Rachasatish’s Blog


Agile Project Management Tools

Posted in Agile,Agile Project Management Tools,Agile Tools by rachasatish on December 15, 2008

Agile Project Management Tools

XPlanner

XPlanner is one of the first web based agile project management tools and it has more features than other products. XPlanner is solid and used by many companies. However it seems XPlanner development was stopped (latest release May-2006).

Pros

Cons

  • Most feature-complete tool among other free open source products
  • Integrated time tracking
  • Several nice reports like burn down chart
  • Export
  • SOAP API
  • Email Notifications

  • Hard setup for anyone who do not familiar with Java world
  • No releases, iterations only

Platform [Technologies]: Windows/Unix [Java, MySQL, Oracle, Firebird, PostgreSQL]

View XPlanner Screenshot http://www.agile-tools.net/i/new_w.gif

Rating: ****

Reviews & Opinions

Using XPlanner in real project http://www.agile-tools.net/i/go.gifMarch 20, 2004
Good opinion http://www.agile-tools.net/i/go.gifApril 20, 2006

Agilo

Agilo based on Trac. The tool is under active development (latest version July 26, 2008). While it has several nice features like timeline, burn down charts and dashboard, integrated wiki, the concept behind Agilo has several flaws. There are no projects in the system, it means if you have several projects you will have to implement a workaround. Iteration and Releases planning is cumbersome, it is not easy to figure out how to create an iteration plan.

Still Agilo is one of the best free tools available for agile development.

Pros

Cons

  • Integrated Wiki
  • Good Burn Down Chart
  • Changes history (timeline)
  • Saved search queries
  • Story can be split to tasks
  • Supports Stories, Bugs and Impediments

  • Not very usable user interface
  • No Projects
  • No planning UI, it is possible to reassign user stories from Edit screen only.
  • People management not present in UI

Platform [Technologies]: Windows/Unix [Python, SQLite]

Rating: ***

View Agilo Screenshot http://www.agile-tools.net/i/new_w.gif

IceScrum

Interesting web-based tool. The tool is under active development (latest version July 27, 2008). It has some really nice concepts on board. Planning poker powers user stories estimation. Stories represented by cards and there are several useful filters presets. When you add a user story it has template As … I want … In order to … which is nice and helpful. The downside is usability. Some very important actions like Add Sprint, Burn Down chart, etc available only via context menu! I spent half an hour to figure out how to plan a release and it was just a luck that I did the right click on the release name. Release and Iteration planning is very hard initially.

IceScrum is hard from the beginning, but it has nice features set and can be adopted by agile team. It seems it is the best open source agile project management tool so far.

Pros

Cons

  • Planning Poker
  • Parking Lot and Burn Down Chart
  • Good Pojects/Releases/Sprints concept support
  • Drag and Drop for Task Board and Estimation
  • Themes support

  • Labels are counterintuitive, many labels are in French, strange navigation sometime
  • Poor documentation (no English manual)
  • Release/Iteration planning is complex
  • Works for small teams only

Platform [Technologies]: Windows/Unix [Java]

Rating: ****

View IceScrum Screenshot http://www.agile-tools.net/i/new_w.gif

Agilefant

Agilefant is a web-based tool written on Java and the tool is under active development. It is quite feature rich and allows to create products, projects, iterations, themes and user stories, has time tracking, burn down chart, some people allocations management. It works pretty fast.

The missing features are release and iteration planning. The tool does not have the concept of releases at all and that is strange, since it has products! Almost no reporting, and poor customization. It does not support points units for planning (quite strange for agile tool). User interface has too few screens and some screens looks overburdened (like default project screen which contains project details, themes, backlog, iterations with all details). There are some usability issues, but in general tool is quite easy to grasp. It does not look like a complicated solution.

You may try Agilefant for small projects, I don’t think it will be convenient for large projects with 20+ people.

Pros

Cons

  • Products support and nice Product Roadmap chart
  • Quite easy to use
  • Time tracking
  • Allocations support

  • Points are missing
  • Lack of reporting
  • No releases/iteration planning
  • Poor customizability

Platform [Technologies]: Windows/Unix [Java]

Rating: ****

View Agilefant Screenshot http://www.agile-tools.net/i/new_w.gif

XPWeb

The only tool written on PHP. Has quite weird user interface, but quite a lot features. Demo is broken, so some features maybe do not work. The tool does not look as ready for production use in can’t be used for agile project management in large teams.

Pros

Cons

  • Nice Calendar

  • Counterintuitive UI
  • Development almost frozen. Last update early 2006
  • Does not support Releases, Iterations only
  • Lack of integrity, looks like constructed from not very relevant pieces

Platform [Technologies]: Windows/Unix [PHP]

Rating: **

View XpWeb Screenshot http://www.agile-tools.net/i/new_w.gif

XPStoryStudio

From the first sight, XPStoryStudio may evolve into good tool, but in reality it was released in beta in 2004 and development stopped after beta release. So if you are not satisfied with current functionality there are no chances to change anything. Tool by itself is quite crude. Some things are good like iterations and user stories with tasks, but usability and user focused functionality is quite poor. No todos, no project team concept, no easy user story change state, no user load. In fact the tool can only plan iterations and this will be not enough for any real life project, just for very small projects or students.

Pros

Cons

  • Automatic installer that works pretty good

  • Broken design in FireFox
  • Problems with reports. They just not there (You will see “The ‘Reporting’ section of this site has not yet been implemented” message in Reports section)
  • No releases, iterations only
  • Seems there will be no more releases. Last update 18-Jan-2004.

Platform [Technologies]: Windows [ASP.NET]

Rating: **

View XPStoryStudio Screenshot http://www.agile-tools.net/i/new_w.gif


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