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There are several tools that help Agile software development teams collaborate, track progress, streamline workflows, optimize resource allocation, improve efficiency and productivity, and adapt to changing requirements on the fly. And all of the above help developers deliver high-quality software faster. This guide will discuss the following top tools for Agile development in terms of their features, pros, cons, and pricing so you can pick the best one for your team’s needs:
Best for Agile software development teams seeking a user-friendly tool with Kanban boards and robust task management and team collaboration.
ActiveCollab is a project management tool for Agile development teams that offers Kanban boards and excels in task management and team collaboration.
ActiveCollab has a long list of features that make it an attractive tool for Agile development teams. Some of its highlights include:
ActiveCollab is quite deep in the team collaboration department. Agile teams can use the developer tool to stay in sync and share ideas via mentions, comments, chat, discussions, notes, file sharing, and integration with Slack. Agile project managers looking to implement Scrum in ActiveCollab can do so by setting up a Kanban board and planning a sprint. They can then have daily stand-ups, build software, and have a sprint review and retrospective once everything is complete.
Besides Kanban boards, ActiveCollab also has Gantt, list, and calendar views. It offers project management (quickstart templates, project importing, project sorting, etc.) and task management (subtasks, task lists, assignees, due dates, etc.), plus automation to save time on recurring tasks. And if you want to connect to other third-party developer tools, ActiveCollab allows you to do so via Zapier.
ActiveCollab’s pros include:
ActiveCollab is user-friendly, even for beginners. It gives software development teams several ways to collaborate, and its Kanban boards are useful for implementing Scrum. Another area where the project management software shines is in task management.
ActiveCollab’s cons include:
ActiveCollab upgrades can be buggy, and its performance tends to suffer with large and complex projects. Although the Agile project management tool comes with plenty of out-of-the-box features, its extensibility could improve with more third-party integrations.
ActiveCollab pricing is as follows:
ActiveCollab’s Free plan gives you Kanban boards, unlimited projects, discussions, notes, task management, an activity log, and timesheets. The Plus plan adds calendar and Gantt views, unlimited clients, and project templates. Pro gives you unlimited members, time reports, expense tracking, advanced reporting, and Zapier integration. And Pro + Get Paid offers workload management, invoicing, time estimates, online payments, budgeting, and user availability.
You can learn more by reading our ActiveCollab Review.
Best for larger Agile teams looking for user-friendly Kanban boards, scalability, and third-party integrations to deliver three times faster.
True to its name, Kanbanize is a project management tool based heavily on Kanban principles. The Agile tool claims to be the only PM software on the market that offers horizontal and vertical scaling, and it is ideal for development teams seeking an intuitive, versatile, extensible, and user-friendly solution to increase visibility across teams and “deliver three times faster.”
Some of Kanbanize’s top features to help Agile teams “deliver three times faster” include:
The Agile tool’s Kanban boards let project managers and developers visualize workflow and gain transparency into task progress. You can interlink Kanban boards to connect multiple workflows across an organization and manage dependencies, use swimlanes to separate work categories, create structure with sub-columns, customize board backgrounds, use card templates to save time, merge lanes/columns, and more.
Kanbanize has management dashboards for instant insights and tracking (Initiatives and Outcomes Hub, Workflow Performance Summary, etc.) and robust workflow management. The latter includes customizable workflows, timelines, card ordering for prioritization, and work-in-progress limits. Project forecasting helps predict how much work you can deliver in the future and by when, and reporting and analytics (cumulative flow diagrams, cycle time heat maps, throughput run charts, etc.) offer insights into how you are doing now. Kanbanize also offers extensibility by integrating with popular third-party tools like Trello, Google Drive, Dropbox, GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and more.
Advantages that Kanbanize offers include:
Kanbanize should be easy to use even for non-technical members of Agile teams, as it relies heavily on simple drag-and-drop functionality and has an intuitive interface and dashboards. And if you are looking for an all-in-one project management tool to serve other parts of a large organization (finance, tech support, etc.) beyond just a development team, Kanbanize can answer the call with its long list of features that offer ultimate versatility.
Customer support is another area where Kanbanize shines, whether you need quick answers to specific questions from staff or seek solutions from its in-depth knowledge base. And while Kanbanize offers plenty of out-of-the-box functionality, the Agile tool can be extended even more through third-party integrations with popular developer tools like GitHub, Dropbox, Trello, etc.
Disadvantages of Kanbanize include:
While Kanbanize offers a free trial, it does not have a free plan like other Agile tools. This is bad news for individual developers and Agile teams with limited budgets. Even worse, the Standard plan’s starting price is set for 15 users. In other words, smaller teams will end up paying more than they bargained for per person.
Kanbanize offers scalability, but as you scale and dip into larger, more complex projects with added integrations, file attachments, etc., you may see system performance suffer. Another area where Kanbanize could improve is with time tracking. There is an option to log time on task cars, but a more advanced time-tracking feature found in many project management tools would be welcome.
Add single sign-on and two-factor authentication, and the Standard plan’s price jumps to a minimum of $169 per month, billed annually.
The Standard plan offers unlimited Kanban boards and workspaces, customizable workflows, timelines, management dashboards, customizable dashboards, project forecasting, interlinked boards, email integration, card templates, work-in-progress limits and charts, swimlanes, dependency management, cumulative flow diagrams, file attachments, custom fields, subtasks, mentions, filtering, standard support, and 100GB of storage. The Enterprise plan offers 1TB of storage, enterprise support, free migration from other tools, and unlimited user limits.
Best for Agile teams seeking scalability, Scrum and Kanban boards, thousands of integrations, and time-saving automation.
Jira is highly-popular project management software that is said to be the top tool for Agile development teams. It is ideal for Agile teams seeking robust Scrum and Kanban boards, development-minded templates that minimize setup, time-saving automation, bug tracking, and thousands of third-party integrations.
When looking at some of Jira’s highlighted features, it is easy to see why it is the preferred tool of so many Agile software development teams:
Jira offers several templates (bug tracking, DevOps, Scrum, Kanban, etc.) to help software development teams get started quickly. Its Scrum boards help Agile project managers make complex projects more manageable by breaking them down into smaller tasks, while its Kanban boards limit work-in-progress, maximize efficiency, and let them visualize workflow.
Jira’s drag-and-drop automation is so easy to use that some have called it “fun.” The Agile tool also allows for custom workflows, filters, and fields. Project managers can gain instant insight into progress with Jira’s dashboards, reporting (sprint reports, burndown charts, velocity charts, etc.), and multiple views, and its roadmaps can keep teams on the same page. Open DevOps puts all of the developers’ favorite tools in one place, and you can extend Jira’s already impressive functionality further through thousands of third-party integrations.
Jira’s strengths include:
Jira has no problem supporting Agile teams of all sizes (1-20,000 members). Developers can customize the Agile tool to fit their unique needs, and they can save a ton of time thanks to its drag-and-drop automation for recurring tasks and quickstart templates for bug tracking, DevOps, and more.
Jira’s weaknesses include:
Non-technical users on Agile teams may take time to adapt to Jira’s complexity. Some of that is due to its non-intuitive interface. Jira does offer plenty of third-party integrations for collaboration. But if you were looking for out-of-the-box collaborative functionality, you may come away disappointed. Also disappointing is Jira’s Free plan with limited features for budget-minded users.
Jira gives Agile teams four pricing plans to choose from:
Jira’s Free plan supports unlimited project boards and offers 2GB of storage, community support, reporting and insights, and a backlog and timeline. The Standard plan includes 250GB of storage, audit logs, user roles and permissions, business hour support, and data residency. The Premium plan adds project archiving, 24/7 dedicated support, advanced roadmaps, guaranteed uptime, unlimited storage, and sandbox/release tracks. Enterprise supports unlimited sites and includes 24/7 enterprise support and centralized security controls/user subscriptions.
You can learn more by reading our Jira Project Management Review.
When shopping for Agile development software, read reviews to ensure the product is user-friendly, has an intuitive interface, and has solid support. Consider your Agile development team’s budget, too, as some tools offer free plans with essential features, while others can get pricy as the size of your team grows. Scalability and customization are other factors to consider, as are features. Some common features to look for in Agile development tools include third-party integrations, sprint planning, task tracking, backlog management, team collaboration, and reporting and analytics.
The tools listed above are some of the best for Agile development. Before picking one for your software development team, make sure it fits your needs in terms of pricing, user-friendliness, integrations, and features.
Now that you have checked out some of the top tools for Agile development, you may want to look at a few of our other roundups for project management tools that are not specifically for Agile environments. We highlight a few below: