Choosing the best metric or best free Scrum tools are daily concerns of product owners, PMs, and CEOs.  You can devour a large number of articles and find something like “Top 10 open source web-based project management software” but still you won’t feel sure that those will work best for you. We’ve collected information on how to choose software for PMs. You will learn how to measure productivity at the workplace and get a sample list of Scrum tools.

What is common between playing rugby and developing software?

In rugby, teams come together, their arms joined, and try to take control of a ball.

In software development, teams organize themselves and make changes on the fly.

That is called scrum.

The term originates from rugby terminology and is also known as scrummage.

Free Agile Project Management Tools

To describe how team members are taking control of a problem two Japanese, Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi, have introduced a scrum approach to planning the work of project teams consisting of people with diverse qualifications.

best free scrum tools

Although the “rugby approach” to developing products was introduced in 1986 scrum is currently the most popular methodology for management. The article of two Japanese authors in Harvard Business Review re-imagined the process of product development. Scrum was initially used for different industries. Now it is a common term for denoting one of the effective agile software development methodologies. The core feature of the approach is taking a distance as a unit (sprint).

Typically, a sprint takes 1-4 weeks. However, with a bunch of free scrum tools, teams are able to conduct iterations faster. Oftentimes, Scrum members feel like start-ups. That’s because they are given a specific challenging task to design some entry product in a short period of time. They build brand-new software from scratch with no prior knowledge and concepts. What does allow companies to be flexible and take risks while they develop products?

The roles in Scrum processes are cast to pigs and chickens. Metaphoric names are given to project members. Pigs are supposed to be fully committed to reach the goal. Chickens are only involved. Product owner, Scrum Master, and all members of a development team take responsibility for successful outcomes. The others, users, stakeholders, consulting experts, and managers, take second place in the development.

free agile project management

To get total efficiency from the cooperation of both pigs and chickens teams use paid or free Scrum software.

We researched Software Advice to find out what instruments to use in order to effectively tackle the emerging issues, manage time, and gain high efficiency. The Scrum software tools are ranged there according to the rating, price, and recommendations. Users get a short description of the program, platforms, and deployment options. You can easily choose paid or free agile project management tools that fit your budget and team’s needs.

While companies search for the right software they give weight to the following factors:

  • Price
  • Rating and reviews
  • Recommendations
  • Supporting operating systems
  • Deployment options
  • Team size
  • Industry

5 Scrum management tools

We have picked up 5 examples of Scrum management tools that can be used in IT services industry. The information provided by our research is helpful for understanding what
online scrum board is, what it does, and how important it is.

  1. Workfront will fit businesses of any size. IT companies, architects, and accountants are the main users of Workfront. It offers both standard and customizable solutions for its clients. The dashboard functions allow you to assign tasks to colleagues, drag and drop the assignments and organize the entire workflow according to your needs. The software has scalable communication tools for projects using agile. Employees are able to track progress, assign tasks, check and approve the accomplished jobs.
  2. Timedoctor is one of the best Scrum tools for time tracking. You sync it up with Slack, GitHub, Jira, or with many other resources you use. It works best for remote outsourced teams. The application can facilitate high efficiency. So, we will further discuss how to measure performance in the workplace with the help of time tracking apps.
  3. Targetprocess is used by development teams, architects, designers, engineers, etc. It is perfect for visual learners as it offers clear information presentation at one place. You will keep all reports, charts, timelines, and other important things on your boards that are easy to access at any time from any device.
  4. Mavenlink is one of the popular Scrum planning tools that allow to plan, track, and report all project processes. It is suitable for a great number of industries including IT, architecture, marketing, education, etc. Mavenlink can integrate with other apps you use for work.
  5. Smartsheet is used by S&M and large businesses for tracking projects. It provides a bunch of helpful charts, boards, and other instruments to improve productivity and time-to-market. Here you are able to share files with your team members from any device you like.

How do time tracking Scrum tools help measure productivity?

The questions about tracking time in Scrum are actually controversial. However, we’ve collected information about the use of time trackers that may be helpful for optimizing agile processes.

“Rugby approach” to development is often related to little-known requirements of the project. Teams get complex tasks and know nothing about the project at all. What they need to do is start developing a product from scratch. It means that you never know how much time it will take for planning and produce a backlog. The unpredictable character of every single iteration also shows a demand for measuring time. PMs have to use scrum software free or paid, otherwise they won’t be able to calculate the time spent on accomplishing the tasks. Measuring hours fits best for the time and material and dedicated team engagement models.

Enhancing efficiency is the number one objective in the list of every company’s goals. CEOs are recommended using agile tools to track time. The reasons are simple. With databases of time records, you will be able to analyze what tasks take more time to complete, how much time you will need for completing similar assignments in the future, what working hours are the most effective, etc.

Time reports can be legal evidence of your work. Some countries have strict regulations for tracking the working hours of their employees. If your employees work remotely as outsource providers you can get reports on time spent, work progress, and any emerging issues related to the project.

Real-time monitoring of the project’s progress helps sales and marketing teams to accurately draw a roadmap. They can work on an effective marketing strategy to successfully launch the product.

No matter what instruments you use, paid or free agile project management software, we recommend making use of any time tracking system you like. Usually, those systems sync with any Scrum tools you use within the project.

Our partners from Time Doctor shared their tips and tricks on how to measure and improve the productivity of outsourced teams using time management tools.

Tips and tricks to improve productivity

  1. Estimate the time you spend on assignments with a time tracking app. Often our brain perceives time wrong giving us an impression that time flows too fast or too slow. When we are busy it seems that time is running very quickly. That’s why it’s better to use professional tools that measure time in the workspace.
  2. Limit time for interruptions if you see that you spend more time than needed to complete your tasks. Interruptions may include browsing social networks, reading notifications, chatting with colleagues, etc.
  3. Take breaks. Short breaks can help employees better concentrate on work. Long time spent doing your job leads to steady exhaustion and decline in performance.
  4. Avoid multitasking. Working on several tasks simultaneously dispels attention and leads to a decline in productivity. Concentrate on completing a single task before proceeding to the next one. Modern tools allow to monitor and prioritize tasks so that employees know what task is the most important at the moment.
  5. Make your tasks clear and precise. Clear tasks can save lots of time for you. Trying to understand some general phrases takes too much time and leads to misinterpretation. Project managers have to describe assignments in a clear and logical manner.

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DICEUS uses the latest scrum tools for measuring and enhancing the performance of the entire team. We follow the newest trends in the IT world not to miss innovative approaches to time tracking. Subscribe to get more useful tips to save time and money for your projects.