Which tools will help your team be more agile?
At WhiteSource, we understand the importance of having the right tools to support agile. That’s why we've assembled a selection of 7 agile tools that you should consider in 2016. They are listed below, roughly in the order in which you will need them -- from initial planning, to project management, to day-to-day team communication and time tracking.
While all the tools on this list are only a few years old, several of them already have millions of users. Even if you gave one of them a look a year or two ago, it's definitely time to revisit them because of some recent developments. Read on to find out more.
Great projects start with great ideas, and one of the best ways to generate great ideas is by using mind maps. Just ask Isaac Newton, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Thomas Edison, all of whom were adherents of this technique.
There are dozens of online mindmapping tools, but MindMeister stands out thanks to how well rounded and polished it is. Besides creating beautiful mind maps, it allows you to easily export those mind maps into slideshows, to connect to other platforms like Google Drive or Evernote or even to an online project and task management software (MeisterTask) provided by the same company.
Once you have your great idea, it's time to start making it a reality. This is where Aha! comes in.
Aha! is a tool for product owners and product managers that allows them to plan out where the product is going. From feature boards to a visualization of the project roadmap, it gives product owners a high level view of the project. Aha! integrates with Jira, Pivotal, Trello, GitHub, and just about any other development tool you would like to use.
Thanks to its freemium business model and its easy online setup, Trello has become the top choice for a lightweight project planning and management tool (it recently passed 10 million users).
Basically, Trello provides online Kanban boards. But with the recently announced Trello Business Class, it now offers integrations with other apps, more powerful board management, and user management and security. In other words, it's becoming an all-around choice as a project management tool for all kinds of software teams.
LeanKit is the power alternative to Trello. While Trello started out by providing a simple Kanban board, LeanKit started out with a much more customizable, enterprise-ready solution.
The core functionality of LeanKit is still a project board, but LeanKit also offers a ton of enterprise features (such as a private cloud option in case you have security requirements) and integrations with over 300 web apps and services. And with a bevy of clients such as Adobe, PayPal, and Verizon using it for big-time development, it's definitely worth a look.
If Trello is lightweight and LeanKit is powerful, then daPulse is beautiful. Yes, daPulse is a project management solution, and it has the requisite cards (though here they are called “pulses”) and columns of a project board.
However, it also has an added emphasis on transparency and communication. For example, users can comment and subscribe to comments on any topic in a Twitter-like fashion. This allows for more recognition and accountability, and it’s one of the reasons that daPulse is the project management tool of choice at high-growth startups such as Fiverr, Uber, and Wix.
You've probably heard plenty about Slack already -- it launched three years ago and has been growing spectacularly since then. But we are including it here because the reasons to adopt Slack keep increasing.
At bottom, Slack is a team chat application. What makes it remarkable are the number of integrations, customizations, and bots that are available. In a nutshell, Slack can become a super-powerful communication hub for your entire team.
And if you are focused on agile development, then Slack's recent acquisition of startup Screenhero is particularly relevant for you. It allows for easy screen sharing right within Slack -- perfect for pair programming, inside your office or across distributed teams.
Agile execution often comes into conflict with the realities of business demands. In other words, your clients, internal or external, demand more and more from your team, until you are forced to make a compromise on the way your team works. That’s where the value of time tracking comes in. Enter Toggl.
Toggl is a one-click time-tracking app that syncs across different devices, across multiple projects and sub-projects, and works whether you are online or offline. It also generates reports and time estimates based on previous records.
That wraps up our list of the 7 agile tools to watch in 2016. Adopting any of these tools might require a change in the working culture of your team. But considering the benefits that come with agile when it is done right, it’s worth investigating these tools to see if they could help you improve the productivity and satisfaction of your employees.
After all, this is the reason we founded WhiteSource. We wanted to offer engineering and security teams an open source management solution that fits agile processes, unlike open source code scanning tools that were developed to fit waterfall.