I am a software developer that will be managing my first agile project. Although I have worked under other managers who implemented Scrum the best they could, my role as a developer involved mainly breaking down the requirements into tasks and implementing behavior-driven development (BDD). I did not talk to the customer, but was obviously involved in the daily scrums.

My past manager used JIRA with Greenhopper to collect the user stories and to show burn-down charts (which did not help much—probably because they were not used properly) and good ol' Excel to do very crude estimates. We were not using story points.

I am learning as much as I can via blogs and videos about tools that can help me in my new role. What tools do I need to manage an agile project?

  • 5
    A white board, index cards for stories, sticky notes for tasks. A deck of planning poke cards can also be handy.
    – Guy Sirton
    Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 1:34
  • Search for CodeGnome's Law for some tangentially-related answers.
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 13:28
  • 2
    Your question has been edited to prevent its closure in asking for lists (which is off-topic everywhere on Stack Exchange). However, it still reads like an opinion poll; you may want to edit further to narrow your scope. See pm.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic for details.
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 13:53

4 Answers 4



You always need the same two tools to manage any project:

  1. Wetware.
  2. A process.

That's it. No magic pixie dust required.

Think Process, Not Tools

I am a software developer that will be managing my first agile project.

And there it is. As a developer, one tends to think in terms of tools or tool-chains to get things done. As a project manager, however, your fundamental tool is always process. Don't become constrained by an automated tool until you master a process.

Manage Process with Wetware

While physical or software tools can help automate the implementation of your process, your foundational tool for managing any process should be the human brain. If you can't wrap your head around the process, or compute the input/output values of a given process in your head, then automating it won't help.

Define your process. Then use whatever tools fit your specific implementation to help with tracking and reporting. That will off-load some drudge work from the wetware, but will not substitute for the lack of properly-applied wetware in a project.


I agree with the process answer above but your question was about tools so in that case . . .

It depends if your team is all in one location sitting next to each other or if they are distributed in different building, cities, countries, etc. If they are in one location then simple white board with sticky notes or index cards work great.

If they are in multiple locations, the lure of an electronic tool becomes more compelling. This comes down to how much you want to spend,etc. A few really good ones are:

  • JIRA Agile - probably the most used (given that it integrated into JIRA which is extremely popular)

  • Trello - Free and quite simple to use and get setup.

others include . .Version One, Mingle, etc


I would suggest you a tool called Eylean. Disclaimer: I am a developer of this product. It is native Windows client with wast feature set for everyone using agile and lean processes. The pros of such tool are integration to Outlook client for email import, excel data import/export. Also, integrated time tracking allows you to measure efficiency not only by some abstract value like story points. You can download it here.

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Simple tools are often the best to ensure that they are consistently used. Trello is a good one for both simplicity and flexibility.

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