We aren't necessarily using Agile, but we aren't using the Waterfall approach either; it's more of a hybrid of both.

I was told that Microsoft Project is great for the Waterfall method, but it's not really good to plan out iterative projects.

Are there any good tools (preferably free) out there to look at? I do have Project 2010, which is why I'm not looking to spend too much more.

  • The FAQ specifically discourges tool recommendations.
    – MCW
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 11:06
  • 1
    @MarkC.Wallace I feel like I looked at the FAQ when I had originally asked, as I'm more familiar with Stack Overflow's rules. I looked again and don't see where it discourages tool recommendations - I've seen that in other places but not for PM. Still, this is a somewhat unique circumstance as it involves a method that isn't traditional, nor common in current teachings. So it's not asking for a tool comparison, but simply any tool that might improve the management.
    – vol7ron
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 13:37
  • Question 1, "This site is NOT about... Tool recommendations" Also see Meta
    – MCW
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 13:40
  • @MarkC.Wallace perhaps we should go into chat. I think the issue is that your comment pointed to this FAQ when it should have pointed to this FAQ; which, you're right and I do see it there. Still, I believe this to be a special circumstance. Also, this question is a year old, and might be [a little late / wasted effort] for the moderation.
    – vol7ron
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 13:50
  • I can't get to chat for a variety of reasons, but you're right on all counts. Although the question is old, it popped to the top of the active list, and I think the comment sets a precedent.
    – MCW
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 14:32

8 Answers 8


Start by implementing the process, not software. Are you all located in the same space? Go old school and use notecards and post-its. That is how we started our iterative dev team off, and it works quite nicely.

If you must use software... How big is your team? Mingle from Thoughtworks is good, but expensive ($400 a user annually). It is free for <5 users. Jira is ok if you've never used ALM software before, as some folks have a hard time to transition from "cards" to "issues" (as Jira calls everything).

I would avoid MS Project at all costs. It is not collaborative, clunky to use, and a windows-fat-client. All things a nimble team doesn't need to have hanging around.

Good luck with your agile implementation.

  • 1
    Hi Mike, great answer! Welcome to PMSE! I hope you continue to contribute. +1
    – jmort253
    Commented May 22, 2012 at 20:00

A popular package is OnTime but it is really scrum / agile oriented.

Other candidates are Trello, DevComplete, and good old Borland does nothing else these days.

One of my favorites is YouTrack which actually started out as a bug tracking system but is moving more towards a project management system. It is free for 9 users and 3000 issues with some other limitations. But I'll have to admit that I'm biased since I use their excellent continuous build solution "TeamCity" which integrates well.

LeanKit is a popular kanban board.

Other online gems that I use to complement any other system:

  • TaskFreak for keeping track of todo's and loose ends that pop up during development.
  • Workflowy especially handy when initiating a new project, shuffeling points around.
  • Mural.ly during brainstorm sessions (which can be fun with multiple enthusiastic editors :-)

MS Project is fine for iterative development as well. We used the 2i model (iterative and incremental) and managed all project plans using MS Project.

What are the specific challenges you are facing with MSP?

  • I looked for a model to use with MS Project and couldn't find any, then realized that you weren't talking about a task-tracking model/template w/in MS Project. So I guess specifically, it seems like things like Gantt charts are not as well designed for iterative development, and more for non-repetitive tasks over a period of time.
    – vol7ron
    Commented May 18, 2012 at 16:59

Referring to the first answer, I would first check if you realy need a "software". Looks like you need some help on methodology, whereas I would recommend a agile one. Eg kanban or scrum. If you start from scratch, if you have to deliver something and if you can't afford external help (eg a scrum master), start with kanban.

Google for "personal kanban" for Webbased tools.

I recommend JIRA as well. We using it for 2 years now for agile PM. 10 user for 10 bucks. You can use it for kanban as well.

Hope that helps!

PS: from my opponion waterfall is not the right approach for web...

  • 1
    Looks like you need some help on methodology That's incorrect, there's a Waterfall-Hybrid approach, which is similar to Agile, without all the naming terminology (scrum, sprint, standups) that Agile brings. Kanban may be closer, but I rather not go down that path. IMO, Whitten-Bentley has one of the best SDMs, and newer isn't always better. The purpose of tools is for managing current tasks, but also having some reporting mechanism to provide to higher management and the Waterfall method made producing those reports much easier.
    – vol7ron
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 19:02

Check out free open source Agilefant

Take a look at Agilefant. You can create and maintain a backlog, manage sprints/iterations, manage tasks and take the story through various states to 'Done'. See the other thread in this forum where a user highly recommended it.


We have recently started using Jira with the GreenHopper plugin by Atlassian (http://www.atlassian.com/software/greenhopper/overview). Great for agile. Easy to assign points, track issues and plan sprints, see velocities, burn down charts, cumulative flow, ect. They offer both cloud based and self hosted options. Wonderful wiki if you also get Confluence.


You can try KanbanTool . It's a webbased application based on kanban. It has an intuitive drag & drop interface and the number of useful features such as: tasks visualization with colored cards placed on kanban board, card template customization, kanban board adjustment with swimlanes & columns sizes and names, synchronization with calendars, RSS feeds, API integration, breakdown charts, cumulative flow diagram,results exportation to Excel file and real-time updates.


Try out Flying Donut. It is a new online agile software that is based on Scrum. In Flying Donut you are working on iterations, items, and tasks. There is a nice way of organizing your backlog, and its GUI is clean with quick response times. Easy to assign estimates and remaining time with inline editing.

Disclaimer: I have been using Flying Donut for many months, since I helped building it.

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