Work environments have transformed remarkably in the last few years. Remote work, once a perk, has become the norm, allowing developers to collaborate across continents and time zones. In-office work still retains its charm for some, offering structured environments and immediate access to colleagues. And the hybrid model, a synergy of both worlds, is becoming more and more sought after. No matter what approach software agencies choose, the emphasis remains on achieving a harmony of efficiency, collaboration, and quality assurance. Managing this multitude of team dynamics requires not just skilled professionals, but also the right set of tools that cater to the unique demands of the industry. In this blog, we’ll delve into some of the game-changing tools that promise to maximize team’s efficiency and streamline workflows.
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The products on the market are various, catering for a diverse range of industries. However, when it comes to software development agencies, we have to give credit where credit’s due and agree that terms like Jira, Slack, or Trello, are now part of their daily vocabulary. That’s why they fill a top spot in our article. But, as we noted, there are also other contenders worthy of being mentioned here, so let’s dive in and see what benefits they bring to the table.
The project-management tool developed by Atlassian has proved its worth in efficiently tracking and managing projects, tasks, and issues. Designed with agile methodologies in mind, Jira is widely used by software development agencies. It supports Scrum, Kanban, and mixed-methodology frameworks, making sprint planning, story pointing, and backlog prioritization effortless.
What sets it apart is the fact that it integrates smoothly with a wide range of software tools and platforms, such as version control systems (like Git and Bitbucket), CI/CD pipelines, and collaboration tools. This means all parts of the development lifecycle can be viewed and managed from a single place.
In Jira, collaboration between teams feels like a natural experience. Users can move cards, create columns, and edit titles and descriptions on a JIRA board in a drag-and-drop fashion, making it intuitive and easy to use. Moreover, the platform can be customized to fit every individual’s needs.
Jira’s capabilities are enhanced by seamless integration with other Atlassian platforms. JIRA integrates and works well with Crucible (a tool that helps team review code, discuss changes, share knowledge, and identify defects) – and Confluence (a tool that can organize files, pages, attachments, and even spaces with keyword labels — such as meeting type or project name), enabling the collaboration between complex departments. Various team members, from data scientists to marketing professionals can provide input on product development.
The possibilities to expand it don’t stop here. JIRA also comes with over 1000 add-ons which can help make it even more useful for Agile teams.
Pricing plans depend on the number of agents that’ll use the tool and the plan, and it starts at $8.5 per user per month.
Developed by the same company as Jira, they have their own distinct features that make them best suited for different types of projects. Trello is lightweight, kanban-focused and is designed to help visualize workflow. It is a more flexible system that easily adapts to the project’s changing priorities. For this reason, it’s a pretty popular tool among developers working on simple projects, content creators, and social media managers.
Within each board, users can create lists representing different stages or phases of a project and drag and drop cards between lists to indicate progress.
So, on the plus side,Trello is very intuitive, with a short learning curve. On the low side, it might not be the best choice for large and complex projects, as it lacks certain advanced functionalities.
Trello has various price plans ranging from free to $17,50/month. The free version is pretty solid, giving you unlimited cards and up to 10 boards per workspace making it suitable for individuals or small teams.
Well, we all know Slack as one of the most versatile communication tools for teams, but its powerful integration capabilities with popular productivity tools and services like Google Calendar, Google Drive, Hubspot, Jira, and Zoom, will work like magic for streamlining workflows.
The platform provides a channel-based structure for teams to discuss and manage existing tasks as well as creating new ones. Users can receive task updates and reminders in the specified channel, keeping everyone in loop with the project progress.
Slack has a strong free plan, but for users that want to experience higher benefits like unlimited message history, unlimited apps, and more, the paid plans start at $7.25 per user per month.
A cloud-based tool, monday.com is a huge name in the industry and almost every project manager will have at least a passing acquaintance with it. Kudos to their marketing team for doing a tremendous job. With a comprehensive list of features and great support, the platform scores really high when it comes to what you get for your buck.
Easy-to-follow kanban boards lets users go through several views, letting them keep track of their tasks. At the same time, a calendar is available, which is very handy for determining what is due when. A timeline shows you the duration of projects as well as which days are going to be busy, allowing you to shift things around if necessary.
The platform seamlessly integrates with many software development tools such as Jira, GitHub, and GitLab, Slack, Google Workspace, and Microsoft Teams enabling communication, and ensuring that businesses, irrespective of their domain, can streamline their workflows.
For any other industry, monday.com is a clear winner. For software development project management, our top pick, Jira, is more suitable. But it doesn’t mean that big teams cannot use both of them. Jira can be easily integrated into Monday.com and this way, you could have your dev team work in Jira, while other teams do their tasks in monday.com. Having monday.com as the hub, all teams could keep an eye on each others’ progress.
One thing to note is that you’ll be using Jira features in monday.com – the other way around doesn’t work. It is also possible to export tasks from one app to another when shifting into a new phase.
Monday.com has a free plan suitable for individuals who want to keep track of their work. Paid plans start at 8 EUR and go up to 16 EUR for the PRO plan.
The platform is one of the top project management tools and reviewers are not shy to praise its great UX. The platform serves teams of all sizes and various industries but the lack of smart dev tool integrations make it less suitable for development projects.
One of the features that sets it apart against the competition is that it lets you track and manage budgets.The Universal reporting tool can give you useful insights about spend, task status, and completed milestones making it easy for users to see if they are on the right track or not.
The tool also allows guest accounts and client accounts with multiple views, this way everyone involved in the project is able to keep track of the progress.
The free plan from Asana is suited to individuals who want to manage tasks and personal to-do’s, while the paid plans vary from €10.99 to €24.99 for the business plan.
When searching for project management platforms, Wrike might get overlooked in favour of their bigger competitors, but the platform is packed with great features, for those who plan Agile projects. The only downside, a not-so-easy-to-use interface. But with proper training, if you feel that the platform is right for you, the learning curve can be overcome.
The platform is ideal for individuals and small to large businesses managing creative teams or specializing in professional services and it is highly praised for its enterprise-grade security.
Wike offers the usual features, like a kanban board, lists, a calendar, Gantt Charts, and more. Managers can oversee multiple projects, track time and use the comprehensive reporting tools for analytics.
Wrike is unique in that it offers dedicated add-ons to specific fields. Wrike for Marketers for example, has been designed to offer project management tools specifically for marketing teams. This is extremely useful for big teams made of different departments which can integrate their suitable add-ons for managing specific individual tasks, while the whole project can be managed at company level.
Wrike offers a pretty solid free plan (which by the way includes an AI content generation tool which can help create project plans and brainstorm documents in seconds). The paid plans vary from $9.80 to $24.80 per user per month. Teams with complex work needs need to contact the platform for custom prices.
Although Zapier is not a project management tool, the platform is extremely useful for linking various apps together to automate parts of the project management workflow. Simply put, there are over 6000 apps that Zapier can link together to create tasks or send project updates. With Zapier, users can seemingly create their own ecosystem, perfectly suited for their organization.
Imagine creating Jira tasks from new Calendly events, using complex filters to assign them to the right teams, setting timelines, sending task updates and centralizing them, all from a single platform. This is Zapier’s selling point: it can integrate your critical work apps into one powerful ecosystem, to build custom workflows and automate all the busy work.
The plans start at $19.99 going up to $69. There is also a custom option for organizations who want automation with robust security features and oversight capabilities.
While tools like Jira use their agile-focused capabilities to cater specifically for software development projects, others like Asana and monday.com have broader utilities, beneficial for diverse teams and industries. The choice of tool rests on the specific needs of the team, the complexity of the project, and the desired level of customization and integration.
Additionally, the appearance of platforms like Zapier, which create integrations and automations, brings a new level of efficiency in maximizing team collaboration by creating a cohesive ecosystem from an array of distinct applications.
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