JIRA

jira

JIRA is one of the most popular Agile project management tool, it allows you to manage projects, and programs in one place, it is a cloud and subscription-based issue-tracking tool. 

Key Features: Program and Portfolio roadmapsScrum boards, Kanban Boards, automated reports, workflow management, permission management, customisation with ticket types, Filters , release management

Widely Used For: Bug & task tracking/monitoring, Agile Project management, service desk management both in IT and Non IT setup

Pros: Comes with predefined templates for scrum and Kanban, High level of customisation, predefined and automated reports, easy integration with tools like github and other pipeline related tools, Mobile Apps

Setup and Administration: Company-managed templates can be set up and maintained by JIRA admin to bring standardization across teams. Individual managed projects can be administered by teams

Limitations: Scaled agile framework and few portfolio level concepts like OKRs and budget management need additional plugins 

ProofHub

proofhub

Another multilingual agile project management tool is ProofHub. It is simple and straightforward task management software. This when used in project management gives multiple types of task views. 

Key Features: Task board, customisable workflows and boards, timeline view, Integrated collaboration tool, Multi Language support, inbuilt file management 

Widely Used For: Project management, Task monitoring

Pros: Simple to use for project with management, collaboration and file management all in one  place 

Setup and Administration: Admins and project manager role

Limitations: Limited predefined project templates, Not heavy with customisation options

Smartsheet

smartsheet

Smartsheet is an agile management tool that can be used to manage a project by helping to plan, organize, and track the progress of a project throughout the project life cycle. It offers a variety of features and tools that can be used to create a project plan, assign tasks and resources, track the progress of the project, and communicate with team members. 

Key Features: Activity monitoring, Dashboard and reports, timeline view, integration with external apps

Widely Used For: Dashboarding and reporting 

Pros: Powerful integrations with PowerBi and Tableau, Jira and Salesforce 

Setup and Administration: Admins and teams with permission

Limitations: lack of parent – child hierarchy with task monitoring, manual interventions for reporting of project 

Wrike

wrike

This project management tool has a host of functionalities for managing various phases of a project, tracking, and assigning tasks. Along with it is a powerful proofing tool. All the file types can be edited. Feedback collection on multiple file formats including videos, images, and documents is possible, stakeholders can comment directly on various files, compare various versions, and store version histories. 

Key Features: Scrum and Kanban Boards, Timeline view, File management, Time tracking, Budgeting, Automated reports and dashboards

Widely Used For: Managing individual simple projects 

Pros: Simple to use for project with management, collaboration and file management all in one  place 

Setup and Administration: Admins and Project Managers

Limitations: Integrations with other 3rd party apps are limited

Zoho Sprints

Zoho Sprints

An agile project management tool which can be used when teams are following scrum and kanban frameworks. 

Key Features: Scrum and Kanban Boards, Timeline view, Reports and dashboards, time tracking, integrations with 3rd party apps, mobile app

Widely Used For: Team level project management, release planning and execution 

Pros: Customisation options with workflow and dashboards, time management and tracking 

Setup and Administration: Admins and members with permissions

Limitations: Usability and user experience needs to be improved. A simple task can become difficult and tedious sometimes.

Monday.com

Monday.com

This is another tool from the agile management tools list that can be used for project and task management. Like other project management tools stated in this blog this can be used for portfolio management. The portfolio view gives the status of all projects, effort expended, etc. 

Key Features: Scrum and Kanban Boards, Portfolio management, OKRs, Resource management 

Widely Used For: Task management, Projects and Portfolio management, Goals and Strategy

Pros: Ease of use, Automation, All files in one place, Customisable dashboards rolling up to portfolio level

Setup and Administration: Admins and members with permissions

Limitations: Customisations need to be trail and error method as there is no much info on how to do it, importing options are limited 

Teamwork

Teamwork

All in one project management tool which can be used for project tracking, financial reporting and time tracking.

Key Features: Task management, Project planning, time tracking, billing and invoicing, capacity and load management & client onboarding 

Widely Used For: Client operations, revenue monitoring and task management 

Pros: Project planning is easy and client onboarding is smooth, Milestone tracking and altering can be seamless

Setup and Administration: Admins and members with permissions

Limitations: Task management can be complicate, app performance may not be up to the mark, Graphs and information radiators are limited

Active Collab

Active Collab

Active Collab is an all in one tool that gives you complete control over your work, taks, communication, team members and files. 

Key Features: Scrum and Kanban Boards, team collaboration, time and resource management, integrations and client management

Widely Used For: Project level planning,  monitoring and execution 

Pros: One tool for all aspects of project management from client onboarding, planning, executing and billing and invoicing 

Setup and Administration: Admins and Project Managers

Limitations: Filtering of tasks, default categories of tasks are limited, set up of multiple projects under one client could be challenging

Version one

Version one

Version one is an end to end platform to plan, track all your work items, defect and tasks.This is a cloud-based agile application lifecycle management (ALM) to track and report projects, programs, and portfolios

Key Features: Tracking sprint tasks, customisable workflows and integrations with other tools, inbuilt version control

Widely Used For: Scaled frameworks, multiple projects and portfolio level, roadmapping and planing, Bug tracking and reporting 

Pros: Inbuilt version control and dashboards and reporting, inbuilt testing practices, 

Setup and Administration: Admins and project owners

Limitations: Not intuitive to use, limited predefined templates and reports

Trello

Trello

Trello is an intuitive and simple project management tool mainly used to visualize the work (Kanban style) and for brainstorming ideas

Key Features: Kanban boards, deadline management, white boarding, integrations with almost every 3rd party apps, automation of the flow 

Widely Used For: Kanban Style projects, assigning and monitoring tasks 

Pros: Exceptionally user friendly boards, responsive design, affordable pricing, 

Setup and Administration: Admins and members with permissions

Limitations: Scrum and sprints are not available, limited customization, Scalability limitations 

Asana

Asana

This is another agile management tool which not only helps in tracking projects, tasks, work, the goals created can be aligned with the company objectives along with the progress. 

Key Features: Scrum and Kanban project templates, Goals and reporting, automation of process and workflows, resource management, 

Widely Used For: Scaled frameworks, multiple projects and portfolio level, roadmapping and planing, Bug tracking and reporting, OKRs  

Pros: Easy and user friendly, Integration with almost all apps,  

Setup and Administration: Admins and project managers

Limitations: Time tracking and basic features are missing, Learning curve required for the users, limited importing and exporting options

Basecamp

Basecamp

Simple yet intuitive  project management tool with one page dashboard for the projects, chats, files,  assignments, and schedule. 

Key Features: Message board for collaboration, kanban board, files system, to dos, automatic check ins, calendar view

Widely Used For: Simple projects with straightforward workflows

Pros: Files, chats, task boards, check ins all in one place 

Setup and Administration: Admins and members with permissions

Limitations: Reporting, scrum templates, issue types and customisations, integration options 

Axosoft

Axosoft

This tool is for teams using the Scrum framework under agile methodology. Sprint planning, capacity management, and team allocation are available at a glance.

Stack ranking feature allows you to rank work items in the backlog. Estimation in story points, minutes, hours, days, and weeks is also possible. 

Key Features: Scrum and kanban boards, ticketing system, strong integration with Git tools

Widely Used For: Scrum projects , bug tracking

Pros: Simple to manage work and integration with Git 

Setup and Administration: Admins and members with permissions

Limitations: Learning curve, customisation of workflows and issue types are limited, reporting options are not much

Pivotal Tracker

Pivotal Tracker

Pivotal tracker  is an agile project management tool that helps you to create a backlog, stories, etc. This tool helps you to track project progress. This tool divides the stories and plants them in future sprints by learning from your team’s pace of work.  

Key Features: Scrum boards, notifications, task management, automated dashboards, project history 

Widely Used For: Scrum and kanban projects. Projects which has multiple teams working 

Pros: Easy to use, comes with predefined templates of issue types and flows

Setup and Administration: Admins and members with permissions

Limitations: Customisation and configuration options are limited, Lacks basic project management tools like Gantt charts, reporting options/ templates are limited

Notion

Notion

All in one project management tool powered by AI. Just Drag and drop way to get started with Sprints, planning, etc. The Project’s timeline view shows a bigger picture of dependencies, progress, etc. You can add a calendar view to any project to see what’s planned, slipped, delayed, etc. 

Key Features: Product Roadmap, Task and stories tracking with boards, rolling of work items to big picture, automation of workflow, integration with 3rd party tools

Widely Used For: Scrum and kanban projects. 

Pros: predefined templates for use, cost efficient, time saving in setup 

Setup and Administration: Admins and members with permissions

Limitations: Steep learning curve, Complexity with configurations, limited table functions, low performance  

How to choose agile tools?

With numerous agile management tools available in the market with overlapping features, it gets very difficult to zero in on one right tool for the teams. Here are a few pointers that can be considered while choosing the right Agile methodology tool for your team.

1.Team size

Identify the number of teams and the size who are going to work with the tool. If the number of users are less ( 10-15) lightweight tools like Trello, Asana, Wrike,Proofhub provide enough features to get started . These tools provide boards like Kanban, backlogs to support agile ways of working. For midsize teams between  Jira, Azure DevOps, or Monday.com are popular options with more advanced permissions, workflows, integrations and analytics. For larger enterprises JIRA, Rally supports larger portfolios and programs. If the teams are geographically dispersed, cloud based tools make more sense.

2. Project complexity

Understand the project environment before deciding on any agile project           management tool. When working under a program umbrella , handling intra, inter teams, their dependencies and risks , communications becomes stressful. Tools that support such programs and projects , have inbuilt features as advanced roadmaps, Program planning will be beneficial.

When dealing with complex projects choose a tool that allows collaboration and communication around dependent projects. Integrations with chat tools, due dates, and notifications improve coordination in a complex project 

Environment. If scaling is in the plan a tool that supports frameworks like SAfe must be chosen.

3. Customer support

Level of support provided by the Agile methodology tools vendor must be considered. Training ,resources,and help desk support are very important for overcoming challenges faced by the team during the initial days of setup. 

4. Pricing

Pricing and budget is another important element when choosing an agile tool.Based on the team size , complexity, features, a wide range of licensing models and pricing tiers are available for the tools. Many tools based on the choice of features are free in the market. Trello, Monday etc are free. Consider the number of users, license costs for the users, cost of integration with other tools, maintenance costs etc.

5. Reporting & Dashboards

Data driven decision making is an important element. Extraction and analyses of data should be a click away in any agile project management tool.. Using excel to present data must be avoided. Presentation of data using charts and dashboards  is key to planning and tracking progress . Agile project tracking tools which allow project information to roll up to programs must be considered. Such Program level dashboards and rollup reports are important for large teams to track progress across multiple projects

6.Integrations and Ecosystem

The majority  tools present in the market allow you to integrate with many other tools. With faster release and deployment as primary criteria  it is very important to have seamless ,end to end traceability from building to deployment of code. Having visibility of progress across various phases of development is crucial. Jumping between tools to understand progress can be very cumbersome. When picking the tool for your teams ensure there is easy third party tool  integration.

7. User experience & Learning curve needed

The tool must be user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to navigate. The tool must also be easily scalable to accommodate your team’s growth.  The interfaces of the tool must be attractive, clean and easy to use. For new users finding information, creation of views or fields shouldnt be complex.

Enabling users to manage boards and workflows from anywhere helps teams who are distributed and remote. Consider a tool which makes onboarding of new users easier and less time consuming.

Which Agile tool is best for your team?

The question doesn’t have a single straightforward answer. To find out which of the Agile methodology tools is the best for the team, first determining the needs, project requirements, and budget are important. If an organization is into Agile project management and is scaling with frameworks like Scrum and Kanban JIRA offers extensive options and can be easily integrated with other tools for better report/data generation.  

Asana and Trello are good too. Jira also provides advanced roadmaps, plans, and dependency management bringing transparency and visibility. Popular collaboration and communication tools can be integrated with Miro, Murel, and Microsoft Teams. For CI/CD pipelines, automation, DevOps kind of activities Gitlab. GitHub is suitable to support end-to-end development lifecycles.

Why are consulting firms helpful for business?

A transformation led by internal specialists or change leaders may not have the same kind of momentum, or results as opposed to led by external consultants. Internal Agile evangelists or change agents face a certain amount of friction and also lack the autonomy to bring about the changes needed for an organization to be transformed.  

When external consultants are engaged in helping organizations transform the existing state the results would be faster and more structured as the consultants work with a structured approach and a time-bound plan. This helps organizations save time and resources that would otherwise be spent. External consultants are focused on one thing on their plate, they can create positive tension and a sense of urgency which helps teams achieve goals on time

At Benzne Agile Consulting Services, we stress on an “outside-in” perspective and hands-on practitioners with experience of leading multiple agile transformations in varied, complex work environments across the globe.  Our consultants spend time understanding customer’s needs, problems, and end goals by conducting interviews and employing various tried and tested approaches. Consultants share their findings, recommendations and tailor the approach to contextualize to the client organization. Being unbiased and thinking outside the system consultants can onboard stakeholders across the spectrum faster and create a self -sustaining and stable environment. External consultants also, by virtue of the nature of their role and width of their experience stay abreast of industry standards and technologies.

We, at Benzne bring in business objective focus, and in-depth experience in designing and implementing turnkey agile transformation journeys in a time bound, sustainable, and scalable model. We spend time understanding our customer’s needs, problems, and end goals during the due diagnostics phase and evolve an agile business transformation strategy roadmap in close collaboration with client business stakeholders leveraging the best industry practices and a customized mix of various agile frameworks like Scrum, kanban, XP, etc suited to the client context, identifying the resources that will be needed, developing a budget for the transformation and establishing a governance structure is important to ensure that the Agile transformation is managed effectively.

Conclusion

Although the top features and all the relevant agile project management tools are listed above, what matters most in the selection of the appropriate tool is the needs of the project and the team. 

Right agile project tools empowers project managers, scrum masters and teams  to view, organize, prioritize, and manage everyday work with a high level of automation. Tools allow seamless real-time collaboration between team members as they  review,approve the work  done  on docs . Time and progress tracking option, information radiators provide different views and these views can be tailor based on stakeholder needs.  An interactive Gantt chart brings greater transparency and visibility.

There is no one right or apt tool. The right fit comes into picture based on the organization needs, culture and the usage. As agile advocates continuous improvement, inspection and adaptation, check the fitment of the tool periodically and if the need arises tailor the tool or bring in another one if the existing tool doesn’t serve the purpose. Please refer to our other blogs for more information, quick tips on agile tools and techniques. Please drop a message at consult@benzne.com if you want help in your agile transformation journey. Check our website to know more about Benzne Agile Transformation Services.

 

FAQ Questions:

1. What are the 5 phases of an agile project management tool?

Agile project management tools can be used in all phases of an agile project.

In the initiation stage of the phase where discovery is done to create a product backlog, the tool will be of great use. Identification of stakeholders, creation of an overall plan, high-level estimation, and identification of epics is done in the initiation.

The second phase is planning. In this phase, the timeline of the project is divided into iterations which are timeboxed. User stories which are broken down from epics are prioritized, size estimated, and planned in the sprints for delivery.

The execution and planning phases are continuous throughout the project life cycle. The user stories planned for the iteration are delivered in the execution phase.

The incremental deliverables are released at the end of a few iterations and that can be called the release phase. Every sprint/iteration ends with an inspect and adapt phase where feedback is incorporated into the upcoming sprints.

The closure phase triggers when all the iterations have been completed. As per agile principles, the delivery phase is throughout the project.

2. What are the 4 types of agile?

There is no term called as types of agile. Agile is a methodology and it is an umbrella encompassing many frameworks. These frameworks are chosen for a project based on multiple criteria like the number of feedback loops, iteration duration, release cycle, etc. The popular frameworks are Scrum, Kanban, XP, SAFe, and DSDM.

3. What does Scrum stand for and what are agile scrum tools?

SCRUM is an iterative and incremental model under the Agile umbrella. The teams get their work done by delivering small chunks of functionality at shorter intervals of time by continuously incorporating feedback loops at the end of each iteration. The word Scrum is not an acronym but a word inspired by the sport of Rugby. In rugby the team works very closely to move the ball forward. Scrum derives its inspiration from Rugby making it the collective responsibility of the team to build and move the product forward.

There is no specific agile scrum tool, although many of the tools above can be used extensively while implementing scrum as a framework like JIRA or ADO.

4. What are agile practices and tools?

Agile practices are Scrum, Kanban, XP, Scrumban, Crystal, and many more. Tools used for managing these frameworks are listed above. Eg: JIRA, Trello, Asana etc

4. Why use agile tools?

Agile tools make collaboration easy. As the agile project tools also have boards to showcase progress, and resource usage the element of visibility and transparency is inbuilt. Remote collaboration is very easy with many of the agile tools. DevOps, CI/CD is also easily integrated making releases faster, easier, and trackable. Use this blog as a reference to shortlist the best tool of agile development and select the most appropriate agile project tracking tool for your team and project.

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