12 must-have agile tools that keep software engineers productive (2022)

For the last decade, one of the hottest questions for development teams has been whether or not to embrace the idea of agile development, a philosophy that encourages developers to be flexible and creative in delivering just what the user needs.

The idea began when developers chafed under managers who imposed highly structured plans with fixed roles and inflexible schedules, pushing programmers into tight boxes. The programmers craved a chance to unleash their intuitive and improvisational ways of collaborating.

While some hidebound developers saw only chaos in the idea of letting developers roam freely and organize their own workflow, the idea has caught on. Studies have found that more than one quarter of development teams have used at least some agile methods in the last year.

Tools of the trade

The key to success in agile development is to enable flexibility while maintaining organization. The best way to do this is to deploy a set of good tools that help track the project and organize the team's progress. They don't impose strict schedules and roles, but merely make it easier for the developers to self-manage and converge on their goals.

There are dozens of software products designed to help managers set priorities and developers write code that addresses them. Some of these tools are designed to track different forms of development, including projects that are more centrally managed, but they are flexible enough to be used for agile development. Others are built specifically to fit the agile model and nurture as much programmer freedom as possible.

The tools support the project by helping the team identify the requirements and split them into a number of smaller tasks. Then it tracks the programmers as they work collaboratively on the parts. The process is often split up into short cycles that gradually converge on the final result. The cycles alternate between planning sessions and code sprints. Keeping the cycle short and including plenty of developer feedback in the planning lets the team adjust and focus.

A common feature of all these agile tools is a graphic dashboard that reports how the team is progressing and meeting the goals. Some of the more sophisticated tools are integrated with code repositories and continuous integration tools that automatically graph how the new code is evolving. Is the latest code passing tests? Are more features coming online? These questions are all answered on a dashboard that everyone can see. When the team can follow each other's progress visually, they're better able to stay on track.

(Video) Tools used in Agile projects | Agile Project Management Tools | (TOOLS USED BY SCRUM TEAMS)

Another important part of this process is communication. Good agile tools organize the discussion and planning. The developers can focus on each of the features, tasks, or bugs in separate threads. Splitting the discussions up helps the project move forward at the right rate for each section.

Here are the top tools that are forming the foundation teams rely upon to ship code on time or even ahead of schedule.

Source control tools

Git, like some of the other tools here, wasn't built just for agile teams but is still essential. It offers much of the flexibility that teams need to move ahead. The lack of one dominant central repository makes it simpler for different developers to follow different paths and then merge their code later. Git is widely supported, and many teams now use its hosting services to keep their code organized. Many of the other tools in this list take their cues from Git and use the updates to the repository to track and test progress. Other top source control tools include Mercurial, Subversion, and CVS.

Continuous integration tools

Just like Git, continuous integration tools aren't explicitly designed to support agile development, but it would be hard to imagine running a large agile team without their help. The tools automatically add a layer of processing when code is committed, helping to ensure that the team is working smoothly together. The tools have hundreds of plugins for tasks such as creating documentation or compiling statistics. Their most important job is running unit tests that ensure the software is performing correctly after all the new code is added to the stack. Many of the tools in this list also use the results from post-commit testing to determine how quickly the code is meeting goals.

There are a number of good continuous integration tools that play well with agile management systems. Some of the best known tools include Hudson, Jenkins, Travis CI, Strider, and Integrity.

Team management tools

Agile Manager

HP's Agile Manager is built to organize and guide teams from the beginning as they plan and deploy working code through the agile model. At the early stages of the cycle during the release plan, the managers gather the user stories and decide how the teams will attack them. These set the stage for the sprints and deployment.

During each code sprint, the scrum masters and developers record their progress on the user stories and issues. All the progress (or failures) from the build and the unit tests are plotted in charts on a dashboard so the entire team can watch how they're converging on the release.

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The tool gathers information directly from major tools such as Jenkins, Git, Bamboo, and Eclipse. To complete the cycle, Agile Manager will push stories and tasks directly to these tools so developers can keep track directly from their favorite IDE.

Active Collab

From juggling tasks to tracking time and generating bills, Active Collab is organized to help software shops deliver code and account for their time. The heart of the system is a list of tasks that can be assigned and tracked from conception to completion. A system-wide calendar helps the team understand and follow everyone's roles. The system checks the amount of time devoted to all the tasks so the team can determine how accurate their estimates are.

The system also supports a collaborative writing tool so everyone can work together on documentation, an essential operation that sets the stage for more agile collaboration later.

The tool can be hosted locally or used through a cloud service.

JIRA Agile

The JIRA Agile tool adds a layer for agile project management that interacts with the other major tools from Atlassian. The team creates a list of project tasks with a tool called Confluence and then tracks them on an interactive Kanban board that developers can update as they work. The Kanban boards become the center of everyone's focus in planning how to attack the code.

The Agile tool is well-integrated with other Atlassian tools. The dashboard updates the moment code is committed to Stash or Bitbucket, Atlassian's Git hosting products. Bamboo (see number three above) offers continuous integration that builds and tests the code before reporting the relative success or failure back to the main JIRA page. Discussions take place through HipChat, which indexes the discussions to the tasks.

Agile Bench

The Agile Bench tool is a hosted platform that emphasizes tracking the work assigned to each individual. The release schedule begins as a backlog of user stories and other enhancements. As they're assigned, the team must gauge both the business impact and the cost of development by assigning an estimate of the complexity of each task in points. The dashboard tracks both of these values so that members can tell who is overloaded and which tasks are the most important.

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The tool is well-integrated with standard Git hosting sites like GitHub or Bitbucket (see number five above), allowing it to make committed code with tasks. If your project needs more, there's also an open API that can integrate the project information with any other system.

Pivotal Tracker

Pivotal Tracker is just one of a constellation of tools from Pivotal Labs created to support agile development. The core of the project is a page that lists the tasks that are often expressed as stories. Team members can rank the complexity with points, and the tool will track how many tasks are being finished each day. The constellation includes Whiteboard for team-wide discussions, Project Monitor for displaying the status of the build, and Sprout, a configuration tool.

Telerik TeamPulse

Telerik is known for its numerous frameworks for creating apps for the mobile marketplace. They've bundled much of that experience from creating their own code into TeamPulse, a tool they use to track projects. The main screen displays a page full of tasks that need to be completed and follows the team as it progresses. The menus offer configuration options and a wide variety of reports showing how the project is evolving toward completion. It also works with Telerik's other tools for building and testing code.

VersionOne

When a large enterprise embraces agile development, they need a tool that's customized to juggle multiple teams working on multiple initiatives because eventually they'll need to work together. VersionOne is designed to organize all the groups involved in development across an enterprise by providing a stable communication platform where everyone can plan the initiatives and create persistent documentation.

The tool embraces Kanban boards for following ideas and stories through the process until they're turned into working code. The system tracks all sprints and organizes the retrospective analysis so the team can start the cycle again.

Additionally, the openAgile API makes it possible to integrate Version One with other packages.

Planbox

Planbox offers four levels of organizational power to keep multiple teams working together toward a common goal. At the top are initiatives, which are the biggest and broadest abstraction. They contain projects, which are built on items that, in turn, are filled with tasks. As the team finishes the tasks, Planbox tracks the progress on all these levels and produces reports for all stakeholders. One clever feature lets you loop in customers so they can voice their opinion before the code is set in stone. The time tracking feature lets everyone compare the time they spend on an item with the estimate of how long it was thought to take.

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The tool integrates with Github (see number six above) for code storage, Zendesk for tracking customer satisfaction, UserVoice for bug tracking, and many more.

LeanKit

LeanKit aims to imitate the conference room whiteboards where most projects begin. It lets all team members post virtual notes or cards that represent all the tasks, user stories, or bugs that must be addressed. As the team finishes them, the board updates faster than any whiteboard. The software also allows multiple teams to work together in separate spaces while still coordinating their interactions.

Axosoft

Axosoft's project tool tracks the project in three different ways. The Release Planner offers a tabular view of the different tasks, bugs, and user stories. Developers drag and drop the different entries to assign them and mark them as finished. The burndown charts show graphically how quickly the team is converging on its goal. The projected ship date is displayed prominently to keep everyone on track. The planning is also done Kanban-style using the card view, where each card represents one task.

One useful feature is the customer portal that makes it possible for customers to weigh in on the development process by requesting features, giving feedback on designs, or testing new code.

Keep learning

FAQs

What tools does agile software use? ›

Jira Software is one of the most popular tools for project and issue tracking. It's particularly useful for user stories, epics, and bug tracking. This Agile development tool is mostly used by development teams and not necessarily by other business departments. Most of our clients use Jira, so we've grown fond of it.

Why are Agile tools important? ›

Agile methodology increases performance and delivers valuable products by adapting to changing events in the workplace. Agile tools ensure a quick response to changes in every stage of production, including team communication, task management, issue tracking, and knowledge sharing.

Which one is best tool used in agile software development? ›

Sprint through this list to find the best Agile project management software for your Agile team!
  • Codegiant. ...
  • ProProfs Project. ...
  • Axosoft. ...
  • Assembla. ...
  • Zoho Projects. ...
  • Asana. ...
  • Wrike. Wrike is a project management tool that works well for small Agile teams. ...
  • Trello. Trello is a popular Agile project management tool.
15 Mar 2022

Why are the 12 Agile principles important? ›

The 12 agile principles can support businesses to streamline their product-development cycles and achieve better results through a flexible, reactive system. Customers should receive the finished product sooner and provide valuable feedback to inform future releases.

Is an example of agile based tools? ›

Asana is a agile project management tool that helps assign tasks, automate processes, and collaborate easily. It offers multiple custom templates, integrations, milestone tracking, task dependencies, etc., to enable you to streamline your projects.

What is agile management tool? ›

Agile project management tools is an approach to enable teams to complete projects on time and not hinder the quality of the project. Before we give a list of Agile project management tools, lets first understand what is a Agile methodology.

What is a characteristic of Agile tools? ›

Agile characteristics are attributes focused on providing value to customers. These apply agile software development, which is a methodology that involves finding requirements and discovering solutions through collaboration. It prioritizes the customer and applies changes based on the feedback they give.

Which of these is a benefit of Agile Mcq? ›

This is Expert Verified Answer

Reduced risk- agile is flexible and has commendable change management. Regular team meetings with clients and project manager, focus on value after every sprint, respond to change quickly, collect feedbacks regularly all this reduces the risk.

Which popular tool is used in agile software development Mcq? ›

Answer: JIRA is a popular tool used in agile software development. Explanation: JIRA is the most popular and widely used tool in the agile software development.

Which of these is a benefit of agile? ›

Visibility of project details. Increased team efficiency. Ability to adapt to changes. Ability to scale.

What is agile environment and tools? ›

An Agile environment is a company or organization that supports Agile project management. The company culture encourages project teams to adopt the principles and values of the Agile methodology. The four pillars of Agile that an Agile environment must support are: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.

What are 4 values and 12 principles of agile? ›

Four values of Agile

individuals and interactions over processes and tools; working software over comprehensive documentation; customer collaboration over contract negotiation; and. responding to change over following a plan.

Which agile principles are the most important? ›

What Is Most Important According to the Agile Manifesto?
  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. ...
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation. ...
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. ...
  • Responding to change over following a plan.

Which is one of the 12 principles behind the Agile Manifesto? ›

The 12 Principles behind the Agile Manifesto

Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

How does an agile project work? ›

It focuses on breaking down large projects into more manageable tasks, which are completed in short iterations throughout the project life cycle. Teams that adopt the Agile methodology are able to complete work faster, adapt to changing project requirements, and optimize their workflow.

What techniques are used in Agile methodology? ›

Agile tools and techniques
  • Daily standup.
  • Sprint planning meetings.
  • Team review (show and tell)
  • Retrospective meetings.
  • End-of-phase retrospectives.
  • User stories.
  • The backlog.
  • Team walls.
18 Jan 2019

Is Scrum an agile tool? ›

Scrum is a subset of Agile. It is a lightweight process framework for agile development, and the most widely-used one.

Which tool is not used in agile? ›

In addition to specialized tools for agile testing, agile teams can also benefit from test automation and test management tools. The test-last workflow encouraged by such tools does not work for Agile teams.

What is agile in simple terms? ›

At its simplest, Agile simply means continuous incremental improvement through small and frequent releases. The term Agile is most commonly associated with software development as a project management methodology.

Why is agile project management important? ›

Agile project management virtually eliminates the chances of absolute project failure. Working in sprints allows teams to develop a working product from the beginning or fail fast and take another approach.

What is the key quality of agile business methodology? ›

To implement an agile business model you need to focus on creating a close network of small empowered teams. This means, you need to set clear standards of transparency, accountability, expertise, alignment, and collaboration.

What is Agile and example? ›

Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches. Instead of betting everything on a "big bang" launch, an agile team delivers work in small, but consumable, increments.

What is Agile design? ›

Agile design is a highly collaborative way of design and developing new products that breaks big tasks into groups of subtasks to be performed in short 'Sprints.

How are Agile processes implemented? ›

How to Implement Agile
  1. Step 1: Get stakeholder buy-in. ...
  2. Step 2: Start with one project. ...
  3. Step 3: Focus on empowering and motivating your team. ...
  4. Step 4: Choose a framework and stick with it. ...
  5. Step 5: Revise and adjust.

How is plan driven development different? ›

So as it appears from the term 'plan-driven development, it is always planned, and the results are to be shown at the end of the product. While in agile development, planning is always incremental, where you can change the plan according to your customer requirements.

Which of the following is a characteristic of agile development? ›

- Agile development is a group of software development methods, which include the requirements to implement the simplest solution to meet today's problem and shared code ownership. - It involves some work practices, such as test-driven development , behavior-driven development, agile testing etc.

What are the principles of agile testing technique Mcq? ›

A software testing practice that follows principles of the agile software development is called Agile Testing. Agile is an iterative development methodology, where the requirements evolve through collaboration between the customer and self-organizing teams, and agile aligns development with the customer needs.

What is Agile best answer? ›

Agile is a method of software development and project management that is gradual and iterative. Scrum is an agile methodology that aims to deliver incremental project builds in sprints. Working software is the most important indicator of progress in agile.

Which of the following is the type of agile methodologies Mcq? ›

Explanation: Scrum, FDD and DSDM are the type of agile methodologies.

What is agility in software engineering Mcq? ›

Answer: Option (c) 4. Agility is defined as the ability of a project team to respond rapidly to a change.

Why Agile is popular? ›

Agile allows teams to present a prototype and improve it with every iteration. Agile supports collaborative problem-solving. With Agile Methodology, teams identify functions effectively and work on it. Teams can do changes quickly based on end-users feedback.

Why is Agile so powerful? ›

Agile organizations keep the hierarchy as flat as possible. This empowers people to work autonomously, make decisions, and take ownership. This is why Agile teams are able to self-organize and deliver fast. With Scrum, one of most popular Agile frameworks for software development, the team has a very clear structure.

Who uses agile methodology? ›

These are large organisational changes that embrace agile working in small multidisciplinary teams that focus on delivering results in a fast, experimental and iterative manner. Well-known companies that use Agile include Apple, IBM, Microsoft and Procter & Gamble.

What is agile productivity? ›

Simply put, agile is incredibly effective for productivity because it helps keep everyone focused on one task at a time. That's precisely what teams need to do in order to complete large scope projects. If they try to do too many things at once, they will ultimately fail from being overwhelmed and disorganized.

What is an agile work environment? ›

What is an agile work environment? By definition, it's a workplace that accommodates the changing demands of employees. A single space might serve 10 different purposes at 10 different times for 10 different groups of people. The ability to quickly move in and out of these spaces is what makes them agile.

What are the 4 values of Agile? ›

The four values of the Agile Manifesto
  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  • Responding to change over following a plan.

What is most important in all Agile teams? ›

Collaboration is the key to success in an Agile team. Team members should be able to work together and not just do their own jobs. They should be able to work with each other with a shared understanding of what they are doing. They need to have the same goals and expectations about the project.

What is the first Agile principle? ›

Agile Principle 1: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable product. In other words, our priority is to focus primarily on delivering valuable products to customers early and continuously.

What are the important aspects of Agile development? ›

Each day, the agile development team is planning, working on, and completing tasks while the software is being designed, coded, tested, and integrated for customer acceptance. Each iteration, the team is planning, testing, and delivering working software.

What are the 5 phases of agile project management? ›

There are five different phases of Agile Project Management framework that occurs within a project development.
  • Envision Phase: The envision phase is the initial phase of project management within an APM framework. ...
  • Speculate Phase: ...
  • Explore Phase: ...
  • Adapt Phase: ...
  • Close Phase:
14 Sept 2021

Which statement about Agile is true? ›

1 Answer. The correct answer to the question “Which statement is true about Agile and DevOps?” is, option (d). Agile focuses on delivering customer value, while DevOps focuses on testing.

Is Jira an agile tool? ›

Jira Software is an agile project management tool that supports any agile methodology, be it scrum, kanban, or your own unique flavor. From agile boards, backlogs, roadmaps, reports, to integrations and add-ons you can plan, track, and manage all your agile software development projects from a single tool.

What are some common feature of agile tools? ›

Tools for Agile Teams
  • Progress Visualization. Overlapping with the Kanban methodology, having progress represented visually makes it much easier to see where each member of the team is with their individual projects. ...
  • Issue Tracking. ...
  • Collaboration. ...
  • Estimation. ...
  • Customer portal. ...
  • Project Portfolio.
9 Oct 2014

Is Jenkins agile tool? ›

Jenkins is an open source continuous integration/continuous delivery and deployment (CI/CD) automation software DevOps tool written in the Java programming language. It is used to implement CI/CD workflows, called pipelines.

Which popular tool is used in agile software development Mcq? ›

Answer: JIRA is a popular tool used in agile software development. Explanation: JIRA is the most popular and widely used tool in the agile software development.

What are agile teams? ›

An Agile team is a group of employees, contractors, or freelancers responsible for executing an Agile project. Agile teams are typically co-located and often wholly dedicated to the project during its timeline, with no obligations to other projects.

What is Jira tool used for? ›

Jira Software is part of a family of products designed to help teams of all types manage work. Originally, Jira was designed as a bug and issue tracker. But today, Jira has evolved into a powerful work management tool for all kinds of use cases, from requirements and test case management to agile software development.

What makes a good agile project? ›

One of the aims of an agile or iterative approach is to release benefits throughout the process rather than only at the end. At the core, agile projects should exhibit central values and behaviours of trust, flexibility, empowerment and collaboration.

What is the most important quality in the agile approach? ›

Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential. The goal is to get just enough done to complete the requested project.

What is agile environment and tools? ›

An Agile environment is a company or organization that supports Agile project management. The company culture encourages project teams to adopt the principles and values of the Agile methodology. The four pillars of Agile that an Agile environment must support are: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.

Why agile way is? ›

The main argument for pursuing an Agile approach is to achieve swifter decision-making on complex projects within a volatile and uncertain operating environment. Hierarchy-based organisations were designed for the industrial era—routine work, efficiencies through standardisation, and a compliant workforce.

Which one is a popular tool used in agile software development TCS? ›

Answer: Explanation: From the given options, Jenkins is the correct answer.

What is agile best answer? ›

Agile is a method of software development and project management that is gradual and iterative. Scrum is an agile methodology that aims to deliver incremental project builds in sprints. Working software is the most important indicator of progress in agile.

Which of the following is the type of agile methodologies Mcq? ›

Explanation: Scrum, FDD and DSDM are the type of agile methodologies.

Which of these is a benefit of agile Mcq? ›

This is Expert Verified Answer

Reduced risk- agile is flexible and has commendable change management. Regular team meetings with clients and project manager, focus on value after every sprint, respond to change quickly, collect feedbacks regularly all this reduces the risk.

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