Agile approaches like Scrum recommend a “just enough” attitude in software development and this is also the case when you discuss tools. Ideally, you would work with a small team that is collocated, but this is not always possible and you might be running your project in a virtual mode with a distributed Scrum team scattered around the world.
If you don’t want to start using a sophisticated tool to manage your efforts, you might be interested in adopting some web tools that will fit your particular need to share some of the project information or status among all the team members. This article presents some online tools that are based on Scrum and Agile approaches, that implement specific practices and that are freely available on the web for distributed Scrum teams.
We will not present in this page the free option offered by commercial Scrum tools vendors, neither some free offer from tools that are still in their beta stage. You will find only tools with no commercial option that are completely free (and supposed to stay so). If you want to add a tool to this page, just let us now.
* Added May 2015: PointingPoker.com, PlanningPoker.com, ScrumTool.me
SeeNowDo is a simple, flexible and free taskboard designed specifically to meet the needs of distributed Agile teams. You can visually manage multiple projects with their tasks and workflows. It also features a burndown chart. The SeeNowDo tool is provided by the consulting company BigVisible.com
Web site: https://www.seenowdo.com/
Online Burndown Chart
Burndown chart is a free online tool to create burndown charts. Burndown charts (also called slip charts) are used in software development projects and more specifically in projects using Scrum, Lean or Agile approaches.
Web site: http://www.burndownchart.nl/
Registration required, add supported
scrumblr is a shared simple whiteboard where you can post post-its. The whiteboard can be split so that you can manage a simple equivalent of a taskboard. The posts-its are available in three colors and small color tags can be added to the post it to give some additional visual information about it. You can also use this tool for retrospectives. The interface is supposed to be intuitive, so you have to discover the available features.
Web site: http://scrumblr.ca/
No registration required
TaskJunction is an online tool to plan, estimate, and track your software development projects that supports Scrum. It allows create an unlimited number of projects and iteration for your software projects that you can manage through taskboards and track with burndown and other relevant charts. Once you register, a step by step process helps you to add the initial data for your project.
Web site: http://www.taskjunction.com/
PlanITpoker is an online Scrum planning poker tool for Agile project teams. You can create multiple poker planning rooms using different planning methods and invite the other team members.
Web site: http://www.planitpoker.com/
ScrumTool.me is a free online tool for Agile projects that allows you to manage up to two Scrum projects. It allows creating projects, user stories and tasks so that you can manage both the product backlog and your sprints. Sprints are managed with a visual board with fixed columns. The tool is supposed to be intuitive and has no help systems. I couldn’t however manage to find how to connect tasks with people or to define how much work has been done to update the sprint burndown chart. This tool looks to me more like a “work in progress” than a complete solution.
Web site: http://scrumtool.me/
PointingPoker is a tool that allows you to share online planning poker and retrospective sessions. You don’t need to register and the tool comes with a little “twist”: when you navigate away from the session’s page, the information about your planning or retrospective disappears. Even if you register, there is now way to save the results of your session.
Both the planning poker and the retrospectives work in a simple way. You start a session and you can invite other to participate. For the planning poker, you can customize the Fibonacci scale and you have a timer. On the retrospective side, you have the possibility to discuss things that you want to start, stop or continue doing.
Web site: https://www.pointingpoker.com/
No registration required but it is possible to register
PlanningPoker.com is an online web site for planning poker produced in cooperation with Mountain Goat, Mike Cohn’s company. For each planning session, you can customize the Fibonacci values and decide if you want to use a timer or not. The tool is intuitive and has a nice user interface.
Web site: https://www.planningpoker.com/