Fortunately, a number of free and open-source tools exist that can get you on the road to Agile. In some cases, they may work for you indefinitely. In other cases, they may just be a good stop-gap until cash flow improves and you can invest in something more robust.
In either case, as long as a tool makes your project management tasks easier, faster, and more effective, something is definitely better than nothing.
(Please note that tools in this list that are not available directly from cPrime.com are not necessarily endorsed by cPrime. Rather, we’re offering a selection of possible tools and resources for informational purposes only, and encourage you to do your own research and try out various tools to find the ones that work best for you).
Agile Project Management Software
PM software comes in all shapes and sizes. Some applications are very simple and focused on one or two aspects of Agile project management while others attempt to cover the entire spectrum. In all cases, these tools have their pros and cons. But all of them share two important traits: they adhere to accepted Agile methodology, and they’re free!
• EasyBacklog – A free web app that helps you create and maintain your backlog to help manage sprints. It does one thing very, very well.
• IceScrum – A free scrum-focused project management app that can run in the cloud or on your own computer. Although feedback indicates the learning curve is high, this is considered one of the best overall Agile PM tools available for free.
• Agilefant – Another free Agile PM tool that offers a robust and feature-rich interface, Agilefant maintains its fully-featured free service but also offers very inexpensive scalable options to add premium features including a mobile app (currently Android only, although iOS is in development.)
• SeeNowDo – This free app is focused solely on a Kanban-style taskboard that can be accessed by distributed teams for real-time collaboration and task management. It does not include full PM features, but offers a beautiful taskboard interface you will love.
• Agilo for Trac – Agilo provides a robust interface to use on top of the more minimalist Trac framework. Both are open source solutions, but Agilo fits better in this list. It is primarily team based, with heavy emphasis on the Scrum Master role.
Agile Learning Resources
Sometimes the need is more educational than tool-related. After all, staying refreshed on Agile principles and processes can only help you use tools like we listed above more efficiently and effectively. The following educational resources are all available free of charge.
• cPrime articles – access dozens of instructive articles on all aspects of Agile management and collaboration from the leading Agile training organization in the nation. For deeper learning, you can also access free Agile white papers and subscribe to the cPrime blog.
• dZone cheat sheets – dZone provides tons of free material to developers. Among the resources offered are “cheat sheets” on scrum and Agile adoption. An entire “microzone” on their site is dedicated to Agile as well.
• VersionOne resources – One of the leaders in Agile PM software provides plenty of free instructional resources on their site, including webinars, white papers, and a comprehensive blog.
What other free Agile resources and tools have you come across to help you manage your Agile portfolio and increase visibility? Share them with us in the comments below!