10 scrum tools to try in 2021
We’re going to make a claim about Scrum that might shock you.
Scrum isn’t actually a methodology. It’s not a process, either.
Scrum is a technology.
Sound crazy? We don’t think so. Scrum, the most popular interpretation of the Agile framework for software development, can’t be separated from the tools that enable it.
Without scrum boards, task trackers, chat platforms, sprint backlog lists, or a sprint burndown chart, a Scrum team is just — to quote Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy — “a bunch of jackasses standing in a circle.”They say the medium is the message, and that’s never more true than it is on a software development team. The chance your Scrum project will succeed is directly proportional to the quality of your tools.
So, what are some of the best tools you can use to get the most out of your Scrum methodology? We’ll examine 8 leading options below, breaking down what they offer and how they can help you effectively implement Scrum in your next project.
What are the top Scrum tools?
Here’s an overview of 8 of the most popular Agile project management tools in the market, including our (obviously biased) favorite:
monday.com (hi there!) is a complete work management platform that positions itself at the intersection of accessibility and power.
Managers and employees new to Scrum will find a safe solution for getting their feet wet. While battle-hardened Scrum veterans will love the wide range of options for customization offered by this scrum tool. Including our monday Apps framework, which allows developers to create their own apps using lowcode development.
You’ll find templates for every step of the Scrum process, from sprint planning to task management, plus a wide range of other functions. You can manage your Scrum tasks in multiple ways, including table views, timelines and Gantt charts, and Kanban-style boards.
Plus monday.com integrates with many of your other favorite tools, including Slack, GitHub, Gmail, Dropbox, Zoom, and more.
We’ve also recently released a number of templates designed specifically to help your team return to work after COVID.
monday.com is about simplifying communication. Open information is the heart of Scrum management — the lower the learning curve, the closer you and your team are to sweet success.
For more details, check out “What are project management templates?” at the end of this list.
Published by Atlassian, Jira is a star player in the Scrum tools field.
It’s an Agile tool that allows you to use a Scrum board, Kanban board, or large-scale roadmap. The scrum software also has the ability to connect issues directly to code, appealing to software engineers in particular.
Jira’s popularity has also led to a wide range of integrations, making it easy to fit into your existing stack.
VivifyScrum is an all-in-one project management tool for Agile teams, including nifty features such as time tracking, invoicing, and Scrum training alongside the usual activity boards. It’s got a friendly interface, and also sets itself apart from the pack with a robust free plan.
Nutcache is a collaboration and workflow tool that’s optimized for sprint management — makes sense, given that its name evokes a squirrel racing around to prepare for winter.
With Nutcache, you can set sprint length, purpose, story points, ongoing status, and more for any sprint that makes up your epic.
Orangescrum is one of the best open source scrum tools.
Not only does going open-source net you a free download, it also spares you from incidents like what happened to Nutcache’s users (see #4).
#6: Microsoft Teams
Most of you reading are probably already familiar with Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s group collaboration software.
Like most Microsoft and Google offerings, the main draw is the vast suite of integrations with other trustworthy platforms.
ZenHub is an Agile framework/Scrum methodology project management tool that integrates directly with Github.
Given that Github is already the biggest collaborative engineering platform on Earth, it’s a killer idea.
But, it’s mostly for teams that already work within Github. If you don’t want your code open for whatever reason, ZenHub might not be for you.
Trello is technically Kanban software, not Scrum project management software. But, it’s beloved enough by product owners that its popularity tends to spill over the dividing line.
Trello’s boards are simple and adaptable, able to hold a surprising volume of information in a small space. If you’re interested in Scrumban, you can probably make these tools work for you.
Retrium helps scrum teams run easy and effective retrospectives. With Retrium, teams choose from popular techniques like 4Ls, Team Radars, Lean Coffee, Start, Stop, Continue, and Mad, Sad, Glad or create their own templates before being guided through a facilitated retrospective.
Private brainstorming and anonymous voting help teams identify and safely introduce topics with the goal of openly discussing challenges, areas for improvement, and other concerns (and celebrations) to enable the team’s success.
Range is an asynchronous communication tool that remote teams use to be more effective. Teams use it to run async scrums or augment their synchronous scrums so they can have more meaningful discussions about the work. At the core are Check-ins — asynchronous, insightful status updates that show what teams are doing, what they need, and how they’re feeling. Range relieves the burdens modern remote work places on teams so they can operate at their best. And managers get the ambient layer of context they need without spending hours in meetings, checking tons of tools, or urgent Slack messages.
With integrations into all your tools — so it works with your workflow — it’s super easy to plan your day and know what’s happening (and another useful Chrome extension). Range is especially great for remote teams because it has research-back features that actually foster strong team culture. As part of a Check-in, you can answer an icebreaker question (more than 350 are built in) and share how you’re feeling with an emoji and a green/yellow/red mood indicator. By combining culture with work updates, Check-ins make team-building feel natural and easy. By building a habit of connection, Range helps remote teams build a foundation of trust and psychological safety, making work more fun and productive.
We’re working hard at monday.com to make templates into the best scrum tools on the market right now.
The beauty of templates is how they balance ease of use with universal flexibility.
You can download and set up one of our templates in minutes, then customize the elements to fit the exact way in which you and your Agile team like to work — no matter the project you’re working on or the industry you’re in.
Take our sprint planning template as an example. It’s ideal for planning and running your Scrum sprints. You can easily assign users to tasks, set statuses and priorities, estimate workload, and link each item to the story or epic they relate to:
Whether you’re a Scrum newbie or a seasoned pro, our dozens of Scrum-based templates can save you time and effort in setting up and managing your next project.
In 2021, Scrum project management is more important than ever. As we all adapt to unusual, remote work environments, Scrum tools are perfect for keeping everyone sane and on-task.
We’re lucky to live in an age when so many talented teams are fighting to build boards, timelines, and road maps for us.
Go ahead, dive into the deep end of the Scrum tools pool — we’re confident monday.com can stand up to any of them.
If you’d rather skip the comparison shopping and get started, check out the monday.com platform now.