Top Software Development Tools Used by Agile Teams
Top Software Development Tools Used by Agile Teams
With Agile being one of the most widely used methodology for software development, read about the most effective tools used by Agile teams.
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What makes a software development project successful? The essential elements are a good team, a sufficient budget, and a set of effective tools. All these components depend on the software development methodology you choose.
There are more than 5 software development methodologies, however, the most popular one is Agile. It represents an iterative and incremental software development in cross-functional teams with flexible requirements that can be changed depending on the product owner or customer needs. Therefore, when it comes to commercial software development, Agile is the most used methodology.
In this article, we’ve gathered the most effective software development tools used by Agile teams.
Jira is a pioneer in software development. Founded by Atlassian company back in 2002, the brand started as a handy tool for issue tracking and since then developed into a multitasking project management software.
Agile teams can:
- track QA activities, sort them out by priority and gravity, trace their progress and resolutions;
- start, manage and finish software development projects, track projects by teams, issues, tasks, and so on;
- manage product development, reviewing the development stages and analyzing the progress, track product versions, and releases;
- analyze statistics on projects, bugs, issues, tasks, team performance, and others.
Jira is a versatile tool. For a newcomer, it can be rather complex. Therefore, you’ll need to spend some time learning how to use it. Project managers can use Scrum and Kanban boards for project tracking, use burnup and burndown charts for tracking statistics, manage workflow, use Jira Query Language (JQL) for quick search, and much more.
Atlassian company offers a wide range of add-ons for Jira like time tracking extensions, Gantt charts, project management app integrations, and others. It has a strong community and support. For example, the Confluence solution represents a wiki-like service with articles on how to use Jira.
Jira is a powerful tool that can be used in a cloud or deployed as an in-house solution. It offers a freemium tier for cloud-based use and easily integrates with other Atlassian products like Bitbucket and Trello.
It’s easy to get lost in Jira, therefore, if you need a simple solution then Active Collab is a great choice for your project or small business. Active Collab is a project management software that lets you:
- manage documents;
- track time spent on particular tasks or a whole project;
- prioritize and control tasks;
- visualize task dependencies;
- use budgeting features, and client billing;
- communicate through email;
- generate reports.
Active Collab has a wide language choice and integrates with the most popular project management apps such as Basecamp, GoogleDrive, Asana, QuickBook, and others. Moreover, Active Collab is compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows platforms. Its minimum tier starts with $7 per user a month, but you can use a free trial before opting for this solution.
Agile Bench is another project management tool that suits best for mid-size teams. This tool provides software developers with the most essential features of Agile projects. It allows:
- analyzing the workload of each team member;
- managing project tasks by assigning them to team members and estimating their priority with Fibonacci points;
- tracking project development and its releases through a product backlog featured on a story wall;
- controlling project budgeting;
- doing project analytics with the help of burndown and velocity charts.
Agile Bench supports Mac OS, Windows, and Linux platforms and it integrates well with GitHub and Bitbucket. To integrate your project info with other systems you can use Agile Bench open API with read-only access to resources and read/write access to comments and stories. The starting price for Agile Bench is $10 a month per user.
Agile Manager developed by HP company is a powerful tool that helps to plan a software development project from its beginning to product release. In HP Agile Manager you can easily scale your team size from one team to several distributed teams in different locations.
With HP Agile Manager your team will be able to:
- plan software development project by collecting, choosing, and prioritizing user stories;
- track real-time project progress in Scrum board and dashboards on the main page;
- perform risk analysis;
- plan sprints by dragging and dropping tasks into the backlog;
- deploy the code into the system or product environment;
- track project metrics on dashboards and customize them;
- combine Agile Manager with other tools such as Jenkins, Git, Bamboo, Eclipse to gather the necessary data.
HP Agile Manager pricing starts at $39 a month per user with a free trial version and only English support.
Pivotal Tracker is one of the many tools provided by Pivotal Labs that was built especially for Agile project management. It has a simple and user-friendly User Interface (UI). The core part of the app is a panel with listed tasks that can be also used as user stories. The tasks are divided into iterations, each can be ranked with points. Based on these points the app automatically calculates a team’s velocity, identifying the approximate workload that can be done through a day.
Apart from the main panel with tasks Pivotal Tracker also offers:
- task dependency management;
- communication field for each task;
- breaking tasks into smaller parts;
- using matches for quick search;
- detailed analytics;
- project file sharing.
Pivotal Tracker has a freemium for up to 5 users per project and the Startup tier of $10 per month with up to 10 users.
If you want a more detailed project management tool than Pivotal Tracker then Easy Redmine is right for you. It’s another Agile project management tool with lots of customizable features embedded in a consequential order, just like a Russian doll.
Easy Redmine represents several tabs:
- Home tab contains a customizable Personal Home Page for tracking overall project progress;
- Projects tab contains project portfolios where each project can be divided into sub-projects and smaller project items. You can also create new projects in the Projects tab or export your projects in various formats like CSV, PDF, and others;
- Tasks tab contains all the tasks inserted into the app. There you can sort tasks by users or view them in a calendar or Gantt chart. Each task has more customizable features like discussion field, time tracking feature, resource management, and much more.
With Easy Redmine you can create a well-thought project, however, it may have too many features for a simple one. The tool offers a tier called Small team that costs $78 a month billed annually and allows adding up to 25 users in the app.
VersionOne is another detailed project management tool, just like Easy Redmine. Though it’s more aimed at the stages of software development. It’s divided into:
- Product planning with a backlog and configurable tasks;
- Release planning with statistics of planned and fulfilled tasks;
- Sprint planning that allows adding tasks from the backlog into different types of sprints;
- Sprint tracking with Kanban board to manage tasks in a project;
- Reports with detailed reports on every task and team performance.
All these elements allow performing different approaches of Agile such as using Kanban boards, Large Scale Scrums (LeSS), DaD (Disciplined Agile Delivery), and the Hybrid approach – the mix of Kanban and Scrum.
VersionOne price starts with $29 a month per user with a free trial. Also, it runs only on a web-based platform.
Planbox is another powerful project management tool. It is built on the idea of layers in its core, breaking a software development company’s work into smaller bits from initiatives to projects, from projects to items, from items to tasks. This way Planbox makes it possible for teams to plan, prioritize, share, and track project work. The tool follows the ideas of the Agile manifesto, putting team collaboration into focus over rigid documentation development and measuring teams’ efficiency over work evaluation.
- planning and estimating development efforts with velocity charts;
- tracking development time;
- task management;
- generate detailed reports with burndown charts and progress reports;
- sharing documents and links attached to tasks;
- easy integration with Github to store program code, Zendesk to track customer satisfaction, UserVoice to track bugs, and other apps.
Planbox runs on any browser, has Android and iOS versions. Its freemium includes 2 users, 2 projects, and 1 organization, while the Group plan starts at $5 a month per user up to 50 users.
Axosoft is a robust and user-friendly solution with an intuitive interface, yet packed with features. It offers:
- Scrum Agile framework with easy sprints and release planning;
- Scrum Mode for daily progress estimation;
- thorough statistics with item chart, burndown board, cycle time estimation, projected ship dates, flow charts, and others;
- bug tracking features;
- help desk solution for a support team to manage customer tickets and conversations promptly;
- organizing wiki pages depending on a project;
- differentiated access for external users;
- easy integration with GitLab, GitHub, Bitbucket, Visual Studio, Sublime Text, Zendesk.
Axosoft can be installed or hosted in a cloud. Its pricing starts with $105 a month for 5 users onboard for a cloud solution and $1,250 one time payment for an installed solution for 5 users.
LeanKit has a Kanban board in its heart that allows building multiple boards with various projects. It’s a highly visual solution not overwhelmed with additional features. LeanKit reminds Atlassian solution Trello a lot with one great advantage – you don’t need to scroll your board far to the side to see the completed or in-progress tasks as they can be conveniently folded to the side, changing one another on the screen.
Besides that, you can change the view of your tasks, switching them between a day, week, or month view. LeanKit represents a simple and convenient solution for small projects that don’t require many resources or much risk planning.
You can purchase the subscription for LeanKit at $20 per user a month or start with a free trial of one month.
Project management tools are an important part of any project. They keep projects neat and tidy which results in error-free, fast, and cheaper app development. Well-chosen tools can help you keep your tasks organized, stay within the deadline borders, keep every team member busy, and perform appropriate planning in general.
When choosing your project management software you need to consider not only project management software price. If a tool is expensive it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll meet all your project needs. Therefore, it’s important to consider the size and type of your project, if you need to plan resources, track the time of your employees, anticipate risks, and others.
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