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 virtually 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 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 (backlog management, burndown chart) and that are freely available (no commercial/paid version!) on the web for distributed Scrum teams. Retrospective tools are not mentioned as we wrote a specific article about free retrospective tools for distributed scrum teams. The Scrum planning poker tools will be also soon listed in a separate article.
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 using the comment form or the contact page.
* June 2018
Added: Apa, Scrumvee, easyBacklog, Print Your Burn Down Chart, Yet Another Burndown Generator
Removed: SeeNowDo, Online Burndown Chart (burndownchart.nl), all scrum planning poker tools that will be now listed in a separate article due to the large number of existing tools
* May 2015
Added: PointingPoker.com, PlanningPoker.com, ScrumTool.me
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/
Apa is a free simplified online tool for Agile projects that provides easy-to-use Scrum and Kanban boards. You can change any board to fit your needs by simply dragging and dropping stuff around. It is very easy to create columns, change their widths or rearrange them. The tool provides many charts: Burndown Chart, Cumulative Flow Diagram, Lead Time / Cycle Time diagrams. Once you have created a project, you can simply invite people to join it by email.
Web site: https://apascrum.com/
Scrumvee is a free online tool for Scrum Poker planning, featuring a mobile Android app and a browser platform to manage all the Scrum plannings a software development team. Each developer selects the Scrum estimation from its own smartphone, without interfering and potentially affecting other team members. The ScrumMaster can easily see all the estimations. Starting a new estimation round, restarting one or choosing the winning estimation card is very easy. All rounds, estimations and meetings are saved for posterity. See how many of your teammates estimated correctly and how often. Easily spot poorly defined stories or team members which are constantly over or under estimating. The tool is integrated with JIRA.
Web site: https://scrumvee.com/
easyBacklog is a completely free service that help you manage your Agile and Scrum backlogs and sprints efficiently. You can create versions of your backlog and compare them. You can estimate a budget for the items and easily create a high level cost estimation.
Web site: https://easybacklog.com/
Print Your Burn Down Chart
Print Your Burn Down Chart is an online tool to create a ideal burndown chart. You can define the start and end date, actual working days and choose different options like having a burnup chart.
Web site: https://printyourburndown.com/
No registration required
Yet Another Burndown Generator
Yet Another Burndown Generator is a simple online tool to create a PDF ideal burndown chart. Creating it is as easy as give values to days that your sprint lasts, points that your team is trying to achieve and a describing title Only with this values, a new “ready to print” PDF page containing the burndown is created for you just for free
Web site: http://www.burndowngenerator.com/
No registration required