Scrum is a framework within the Agile methodology that guides a team on how to develop and deliver products in a transparent and flexible manner.
In short, following Scrum methodology will prompt the team to divide a complex task or project into smaller steps that can be completed within smaller iterations called sprints which usually last 2-4 weeks.
When a sprint is completed, the agile teams gather feedback both internally and externally. A quick feedback loop is useful when the final project might change on the go and the customer feedback is the most important. Internally, gathering feedback on a sprint basis also proves to be a winner. Through organizing a retrospective meeting at the end of each sprint, a scrum master can guide the team to self-organize through debating what actions could be taken to make the team more performant.
There is an entire plethora of tools available on the market! Choosing the best ones can be a tough task and the results will be different dependently on what the nature of the team and project is.
We divided the list into the following categories: project management, retrospective tools, daily standup tools and slack apps that can help out in organizing a team during scrum.
A backlog is a prioritized list of all tasks that are currently on the roadmap. The stories (tasks) are reviewed during each refinement session. The result of such a session might be story pointing of each task to estimate how much effort and time has to go into completing them. If the backlog is well organized, the development team can simply pull tasks into a spring from a product backlog during each planning session.
Ah, Jira. Which agile team didn't use Jira yet? Raise your hand. No hands? No surprise!
Jira must be the most popular go-to tool for all things Agile. Built by Atlassian, it enables users to create project roadmaps to map out all projects in progress. Almost everything works with drag-and-drop, up to the smallest details. It offers functionalities to plan sprints, create user stories and distribute tasks around the team. A mobile app both for Android and iOS is available.
Go to Jira website
ClickUp is a highly customizable cloud-based tool for project management. It offers team collaboration, status alerts, product updates and task-setting functionalities. Its flexibility, clear interface and the just-right amount of Swiss Army knife features make it one of the leading project management software tools in the market.
ClickUp's Slack integration allows you to add and edit tasks directly from Slack. It can also quickly turn messages into tasks and send you notifications into the Slack channel of your choice.
Trello is one of our favorite todo apps. It's incredibly simple to use and flexible so any board can be formed into the workflow that you need - be it a Scrum or Kanban board. Maybe even a simple todo list?
Slack integration is also available for trello. It will allow you to edit and modify cards and subscribe to tasks for notifications.
Pricing: Free up to 10 boards, then prices starting from $5 per user per month.
An agile retrospective is a meeting that's held at the end of each sprint. The main goal of a retrospective is to reflect on the work that has been done during the sprint - both the goods and the bads. There are a number of ways to run a retrospective meeting but a basic one focuses on three things - what went right, what went wrong and what actions can be taken to right the wrongs. Making sure that retrospective meetings are happening after each Agile iteration is on the most important steps taken to ensure the continuous improvement of the team.
What are the best tools to manage a retrospective meeting?
flat.social is the most fun & creative choice out of all if you want to spice up your team interactions a little bit. The app features a full video-conferencing setup in a spatial setting where everyone can move around and talk with others around them. While it can be used as a virtual office or a space for networking & online events, it also plays perfectly as a digital space for organising a fancy retrospective meeting.
Neatro is an online retrospective software tool for any scrum time that wants to continuously improve. It's web based so no install is required.
Go to Neatro website
ScatterSpoke is a retrospective tool that focuses on analyzing the data that is the result of the sessions. It allows you to gather anonymous feedback and submit and vote on actions items so everyone's priorities are aligned.ScatterSpoke also has a number of integrations with other popular software including Slack, Miro and Microsoft Teams.
Price: it's free for up to 15 users. if you have more than that, it's $6 per seat per month.
Go to ScatterSpoke website
It's a simple whiteboard, it's for free and widely used for quick notes and sketches. It's the simplest and most quick way to replicate a whiteboard if you're running a retro in 5 minutes. While it's not designed specifically for agile retrospectives, it acts great as a basic tool to conduct one. Your distributed team will be able to quickly drag and drop some crazy GIFs!
Go to Jamboard website
While standups themselves don't make the team agile, they're one of the most fundamental parts of the process. Daily Standups are strategic daily meetings that help to keep the team connected, informed and on the schedule. They include everyone on the team - product owners, developers, designer and the scrum master. In short, during daily standup each team member answers three questions - what did I work on yesterday, what I'm doing today and are there any issues blocking me from doing my work?
What are the best tools to improve daily standups?
Sup is everything you need in a slackbot. Conduct daily standups, manage team holidays, create polls and run quick surveys. There’s so much you can get done in minutes. Wanna speed up? Get Sup.
If you want to get an efficient remote team, then you must have tools that make remote management easy. And Sup guarantees you just that. With a number of features available on the sup, remote working only gets smoother. Let's have a look.
Pricing: Monthly $19 / month (entire workspace) $29 / month (entire workspace). Annual $189 / year (entire workspace) $289 / year (entire workspace)
Go to Sup - Slack Standup Bot
If your team is using Slack and you like to work slightly more asynchronously, Geekbot might be the solution for you. This slick Slack application sends out notifications to relevant team members in Slack, asking them to fill out answers to the most common standup questions asynchronously and at a time that is convenient and non-disruptive for them. The responses then are centralized in a Slack channel for others to view.
Each of the answers or blockers can be turned into a thread that involves all the team members that should be there. This might save a lot of time because daily standup discussions quite often branch out into topics that are irrelevant for some of the individuals attending.
Review on G2: 4.6 / 5.0
Reviews on Capterra: 4.9/5.0
Pricing: includes a free trial, after trial it's $2.5 per participant per month
Go to Geekbot website
Another great method for asynchronous dailies is Standuply which will send recurring and automatic questions on Slack. In short, Standuply allows you to create questions for your remote team and then conducts these interviews from within Slack. It then gathers all the information into a readable and concise format.
Review on G2: 4.8 / 5.0
Reviews on Capterra: 4.7/5.0
Pricing: free started, team starts at $1.5 per user per month
Go to Standuply website
Yac not only has a great domain but also a pretty slick product which helps teams to collaborate asynchronously. While the previous two options were mostly focused on text, Yac allows your peers to send async voice and video recordings that can in some cases replace online meetings. It's also a great solution for teams who work across different time zones.
Go to Yac website
While onsite teams have the physical proximity playing into their advantage, remote teams need to regularly meet online. Unless we come up with an affordable way to create robotic avatars of each team member, there is no physical whiteboard that can be used by everyone simultaneously.
Hey, it's flat.social again! The tool is not only great for online agile retrospectives but also can be used as a virtual office that hosts casual and adhoc team communication.
Around software is an AI-based camera framing tool used to make video calls. The software offers ultrasonic signaling, synchronization and voice proximity aided by AI provides the best possible audio experience. Make quick calls and share sessions with a link from Slack. It runs on all platforms + Chrome and Edge.
Go to Around.co website