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10 Tools To Keep Your Agile Dev Projects On Track

Agile development is standard development in many companies. The right tools for managing the agile process can make the difference between success and struggle for your team. Here are our 10 picks to keep you on track.
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(Image: skeeze via Pixabay)

(Image: skeeze via Pixabay)

Agile development is standard operating procedure in many companies today, and not only in IT departments. Agile discipline is being used in marketing, accounting, HR, and more. In each of those cases everything is much more agile with the right tools.

It's important to note that agile development doesn't require any particular tool or set of tools. Yet the right tools can make a huge difference when it comes to making agile effective for your organization. So what does a tool have to do in order to be an Agile tool?

First, the tool must be able to track the sorts of metrics and goals that apply to Agile projects. That means tracking time, progress, and time to completion, generating reports meaningful to different stakeholders, and supporting quality assurance goals for the project.

[What's ahead for your career? Read 10 Best Tech Jobs for 2016.]

Next, a valuable Agile tool must support communications -- within and between teams -- that contain task lists, ongoing feedback, and task assignments for team members. It's important that the communications work for geographically distributed teams. They should also provide appropriate information for stakeholders and managers who aren't explicitly part of the team, but who need to be kept up-to-date on project progress.

Finally, the tool should be able to assist in evaluating performance, identifying and providing feedback on performance, and locating mitigating errors. Now, not every tool will address all of these issues, but if a tool doesn't address any of them, then it's probably not a great Agile tool.

Many of these tools will be valuable for development efforts that aren't Agile, and some can be used for tasks that aren't related to development at all. When you're looking for tools that will aid and assist your Agile dev team, though, these are candidates that you should consider.

Are there other tools that should make the list? Are there tools that your team is using that others should know about? Let me know in the comments section below -- and let the InformationWeek community benefit from your experience.

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Curtis Franklin Jr. is executive editor for technical content at InformationWeek. In this role he oversees product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he acts as executive producer for InformationWeek Radio and Interop Radio where he works with ... View Full Bio

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soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 4:40:10 PM
AgileZen
There's also a "name your own price" program that supports charitable causes. If you name a price that's higher than the flat rate, the program donates half the overage to charity. 

Okay, now I like AgileZen as well.....
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 4:37:15 PM
Yodiz
Added bonus: The company makes its software available at no cost to non-profit organizations.

I already like Yodiz a lot.
GlennF622
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GlennF622,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2016 | 5:11:53 PM
Where is Trello?
How come Trello wasn't listed? That was also originally born from an internal app from Fog Creek Software. 
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/3/2016 | 12:32:11 PM
Mingle
Our shop adopted Mingle as part of our transition to Agile. We love the flexibility of the tool. We chose it because it fit our agile evolution, rather than buy the tool and then create agile around it.
ANON1243528952370
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ANON1243528952370,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2016 | 12:03:44 PM
Workfront
Our organization uses Workfront and likes how it integrates Agile work with project and operational work. It allows us to keep all our work in a single software. It may be a good choice for smaller application development teams and for organizations that want an integrated work system. Workfront can also be integrated with Jira. 
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
2/3/2016 | 10:14:36 AM
Re: Lightweight tool
@Li Tan good point, I trust you are right...
Alena Kuzniatsova
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Alena Kuzniatsova,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2016 | 5:19:19 AM
Re: Lightweight tool
I could not agree more about the Agile manifesto and "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools"! However, it is difficult to do distributed or complex development without an appropriate tool. As for Jira, like mentioned at page 2 of this article, it is not perfect for every team. Some of the other tools listed in this article have been developed specifically for Agile development and support the Agile methodology very well. So every team has the right to choose and decide what is best in their case.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
2/2/2016 | 2:07:48 AM
Lightweight tool
I would prefer lightweight tool like JIRA. The professional tools like RTC and RallyDev are too heavy for most teams. For Agile development, I think we need to focus on the Agile manifesto and the key principles instead of focusing too much on tools.
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