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List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects

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Agile is everyone’s favorite project management and delivery buzzword, but what agile tools can you use to help successfully run an agile project? In this agile tools comparison article, we’re going to explore some of our favorite agile development tools and platforms for managing agile projects.

Best Agile Project Management Tools List

Check out 10 of the best agile tools of 2020.

Below you’ll find an overview of each of the 10 best agile project management software, with screenshots, feature overviews, and pricing.

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Agile Software Basics

What Is Agile Methodology?

What Is Agile Methodology?

Agile isn’t actually a methodology at all, but a set of principles for developing software. The principles of agile are:

    1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
    3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    4. Responding to change over following a plan

Agile is often compared to Waterfall, a methodology that requires upfront requirements gathering and completes work in sequential phases.

Read more about Agile in our post on project management methodologies.

What Is Scrum Methodology?

What Is Scrum Methodology?

Scrum is a methodology with a set of principles and a process to improve delivery. In software development, Scrum is one of the most popular frameworks applying the principles of agile. It includes a set of Scrum ceremonies and roles to support the process. The goal is to improve communication, teamwork and speed of development. Sprints, Scrums (or stand-up meetings), Retrospectives, backlogs, and burndowns are all parts of Scrum.

Read more about Scrum in our post on project management methodologies.

What Are Agile Tools?

What Are Agile Tools?

Agile tools are project management tools designed to support an agile methodology, whether it’s Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, or other hybrid agile methods. You can read more about agile project management tools in my article, What Are Agile Project Management Tools?

What Are The Tools Used In Agile Methodology?

What Are The Tools Used In Agile Methodology?

Tools for agile methodologies can be used in various ways depending on how you’re carrying out your agile-oriented approach. Your tools might include:

  • Backlogs: Prioritize and re-prioritize user stories and bugs with drag-and-drop backlog cards.
  • Kanban or Scrum boards: Visualize all the user stories with cards displaying the tasks, assignees, and statuses in a sprint.
  • Task swim lanes or columns: Separate epics, assignees, projects, and more by moving drag-and-drop cards across lanes.
  • Workflows: Create custom workflows that update issues automatically based on specific events.
  • Sprints: Use the backlog to estimate stories and set sprint tasks and priorities for sprints.
  • Daily Scrums or Standups: Use the dashboard to get a snapshot of progress in order to prepare for Scrums or Standups.
  • Burndown chart: Manage progress by tracking the total work remaining in the sprint or epic.
  • Velocity chart: Track your team’s velocity and make accurate forecasts by tracking the amount of work completed in each sprint.
  • Agile software development tools: Development platforms like Jira, GitHub, and Linx.

Just realized that you’re looking for a different breed of agile tool? Have a look at these reviews:

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The 10 Best Agile Tools Overviews

Everyone loves the idea of “being agile”, but how do you actually apply agile in your agency? And how do you make sure your toolset actually supports your intended processes and methods?

There are an incredible number of agile tool options. Perhaps too many. Everyone likes to manage their projects slightly differently so it’s important to try some tools to find what works for you.
Although there are dozens of great agile PM tools out there, here’s a detailed review of each agile project management tool that made it onto our list:

monday.com logo - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects
  • 14 day free trial
  • From $17/2 users/month

1. monday.com – Best agile planning tool

monday.com screenshot - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects

Plan and color-code projects and tasks on lists, and add new columns as needed.

monday.com is a flexible tool that provides a structure that can easily be configured to suit teams working to agile and various hybrid methodologies. Because they’ve done away with some of the extra trimmings of typical PM tools, monday.com is a great choice for teams who want a simple, unobstructed focus on the work that needs to be done.

When using this tool, you put tasks on a board, and then you add in the steps you’ll need to take to get it done. It’s vaguely similar to a spreadsheet—but a much nicer-looking one that comes with multiple views (Kanban board, Gantt-style charts, list views) alerts, notifications, assignees, automated processes, and a lot more. Other features include a customizable task board for managing task status, assignee, due date, etc.

You can track your agile projects with monday.com’s project dashboards that collect data from multiple boards to easily see work in progress. You’ll also find easy file sharing and communication features such as mentions, comments, and hashtags.

Overall, this is an adaptable, easy-to-learn tool with a strong emphasis on customer service (the company’s customer support is available 24/7 by phone or email).

monday.com integrations include Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform, and many more that are accessible via Zapier.

monday.com pricing starts at $17/month for two users.

Pros

  • Huge focus on collaboration
  • Long list of supported integrations
  • Spreadsheet-style pulses for task progress

Cons

  • Complex pricing rubric
  • Focus goes beyond Agile only
Hive logo - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $12/user/month

2. Hive – Agile project management tool with flexible views including Kanban

Hive screenshot - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects

Hive's Kanban View

Hive is a project management tool and collaboration platform that powers companies like Starbucks, Google, Comcast, and Toyota. It’s marketed as a tool for fast-moving teams and includes a feature set that’s great for agile agencies, startups, operations, and marketing teams, among others.

Overall, this tool is well-laid out, well-rounded, and always adding useful new features for agile teams. Its flexible project views, which include Kanban, Gantt, portfolio, calendar and table view, allow you to apply agile methodologies to your workflow and allow your teams to adapt to whatever hybrid methodology works best at that time.

Hive also has some useful reporting features that use AI analytics—not just for tracking work in progress but also for tracking time, forecasting resources, and for viewing your key stats on a portfolio level. The interactive dashboards are a great feature of this tool.

One of the top selling points of this tool is its integrations. Hive has a large library of native integrations, including many standard tools like Salesforce, Slack, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Zoom, DropBox. It also offers one of the first full email integrations in any project management tool, which means you can send and receive Gmail and Outlook messages from the Hive app. It also has an integration with Jira, which is something a lot of other agile-style tools do not have.

The tool costs $12/user/month when billed annually.

Pros

  • Flexible project layouts
  • Native email & messaging
  • Has infinite subtasks
  • Add external users without paying for a seat

Cons

  • Lack of a desktop app or an add-on
  • Calendar tools are pretty basic
  • Can’t view notes on the mobile app
ProjectManager logo - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects
  • 30 day free trial
  • From $15/user/month

3. ProjectManager – Best agile reporting tool

ProjectManager screenshot - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects

Create Gantt charts and track team member progress on tasks.

The award-winning software ProjectManager.com is a well-rounded PM tool used by some big-name brands, including NASA and Ralph Lauren.

It’s not a pure-bred agile tool, but it offers a couple of flexible features that agile teams in various settings can take advantage of. For example, Kanban boards with real-time reports and collaboration features. You can attach files to cards, make comments, assign tasks, and check your real-time project stats in the dashboard view. For reporting, it doesn’t specifically have agile reports (for instance, a burndown chart). However, the real-time dashboard serves the same purpose—and you can set up your own custom reports in addition to pre-set reports on expenses, timesheets, team availability, workloads, tasks, and more.

One of the coolest things about this tool is that it lets you seamlessly switch between views. It’s a great tool for teams who have adopted some agile principles into a hybrid methodology because you can easily toggle between Gantt chart, task list, and Kanban board views, adapting the tool to what makes the most sense for the task at hand.

ProjectManager.com integrations include native integrations with Google Apps like Drive, Gmail, Calendar, etc. as well as Microsoft Office and Microsoft Project. For all other integrations, you can use Zapier to sync ProjectManager.com with other tools.

Pricing for ProjectManager.com starts at $15/user/month, with their basic “Personal” plan requiring a minimum of 5 users. They offer a 30-day free trial (a credit card is required to sign up for a free trial).

Pros

  • Excellent high level view of project
  • Customizable schedule templates
  • Time and expense tracking
  • Multilingual and very flexible

Cons

  • No mobile app
  • No way to update partially complete tasks
  • Doesn’t output schedule files to .mpp
Smartsheet logo - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects
  • 30 day free trial
  • From $14/user/month

4. Smartsheet – Best agile workflow tool

Smartsheet screenshot - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects

Map out tasks and projects on Kanban boards based on your workflow.

Smartsheet is an entire online project management suite, but in the suite, they also offer some customizable features for agile teams. You start by setting up a pre-built Kanban sheet template, to which you can import any existing kanban board data from Trello, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Project.

Smartsheet helps you organize projects, grids, calendars, dashboards, portals, forms, and more all from a unified control center. They have pre-built Gantt chart templates with customizable fonts and colors, “% Complete” and “Assigned To” columns, and more.

A useful feature of Smartsheet’s Kanban tool is that you can switch between traditional, grid, Gantt, and calendar views, helping you to see tasks in different ways. It offers all the Kanban essentials like attachments, custom fields, and searching for or filtering cards based on different criteria.

Smartsheet offers most of the integrations you’d need in a Kanban tool: integrations include Microsoft and Google apps, as well as development essentials like Jira, and useful business apps like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Box, and Tableau. The platform is extensible through a REST API and webhooks.

Smartsheet costs from $14/user/month and offers a 30-day trial.

 

Pros

  • Easy to pull data from multiple sources
  • Great alternative to Excel spreadsheets
  • Well-communicated prepared-by-client (PBC) requests

Cons

  • Advanced training recommended
  • Could use more formatting options for data columns
  • Max. number of lines may be insufficient for complex projects
Forecast logo - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects
  • 14 day free trial
  • From $29/user/month

5. Forecast – Best agile tool for scrum methodologies

Forecast screenshot - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects

Plan sprints, maintain the backlog, and keep track of tasks in one place.

Forecast is perfect for agile teams, as it ensures optimal project deliveries through an adaptive work process and workflow automation to save project managers time and maintain visibility on projects, tasks, and milestones.

The platform uses AI to help make estimates, so you can effectively plan for a more accurate view of your sprint capacity and monitor velocity. Everything is in one place so you can reduce the amount of rework and improve efficiency while grooming the backlog, planning the sprint, tracking progress and velocity, and discerning where processes can be improved.

Forecast also integrates with the tools your developers love, such as Azure DevOps, GitHub, GitLab, as well as two-way sync with Jira, so you can collaborate with ease and deliver value faster.

Forecast is currently used in 40+ countries worldwide, by agencies, consulting companies, and enterprises. Paid plans start at $29/user/month. Forecast has a 14-day free trial.

 

Pros

  • Predictive tasks for spreadsheets
  • Great UI
  • Includes resource management
  • Good for RFP processes

Cons

  • Additional fee for onboarding/training
  • Higher learning curve than some other tools
  • Caters more to agencies
Wrike logo - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects
  • freemium version
  • 14 day free trial
  • From $9.80/user/month

6. Wrike – Best for scaling organizations

Wrike screenshot - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects

View priorities in a table, list, board, or a Gantt chart.

Wrike is an award-winning collection of agile tools for project management suitable for teams of five or more. This highly configurable agile project management software allows users to customize workflows, dashboards, and reports.

Wrike’s simple interface enables users to switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and workload views to visualize priorities. Wrike features a number of easy-to-use agile templates, backlog management functionalities, spaces for collaboration and feedback, and agile reporting and analytics. Other features include agile folder organization and automated task management.

Wrike’s features can be configured for each individual team’s needs, and the tool also offers a variety of different yet specific solutions depending on the type of team or organization, including solutions for marketing teams and professional service teams.

The software offers more than 400 pre-built native integrations, including popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.

Pricing for Wrike starts at $9.80/user/month. There are four different price points, including a free version and plans which offer the ability to invite free external collaborators to a paid account.

Pros

  • Holistic, comprehensive task modeling
  • Loads of configurable features
  • Community feedback voting for roadmap features

Cons

  • Not tailored for small organizations
  • Commenting system could be better
Zoho Sprints logo - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects
  • 15 day free trial
  • From $12/12 users/month

7. Zoho Sprints – Best for beginner agile practitioners and agile veterans

Zoho Sprints screenshot - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects

View sprint reports and analytics, and track progress on Kanban-style boards.

Zoho Sprints is an agile project management tool that aims to provide an iterative and collaborative approach to work. It can be used equally well by seasoned agile practitioners as well as by teams that are starting our their journey of agile transformation.

An intuitive backlog makes it easy to plan and prioritize work items that are in the format of user stories, tasks, and bugs. Scrumban teams can also set WIP limits, sort and view progress in swimlanes, and track sprint summaries on dashboards. Incomplete work items can be moved back to the backlog or moved across other active and upcoming sprints.

The Global View helps in tracking progress across all projects. Each project gets a project dashboard that provides project managers and Scrum masters a birds-eye view of project progress. Actionable insights from velocity charts, burnup and burndown reports, and cumulative flow diagrams help teams iterate their sprint planning.

Teams get live updates about all project activities with the project feed. The Meetings module lets teams schedule sprint planning, review, and retrospective meetings. All users can log billable and non-billable hours while the global timer can be used to start a timer for any work item. The timesheet reports provide a summary of log hours distributed across parameters like duration, sprint, work item type, and user.

Issues from Jira can be imported using the built-in Jira Import wizard. Software development teams can use built-in integrations with tools like GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket. There is also a Marketplace that has several pre-built extensions. You can also build and sell extensions as well.

Zoho Sprints offers a free trial for 15 days (no credit card required). Zoho Sprints has one paid plan starting at $12/12 users and every additional user costs $5, billed monthly.

Pros

  • Robust customization options
  • Easily schedule meetings for sprint reviews and daily stand-ups
  • Easily turn feed messages into a work item

Cons

  • No cumulative by-project timesheets for a user
  • Doesn’t integrate well with other Zoho apps
  • No Kanban boards
Nutcache logo - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects
  • 14 day free trial
  • From $6/user/month

8. Nutcache – Best for flexibility to various agile methodologies

Nutcache screenshot - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects

Organize tasks and set task statuses and due dates to make sure projects stay on track.

Nutcache is a project management tool designed to plan, track, and manage all aspects of your project using a sophisticated toolbox of color-coded schedules, task organization queues, and data reporting. Users can organize with Agile or Scrum project management, depending on your preferences.

Use the Gantt chart to plan, track, and visually organize your tasks with easy drag-drop-and-click editing techniques. Nutcache offers tools to prioritize and focus on critical tasks: build custom workflows and attach multiple assignees to a task, break down each phase of your project, make adjustments to reschedule your tasks, and visualize project deadlines.

Integrations include Dynacom Accounting, PayPal, 2Checkout, Stripe, Authorized.Net, QuickBooks Online, Google Sign In, Google Drive, GitHub, Slack, and hundreds of other apps through Zapier.

Nutcache costs from $6/user/month with a “Pro” plan that requires 5 users.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Great time tracking functionality
  • Easy to integrate new employees

Cons

  • Complicated security levels for employees
  • Need more third party integrations
Ravetree logo - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects
  • 30 day free trial
  • From $29/user/month

9. Ravetree – Best agile tool for enterprises

Ravetree screenshot - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects

Enterprises can keep track of all relevant metrics, reports, and analytics on Ravetree's dashboard.

Ravetree is a full-featured Agile Work Management ® software platform that includes best-in-class Agile project management, resource planning, time and expense tracking, digital asset management, and CRM.

Unlike other Agile project management tools that are built primarily for software teams, Ravetree is built for Agile organizations. This makes it especially well-suited for marketing & advertising, engineering, architecture, management consulting, legal accounting, higher education, non-profits, and government.

The Agile tools are built directly into Ravetree, without the need for 3rd party integrations or add-ons – including the ability to create Kanban and Scrum teams, epics and user stories, plan sprints, and story point sizing. Teams can easily communicate and collaborate, share files, view burndown charts and much more. Organizations that use Ravetree benefit from having a single source of truth from which they can optimize their operations and see the big picture.

One thing that sets Ravetree apart is the highly intuitive interface that allows everyone to easily find information, whether it’s project managers, executives, or team members. Ravetree also has a great support system, which has given them excellent customer support ratings.

Ravetree costs $29/user/month (with annual agreement — $39/user/month if paid month-to-month) and $20/user/month for non-profits.

 

Pros

  • Easily track multiple projects
  • Robust budgeting features
  • Distinction between billable and non-billable hours

Cons

  • Reporting tools are lacking
  • No public API
  • Home board not customizable
Pivotal Tracker logo - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects
  • 30 day free trial
  • From $12.50/5 users/month

10. Pivotal Tracker – Best agile tool for software development projects

Pivotal Tracker screenshot - List of The 10 Best Agile Tools For Managing Projects

Development teams can monitor workload and tasks using Kanban-style boards.

Pivotal Tracker is a very simple agile development tool that works well if you’re doing development Kanban style. This tool nails task management and helps to manage projects, track velocity, and predict for the future. It’s great for managing multiple projects with workspaces that enable you to clearly understand your priorities, view projects side-by-side, and move stories across projects.

Pivotal Tracker has some great analytics and reporting that provide quick snapshots of the overall project health, with a birds-eye-view of how well your team’s performing with Burnup, Cumulative Flow, and Cycle Time reports and then drill down for a closer look at project health by iterations, epics, releases, and more.

Pivotal Tracker takes integrations seriously and has more than 140 extensions including GitHub, Slack, and Zendesk, to extend the functionality across productivity, project management, issue tracking, analytics, time tracking and more. They also have a well-documented API so you can integrate with pretty much whatever you want.

Pivotal Tracker is a free agile tool (for teams up to 3) but paid versions cost from $12.50/5 users/month.

 

Pros

  • Easy to review previous projects
  • Nice analytics features
  • Departmentalized stories for tasks/tickets
  • Tailor-made for Agile development

Cons

  • Limited functionality relative to competition
  • Information overload on some screens
  • Mobile app sometimes runs slowly

Criteria For Choosing Agile Tools

The best agile management tools supply the following most important elements for agile project management. I look at elements outside of their feature set, such as their user interface, their usability (how easy is it to learn?). I also evaluate how much value the tool offers for the price—how its price stacks up against other tools with similar features and functionality.

I looked for the following features when evaluating the best agile tools in this review:

  • Task management – Kanban or Scrum boards with projects, task lists and everything else that goes with it – from files and discussions to time records and expenses.
  • Backlog management tools – Features to vote on, label, prioritize, and re-prioritize user stories and bugs.
  • User story tools – Basic tools consist of cards on boards, which all online project management software offer. However, more comprehensive agile platforms include more user story tools such as dedicated boards for user story mapping and dedicated features for estimating user stories.
  • Team collaboration – Communicate updates with local and distributed teams, and share task lists, feedback, and assignments
  • Agile reporting & analytics – Tools should, at the very least, offer an agile dashboard displaying common agile charts like burndown and velocity. More advanced agile reporting features include progress reports for stakeholders, team performance evaluation features, and financial reporting tools.

And finally, I check for integrations. I want to make sure the tool plays well with the right tools. In the case of agile tools, which are often used for developing software, I treat integrations with software development and issue management tools with higher priority. However, keep in mind teams in non-development environments won’t need this type of integration and would benefit more from integrations with other work apps like Slack, Google Apps, Adobe, and others.

Other agile tools worth considering:

None of the above work for you? Check out our list of other agile tools worth having a gander at:

  1. ZenHub – one of the top software development project management tools for agile teams, built directly into GitHub
  2. GitScrum – a simple low-cost agile management software for growing businesses
  3. Hansoft – agile management software with additional portfolio and product backlog management tools, built to scale to the enterprise level
  4. AgileCRM – one of the few agile tools not designed for software dev teams—this is a CRM, project management, marketing, and customer support tool combined into one and designed to support agile practices across a variety of industries
  5. Scoro – a general business management software (financial management, work scheduling, project management, CRM, quoting, reporting) with a couple of agile-based tools
  6. GoodDay – a modern work management platform with some of the best visualizations around. Find multiple views of your projects, tasks, teams, and work in progress, plus beautiful charts and reports.
  7. Conceptboard – a simple agile tool with collaboration features to sync teams across time zones and departments
  8. Phabricator – an agile project tracking and planning tool for software development projects that includes tools for code reviews and testing
  9. Hygger – flexible project management software agile teams can use for making product roadmaps, planning sprints, managing requirements, prioritizing features, managing clients, releases, bugs, issues, and a dozen other use cases.
  10. OpenProject – comprehensive open source agile project management software
  11. Kanbanchi – agile project management software made for collaboration on G Suite
  12. Wrike – a robust work management platform with some agile features like planning boards
  13. Yanado – great agile productivity tool—this is a task and project management tool that lives inside your Gmail and helps manage emails as tasks on Kanban-style board

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Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedigitalprojectmanager.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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