Scrum software helps agile teams accomplish transparency, inspection and adaption in several ways, including: Creating a “single view”, Mapping/tracking workflows, Facilitating collaboration, Aid with roadmapping and measuring the achievement of project goals.
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Flying Donut is a web-based Scrum and Kanban software designed to help businesses facilitate collaboration across private and public projects. The real-time Agile collaboration tool enables managers to streamline communication acr...Read more
monday.com, an award-winning collaboration and project management platform, helps teams plan together efficiently and execute complex projects to deliver results on time. monday.com team management and task management tool allows ...Read more
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Wrike is a cloud-based project management platform for teams of 20+ that is suitable for both large enterprises and SMBs. It supports remote work for various teams. This solution comes with Gantt charts, calendars, workload view f...Read more
Founded in 2002 and acquired by ProActive Software Ltd in 2003, ProWorkflow is a cloud-based project management and time tracking software that caters to companies of all sizes.
ProWorkflow includes all the features of a trad...Read more
NetSuite OpenAir is a professional services automation (PSA) platform that was designed to support the entire service delivery lifecycle. This Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is best suited for larger organizations in most verticals....Read more
Aha! Roadmaps is the complete product management suite to set strategy, capture ideas, score features, and share visual roadmap plans. It includes Aha! Ideas Essentials for crowdsourcing feedback. More than 5,000 companies and 500...Read more
Axosoft Agile Project Management Software is a collaborative platform suitable for businesses of varying sizes and industries seeking a synergistic tool to track projects from start to finish.
Key features of Axosoft include ...Read more
Samepage is a cloud-based collaboration software solution that helps teams eliminate project bottlenecks and communicate seamlessly with team members.
Samepage provides a suite of project management tools, communication featu...Read more
Targetprocess is a cloud-based enterprise visual platform which connects Portfolio, Products and Teams.
The tool perfectly reflects the agile methodology and can help any company to adopt and scale agile across the enterprise...Read more
VivifyScrum is a cloud-based agile project management solution that features Scrum and Kanban collaboration boards, team management, invoicing, client management and time management. It is suitable for small agile teams and large ...Read more
SpiraTeam is a project management solution that offers collaboration and quality assurance tools for businesses of all sizes and within all industries. The solution can be deployed either in the cloud or on-premise and is compatib...Read more
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Forecast is a full suite solution that helps professional services organizations finetune operations and finances with the help of intelligent project automation. With a focus on increasing predictability and making projects profi...Read more
GoodDay is a cloud-based project management solution that caters to businesses of all sizes across various industries. Features include idea management, resource management, milestone tracking, Kanban boards, Gantt charts and more...Read more
Backlog is a cloud-based project management and issue tracking solution that caters to development teams working with design, marketing and IT teams. The key features of the solution include project and issue management, subtaskin...Read more
Orangescrum is a project management and collaboration solution for teams of all sizes. It is offered in cloud, cloud self-hosted and open-source enterprise self-hosted editions. Orangescrum allows teams to organize projects, teams...Read more
Scrum is one of the most popular frameworks for implementing agile project management (PM). Nearly 60 percent of organizations currently practicing agile use scrum, and an additional 18 percent use a modified version of scrum.
Whether you’re considering adopting a non-traditional approach to PM or you’re an experienced scrum team, there are a variety of tools on the market that can help support your processes.
We’ve created this guide to help you better understand the scrum software available to you, as well as how these tools fit into the larger project management space.
Before we dive into scrum and scrum software, here’s a quick review of what agile is and how it differs from traditional, waterfall, project management:
Agile PM is designed to help teams manage change over the duration of a project. Rather than planning out a project from start-to-finish before kickoff, teams work on projects in incremental phases and incorporate more opportunities for feedback into their workflows. This helps teams address and better respond to changing needs and requirements over the course of a project life cycle.
Conversely, waterfall PM is sequential, i.e., non-iterative. Requirements are laid out at the start of a project and work flows from one phase to the next until completion. Waterfall PM is typically change averse, and the success of the project is measured by how closely the project delivers on initial benchmarks for scope, budget and timeline.
Scrum is an iterative approach to managing projects. Using scrum to implement agile involves three main functions:
Transparency: Processes should be highly visible and defined by a common standard. This transparency and standardization creates a shared understanding of workflows, project (or product) strategy and metrics for success.
Scrum teams use the following for transparency:
“Artifacts” that represent work or value, e.g., project vision statement, project backlog and sprint backlog.
Visualizations, e.g., scrum boards or task boards, burndown charts and velocity charts.
Inspection: Frequent and recurring examination of project goals, roadmap and incremental progress toward those goals.This helps with early risk detection and identifying areas for improvement.
Scrum teams use the following for inspection:
Feedback loops, e.g., sprint planning, daily scrum or stand up, sprint review and retrospectives.
Adaption: Through transparency and inspection, scrum teams and stakeholders are able to continuously assess, adapt and re-prioritize as needed to deliver the most value.
Scrum teams use the following for adaption:
Sprint planning and backlog re-prioritization
Incidentally, the other very common agile framework aside from scrum is called kanban—check out our kanban guide to learn more.
What Is Scrum Software?
Scrum software helps agile teams accomplish transparency, inspection and adaption in several ways, including:
Creating a “single view”: Acts as a centralized repository for all project documentation or “artifacts,” and shows sprint progress and project status at a glance via team scrum boards. Teams can use these boards to inform their daily stand ups and can use past boards as a reference when planning future iterations.
Mapping/tracking workflows: Teams can use labels and filters to define workflows, which helps to standardize processes. This is also valuable during daily stand ups, because users know where an action item is in the workflow and what still needs to get done on it, as well as during sprint planning, as it helps users more accurately estimate the degree of effort required to complete certain tasks. Users specifically developing applications might be interested in dedicated ALM tools.
Facilitating collaboration: Teams can easily share files, loop in another user either via @ mentions or by following a specific task and can stay up to date with overall progress by using an activity feed and/or checking the scrum board. Additionally, users can set up alerts to receive notifications about status updates, re-prioritization of key action items or impending due dates.
Aid with roadmapping and measuring the achievement of project goals: Teams can use labels and filters to maintain the project backlog and assist with sprint planning. Items from the backlog can also be dragged-and-dropped into an upcoming sprint. Color-coding as well as visual hierarchy can also provide status updates at a glance.
Common Features of Scrum Software
Look for the following terminology and scrum software capabilities as you evaluate solutions:
User stories are a common way scrum teams break down and measure work. The story is written from the perspective of the customer/end-user and describes a project requirement to be completed over a sprint. The story can then be broken down into smaller tasks, issues or features and assigned out to team members.
Sprints, i.e., iterations, are fixed time periods in which scrum teams work to complete a set amount of project requirements. This process is also known as timeboxing.
Scrum boards are a visualization of a sprint and the team’s workflows. User stories are represented as cards and team members drag and drop the card to different columns on the board that correspond to each workflow stage. Teams often use the scrum board as a backdrop to their daily stand ups and as a tool to inform their sprint planning and retrospectives.
Burndown charts are graphical representations of a sprint that chart the number of user stories or requirements in a sprint (y-axis) against the length of the sprint (x-axis). These charts are used to visualize whether or not teams are on track to complete their work by the end of the sprint.
Velocity charts are graphical representations of a project that chart the pace at which teams complete requirements over the course of a project. The y-axis shows the number of story points and the x-axis shows the number of sprints. This chart can offer valuable insights into team productivity and the rate at which they work, which makes them useful planning tools.
Common Scrum Software Capabilities
Assign user stories to team members and schedule start and end dates. Track the progression of stories and tasks as they move through the different columns on the scrum board. Set up notifications to alert users of status changes, updates and/or impending deadlines. Create custom fields and save story templates for reuse. Attach files to stories and invite team members to collaborate with @ mentions.
Stories are assigned a number of points based on their complexity and the level of effort, skill and time required to complete them. Some scrum tools include story-point estimating scales or a database of story templates with pre-configured points to help standardize estimating across teams.
Also called “bug tracking,” issue tracking allows teams to separate issues from regular project tasks and prioritize them accordingly. This process involves identifying a bug, processing it within the system and tracking its resolution.This capability is especially critical for software development teams.
Transparency is crucial in scrum, and dashboards and reporting help teams and stakeholders stay on top of project progress. Teams often run daily burndown reports and review velocity periodically during sprint planning and review. These reports can be set up to run on a set schedule or on an ad-hoc basis, and users can customize dashboards according to their needs.
Benefits and Potential Issues
Although agile PM, and scrum specifically, initially gained traction within the software development community, this iterative approach to managing projects is becoming popular with other fields as well, including finance, sales, marketing and advertising—even government.
It’s increasingly apparent that successfully deploying scrum matters less about your industry than your workflows and team/company aversion to or acceptance of change.
In fact, according to VersionOne’s 11th annual State of Agile report, some of the top challenges associated with implementing and scaling agile include:
Company philosophy or culture at odds with agile values
Lack of management support
General organizational resistance to change
However, teams and organizations that take the necessary steps to introduce agile practices—including processes and tools to assist with transparency, inspection and adaption—report great success, including: