Are you looking to employ a Scrum framework for your upcoming project or product development cycle? Does your development team already use Scrum but require a new Scrum process tool to support their work?
If either of these scenarios describe your team, then this article is for you.
Keep in mind: Scrum is a “way of life”—you can’t just boot up a Scrum tool and “be doing Scrum.” You must follow the Scrum framework already, using these tools as support.
Scrum software and scrum boards can be used to enable the key components of the Scrum agile methodology for your team. Scrum software might help you plan and schedule your daily Scrum, perhaps, or it may help you track your product backlog and sprint backlog. Best of all, Scrum software will collect and organize everything you need for the inevitable sprint retrospective, therefore taking administrative and note-taking tasks off your plate.
In this article, I will outline a reliable list of the best Scrum software and Scrum boards around and will explain how each can best be used for sprint planning, agile project management, iteration, and more.
What Is Scrum Software?
Scrum software is any digital tool that empowers agile software development teams to use the Scrum framework in their day-to-day work. Scrum software will be defined by its ability to coordinate Scrum-related or Scrum-adjacent tasks, like:
- scheduling your daily Scrum meeting
- building Kanban boards
- feature prioritization feedback
- developing sprint goals
- helping your team become self-organizing
- assembling your sprint review,
and so on and so forth.
Scrum Software Comparison Criteria
Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Scrum relies on team members being self-organizing so the user interface needs to reflect that by being clean, intuitive, easy-to-learn, and customizable. Plus, burndown charts, roadmap templates, and other must-have items should be easy to find with a few clicks.
- Usability: As mentioned above, an agile Scrum methodology requires a Scrum team be heavily self-reliant. So, Scrum tools should be easy to figure out and provide ample self-help guidance, training documents, and self-paced webinars/tutorials.
- Integrations: Scrum relies on cross-functional teams so its likely other project management software will be required in your daily workflow. The best Scrum tools should easily connect with project management tools like cloud storage, task lists, mind mapping, communication and messaging, real-time collaboration tools, and more.
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?
Scrum Software Key Features
- Prioritize visibility and transparency – Team members, the product owner, and stakeholders should all have easy access to the same information be it through shareable dashboards or auto-scheduling reports.
- User stories and story points – The customer is at the heart of product iteration with the Scrum development process so having tools to map out who they are and what problems (the “issue”) they face is essential.
- Burn up chart and other completion metrics – Knowing who has done what for product lifecycle goals, increment work, and backlog items will inform each team member of crucial dependencies, bottlenecks, or roadblocks as they occur.
Backlog organization and management – Unlike waterfall, Scrum is constantly flowing, shifting, and adjusting in media res; the tools should reflect the need to bookmark ideas, iterations, and improvements as they arise—saving them for the next sprint.
Overviews Of The 10 Best Scrum Software
Here’s a brief description of each of the scrum tools on my list showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.
1. Teamwork – Best for API documentation
Used by over 20K companies, Teamwork is a project management tool that highlights accountability and collaboration with time tracking, workload management, and templates and automation. Teamwork’s API is flexible and accessible with different self-help modules for manipulating data, building integrations, customizing product development workflows, and visualizing your content. Scrum oriented cross-functional teams will love this adaptability.
Teamwork costs from $10/user/month and they also offer a freemium version of the tool for up to 5 users. They also offer a 30-day free trial for all paid plans.
- Features can be turned on/off (tasks, messages, time, risks, billing)
- Easy zoom in/zoom out on project plans
- Easy to communicate task status with clients or team
- No CSS template option for advanced customization
- No industry-specialized project templates or formats
- No easy way to measure your team’s capacity
2. monday.com – Best for highly collaborative Scrum teams
Monday is a collaborative work OS used by the likes of Hulu, Adobe, GameLoft, BBC Studios, and Universal. The colorful, user-friendly tool hammers home the importance of cooperative work with features like drag-and-drop team scheduling, RAG progress updates, and simple guest access/sharing. The free plan alone boats unlimited boards, 200+ templates, over 20 column types, and unlimited free viewers. It has good iOS and Android apps, as well.
monday.com costs from $14/user/month and offers a free forever plan with Kanban view charts only.
- Huge focus on collaboration
- Long list of supported integrations
- Spreadsheet-style pulses for task progress
- Does not have resource forecasting
- Horizontal pipeline views result in excessive scrolling
- No single-user plan
3. ClickUp – Best free Scrum software
ClickUp bills itself as “one app to replace them all” and I tend to agree. It’s a good jack-of-all-trades option that handles basic tasks, docs, team chat, and goals within a sleek, welcoming interface. Remote scrum teams will love the easy screenshots and recording features for long-distance stand-up meetings. On top of everything, their free plan is quite generous, with unlimited tasks and unlimited members plus 100MB of storage space.
ClickUp costs $5/user/month. They also have a free version with unlimited tasks and unlimited members.
- Free forever plan allows unlimited members
- Unlimited file storage on all paid account tiers
- Can email (set-up) a task directly from Outlook
- Read-only guest permissions are limited to paid account
- Reporting suite is limited to paid plans only
- Granular customization options mean a time-consuming setup
4. Jira – Best scrum software for enterprises
Jira Scrum board takes this workflow software powerhouse and hones it around team collaboration and incremental delivery starts. A few features scrum masters will find handy are their printable agile user story cards, 25+ agile extensions and filters, and a robust project template manager. Atlassian owns Jira, Confluence, Trello, BitBucket, SourceTree, Bamboo—making it great for enterprises who want everything in a single ecosystem.
Jira costs from $7/month for up to 10 users. They also offer free licensing for groups of 10 users or less.
- Single view for all user stories
- Can create tasks, sub-tasks, spikes, and epics
- Houses all historical works for future reference
- Centralized administration across all Atlassian Cloud products
- Limited collaboration features
- Needs better linking within stories and tasks
- No mass-editing and scripting (rename a whole set of labels, etc.)
5. Targetprocess – Best scrum software for sprint retrospectives
Targetprocess is a Scrum team management app with tailored solutions for product owners, release train engineers, portfolio managers, and agile coaches. They make sprint retrospectives simple with built-in tools to check team happiness, organize feedback, or just record a high-level summary of a project. Targetprocess has board tags for “worked well,” “didn’t work well,” and “improvement ideas”, making collaborative retrospectives even easier.
Targetprocess offers customized pricing upon request.
- Can choose between unique or standard views per user
- Responsive customer support team
- Robust graphical and custom reports to pinpoint trends
- No means to reuse steps
- Does not include iteration tracking
- Can be tricky to move entities into different levels of the hierarchy
- 7 days free trial as well as a 30-day refund policy upon purchase
- From $96 as a one-time fee for 10 users
6. VivifyScrum – Best for small teams and startups
VivifyScrum is a web-based project management tool that comes with free Scrum training via their VivifySCrum EDU course—just one of the many added benefits that small teams and startups will appreciate. They also have fixed price licensing for SMBs trying to navigate the growing world of monthly workflow app subscriptions. Additionally, teams of all sizes will appreciate their flexible agile boards, burndown charts, and Scrum metrics graphs.
VivifyScrum costs from $96 as a one-time fee for 10 users and offers a 7-day free trial as well as a 30-day refund policy upon purchase.
- Easy to add and rearrange tasks on board
- Labels and card types work well for added organization
- Helpful shortcuts to quickly assign, label, type tasks
- Lacking in 3rd party integrations
- Can’t sort backlog items in dashboard view
- Gitlab connection could be better
7. Axosoft – Best Sprint dashboard
Axosoft is a Scrum software suite used by Cisco, Fujifilm, IBM, and Oxfam. Their features include bug tracking, help desk, and wiki tools tailored specifically for dev teams. Their Release Planner is perfect for organizing sprints and their Rank Mode helps you stack rank any backlog items according to priority. Their sprint dashboard’s modern UI and no-fluff visuals make for a perfect quick-glance data view with easy access to deep-dive features.
Axosoft costs from $8/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial.
- Time tracking to the second for accurate sprint estimates
- Detailed audit trains for comments, changes, edits
- Wiki page building for unlimited test cases and documentation
- Can be tricky to add/attach images
- No auto-response option for ticket creation
- Auto refresh option causes the screen to jump
8. Orangescrum – Best Scrum software with resource management
Orangescrum is a cloud or self-managed scrum solution with custom status workflows, project templates, Scrum and Kanban boards, and time and resource management tracking. Management professionals can take special advantage of additional features like resource allocation, leave management, recruitment templates, and their free project management e-books. Their product comes with apps for iOS and Android, too.
Orangescrum costs from $9/month for 10 users and they offer a 14-day free trial.
- Comparatively low per-user cost
- Read and respond to tickets by email without logging in
- Intuitive and aesthetic dashboards and views
- Projects and tasks are split across two different spaces/pages
- iOS/Android apps costs extra as an add-on
- In-app chat and wiki limited to professional plan
9. SwiftKanban – Best Scrum tool for engineering
SwiftKanban is one of the many X tools that are part of the Digité family and so are very easy to connect with their other solutions, like marketing, machine learning, and QA management. Features include task boards and visual project management, Scrum and Scrumban capabilities, and predictive flow metrics. Engineers will appreciate their SwiftESP tools for robust predictive analytics and risk management solutions.
SwiftKanban costs from $7/user/month but also has a freemium plan for up to 10 users and 4 boards. You can try their paid plans free for 30 days.
- Excellent visualizations and analytics
- UI is very intuitive and user-friendly
- Unique “Board Playback” feature for analysis and review
- No bulk options for various operations
- Custom templates are limited to Group plan and above
- Best Scrumban features not included in free plan
10. Nutcache – Best Scrum software for app integrations
Nutcache is a Scrum project management tool with the ability to measure task progress, set a business value to cards (ROI), assign complexity points to cards, display real-time sprint statistics, and use acceptance tests to set cards as completed. Nutcache has a healthy list of third-party integration options and also works with a paid Zapier plan to unlock thousands more. They also offer a flexible API to connect Nutcache to your existing tools and workflow.
Nutcache costs from $6/user/month with a “Pro” plan that requires 5 users.
- Robust project dashboards
- Intuitive to learn and use
- Great time and expense tracking
- Easy to integrate new employees (scalable)
- Complicated security levels for employees
- Need more third party integrations
Summary Of The Best Scrum Software
|Teamwork||Read Teamwork features & functionality|| Freemium version|
30 days free trial for all paid plans
|From $10/user/month||Check out Teamwork|
|monday.com||Read monday.com features & functionality|
Offers a free forever plan with Kanban view charts only
|From $14/user/month||Check out monday.com|
|ClickUp||Read ClickUp features & functionality|
Free version with unlimited tasks and unlimited members
|From $5/user/month||Check out ClickUp|
|Jira||Read Jira features & functionality|
Offer free licensing for groups of 10 users or less
|From $7/month for up to 10 users||Check out Jira|
|Targetprocess||Read Targetprocess features & functionality||Not Available||Offers customized pricing upon request||Check out Targetprocess|
|VivifyScrum||Read VivifyScrum features & functionality|
7 days free trial as well as a 30-day refund policy upon purchase
|From $96 as a one-time fee for 10 users||Check out VivifyScrum|
|Axosoft||Read Axosoft features & functionality|
14 days free trial
|From $8/user/month||Check out Axosoft|
|Orangescrum||Read Orangescrum features & functionality|
14 days free trial
|From $9/month for 10 users||Check out Orangescrum|
|SwiftKanban||Read SwiftKanban features & functionality|| Freemium version|
Freemium plan for up to 10 users and 4 boards
|From $7/user/month||Check out SwiftKanban|
|Nutcache||Read Nutcache features & functionality||Not Available||From $6/user/month with a “Pro” plan that requires 5 users||Check out Nutcache|
Other Scrum Software
Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list.
- SprintGround – Best for web developers
- Scrumdesk – Best objectives and key results (OKR) planning
- Basecamp – Best Scrum tool for non-software projects
- Scoro – Best agile Scrum software
- Zoho Projects – Scrum software within a connected suite of other business tools
- Asana – Best free Scrum software
- Trello – Widely-used Scrum board software
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What Software Do Your Scrum Or Agile Teams Use?
As a Scrum Master, what functionality do you look for in your agile framework tools? Do you have a favorite tool for the daily Scrum or more general Scrum development? Which tool on this list fits best into the standard Scrum Guide, in your opinion? As a project manager, would you add any Scrum tools to this list? Let us know in the comments.
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