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List Of The 10 Of The Best Scrum Tools To Increase Your Team’s Productivity

 

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Scrum tools aren’t just for agile software development offices, even though that’s where Scrum originated. The Scrum framework can be used in many production settings—from marketing agencies to construction firms. In fact, a lot of the best project management software out there includes some functionality for following a Scrum framework, incorporating items like backlogs and sprint planning features.

This Scrum tools review includes the following tools, with comparisons of their features, pricing, integrations, and pros & cons:

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What Does a Scrum Tool Do?

The best Scrum toolsScrum provides a set framework for producing a product, be it an email campaign, software or consumer product. All Scrum tools are based off of a similar framework of basic Scrum elements. If you’re unfamiliar with Scrum, have a look at our guide 9 methodologies made simple. Because Scrum is related to agile, there’s quite a bit of crossover between software described as “agile tools” and as “Scrum tools”. However, in general agile project management tools will enable a wider scope of agile development functions, not just Scrum-related ones.

Scrum software is designed to facilitate the Scrum framework, encouraging collaboration, transparency, and efficiency among team members. In fact, Scrum software can prove beneficial for almost any organization, as it facilitates communication, organizes workload, and helps members to plan for multiple iterations.

The Basic Parts of Scrum Methodology And Software

A critical element of any Scrum project management software is the Backlog. Like a whiteboard or sticky notes; this is where you list all the tasks and requirements for your final product. It is vital that you prioritize your backlog according to the urgency and importance of each task.

Another key element of Scrum apps is the Product Owner. This is the person who owns the discussion on which features are included or not as they manage the business and functional expectations for the product.

The Scrum framework divides time into predetermined chunks for completing each task from the backlog, known as Sprints. The graphical representation of a sprint is called a Burndown Chart. These are helpful in visualizing progress in order to stay on track.

Daily Scrums are a meeting for all the team members to discuss their progress and bring up any issues that need attention. Most Scrum tools have scheduling or meeting features to easily plan and coordinate Daily Scrums.

Each Sprint ends with a Retrospective, a time-boxed meeting where the team reviews the Sprint and plans for future improvements.

10 of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $17/2 users/month

1. monday.com

monday.com is a great for managing scrum teams and projects. The platform has robust time tracking capabilities and customizable notifications & automations, that allows you to focus on what’s important. You can create, visualize and share your roadmap to keep everyone in sync.

Backlogs, dependencies and sprint planning are available as well in a very intuitive interface.

Backlogs are easy to create and use. You can filter or sort them according to any column you choose. With many different columns, monday.com helps teams plan their sprints in a completely customizable interface, which helps workflow creation fit to the team’s needs. monday.com offer multiple view from which you can create burndown charts and analyze your work, such as kanban, timeline, files, among many others.

While monday.com doesn’t offer the full range of Scrum reporting features like a burndown chart, it does offer some simple reports and charts to get an overview of sprint progress, capacity, and effort. To learn about the different features that help analyze performance, you can go to their detailed explanation here.

monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible via Zapier.

monday.com costs from $17/month for two users. The company’s customer support is available 24/7 by phone or email.

Summary of monday.com:

  1. Product Backlog, Sprint and Burndown charts: Pass
  2. Visualization: Pass
  3. Reports: Fail
  4. Notifications: Pass
  5. Integration (mobile and other PM tools): Pass
  • 15 days free trial
  • From $12/12 users/month

2. Zoho Sprints

Zoho Sprints is an agile project management tool that helps Scrum teams organize user stories, manage backlogs, and track progress on Scrum Boards. It’s a simple and clutter-free scrum tool that helps teams to focus on shipping great quality work.

The drag and drop planning builder helps teams plan their upcoming sprints by moving items from their project backlog to their sprint backlog. The project backlog serves as the repository of all user stories, tasks, and bugs. The dedicated planning center equips teams to refine their project backlog with options to filter, sort and search items across default and custom parameters.

The Scrum Board in Zoho Sprints is highly customizable and provides visibility and transparency of everyone’s progress. It is effortless to drag-and-drop stories into completion, create custom statuses and set WIP limits. Teams can sort work items into swimlanes based on priority, story, or estimation points, and track the progress of sprints in an exclusive sprint dashboard.

Zoho Sprints provides real-time reports and insights into the overall progress. The Velocity Chart calculates the amount of work delivered in each sprint and helps teams to plan and estimate future sprints. Meanwhile, Burndown and Burnup charts help teams to track the pace at which they are burning estimation points by comparing the current and ideal progress line. The Meetings module lets scrum teams schedule sprint planning, review, and retrospective meetings. Daily stand-ups can be automated, while everyone gets notification reminders about due dates of important events.

Built-in integrations with repository management tools include GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket.  Zoho Sprints also integrates with Zoho Desk and Zoho Projects. Zoho Sprints is also listed on Zapier, GSuite Marketplace and Microsoft Teams. All your issues from JIRA can be imported using the built-in JIRA Import wizard.

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.

Summary of Zoho Sprints:

  1. Product Backlog, Sprint and Burndown charts: Pass
  2. Visualization: Pass
  3. Reports: Pass
  4. Notifications: Pass
  5. Integration (mobile and other PM tools): Pass
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $30/user/month

3. Clarizen

Clarizen is an enterprise-grade professional service automation software solution, designed to speed up the way you do business – integrating work, content, and process tightly together to enable more efficient working. Clarizen’s real focus is making projects happen faster with timesaving workflows. Clarizen is a great project management tool if you have lots of repeatable projects that require repeatable processes as workflow automation is pretty flexible and powerful.

It covers off the PPM basics of task lists, schedules, docs and files, communications and reporting without breaking a sweat. Clarizen’s project planning tools are a powerful mix of functionality across the planning, executing and controlling of a project. Within planning are project workflows, a full-featured resource, schedule, and task planning tools, with a project and portfolio optimization so that you can easily and quickly align projects to business objectives.

For project execution, Clarizen enables everyone on the team to be aligned with a dashboard that enables teams to work better together and see how their contribution fits into the bigger picture – from the project timeline and milestones to budget, project discussions, and sharing documents.

Instead of being obligated to make educated guesses, project managers can make accurate data-based decisions that align project selection and investment with big picture priorities. Changing tasks and schedules takes a few clicks, and project managers can run hypothetical scenarios to proactively see the impact of resource changes before they go live, and alert end users via their personal dashboard of any changes to their workload. Because resource scheduling is built-in, Clarizen delivers real-time insights into all available resources, schedules, and tasks.

Clarizen has some really powerful integration options out the box that is worth considering if you have other business-critical systems already in place. You can combine the power of Clarizen with other enterprise tools including Jira, SharePoint, Tableau, Salesforce, and Intaact, among others with a subscription to an App integration so you don’t have to play around with the API’s yourself. As well as the enterprise tool integrations possible, Clarizen has an App marketplace to add additional functionality into the system including helpful add-ons like active directory sync, Excel reporting integration, and priority automation – many of which are free.

Clarizen offers a free trial and costs from $30/user/month.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $15/user/month

4. ProjectManager.com

ProjectManager.com isn’t a specialized scrum tool per se, but as an award-winning PM software used by big name brands like NASA, Volvo, and Ralph Lauren, it’s worth considering. And while it’s used in enterprises, ProjectManager.com’s basic plan can have as few as 5 users, so it’s still  a sensible solution for small teams.

So, as I mentioned, ProjectManager.com isn’t a specialized scrum tool—but I include it here because it has some really useful features that a team adhering to a Scrum methodology could do well to take advantage of. You’ll find kanban boards with real-time dashboards that help you visualize your work, and you can switch seamlessly switch between different task and project views to help visualize work, too. The notifications is basic but useful—you can set up automated alerts to stay on top of due or overdue tasks.

ProjectManager.com integrations include native integrations with GoogleApps 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 also offer a 30-day free trial.

Summary of ProjectManager.com:

  1. Product Backlog, Sprint and Burndown charts: So-so
  2. Visualization: Pass
  3. Reports: Pass
  4. Notifications: Pass
  5. Integration (mobile and other PM tools): Pass
  • 7 day free trial
  • From $10/month

5. Jira

You’ve likely heard of Jira—it’s probably the most widely-used cloud and subscription-based software for agile teams. Because it’s so popular, many of the other project management apps include integrations with Jira. This tool has just about everything, but we do find that other tools like Targetprocess offer greater degrees of customization, especially in building custom reports and dashboard visualizations. Even so, it’s a well-rounded, familiar tool with reasonable pricing schemes for small teams, mid-sized teams, and enterprise.

Jira delivers a well-balanced array of scrum project management tools, including customizable scrum and kanban boards, custom filters for backlog grooming, customizable workflows, and dozens of visual reports (burndown, cumulative flow, velocity, etc). It also includes some higher-level BPM functionality: roadmapping, process templates, and a “sandbox” tool for testing out different scenarios before allocating resources and making estimates.

Jira integrates with over 3000 other apps, has a robust set of APIs, and is available on all mobile devices. One of Jira’s stronger selling points is the way it integrates with the software development ecosystem. It integrates with numerous developer tools (HipChat, Confluence, BitBucket, etc) and provides a real-time overview of tasks for easily identifying outstanding bugs, failing builds, and pull requests.

Jira costs from $10/month for up to 10 users. They offer free licensing for qualifying charitable organizations, educational settings, and open source initiatives.

Summary of Jira:

  1. Product Backlog, Sprint and Burndown charts: Pass
  2. Visualization: Pass
  3. Reports: Pass
  4. Notifications: Pass
  5. Integration (mobile and other PM tools): Pass
  • freemium version
  • Free trial
  • From $20/user/month

6. Targetprocess

Over nearly 15 years, Targetprocess has been evolving as a central platform to support various applications of agile frameworks. Because it’s designed to suit various use cases and project management styles, it’s a good choice for agile companies with diverse portfolios who would benefit from being able to adapt their software instead of having to switch or mess around with using multiple platforms. It’s also a smart choice for small projects that are projected to scale quickly.

Overall, Targetprocess is a feature-rich scrum tool offering high degrees of customization, from customizable views to custom cards, graphical reports, and report templates. Among scrum tools, Targetprocess is one of the more adaptable—it can be used on multiple levels (from team to enterprise) for both scrum- and kanban-centric approaches. It’s also designed to support a Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®). For example, users can implement a kanban framework at the portfolio, value stream, program, or team level.

Targetprocess is built to integrate through plugins, mashups, webhooks, REST API and SDK—making it refreshingly versatile and practical for teams who need to sync multiple tools. It is also available for Android and IOS.

Targetprocess starts with a free Team version for unlimited users. The Company version costs from $20/user/month.

Summary of Targetprocess:

  1. Product Backlog, Sprint and Burndown charts: Pass
  2. Visualization: Pass
  3. Reports: Pass
  4. Notifications: Pass
  5. Integration (mobile and other PM tools): Pass
  • freemium version
  • From $5/user/month

7. ClickUp

ClickUp strikes an impressive balance between high performance and practicality offering a wide range of training resources. Overall, ClickUp is simply one of the best scrum tools out there—not only is it focused on being easy to learn, integrate, and customize, it’s also a forward-looking application that incorporates leading-edge technology like NLP and ML.

As far as scrum tools go, ClickUp has broader functionality than many other scrum apps, offering high value for the straightforward price of $5/user/month. The tool includes Gantt charts, project templates, time tracking, and scheduling, in addition to all of the scrum essentials. ClickUp is consistently expanding its functionality—you might start using ClickUp just for the scrum tools, but it could easily become your core business process management tool. Notably, ClickUp also makes use of AI: the tool applies natural language processing (NLP) to interpret dates and times so users don’t have to concern themselves with exact formatting. They’re about to roll out machine learning (ML) for automatically predicting task assignees, time estimates, etc.

ClickUp has 1000+ integrations and imports the existing data from CSV files or apps like Airtable, Asana, Trello Jira, todoist, Flow, and 50+ more platforms.

ClickUp costs $5/user/month. They also have a free version that’s quite generous, with unlimited users and unlimited projects.

Summary of ClickUp:

  1. Product Backlog, Sprint and Burndown charts: Pass
  2. Visualization: Pass
  3. Reports: Pass
  4. Notifications: Pass
  5. Integration (mobile and other PM tools): Pass
  • freemium version
  • From $8.25/user/month

8. MeisterTask

MeisterTask is a simple, beautiful task management tool for agile teams. The web-based platform provides flexible Kanban boards to manage your backlogs and sprints. This is a great tool for companies who are just starting out with the Scrum methodology, but thanks to its built-in automations and large number of integrations with other tools, it easily scales with your needs.

Using MeisterTask’s Kanban-based boards, you can create backlogs, sprints, and manage tasks collaboratively with your team. Boards are divided into vertical sections through which tasks can be moved from left to right until completion. You can use tags to prioritize tasks and visualize dependencies using task relationships. Real-time notifications keep both the project team and the product owner up to date about project progress, while detailed statistics and reports provide insight into the team’s performance. A personalized dashboard ensures that you see at a glance what you need to focus on today and keep track of all tasks relevant to you.

While MeisterTask was originally built for agile software teams, it’s simple and versatile boards can easily be used by all departments in your organization, which is great if you’re looking to get all team members onto the same platform and improve cross-departmental collaboration. If you need some help getting started, MeisterTask offers free webinars for beginners as well as an extensive online help center and quick email support in multiple languages.

MeisterTask integrates with the mind mapping app MindMeister where you can brainstorm and plan with a mind map and then export it onto a Kanban board. MeisterTask comes readily integrated with popular tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, GitHub, Zendesk, Harvest, and various email apps. In addition to these native integrations, you can use Zapier or IFTTT to connect your projects with hundreds of other tools.

MeisterTask costs from $8.25/user/month. They also offer a free plan with limited functionality.

Summary of MeisterTask:

  1. Product Backlog, Sprint and Burndown charts: Pass
  2. Visualization: Pass
  3. Reports: Pass
  4. Notifications: Pass
  5. Integration (mobile and other PM tools): Pass
  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $8/user/month

9. Vivify Scrum

Vivify Scrum is a well-balanced tool with useful scrum features and an appealing UI. This cloud-based app offers a clean, clutter-free interface that can display all projects on a single page. Many scrum tools claim to make project management seamless, but Vivify’s intuitive flow and quick navigation actually deliver that seamless feeling. And at $8/user/month, it offers a wider array of business functions than you’d expect, including invoicing and a files management package. This is a low-risk tool for large organizations to try out, as it’s free for an unlimited number of users, limited only in functionality. If detailed and highly configurable reporting and stats are critical for you, however, there are better tools out there.

If you’re looking for free scrum tools, Vivify’s free version isn’t bad—it offers the choice between scrum and kanban boards and enables users to build custom workflows, manage tasks, and view basic reports like burndown charts. It also allows unlimited users, boards, and items, in addition to 1 external integration. It lacks access to some useful statistics features, but even so, the functions it does provide makes it a more well-rounded tool than many of the free scrum tool versions out there.

Vivify Scrum has a decent number of integrations, including Slack, Trello, GitHub, BitBucket, Travis, Pivotal Tracker, and Jira. And they also offer both an iOS and Android app.

Vivify Scrum costs from $1/user/month and offers a 14-day trial along with a free version for an unlimited number of users. They have a convenient widget on their pricing page to help easily calculate the cost of the tool for teams of various sizes.

Summary of Vivify Scrum:

  1. Product Backlog, Sprint and Burndown charts: Pass
  2. Visualization: Pass
  3. Reports: So-so
  4. Notifications: Pass
  5. Integration (mobile and other PM tools): Pass
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $25/5 users/month

10. Axosoft

While some tools like Scrumwise (above) focus on distilling the complexities of an agile project environment within a simplified interface, Axosoft’s approach is to simply embrace complexity. This scrum tool gives structure and organization to the many components of scrum project management, providing an information-rich display of relevant scrum project data. Some tools give you about as much granular control as a carnival bumper car—Axosoft is more like a pilot’s cockpit (granted, a user-friendly one).

In terms of pricing, Axosoft stays true to its highly configurable nature. Pricing is more granular than other tools, determined with a widget that factors in your team size, whether you use a hosted or installed version, what type of support you require.

One feature that makes this tool especially useful is their release planner, which allow users to view capacity at the sprint, team, and team member level. It also offers a helpful ranking tool for prioritizing tasks, a tool for building custom workflows, and a “Daily Scrum Mode” for zooming into the day’s progress, identifying obstacles and giving updates. Of course, it also has your scrum software fundamentals like drag-and-drop boards, kanban-style cards, burndown charts, flow charts, etc.

Axosoft has a growing list of dozens of integrations (including Zapier, GitHub, SalesForce, Slack, Trello, GitLab, Bitbucket, and many more) and offers a mobile app as well.

Axosoft costs from $25/month for 5 users.

Summary of Axosoft:

  1. Product Backlog, Sprint and Burndown charts: Pass
  2. Visualization: Pass
  3. Reports: Pass
  4. Notifications: Pass
  5. Integration (mobile and other PM tools): Pass

Summary Of The Best Scrum Tools

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the Scrum tools out there. Here’s simple table summarizing basic info about the tools described in this article. View Scrum tool pricing and availability of free trials to make a quick side-by-side comparison.

We’ve also included an explanation of our selection criteria, so you can understand how and why we chose these Scrum tools.

Other Scrum Tools

I haven’t had the time to review these properly, but here’s a few more Scrum tools you can check out:

Want Help Narrowing Down the Options?

This tool is pretty useful. We’ve partnered with Crozdesk to give you access to their “Software Finder”.

If you input some of the details about your project and the features you’re looking for in a project management tool, it will generate a list of tools that match your preferences. You provide your email, and they send over a nice PDF guide with a summary of your best matches.

Scrum Tool Selection Criteria

Every organization is different—a marketing agency cannot necessarily use the same Scrum tools that a construction crew uses. However, there are certain elements that you should expect to see in any Scrum tool. We’ve identified these critical components for our evaluation:

1. Product Backlog

An organized backlog makes future planning and allocation of resources easy to manage. An effective backlog should include ample storage, and must enable prioritization of tasks.

2. Sprints

This is the heart of any scrum tool. Sprints are repeated, predetermined periods of time for completing sets of tasks from the backlog (generally from 2 to 4 weeks).

3. Burndown Charts

These are graphical representations of progress that provide insight into any delays and factors causing them. The horizontal axis of the burndown chart depicts Sprints and the vertical axis shows the remaining work. A burndown chart is your basic visualization feature in any Scrum tool; many Scrum tools also include several additional types of charts for measuring progress (burnup, cumulative flow, etc).

4. Visualization

The backlog should provide visibility to each member of the team and should provide a convenient interface for the development team to manage tasks. The best Scrum tools have visualization of tasks and progress displayed on a real-time dashboard.

5. Reports & Notifications

Some teams don’t need elaborate, custom reports, but any good Scrum tool should include some basic reporting features for gauging progress. Likewise, notifications are essential for detecting bugs, managing deadlines, remembering to tune into Daily Scrums, etc. A lot of the free scrum software out there won’t include many reporting features; most often you’ll need to use a paid plan to access advanced reporting features.

6. Integrations

Most Scrum software has a few of their own PM tools and apps in addition to integrations to third party apps and mobile-compatible apps. Especially if you don’t have a programmer in house, it’s a good idea to stick to a Scrum software that easily integrates with other systems without the need to dig into an API.

7. Price

We’ve included some basic pricing info to help you evaluate the best scrum tool for your use case. Getting beyond the freemium versions, Scrum tool prices range from about $3/user/month to $25/user/month.

How To Choose The Best Scrum Tool For Your Team

Here’s a list of key questions to ask yourself in order to choose the right Scrum tool for your team:

  • What do you need it for? Do you primarily need a task management tool (more basic), or do you need it for storing documentation or creating client-facing reports (more advanced)?
  • What is the size of your team? Very small teams are lucky to find several Scrum tools that gives a full range of features for free. If you’re planning to scale, take this into account—how much will it cost to upgrade?
  • Which tools should it integrate with? At the very least, it probably needs to integrate with your calendar and document folders. Also consider whether you’ll want a tool that integrates with your existing development applications, CRM, time-tracking apps, document management systems, resource management apps, and other BPM tools.
  • How will it fit into your workflow and how easy is it to learn and set-up? If you’re new to Scrum tools, choose a tool with a large training resource library, online training, or even Scrum coaching as an add-on.
  • What’s your tool budget? Keep in mind future scaling requirements.

What Do You Think?

Have you ever used any of these Scrum tools? Which one do you like best and why? Comment and share with the DPM community below.

 

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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.

One Comment

  • Jack Fernandez says:

    We’ve been using Jira for years now and we love it. We’ve also started using Scrumile for JIRA a year ago and we’d never use Jira without it.

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