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7 of the Top Agile Project Management Software

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Update 11/28/16: This post has been updated with additional standout agile software options that have been added or improved over the past year and a half.

Agile Project Management Software

With agile on the rise, Agile project management software has become more competitive than ever. The best software addresses three pain points common for Agile teams:

  • Agile reporting and metrics: Time tracking and projection, easy-to-understand progress reports for stakeholders, quality assurance, and percentage complete
  • Communication: Communicate updates with local and distributed teams, and share task lists, feedback, and assignments
  • Project assessment: Identify and remedy project obstacles, evaluate performance, and appraise financials

With these needed features in mind, I dove into the world of some of the top Agile project management software and narrowed down the list to these seven great options. They are listed below alphabetically.

ActiveCollab

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ActiveCollab is a great, affordable solution for small businesses. Because it’s so easy to use, project managers don’t need to stress about teaching their team how to use this celebrated software. Its powerful document management, email-based communication features, priority and task control, and budgeting features have made it particularly attractive for project managers trying to manage multiple projects.

Pros: Intuitive, outstanding support, iOS apps, can bill the client straight through the app, time tracking, and the ability to limit which user sees what.

Cons: Timeline and column views for tasks instead of Gantt.

Cost: Self-hosted at $499; $49/month for up to 15 team members.

Agilo for Scrum

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If you have a project that needs a powerful communication tool, Agilo for Scrum is one of your better bets. Agilo for Scrum automatically updates stakeholders on the project’s progress. It also offers tools to make sure that all team members are aware of the latest updates; every change made by a user is automatically shown to their teammates by the “Incoming Activity” panel. Additionally, Agilo offers a “Sprint Report” and burn down charts for project managers looking to data mine their progress.

Pros: A great communication system, responsive support team (24-hour response time), and well-priced.

Cons: No ability to host more than one project, no mobile app, and some have noted that the system is difficult to learn.

Cost: €10 a month for unlimited users, one team, one project, or €20 for unlimited users, unlimited teams, and 1 project.

Atlassian Jira + Agile

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As one of the trusted brands in Agile software, Atlassian Jira + Agile is quick to deliver a powerful project management tool that can fit most offices. Teams can use this product as either a self-hosted or cloud-based solution. Atlassian Jira + Agile offers Scrum, Kanban, and integrates with JIRA, Confluence, and other Atlassian products. Project managers can make customized workflows, visualize QA issues, and keep in constant communication with “HipChat,” and the software offers a system called “Release Hub” that makes sure your product is really “complete” when it’s sent out to the final customer.

Pros: Mobile app, strong backlog management, and lots of add-ons so project managers can customize the software to their team’s needs.

Cons: There are so many features that Atlassian Jira + Agile has a strong learning curve for new users, and switching between apps can be a pain.

Cost: Starts at $10/mo for 10 users, scales up based on users.

Pivotal Tracker

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Pivotal Labs, a consultancy on software development, created Pivotal Tracker to specifically assist web and mobile developers. Pivotal Tracker supports multiple projects, burndown charts, messaging between users, project-based tasks, and user stories. Pivotal Tracker is relatively easy to use (after you get beyond the program’s jargon), has a fantastic iOS app, and offers a nice set of feedback tools, so QA is always at the forefront of the project.

Pros: Great specifically for Agile software development, lots of integrations (including Jira, Zendesk, and Bugzilla), supports cross-functional teams, and free for individuals and public projects.

Cons: Support can be slow for non-paying users and the system is difficult to customize.

Cost: Free for three users, 2GB of storage, and two private projects; also free for public projects, non-profits, and academic institutions. Starts at $12.50/month for five collaborators and goes up to $250/month for 50 collaborators.

SprintGround

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If Kanban is more of your style but Trello isn’t cutting it, SprintGround is worth investigating. SprintGround was made with software developers in mind — users can easily parse out projects, versions, and releases. SprintGround also has a framework that encourages developers to look at feature requests, suggestions, and questions in addition to offering traditional bug tracking functionality.

Pros: Great for software development, encourages customer-driven product development, and has many traditional Scrum functions like burndown charts.

Cons: File storage is limited regardless of which plan you choose.

Cost: Free for three users, two projects, and 50MB of file storage. Starts at €24 a month for eight users, unlimited projects, and 1GB of storage. At the high end (for firms with more than 21 collaborators), SprintGround charges €5 per user, per month.

Targetprocess

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Targetprocess’s motto is “think visually, work effectively,” and it bills itself as a visual management software. Don’t let their focus on aesthetics fool you; this gorgeous software has plenty of teeth to support your Agile needs, as it has for big names like Marriott, Ancestry.com, Cisco and ThyssenKrupp. Its emphasis is on data visualization above heavy charts and next-to-useless spreadsheets, so it’s easy for any project manager to pick up. The software offers pre-prepared solutions for each person on your project team; there’s space for the Scrum master to customize development flow, for an IT manager to get his tickets straight, and for a product owner to emphasize which features are most important for the company or client.

Pros: Gorgeous, unique design that’s great for enterprise companies.

Cons: The company charges $150 per hour for training on how to use their own product for “free” members (paid members get training for free).

Cost: Free for up to 1,000 entities  (“entities” being anything from bugs, requests, tasks, etc). Scales up from $20 per user per month for unlimited entities, premium support, and free training up to a custom enterprise plan (with custom pricing) for companies looking for more-secure hosting (single sign-on, private cloud, etc). The private cloud can either be hosted on-premises or in the environment provided by Targetprocess. If hosted by the client, Targetprocess charges $220 per user, per year.

VersionOne

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VersionOne is the eighth most popular project management software in the world—and it’s well deserved, considering its intuitive user interface, ability to customize for any style of Agile your team uses (DSDM? Scrum? XP? You name it), and visual, easy-to-understand reporting features. Users can pick up VersionOne and quickly learn how to drag-and-drop on the Kanban boards, place comments, and keep up with their teammates’ and personal tasks right from the dashboard. VersionOne also syncs with a host of ALM development tools, including Jira, GIT, HP Quality Center, and Microsoft Visual Studio, so you won’t have to leave your current workspaces behind.

Pros: Easy to use, great integration systems, and good for remote teams.

Cons: Overwhelming number of features and the free version is very limited.

Cost: Free for one project and one team; scales up to $175 a month and beyond based on users and features.

More?

If it’s time to transition to software that’s specific to your Agile needs, check out some of these options for your team’s communication, reporting, and assessment requirements.

Have you ever used any of these products? Were there any outstanding Agile project management software products that I missed? Leave your thoughts and comments below!

Ever used any of these top agile tools? Love them? Hate them? Either way, let us know with a review!

Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Rachel Burger

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Rachel is a content manager for Capterra, a free online resource that quickly matches businesses to their software needs. She specializes in construction and project management . She also runs her own blog on content marketing. On the rare occasion Rachel isn't writing, she's reading, hiking, jogging, or spending time with her friends and family.

Comments

Interesting list of tools supporting classic agile – however sometimes these can be a bit ‘heavy’. I developed https://123.do to provide a light weight option – simple task queues where things move from: do, doing to done.

I use Kantree in my every day work and I think it’s a powerful management tool behind a kanban board. It is easily customizable to suit your own process. It’s pretty easy to use and master (unlike Jira). No mobile app for the moment (but the website is responsive).

why no mention of rally?

We use Quire and find it quite helpful, especially when the product backlog is fragmented. This article has a good exmaple: https://medium.com/quire-you/make-your-product-backlog-speak-the-whole-story-69da1829a1f5

You should mention the Open Source Taiga.io

I use VersionOne in my company. It is one of the best tool in comparison with others in market. Good reporting options and tracking the backlog items.

Hey, Good article ! i found it quite interesting about Agile Project Management. I am an Agile Enthusiast and a keen learner. If you would be searching for some more tips on Agile Management and Certifications, I would suggest you to visit http://goo.gl/DIzLYB for more insights.I would suggest you to go through their study guides, chapter tests and videos once.

[…] Agile project Management Apps become more feature rich and accessible to many scatteered and disparate users, the free plugins […]

Thanks For sharing ! But one of the best app i ever used is project planning pro.
It can be used for the simplest to the most complex project management.it allows you to create, update, manage your Microsoft Project plans on mac,iPad,Iphone,Android device with some useful features like import and export to Drop box.

Great article!
I’m completely biased because I work at Sprintly, however, Sprintly should be on this list. Thousands of Startups and Agencies that use our solution and many of them have come from Jira or Pivotal Tracker because they were looking for something that had good user story support but was still very simple to use. https://sprint.ly

I really enjoyed the article. I will agree with some others. Rally is probably one of the largest and biggest Agile products out there (probably one of the most expensive as well) I was surprised it isn’t in this list. It recently changed it’s name to CA Technologies. I know Cisco uses it as well. We are looking to drop it as it is so expensive and is why we were researching.

One other point, Agile Bench doesn’t exist anymore. I wish it did, I rather liked the point that it could be integrated into BitBucket and GitHub. When I did a few searches. Their Twitter and Facebook haven’t had anything for 2 years and their website is down. Unfortunate death of yet another startup that could have been. Might remove that and put CA in it’s place!

Retrium (www.retrium.com) is another tool that’s not on this list. It has a different focus than these tools: running amazing retrospectives (full disclosure: I’m the co-founder of Retrium). If you struggle with your retros, you should check it out. It includes a set of interfaces to popular retro techniques, like Start Stop Continue, Mad Sad Glad, and more. Enjoy 🙂

Nice article. To manage some of these issues I use Semantic Sales — it helps to deal with mess in e-mail and helping to get contact info of your collegues. For example, when I have not answer to my email, it send me social accounts data of contact. Its not an app or plugin, i registered once and it works in any device or browser. You definetly should try! https://semanticsales.com

JamBuster has two tools for agile teams to craft great software: SoftALM (http://www.jambuster.in/softalm.html) & SoftAgile (http://www.jambuster.in/softagile.html). The beauty of these software are these built not as generic project management software, but specific for product focussed Agile + waterfall ALM (SoftALM) and project focussed Agile teams. Thus both of these software come integrated out-of-box with backlog management, test management, regression, but and defect management along with issue management. Thus you don’t have to keep on buying all these plugins.

Version One’s interface Intuitive? Are you serious? From my 10+ years of using the tool it is not intuitive at all. The extensive pop ups, highly customizable, etc get in the way. There is like 5 differ toDo fields if I recall and I never figured out what one of them was about. It is a zero retention UI. Yes it is customizable.. But not intuitive.

Makes me wonder about the comparison

We use Apa in our company. It supports both Agile and Lean. I like it so far – it’s lightweight and has all features we need like boards, time tracking, burndown chart and so on.
Here’s their website: apascrum.com

We developed an add-on for estimating story points in JIRA Agile based on the Planning Poker method to speed up the process (and also to have some fun).

Scrum Poker for JIRA. Poker cards for estimation in iOS and Android apps, points saved to JIRA. Free to try. Would love to hear your feedback.

https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/com.sf.jira.scrumpoker/server/overview

Thanks for the list, it’s always worthy looking at something like that. But I’m surprized you didn’t mention the one from http://kanbantool.com which perfectly uses the ‘think visually, work effciently’ rule 🙂

I highly recommend Taiga – https://taiga.io/. It’s an excellent tool.

In JIRA, the sub-task estimates don’t roll up to the story estimate. That bug has been around since 2013.
In addition, you can’t embed epics in epics, which severely constrains how you organize your Feature Epic-StoryEpic-Story-subtask hierarchy.

I agree with others, why no mention of Rally, I think Rally along with Atlassian Jira are the top ones and most expensive ones as well.

You might also be interested in looking at Kanbanara at http://www.kanbanara.com

Which of these would be good for a one-person development team? I have a lot of different projects tasks that I need to track,schedule, and estimate completion date time. I have several feature backlogs for products i am developing and supporting. The information about these projects is considered confidential so I cannot store it outside of the corporate network.

Is there a product out there for this use case?

My choice is https://www.vivifyscrum.com, it has very cool design and works fine, has good support and it’s simple to use, also has and kanban board…

[…] there are a lot of options to choose from when looking for agile planning software, I recommend starting with VersionOne. In my years working […]

My personal favourite is Microsoft Team Foundation Server (https://www.visualstudio.com/team-services/agile-tools/).

It has all the functionalities I need to support our Scrum Team (Product-/Sprint Backlog Management, Capacity Management, Kanban-/Scrum Boards, Dashboards).

Above all I find it easy to use, graphically appealing and it is free for teams up to 5 users (smallest possible Scrum team size according to Scrum Guide ;).

[…] software you use. Many marketing organizations have invested the time and effort to use the same Agile project management tools that software developers use while others are starting small. Below are some of the tools I or […]

Great article! I was actually surprised that Yodiz was not listed here however as I think it is definitely better than Jira.

Hey Rachel,

I especially liked that you mentioned tools that aren’t that famous making it easier for us to discover. 🙂 I recently wrote a similar post, collecting 10 must-have tools for remote and offshore software teams. It could be a great addition to this one: http://codingsans.com/blog/tools-for-offshore-software-development

Really enjoyed your article!

I would like to share two more project management apps or software recently used by me that work on both Water fall as well as agile named as Resource Hour and Leankor. Hope you will like it.

Wanted to share my own experience in using one of test management tools, which, as I think, could fit in this list too. I`ve used for a while a great newcomer called EasyQA which seemed like good and quite interesting ERP with a really decent functionality and tremendously smooth UX. BTW EasyQA is opensource, so it`s free! Hope you`ll have a glance at it and, probably, will consider including it in another iteration of this great topic.

Hi, thank you for this post I agree with you that Time tracking and projection, easy-to-understand progress reports for stakeholders, quality assurance, and percentage complete. very useful information

As a marketer, one of the best externalities I’ve found with “taking the plunge” to agile (beyond the fast-paced environment) is that by focusing on business outcomes, we’re seldom asked to work on projects whose value may be in question. This is music to a data-driven marketer’s ears.

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