8 Agile Software Development Tools We Just Can’t Live Without
To be successful in the implementation of Agile, you must learn to act fast, without getting too furious. That means being flexible enough to adjust to changes without jeopardizing organization and due dates.
In Agile teams, tools to define and keep track of project progress, technical requirements, team collaboration, and communication are your biggest allies, but choosing the right ones can be overwhelming.
The Agile project management tool market is cluttered. Developers from all over the world have created platforms that follow this methodology to help teams like yours keep track of Agile metrics and workflows, and foster team collaboration.
Although it may be tempting to pay for all of them, getting an app for everything can be highly counterproductive. Your team might end up being tangled up with app notifications, instead of these tools helping them simplify their work. At NaNLABS we’ve used several Agile project management tools and we’ll pass on this knowledge to you. In this piece, we’ll share the eight Agile software development tools for successful project delivery we couldn’t live without.
Want to know which Agile project management tools to implement in your business and improve your processes? Here’s what we’ll cover:
Ready to build your own custom software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about you. Get in touch. We don’t byte!
The concept of Agile hit the workforce in 2001, which means Agile has been making its way through tech and non-tech companies for the past 21 years. Business leaders from all over the world choose to follow this methodology because it invites collaborators to have freedom within a framework. People are encouraged to iterate on their processes, find areas of improvement, and achieve better and faster results.
Also, Agile software development frameworks focus on reviewing workflows periodically to identify issues and improve as you go. Unlike traditional methodologies that rarely review work as it progresses.
NaNLABS is one of the top custom software development agencies in Argentina. We serve companies from all over the world, and we differentiate from others because we truly care about our clients and their projects. The way we can guarantee we’ll constantly deliver high-quality results is by being iterative and flexible on workflows, processes, and stories. In other words, by being Agile.
We choose to be Agile every day. In our stand-ups, whenever we modify a priority on ClickUp, or when we come up with a plan to identify bottlenecks. The key to Agile project management is to find the right balance between focusing on the big picture and iterating on the details.
The Agile manifesto.
Agile is much more than a work methodology. It doesn’t matter if you follow Scrum, Kanban, or lean, once you start to incorporate Agile in your day-to-day, you’ll find it useful in most areas of your life.
The Agile manifesto is meant to serve as a guide for Agile users. It contains four values and twelve principles that will help technical teams uncover better ways to collaborate as a team. The Agile methodology values these four:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
The way to read this part of the manifesto is by acknowledging that lean, scalable, and functional code (working software) will always be more valuable than a file with 10x more lines of code with comments and documentation (comprehensive documentation). The Agile manifesto also includes twelve principles that foster:
Project iteration at any stage
Scalable and functional programs
Team collaboration and real-time communication
Team motivation and growth opportunities
Technical excellence and predictable delivery times
Visual representation of the Agile manifesto, its values and principles.
The benefits of choosing the right tool for your Agile software development project
Choosing the right Agile project management tools will help you reach even seemingly unattainable goals. Especially, when you use them throughout the Agile software development lifecycle.
Finding the right tools to keep track of Agile software development metrics will positively impact your business results. Some benefits you’ll perceive include:
Time and budget management improvement. You can improve your ability to predict delivery times on each task by tracking workflows, cycle times, velocity charts, and epics. Having a better project estimation will allow you to set budgets that are closer to reality.
Stakeholders engagement. Agile project management tools help you improve reporting and communication with your team and clients. It helps them iterate and make changes as needed in the workflow making stakeholders feel engaged and accountable.
Transparency. Agile development tools make processes crystal clear to everyone involved. Clients can find these tools particularly useful for remapping prioritization in a custom software development process.
Problem-solving improvement. These tools can easily add tags to tasks or people who are being bottlenecks or blockers. Having a visual representation of those issues can help your team brainstorm and find timely possible solutions.
Higher quality. Agile software development tools foster changes and iterations to reach the best possible outcome. These tools make it easy to move tasks to the right stage, review documentation, and notify watchers and task owners.
Risk mitigation. By having a workflow with multiple iterations, your Agile tools can help you spot mistakes promptly, and reduce risk.
Morale improvement. Your team will feel engaged if everyone is involved, accountable, and encouraged to participate. Using Agile collaboration tools can make everyone's ideas feel welcome.
Our 8 favorite Agile software development tools
At NaNLABS we use Agile software development tools to manage our internal workflow, communicate with teammates and clients, and collaborate with one-and-other. These are Agile development tools we recommend.
1. Jira: best for issue tracking and project management for enterprise teams
This tool is owned by Atlassian, they offer a large set of products to help Agile teams plan, collaborate, and build products. 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. We use it to track the workflow of a project, assign tasks, set priorities, identify blockers, generate dependencies, and keep track of solutions.
One of the things we love the most about Jira is that we can choose the type of Agile methodology we want to organize our projects. You can choose if you want to see dashboards in a Kanban-style, Scrum view, or a hybrid of both. Axosoft is a similar tool to Jira.
This screenshot shows what an active sprints board looks like in Jira. It includes pending, in progress, and done tasks, as well as including a list of code that needs to be reviewed.
2. GitHub: best for technical tools, and software collaboration
This Microsoft platform allows developers to host code, program versions, and collaborate with other developers. GitHub is an open-source platform, which means it's free and anyone can contribute to improvements. GitHub uses Git to host users’ source code and version history.
We use GitHub for storing versions of code and learning from the community. There are more than 73 million users on this platform to help you answer questions, bugs, and give you ideas for improvement.
We love the active collab community on GitHub. We believe it promotes a true Agile spirit. Also, we love the Git-Jira integration that allows us to add branches and commits to the Jira workflow.
#In this GitHub walkthrough on how to animate a long screenshot, you can see an example of the documentation a user has access to on existing public GitHub threads.
3. AWS Amplify: best for technical tools
This platform provides a large set of purpose-built tools to help developers build full-stack cloud-hosted web and mobile apps in record time. AWS Amplify allows you to write the back-end of your applications, and easily structure the front-end by using their UI drag-and-drop components.
Since AWS Amplify hosts apps in the AWS cloud, its solutions are highly scalable and easy to update. We use it to develop native apps with React Native, build web platforms reusing common UI components, and build back-end infrastructure that’s lightweight yet powerful.
We love that with AWS Amplify we can access an open-source library, store and sync data with a secure cloud like AWS, and create a very positive software development experience for our teams.
#Whenever users log into the Amplify Admin UI, and are about to write an application, they see this screen. It is possible for them to build the backend of their application or to host the web app.
4. ClickUp: best for task management, custom workflows, documentation, and team communication
ClickUp can be your biggest ally and, at NaNLABS, we rely on it to help our team collaborate and manage projects. But it’s much more than that. ClickUp is user-friendly and allows teams to write product documentation and store it within a project, communicate with others, add comments to tasks, and convert comments into tasks.
You can also use ClickUp to have a visual record of who’s available and share team milestones. Margarita Peluffo, our Project Manager, says she can’t live without ClickUp, “I track through it. I include everything from projects, tasks, reminders, meeting notes. I even have my own ClickUp account for personal stuff.”
ClickUp also creates great automation for recurring tasks. Plus, with ClickUp you can see your tasks in different views and Agile frameworks. You can visualize Kanban and Scrum boards.
ClickUp is the Agile project management tool we use internally at NaNLABS. We adore it. It’s one of those tools that actually help take work off your plate. Also, we love that we can use ClickUps templates but also create our own to meet our needs. Other similar Agile development tools are Monday.com, Trello, and Asana.
#This is how the home page looks for a typical ClickUp user. It has the critical tasks at the top of the screen, pending work and overdue work on the bottom left, and a calendar view on the right to get a full picture of your responsibilities.
5. MURAL: best for team collaboration
This is a platform meant for visual team collaboration. MURAL gives the team access to white canvases for them to create and ideate visually and collaboratively. It’s a great way of doing virtual brainstorming.
Due to the flexibility of the platform, you can use MURAL to lead and record activity in daily scrums, do sprint planning, do mind maps, conduct retrospectives, sketch Gantt charts, and more.
We use it for team collaboration in meetings. We love it because it’s a great way for everyone to add their ideas to the whiteboard while discussing them in real time.
#This MURAL screenshot shows some of the different ways you can use the platform for. Users can transform its whiteboard into meeting agendas, brainstorming notes, Agile development dashboards, Kanban boards, and more.
6. LucidChart: best for team collaboration
This tool is a smart diagram app that fosters teamwork. LucidChart offers different templates to use as a base to create your own organization charts, visual roadmaps, mind maps, and more.
We use it to keep track of our internal processes, organizational documents like org charts, and Unified Modeling Language (UML) diagrams. We especially value how easy it is to create architectural, class, and sequence diagrams in LucidChart.
What we love about it is that everyone can leave comments on diagrams, add smart links, create their own workflows, and scale them as we grow.
#This LucidChart screenshot shows some of the ways users can transform their regular diagrams into intelligent diagrams. Adding links, comments, assigning responsibilities, and creating automation are some of the ways to do
7. Slack: best for team communication
Slack has grown so much that it’s become a verb.
“I’ll Slack you as soon as I’m available”.
“Please, Slack me if it’s urgent”.
It's no accident, Slack is an excellent tool for team communication. Slack is much more than a corporate chat. This tool allows you to communicate with teammates and clients either by chat, video, or call. It also lets you create topical channels to segment the type of information you’re sending and receiving.
We use it for day-to-day communication and to get fast approvals or answers. We love that it integrates with ClickUp because Slack comments can be turned into ClickUp tasks in a few clicks. You can also send ClickUp reminders through Slack.
Another Slack feature we love (and encourage everyone to use within the NaNLABS team) is the option to schedule messages and send in the recipient's working hours. Sending messages at appropriate times improves work-life balance. “I love the scheduling feature. It allows me to type messages whenever I remember and I can make sure it gets delivered when the other person is online,” says Daiana Del Castillo, our UX/UI designer at NaNLABS.
#This Slack screenshot shows the different ways teams can communicate and organize their messages in the desktop or mobile app
8. Planiketa: best for planning, research, and employee assessments.
Planiketa is a custom Agile software development tool we’re developing to solve three company needs: Planning Poker, assessment surveys, and engineering team retrospectives. Planning Poker is a gamified way to do project planning that we use for our estimations.
Planiketa is proof that even with multiple Agile tools available, sometimes you need a customized solution that integrates with other tools. Some features are still in development, but we use Planiketa constantly for internal projects and will soon offer it to our clients.
#This screenshot of the Planiketa app shows what a user session looks like. They can track time, invite players, record issues and see their dashboard.
It can take time to become an expert in the Agile software development tools you choose for your business. That’s why you need to make sure you’re spending your time incorporating the right ones.
#Visual representation of the universe of Agile software development tools.
All the Agile software development tools we mentioned in this piece can add value to your business. However, keep in mind that having too many tools is counterproductive because it confuses your team members and causes them to duplicate effort to input the same information in the different apps. That process gets harder as your business grows.
Telling you which Agile software development tools to use is not a good solution. Instead, we recommend you list your needs, and which of the ones we shared can meet those. Also, if you need extra help, we offer expert consultation services to solve complex problems and analyze your data.
Ready to build your own custom software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about you. Get in touch. We don’t byte!
Frequently Asked Questions about Agile Software Development Tools
What is an Agile tool?
Agile software development tools are platforms that help you and your team meet goals. Some of the ones we use the most at NaNLABS, simplify the way we communicate, collaborate, track and improve workflows.
Which tools are used in Agile software development?
There are several tools that can be used in Agile software development. The most common are:
Jira for issue tracking and project management.
GitHub for storing code and version history
ClickUp for project management, workflow automation, and team communication
Slack for team communication
How many Agile tools are there?
The internet is flooded with Agile software development tools. The ones use and love the most at NaNLABS are:
What Agile tools are available?
Agile software development tools come in all shapes and sizes. There are hundreds of different agile platforms that serve similar purposes and it’s a matter of which one you like the most.
Some of the most popular ones include:
Is Jira the best Agile tool?
Answering if Jira is the best Agile development tool would be irresponsible because it depends on what you’re using it for. However, you’ll probably find some use in Jira since it offers four different Agile software development solutions:
Jira Software for project and issue tracking.
Jira Work management for business team active collab.
Jira Service management for high velocity IT service management
Jira Align for enterprise Agile planning.