Agility has emerged as one of the most popular project management methodologies in the digital age. But more often than not, an agile project can be efficiently executed only with certain supporting tools. Let’s look at the common tools that are used for agile implementation.
Velocity refers to the amount of work that a development team performs in a sprint. A velocity chart, as the name suggests, quantifies the velocity of a team, so that you could estimate accurately the amount of work that could be expected to be finished in the upcoming sprints. The numeric value that you get in a velocity chart is the sum of all the finished stories in the sprint, and also the ones that are yet to be completed.
Multiple factors would influence these estimates, including the number of hours for each story and also their individual business value. It is an invaluable tool when you need to figure out how long it will possibly take for the team to finish all the sprints that make up the project. As project managers would surely know, that’s something which is crucial to know, to measure if the project could be delivered on time.
Visual Studio Team Services
Many software development projects make use of Microsoft’s Visual Studio platform. If that is true with your project as well, the Visual Studio Team Services or VSTS could be an ideal tool for you to use. For one thing, the tool integrates seamlessly with the Visual Studio platform. The ultimate agenda with the platform is to manage a software project easily. The tool is free to use for up to five users, with certain features that need to be paid for. One main reason why this tool is useful in software projects is that you could easily trace any changes that have been made in a software code, which makes identifying bugs and optimizing the code more painless.
Axosoft if a tool which is useful in agile projects, particularly for identifying bugs in the software that is being developed. The tool also helps create a scrum framework while planning agile projects. With its agile-centric features, the tool helps you finish projects within the allotted budget, helping you keep track of the project’s progress, so it finishes before the deadline. Of course, given how it helps keep codes bug-free, you can be sure that the end product is devoid of errors. With Axosoft, you can get a progress report for each and every stage of the project’s workflow. Each of these project reports is rather exhaustive so that you could easily assess the quality of the tasks that are executed in each phase of the workflow. This also helps you decide whether you should intervene when bottlenecks arise.
You probably know that the Kanban board is a visual tool that is commonly employed in agile tools, which gives a pictorial representation of the tasks in progress. It also gives a clear view of what tasks are yet to be started. In many cases, the Kanban board is a physical board that is fixed to a common wall which could be accessed by the entire team. LeankitKanban is a virtual card system that maps the principles of the Kanban board onto the digital realm. Aside from helping you schedule tasks to be performed, it also helps you keep track of the workflow using an easy-to-use visual interface. Another use of the tool is to optimize the workflow based on visual information pertaining to bottlenecks and other problems that you might glean from it. It also makes it easier for team members to collaborate with each other. Since everyone can see the progress of tasks at any given moment, one could see if someone is struggling with their tasks and could step in to help them if they have the resources for that. LeankitKanban can also be integrated easily with other systems, so implanting it to be a part of how your agile projects function is as easy as it gets.
One of the main working principles of agility is its ethos of close collaboration between the development team and the client for whom the product is being developed. In traditional project management systems, the client provides the requirements and once the development team has decided on a course to deliver the product, the client pretty much stays out of the picture. However, in agility, the client could get the chance to provide their feedback after every product iteration. This has two advantages. One is that the development team may get insights on improving the product that they may not have thought of themselves. The other is that you could be sure that the product you are developing is exactly the one that the client requires. This avoids having to rework a product after final delivery. An active Collab is a tool that particularly helps in this context. Using it, you could easily control what parts of the project’s progress different users- including clients- could view. You also get the provisions to keep the clients updated with messages and share other information that is relevant to them. But that’s not to say that the sole purpose of Active Collab is keeping your clients in the loop (important as that is). Far from it. You could, for instance, plan a project in detail using Active Collab. Also, you can share documents and other files that could help team members finish their tasks, using the platform. The platform also enables you to track the time that team members take to finish their tasks. In fact, you could even track the expense of an ongoing project across its multiple phases. The tool also supports collaboration- you could make use of its many features to brainstorm ideas with your team members.
Smarsheet is a useful tool for agile projects, especially from a collaboration perspective. Using it, you could define how exactly the team members should collaborate across the duration of a project. It’s also a handy tool to plan events related to the project. Another way in which Smartsheet becomes useful is in tracking the efficacy of marketing campaigns. You could define teams inside the Smarthsheet, and also the projects and tasks on which each team should work together.
MeisterTask is yet another tool that’s used in many agile projects. It’s a task management platform which is based on the cloud. You wouldn’t have to worry about losing any of the information that you feed into it as everything will be backed up in the cloud. The tool supports projects carried out by teams of different sizes- from small to large. Like with some of the other tools that have been mentioned here, you could track the time that team members spend on tasks using this tool as well. You could also generate reports regarding the project’s progress easily using this tool. These reports give you a good idea of how the project is progressing and also can be shared with other team members so that they could also be updated with information relevant to the project.
The tool can also be seamlessly integrated with other tools including GitHub and Slack. While that’s certainly a useful feature, it also points at some limitations of the tools as it lacks all the necessary features that you may wish for holistic project management. You can get the app for free for iOS and Windows.
Binfire is a collaboration tool which helps with agile project management. Team members could use the different features in the tool to plan a project. The planning can be done to a reasonable degree of detail. Once the project starts, you could keep track of its progress using Binfire. Also, the tool offers features that can be wielded to efficiently coordinate the different team members so that their actions lead to the completion of the project.
You could set up milestones for all projects that you are managing, Tasks could be distributed amongst the relevant team members. A list of tasks that are yet to be performed could easily be maintained, serving as a quick reference when you need to know how much more needs to be done before the product could be delivered. In almost all projects, team members would require certain reference documents and files for the efficient completion of the project. To support this, Binfire provides online file storage, so that the team members could access the relevant files whenever they want to. Another useful feature that the tool provides is the virtual whiteboard. As the name implies, this is a digital whiteboard- a space that could be used by team members during brainstorming sessions and other meetings. The tool also comes with decent set of features specifically meant to aid project management. For instance, you could not only create tasks but also sub-tasks under each task. This is a feature particularly useful in complex projects involving large numbers of tasks and sub-tasks. The tool also helps you view and manage the dependencies that each task comes with.
DailyScrum is a virtual tool that has been developed specifically to design and manage agile projects. Using the tool, you could plan for individual components of an agile project like the release of the project. One of the most useful features is sprint planning by which you could plan individual sprints in detail. Given how sprints form the centrepiece of any agile project, this is a significant feature. You could track the tasks in a project quite easily using DailyScrum. It’s also easy to review the project’s progress using the tool. You could easily arrange the tasks according to a list of priorities and see to it that the tasks are finished in the required order. If there are any bottlenecks, you could identify them easily as such scenarios would inevitably reflect in a task getting delayed, which you could monitor on DailyScrum. You could then take the relevant actions to solve the bottleneck before it delays the task by too much.
Visual Paradigm is a project management tool that is especially suited for developing digital products. The core idea of the tool is to help developers create apps fast without sacrificing the quality of the product, that too at fewer expenses.
The tool gives you an array of features to help you meet these objectives. For instance, it comes embedded with something called ueXceler. It’s a methodology for agile projects that has theory, principles and useful tools including storyboards and user story maps. The tool also helps you create a visual model of the database using the Entity Relationship Diagram. To this end, the platform also brings you the ORM Diagram tool. Just as you can visually model the database, you could model the process too with this tool. For this, you get a set of tools including a Process map diagram and a Data flow diagram.
The platform also can create an object-relational mapping layer. This layer helps you access the DB in an object-oriented manner while you are developing the software code. Among other features, the layer contains a connection pool and transaction support. It even helps you customize SQL statements. Further, the tool also provides various document templates. You could customize many of these templates as well. This feature helps you easily document the specifications of the software products that you develop.
A sprint is a tool that is designed to help agile teams deliver high-quality products without overshooting the deadline. The key advantage of the tool- created by Zoho sticks- is its simplicity. You could perform multiple functions related to designing and implementing an agile project from a single space using this tool. Among other things, you could create user stories and add estimates using this tool. The tool has an app version for both iOS and Android. This ensures that you can keep engaging with the project even while you are on the move.
The tool offers a high level of customizability on its scrum board. You could tweak the labels and fields on the board according to the requirements of your project. You could also easily reshuffle the priorities of the items in the scrum broad. To move a task across the board when it is finished, you just click and drag it.
It is also a handy tool to keep track of the progress of tasks in a project. You could assign task priority using the scrum backlog. You can check the progress of tasks in the scrum board and see how the tasks are progressing across time. The tool also makes it super-easy to visualize key metrics and other useful figures using burndown and charts and velocity charts. Another useful feature of Sprints enables you to set up meetings with an individual team member or a group of team members as per the requirement. To learn what tasks each team member is engaged in at any point in time, you can check out the pie charts and other graphs that the tool has. Related to this, you could also track the amount of time team members spent on a task. This feature is particularly useful if the team members are employed on a per-hour basis, and you need to know the exact time they worked to calculate their salary.
While many project management and tasks management tools are available in the market, one crucial feature that’s missing in most of them is the one which helps you accurately predict the time in which you could deliver a project, based on how the project is currently progressing. You may think that with the tasks-tracking ability that many of the tools have, such a feature would be common. But the surprising truth is that it isn’t. I’m Productive, meanwhile helps me make highly accurate judgments about when the project could be delivered. In fact, the project management tool even incorporates a powerful artificial intelligence which helps you do this. You just need to click on a button to get the estimate. To ensure that the estimate is accurate, the underlying metrics are measured accurately by the system. Let’s take the number of hours each team member spends on a task as an example. I’m Productive makes sure that this metric doesn’t include the break time that someone takes while a task is yet to be finished.
But this perhaps-unique feature aside, there are plenty of other features too that make I’m Productive an ideal project management tool for agile projects. For instance, there are ample features included in the system which support the running of sprints- which are the central aspect of agile projects. As you probably know, sprints are short phases in which a set number of pre-determined tasks are performed by the team members, with a stated objective. This helps ensure that frequent updates can be made to the product. In I’m Productive, you could easily assign tasks to different team members according to the requirements. And once the scrum begins, you could easily track the progress of the task using Kanban board or other relevant tools. The task will be in the in-progress stage at this point. You have provisions to communicate individually with a team member or with the team as a whole so that you could help guide them through performing the tasks. To provide any feedback, you could comment directly on a task. If the team members require documents or other information that they need to refer to complete a task, you could share those in a common space from where all members with the required permission could access them. Once a task is finished, it can be moved into the review phase. But after the review is over, you get two options. The first is to mark it as finished if the task is completed satisfactorily. The second option lets you reassign the task to a team member if there is more to be done on it.
This latter option is particularly useful when some requirement comes mid-sprint in an agile project. That would necessitate the relevant tasks to be redefined and to be performed anew. But that’s just one among the many advantages that this project management tool has from an agility perspective.
You can learn more about how I’m Productive can help you manage your agile projects by visiting their website.
Just leave your email and our support team will help you