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24 November 2021

Tools for Agile Teams - by Agile Teams

If you are in a dilemma in choosing right tools/software to manage projects in the world of Agile, then this article is for you.

My disclaimer — Before I start adding my 2 cents, would like to thank anyone who spends time on reading this and hope it would help in some way. All the tools/software mentioned are based on my experience/research/opinion, so when it comes to making a decision to use them or not, you have to be your own judge & jury. I am merely a messenger, don’t shoot.

This is what Agile gods said;

The 2001 Manifesto for Agile Software Development, also known as the Agile Manifesto covered four core values:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  • Responding to change over following a plan.

Ommmm …

Hope you are comfortably relaxed now and ready for the bumpy bits coming next.

The Agile Retrospective prime directive is worth mentioning in this context.

“Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.”

— Norm Kerth, Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Review


Now to my problem — There are an overwhelming number of tools/software for managing real-world projects end-to-end in Agile. And they keep on coming, so the question is which one to use?

You can find a good analogy in Clarkson’s farm, remember this? how it was too big for the barn entrance and had the wrong connector to all the other farming machinery because it had a European connector instead of a UK one.

credit — amazon prime video — Clarkson’s farm tv series

These can relate to our problem scope.

So, let’s break down the problem to manageable sections. Since the lists are long, will only add overviews to each. Just to be clear, it’s not ranked in any way. All these are well made software by Agile Teams (probably) for Agile Teams.

Project management

Atlassian Jira — It is a cross-platform issue and bug tracking software with advanced project management capabilities and features. Supports Kanban Agile project management. A good fit for development teams, to function efficiently.

Target process — An enterprise level cloud based Agile project management application. You can use it with SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework), LeSS (Large Scale Scrum Framework) or you own framework. It is more geared towards managing enterprise level projects.

Zoho projects — It is an online project management application that helps its users to plan projects, collaborate with employees and clients, keep track of time, manage documents, and generate charts and reports. The software is also scalable depending on the number of projects, with the option to add more features and business functions.

Azure boards — Kanban & scrum ready cloud based Agile project management software. Well integrated to GitHub, Teams …etc and gives you DevOps features too. Ideal for teams that need flexibility and rapid growth. Really good balanced pricing model, gives you flexibility and rapid growth options.

Trello — It is known for visualising project tasks on a cardboard-like dashboard, which is great for managing short and quick everyday assignments.

Wrike — It is a robust and versatile tool that helps teams collaborate better and communicate with greater transparency. Wrike has plenty of best-in-class collaboration, communication, and document management tools. The tool allows you to set priorities and align your team to work faster and smarter. — It is a simple but intuitive tool that enables people to manage work, meet deadlines, and build a culture of transparency. The solution is best for streamlining discussions, to see who is working on what, and keeping everyone in the know.

Nifty — It is a remote collaboration hub to manage projects, tasks, and communications — all in one place. You can manage tasks, projects, and clients in an online collaborative tool.

Hive — It is a powerful project management and collaboration software put the needs of a team in a single place. The system lets you track project status, provide a Kanban style status view, Gantt charts for project progress, and everything that a project team needs on a single page.

Asana — It is a cloud-based project management software that helps teams to map out every single detail of projects within an organisation. Asana enables you to plan your work in a way that’s best for you. It is flexible enough to adapt to you. It combines elements of project management, file storage, and collaboration and helps to manage projects across a team without email.

Celoxis — It is an all-in-one project management tool, which helps organisations to plan and track their portfolios, projects, tasks, resources, timesheets, issues, and risks from one place.

Basecamp — It is one of the most popular all-in-one online project management tools. It combines all the necessary features at one place helping project members to know what to do and make sure nothing slips through the cracks. Uniqueness is the really simple pricing model, no per user pricing and only one tier of pricing.


Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you’re as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it? (Brian Kernighan)

Visual studio — It is one of the best, most powerful and popular IDEs available today. It uses AI to assist you code better and efficiently. You can use it for web, mobile (IOS/Android), desktop and IoT application development. It is well integrated & compatible with all the tools/frameworks a modern developer/programmer need today.

Worth noting: You can also create development environments in the cloud and a lot more while being available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, web, and in the cloud.

Xcode — It is a development IDE designed by Apple that is used for IOS, iPadOS, WatchOS, TvOS & MacOS apps development as well as to create native apps for all of its other products. It is a powerful tool allowing you to manage your entire development workflow from start to finish; that is creating your app, testing it, optimising, and submitting it to the Apple App Store.

Android studio — This is Android’s official IDE and built for the sole purpose of fastening the development process and enable you to create high-quality Android apps for all Android devices. Not only is it the recommended IDE for Android, but it also has some pretty neat features. You can lay out your app visually using Android Studio, and you can analyse APK files and view what your app will look like with an emulator feature.

NetBeans —It is another IDE for JAVA programmers, which also supports most of the other common programming languages. This is a free Integrated Development Environment which has support for a lot of programming languages. It has been used since 1997 and has since expanded in all directions.

JetBrains IntelliJ —It is one of the best IDEs for JAVA development. Although it is made specifically for JAVA, it supports any number of popular languages as well. It is created by keeping the productivity factors of a developer in mind.

PyCharm — It is one of the best IDEs for developing with Python.

PhpStorm — It is another option to consider for one of the best IDE for web development. It’s focused on PHP, but front-end languages are also fully supported including HTML 5, CSS, Sass, Less, JavaScript, and more.

Eclipse — It is a free web development IDE, and you can use it for web development.

Aptana Studio 3 — This is an open-source IDE that is strong in flexibility and robust web development engine. It aids in the rapid development of web apps and enables programmers to develop, test, and deploy web apps from a single platform.

Worth mentioning the light weight alternatives;

Visual studio code — one of the best light weight editors available. The add-ons are a massive benefit, gives flexibility & compatibility to work with any programming language.

AWS Cloud9 — It is a cloud-based IDE, you would need an Amazon account to use it.




Sublime text

Source control repository hosts

Github — It is a development platform, you can review code, manage projects, and build software together with other developers. When it comes to repository hosting, this is the default choice for most. You can host unlimited public & private repositories.

Gitlab — It is a fully open-source alternative to Github. A key feature is a built-in CI/CD workflow. It allows you to install GitLab on your own server. It is ideal for developers looking for collaboration options. It comes with authentication levels for your repositories to limit permissions for other contributors.

Azure repos — It is a part of Azure DevOps services, which gives you all the tools you need for your DevOps. The platform uses Git source control and can connect any Git client to it. Features to note are API integration & built-in CI/CD automation. The whole DevOps suite comes with Azure boards, Pipelines, Repos, Test plans, Artifacts & Extensions marketplace.

Bitbucket — It is from the widely-known Atlassian and offers unlimited private code repositories for Git or Mercurial and free for 5 users. JIRA integration is a key feature. The CI/CD tool enables automatic building and testing.

Assembla — It supports Apache Subversion and Git. It is known for getting projects up and running quickly. Documentation, code reviews, and task management can all be handled through this app.

Beanstalk — It is a Git and SVN hosting that doesn’t require clients. You can add files, create branches, and edit directly in your browser for instant gratification.


Determining software quality involves two terms that are commonly interchanged but have subtle distinctions (Barry W. Boehm):

  • Verification: Did you build the thing right? (Did you meet the specification?)
  • Validation: Did you build the right thing? (Is this what the customer wants? That is, is the specification correct?)

Selenium — This is the go to tool for web application testing. Mainly designed for automation testing web based applications. It is the most widely used open source test automation platform in the market. One of the main feature to note is that it works with all the major programming languages, i.e. Java, C#, Python, Ruby, PHP, Perl and JavaScript.

Appium — This is the most famous automation testing tool for mobile applications. It allows you to test all kinds of native, mobile, web and hybrid apps. Installation, setup and writing tests are bit complex and code heavy.

Testproject — One of the best free automation end-to-end testing platforms for web, mobile and APIs. Ease of use and intuitive interfaces give the QAs full control over testing. Use of AI in self-healing, adaptive wait and automation assistant improves efficiency and effectiveness of end-to-end testing.

Cucumber — This supports Behavioural Driven Development (BDD). It is one of the widely used BDD open source platforms.

Katalon Studio — This is a comprehensive test automation platform for Web, API, Desktop & Mobile. The is a low code option where beginners can use the codeless features. It supports many testing methodologies, like Data Driven Testing, Test Driven & Behaviour Driven Development.

Telerik Test Studio — It is one of the most intuitive testing tools in the market. More geared towards Web & Desktop application automation testing. Main plus point is the Visual Studio plugin that works seamlessly.

Perfecto — This is a unique offering in the automation testing tools market, that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automatically generate Selenium code. This reduces test planning and preparation time significantly. It is also a Software as a service (SaaS) testing platform featuring Web, Mobile & IoT application testing.

TestComplete — It is an automated test management tool that features a codeless UI testing platform. This increases efficiency and helps to reduce the cost of testing process. It is more focused on functional user interface tests, which QA teams can easily setup and run.

Testim — One of the best modern day test automation tools that uses AI for creation, execution & maintenance of automated tests. Its free tier offering has a fair selection of features to get any QA team up and running quickly. The QA specialist can quickly setup and execute tests on multiple Web & Mobile platforms and analyse them.

Testmonitor — It is an end-to-end test process management tool for the enterprise. It is more focused on requirement and risk based testing.

Gauge —It is one of the newest open-source test automation tools in the market. Supports TDD & BDD testing and tests (specs) can be written in Java, Ruby or C#.

Cypress — It is an end-to-end testing platform that can be installed on Windows, Mac & Linux. The free tier includes 500 tests for 3 users.

Galen Framework — This is more focused on UI/UX testing and runs on Selenium Grid.

WebDriverIO — It is a browser and mobile automation testing framework for NodeJS. It leverages Selenium and test can be written in JavaScript.

OpenTest — It is an open source functional test automation framework for web applications, mobile apps and APIs. This supports most of the automation test scenarios.

Sauce Labs — A more comprehensive cloud based testing platform based on Selenium that supports different browser platforms, Operating Systems and Device combinations. Intuitive UI that can be used to easily run Web, Mobile & API testing. No free tier and the prices bit dearer than the competition.

LambdaTest — One of the best cloud based testing platforms for automated & live testing. The feature set is quiet impressive and has got a fair pricing model including a free tier. The intuitive UI helps to create, execute & analyse tests.

BrowserStack — It is a cloud based testing platform for web and mobile applications. It does not require any installation, and the pre-installed developer tools are useful for quick cross-browser testing and debugging.

headspin — Another cloud based testing platform for web & mobile applications with a selection of real devices across multiple countries. Good in-depth performance visibility and ML based insights. Price points for real devices are bit pricey and the selection is limited too.


A help desk service system or a ticketing system is a software program that a customer support team uses to create, manage, and maintain a list (or lists) of customer related tasks(issues, bugs, problems, changes …etc.).

Hubspot — This is an all-in-one service, you can opt-in/out according your needs. Its Service Hub brings all your customer service data and channels together on one CRM platform, so you can efficiently onboard, support, retain, and grow your customer base.

Jira Service Desk — It is a comprehensive full IT (ITSM) and customer service management cloud based solution. One of its strong points are the integrations, especially with other JIRA software and the 350+ addons.

Zoho Desk — This is a cloud-based omnichannel customer service software with contextual based AI tools. Its Free Tier gives you 3 free agents forever with sufficient features to start with.

Spiceworks help desk— This is free and part of the Spiceworks eco system. It has all the essential features to support your customers. The UI is a mobile optimised web application, so the reps or agents can work on the go on mobiles or tablets.

Zendesk Ticketing System — It has all the elements of an efficient help desk/customer support system. Its intuitive interface and the features are sophisticated enough to handle the most complicated needs. It does not have a free tier and price starts from £39 per agent per month billed annually.

Freshdesk — It is a comprehensive cloud-based platform built on an intuitive and scalable architecture. It leverages AI to support agents with many complimentary tools to operate effectively. The free tier gives access to unlimited agents with a restricted feature set.

Front — This connects your entire customer service team using a shared email box concept in a communal ticketing system. Since it is shared, when an agent picks a ticket, the others will be able to still monitor it, helping to improve transparency and collaboration. It has got integrations to most common apps you would use.


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