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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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Logo Soup of Scrum Tools

What Does a Scrum Tool Do?

Scrum 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 to 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 and agile methodology 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 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.

Overview Of The 10 Best Scrum Tools

monday.com logo - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $17/2 users/month

1. monday.com – Best Scrum tool for automations and integrations

monday.com screenshot - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

monday.com has simple task boards that can be configured according to various Scrum templates

monday.com is a great tool for managing Scrum teams and projects. The platform has robust time tracking capabilities as well as customizable notifications and automations that allow 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 offers multiple views from which you can create burndown charts and analyze your work, such as Kanban, timeline, and 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.

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
Hive logo - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $12/user/month

2. Hive – Best for flexible project views according to team needs

Hive screenshot - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

Hive's Kanban view with cards showing assignee, deadlines, and status.

Hive is a project management and scrum tool with AI-based analytics, thousands of integrations through Zapier, flexible project views, and more. Hive streamlines your work in one centralized platform and offers much more than just Gantt or Kanban charts. Used by teams of varying sizes, from 10 people to 1,000, Hive is a great scrum tool for a diverse range of companies and work styles.

Hive’s time-tracking, analytics, and flexible view capabilities allow for a transparent understanding of other team member’s work and upcoming projects. Personalized dashboards allow team members to visualize their individual tasks.

Hive also has one of the first full email integrations in any project management tool, which allows you to send and receive Gmail and Outlook messages from the app. Choose Hive if you’re in the market for a well-laid-out, comprehensive scrum tool that can be scaled up or down based on team needs.

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

ProjectManager logo - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $15/user/month

3. ProjectManager – Best Scrum software for using hybrid methodologies

ProjectManager screenshot - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

Project Manager provides an array of management tools beyond Scrum management features, making it a useful tool if you work to a hybrid methodology.

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 between different task and project views to help visualize work, too. The notifications are 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
MeisterTask logo - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity
  • freemium version
  • From $8.25/user/month

4. MeisterTask – Best Scrum tool for beginners

MeisterTask screenshot - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

Meistertask's simple visual interface helps make it intuitive for beginners.

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 to 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, its 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
Wrike logo - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity
  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $9.80/user/month

5. Wrike – Best scrum tool for teams of all sizes

Wrike screenshot - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

Plan sprints on Gantt charts, Kanban boards, tables, and more.

Wrike is an award-winning, easy-to-use project management software trusted by 20,000+ organizations worldwide. It’s suitable for teams with anywhere from five members to an unlimited number of members. It includes Scrum tools and features, and is highly configurable, allowing users to customize workflows, dashboards, reports, request forms, and more.

Wrike’s simple interface enables users to switch between Agile Kanban boards, one-click Gantt charts, and traditional workload views. The tool also comes with a number of pre-built Agile templates. Wrike also features task lists, subtasks, schedules, shared workflows, file sharing, and real-time collaboration. Automatically prioritize your backlog, plan sprints with Gantt charts and Kanban boards, and track your sprint success with one-click reports.

Wrike has an easy-to-use, intuitive interface and navigation with distinct spaces, folders, and tasks. Users can toggle quickly between the home screen and timesheets, dashboards, calendars, reports, and an activity stream. Wrike has a dedicated help center with interactive training, videos, a ‘Getting Started’ guide, and a thriving community.

Wrike offers 400+ pre-built native integrations, including integrations with the most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.

Pricing starts at $9.80 per user per 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.

Nutcache logo - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $6/user/month

6. Nutcache – Best Scrum tool for managing time, expenses, and billing

Nutcache screenshot - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

Organize sprints and tasks visually to track and manage projects.

Organize sprints and tasks visually to track and manage projects.

Nutcache is a Scrum-enabled collaboration platform for planning, organizing, and analyzing tasks when it comes to both basic and complex levels of project management. The software includes features for time tracking and invoice payment for all sorts of different types of projects.

Nutcache helps you manage and track your project with color-coded schedules, task organization queues, and data reporting. You can also use their Gantt chart to visually plan and organize your tasks and then switch to a Scrum board view.

Nutcache has lots of sprint management features as well, and lets users choose the sprint duration, define its goal, link the sprint to its release, and close it once the duration is reached. You can also make sure users stay aligned with the sprint goal by measuring task progress (WIP), defining acceptance tests, and using labels to improve the sprint workflow.

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.

Jira logo - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity
  • 7 days free trial
  • From $10/month

7. Jira – Best Scrum tool software for software engineering and testing

Jira screenshot - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

Jira offers a rich suite of Scrum tools useful for software teams, including Release Management, Issues Management, Code Repository

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
Targetprocess logo - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity
  • freemium version
  • Free trial
  • From $20/user/month

8. Targetprocess – Best Scrum tool for SAFe and LeSS

Targetprocess screenshot - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

Targetprocess offers an enteprise-grade platform that scales quickly and can handle complexity.

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
ClickUp logo - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity
  • freemium version
  • From $5/user/month

9. ClickUp – Best Scrum tool for bargain hunters who want lots of features

ClickUp screenshot - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

Beyond the ClickUp Scrum board, you'll find time tracking, scheduling, workflow management, and more.

ClickUp strikes an impressive balance between high performance and practicality and offers 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
Vivify Scrum logo - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity
  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $8/user/month

10. Vivify Scrum – Best Scrum software user interface

Vivify Scrum screenshot - 10 Of the Best Scrum Tools to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

You'll find visually intuitive Scrum boards and reports in Vivify Scrum's friendly interface.

VivifyScrum 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.

VivifyScrum 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.

VivifyScrum 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

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:

  1. Scrumdesk – Best free Scrum tool for small teams
  2. FunRetro – Best Scrum software for planning Retrospectives
  3. SprintGround – Best Scrum tool for software and web developers
  4. VersionOne – Best Scrum software for DevOps
  5. Orangescrum – Best open source Scrum software
  6. SwiftKanban – Best Scrum tool for Scrumban teams

Want Help Finding The Right Solution?

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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 sprint backlog should include ample storage, and must enable prioritization of tasks and user stories. The Scrum tool should provide tools for backlog management and allow for changes and adjustments.

2. Sprints

This is the heart of any Scrum tool. Sprints are repeated, predetermined periods of time for completing sets of tasks or work items 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. The tool should also include the ability to create and manage Scrum boards.

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, facilitating team collaboration, 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 give 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

  • AvatarJack Fernandezsays:

    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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