What is Scrum Software?
Scrum is a set of rules, tools and meetings that work together for agile project management. It is used for identifying work that needs to be done. Members of the scrum team assess the mechanisms required and set a fixed completion date.
This can be implemented successfully by scrum software solutions.
The core principles on which scrum tools function are continuous product improvement and organising complex tasks. Scrum or sprint planning tools are crucial for managing workloads associated with product development. Aside from various collaboration and task management options, these tools also offer in-depth scrum reports for viewing sprint backlogs. The best scrum agile project management tools help businesses break complex tasks in a project into manageable user stories for better progress.
Based on agile scrum framework, sprint management tools help businesses manage customer requests and feedback. These are essential for developing high-end products like software solutions, etc. Scrum software offers a document like interface for adding tasks, user stories, bugs, enhancements and user stories.
Describe What's the Scrum Framework
Scrum model or framework is a process that brings together different members of a team to work on their designated projects. The entire framework of a scrum model is based on the principle of self-reflection, organization and learning through experiences.
Sprint allows reviews through informal meetings for members performing their respective scrum roles. Those holding scrum roles include members of the development team, product owners and scrum masters. Team members with their respective scrum roles that take part in sprint reviews.
The main purpose of sprint review meets is to show all stakeholders and customers the work accomplished so far over a sprint. Sprint review meets are also used for comparing the work accomplished with the target that was set at the beginning of a project.
Sprint retro or sprint retrospective meets are a critical part of the scrum framework and are usually held after sprint reviews. Scrum teams use sprint retrospective for bringing in changes to their work processes. Such meets are held at the end of every iteration and are based on the principle of adaption as well as inspection. Aimed at improving a product’s quality and such deliverables, all scrum processes are inspected during sprint retros. Sprint retros thus focus on Quality of work accomplished so far, Tasks that require improvement and Plans for improvements to be achieved.
Sprint planning is done to mark all tasks that need to be completed in a specific period. Teams depend on sprint planning for identifying backlogs in a product so that they can be worked upon for quick completion. Sprint plans are conducted on the very first day of sprint and for best results, these are conducted in two phases:
Phase 1- Scope
- The goal of the sprint
- Checking for backlog items
- The capacity of the team to complete the project
- Items to be included based on the sprint goal
Phase 2- Plan
A sprint team in phase two discusses in more detail about product backlog items to check for any dependencies that require quick resolution.
Daily scrum meets help set the context for the day’s work. It helps teams get a better clarity on tasks pending and those that are complete. Once a context is set, you can synchronize sprint goals with a team’s progress. Daily scrum meets focus on the following:
- Tasks done yesterday
- Tasks that need to be completed today
- Barriers towards completion of task goals
Scrum tools have also been defined as scrum in software engineering and development because initially they were used for developing software products. Scrum agile project management tools today however have moved out of their traditional domain. They are deployed by marketing and sales teams, companies involved in research and advanced technology, etc. And it is these daily scrum meets that hold the business together.
Key Features of Scrum Software
Scrum metrics are used for estimating time and costs associated with a project, measuring its performance and making important business decisions. Interestingly, these estimates are based on a team's knowledge and capabilities instead of days or hours.
Scrum master tools help manage backlogs by making use of filters like tags and lists. For better management of backlogs, there is a separate tab with checklists and subtasks.
Burnup and velocities are used for planning as well as managing releases efficiently. You can also use this feature within scrum software for predicting the software or project release dates so that tasks can be completed right on time.
Scrum master tools help with visually organizing sprints so that all work can be distributed equally amongst team members. Over allocated tasks, weekend work and partial allocations, all can be handled easily using this feature.
Task boards or scrum boards help create separate rows for all types of subtasks. This is a critical feature of scrum project management software because it provides real-time updates on different tasks/sub-tasks.
Burndown charts in agile scrum tools let you track the progress of your tasks irrespective of the time zone you may be operating in. The software measures the amount of task completed in a day as against the set target. The best sprint planning tools automatically take into account the weekend work to track project’s progress.
Scrum tools offer time tracking capabilities for managing billing and accounting processes. Popular scrum master tools even provide in depth time logs for teams, sprints, calendar periods and individual employees. All such data generated can be exported directly into either of the following two formats- spreadsheet or CSV.
Popular scrum master tools depend on different parameters for creating as well as sharing workitem. Some such parameters are estimating the size of a workitem, setting business values and assigning user access. If required, you can even change the status of a workitem. Once this workitem is ready, you can tag it, attach files to it as well as add comments and sub items.
Mind maps in scrum project management software are used for doing problem analysis. They are important for tracking dependencies between multiple nodes as well as adding multiple reasons to in-depth findings.
Retrospective idea cards are used for displaying information related to project release and planning. Through idea cards, an end user can check the implementation status of an idea, its category (whether the proposed idea is fair, or needs improvement), description and comments.
Benefits of Using Scrum Software Tools
Scrum management tools make it easy for end users to attach documents as well as add comments any time these are required. While the add comments option can be used for discussing tasks, backlogs, projects and sprints, the file attachment feature is important for attaching sketches, specifications, screenshots, etc.
- Data export with API support
Data exporting into spreadsheets, CSV and XML files is easy with agile scrum tools. Also, there is API support for modifying the data and syncing it with other tools on your device.
- Keyboard shortcuts with drag/drop support
Keyboard shortcuts and drag & drop functionality in scrum management tools that let you quickly perform tasks. Additionally, there is a cut/paste option for duplicating backlog tasks and items.
- Activity history with instant notifications
Activity history is important to track changes as they are done over a period in a project. Also, there is the instant notification option that updates you immediately in case of new replies, comments or any new activity.
- Burnup charts for tracking progress
Burnup charts track the progress of a task so that end users can estimate whether a task would get completed on time. The vertical axis in the chart is used for showing tasks completed against the target.
- Speed, leakages & distribution
You can use scrum tools for checking leakages in a workflow besides tracking the status of tasks in progress. You can also use agile scrum master tools for checking the distribution of work items area. The best sprint planning tools use indicators like the value of a business, its size and priority.
- Sprint planning templates
Create quickly new stories using predefined sprint planning templates built-in the best scrum master tools. This module is effective in predefining the theme, title, business value, epic and risks for easily managing all backlogs. You can also define subtasks and tags with the help of this module.
Scrum tools ensure that daily testing and product feedback are included in all its product development processes. These help with improving the output of scrum teams thereby also improving the quality of the final product.
The best scrum tools let you separate high priority items from low priority ones. This process in turn is useful for faster delivery of products and services.
Sprint planning tools depend on the upfront testing mechanism to help businesses achieve an improved ROI or return on investments. Secondly, sprint review's regular feedback system helps businesses achieve targeted results.
- Increased ownership & collaboration
Sprint planning and the daily scrum meets help development teams organise the tasks completed, upcoming tasks and roadblocks to such tasks. During such review meets, team members and other stakeholders are also able to discuss project details with each other to improve all process outcomes.
- Controlling project performance
Improving and controlling a project's performance is easy with agile scrum master tools. The best scrum management tools make it easy to both adjust project priorities as well as manage sprint backlogs with ease. End users can also use burndown charts for reflecting on a sprint's progress.
Scrum management tools help mitigate risks associated with project delivery services. Businesses use the software for developing the highest-risk product in sprints. This method ensures that there is not much gap between the initial investment and the next outcome. Just in case the outcome isn't positive, a sprint team member can rework its strategy for better outcome.
5 Best Scrum Software for Agile Software Development with Scrum
Planning in sprints to take your project planning to a whole new level is easy with ProjectManager scrum software. Project small or large, this scrum project management software makes project scheduling and planning process a breeze. Also, available here are collaborative tools for attaching comments and files to tasks. In short, this project management software offers a range of agile tools for executing sprints and managing backlogs.
Key features of ProjectManager scrum tool:
- Task lists
- Kanban boards & reports
- Timesheets with Gantt charts
- Project portfolios
- Plans and schedules
Wrike Sprint Planning Tool
Wrike sprint planning tool offers iterative solutions for handling complex projects as well as implementing agile projects. What makes the software unique is its dependency management capabilities that can be used for managing both interrelated tasks as well as resources. You can also use this scrum management tool for setting milestones for project lifecycle.
Key features of Wrike sprint planning tool:
- Setting access permissions for user roles
- Budget & time tracking
- Capacity planning
- Request forms
- Version controls
Nutcache Scrum Management Tool
Managing and tracking projects is easy with Nutcache scrum management tool. What makes the software unique is its cost management capabilities, which is critical for avoiding overruns. You can thus track overdues, expenses and bills with Nutcache scrum project management software. Also, there are Gantt charts for planning, tracking and organizing tasks visually.
Key features of Nutcache Scrum Management Tool:
- Expense management
- Custom workflows
- Task automation
- KPIs for project budgeting
Targetprocess Srum Project Management Tool
Targetprocess scrum management tool is used for customizing development processes as well as mapping these to company processes. You can use the software for planning sprints, running daily meetings and tracking progress.
Key features of Targetprocess:
- Portfolio epic
- Parent and nested entities
- Custom & team workflows
- Data import, extraction and export
- Web hook plugins
All kinds of agile teams, large and small can use the VivifyScrum sprint planning tool for its project management as well as tracking capabilities. You can deliver projects on time and make use of the software's customizable scrum board for streamlining workflows. You can also use VivifyScrum for tracking payments and sending invoices. The one feature that makes the scrum planning software unique is its agile scrum board that can be used creating as well as visualizing custom workflows.
Key features of VivifyScrum:
- Automatic work logs for tracking time
- Dedicated account manager
- Scrum metrics
- Burndown charts
- Tracking requests for time-offs
Create scrum projects with Scrumwise sprint planning tool to organize sprints and design task boards. Built-in into the software, you would find kanban boards and burn down charts along with time logs for managing project releases. The unique selling point of the software is the popups that provide detailed contextualized information for a project on the same page.
Key features of Scrumwise:
- Backlog and request management
- Project tracking, scheduling and planning
- Percent-complete tracking
- Collaboration and kanban board
- Managing backlogs and iteration
Factors to Consider While Buying Scrum Tools
Scrum master tools need to be flexible and adaptable so that shifting priorities is easy at the start of every project lifecycle. This is one of the foremost criteria that you have to keep in mind before selecting the right scrum project management software.
- Adjusting backlogs: The best sprint planning tools help with the smooth running of sprints or predetermined duration of time. These tools thus make it easy for you to manage backlogs and the progress in terms of planning. Just sure that the software has strong backlog management capabilities.
- Tracking project's progress: Scrum tools can be used for tracking project's progress and retrospectives with ease. This gives product owners and scrum masters a fair idea about what all steps need to be taken for launching a product. Option for tracking project's progress is a must in sprint planning solutions.
- Collaboration systems: Popular scrum software solutions offer collaboration tools to make feedback sharing processes a breeze. The more streamlined theses mechanisms are, the better would be the ability of a team to improve its products or services. Before buying an agile scrum tool, check for the built-in collaboration tools.
- Intuitive: The scrum project management tool that you select needs to be intuitive enough to change as per the project's priorities. With this system in place, it is easy to adjust tasks and plan sprints here.
- Task monitoring: Being able to monitor tasks is surely a plus. Scrum project management software solutions help with monitoring the status of task using three parameters enlisted in three different columns- due, in-progress and completed. Task management capabilities are therefore a must in scrum master tools.
Some other factors that you may consider:
- Project requirements and size of the team
- Kind of the end product expected at the end of a project
- Look for a scrum tool that helps manage several project rollout cycles.
- Fast deployment timings so that all new features and changes can be immediately rolled out for future deployment.
- Continuous feedback for shaping the final product design.
- Team iterations for tracking a team's progress
- Mashups as these are important for creating reports and widgets.
Scrum Board vs Kanban Board
- Velocity is used for measuring the amount of work that could be completed by a team in a specific time. Kanban boards use cycle times for measuring the team’s performance.
- You can use kanban boards for making changes to any project midstream. This is not possible in scrum boards.
- Scrum board is best for teams with stable priorities. Kanban board, on the other hand, can be deployed on projects with changing priorities.
- In a kanban board, deliverables are based on the upcoming requirements of a project. In a scrum board, this is based on sprints or the different phases in which a project cycle is divided into.
- Kanban methodology does not include any set rules. However, scrum processes include scrum master, scrum teams, etc.
- With scrum, velocity is the primary metric to measure the performance. Kanban prefers the flow diagram approach.
- Scrum includes retrospective meetings to assess the performance after a set interval. Kanban is based on the ongoing process with no intermittent introspection.
- Project manager may or may not be there in a kanban board. A Scrum master is a kind of a facilitator who is in charge of sprint planning is mandatory for a scrum board. Scrum masters make sure that all members of a team are familiar with the sprint reviews and plans.