Top Project Management Tools for Developers
Juggling complex software projects requires orchestrating many moving parts – tasks, teams, timelines, resources, bugs and more. Sophisticated project management tools help development teams stay coordinated.
This comprehensive guide explores the top project management software options for planning, tracking and reporting on software projects efficiently. We’ll cover:
- Leading agile project management tools like Jira and Trello
- Traditional PM systems like Microsoft Project
- Helpful integrations and add-ons to extend capabilities
- Building custom workflows and processes
- Dashboards, views and reports to visualize progress
- Features for burndown charts, roadmaps and backlogs
- Bug tracking, collaboration, timesheets and billing
- Choosing the right level of capability for your team’s needs
With a robust project management platform, you can confidently deliver software projects on-time, on-budget, and delight stakeholders. Let’s examine solutions to empower your developers.
Agile Project Management Tools
Specialist agile PM tools facilitate iterative development:
The leading agile project management suite. Extensive capabilities with thousands of integrations.
Intuitive kanban boards. Lightweight agile task management with helpful automation.
Visually manage projects and workflows with flexible boards, timelines, portfolio views, and reporting.
Microsoft’s developer collaboration solution. Integrates customizable agile planning, version control, CI/CD pipelines, and more.
Customizable project views, automation and integrations optimized for agile workflows.
All-in-one customizable platform combining task and project management with docs, spreadsheets, chat and more.
Traditional Project Management Systems
Robust tools for structured project scheduling and control:
The leading heavyweight project management software for waterfall projects with Gantt charts, resource allocation, Scrum support and analytics.
Excel-like sheets with Gantt charting, workflows, resource management and reporting.
Dynamic priority-based scheduling optimized for managing uncertainty. Timelines adapt to change.
Comprehensive functions like time tracking, reporting, collaboration, issue tracking and more.
Manage projects and workflows across teams with scheduling, forms, and customization. Scales to large programs.
Enterprise work management for executives balancing portfolios down to task-level team execution.
Helpful Integrations and Add-Ons
Bolt on additional capabilities:
Harvest, Hubstaff, TimeCamp, TMetric
InVision, Zeplin, Figma, Adobe XD
Resource Guru, Float
Slack, Microsoft Teams
Flexible Workflow Building
Tailor tools to team processes with:
Capture additional structured data not in default templates.
Build layouts matching your methodology with tables, forms and views.
Trigger actions through if-this-then-that logic like moving cards between stages.
Extend with pre-built extensions, apps and integrations from marketplaces.
Leverage integration APIs to connect data across your stack.
Dashboards, Views and Reporting
Monitor all aspects in tailored ways:
Set up dashboards with core reports, tracker widgets, burndown charts.
Zoom out to view health across multiple projects and dependencies.
Timelines and Roadmaps
Visualize key milestones and project trajectory over time.
Build reports with charts, filters and formatting for any use case.
Present simplified progress boards for updates tailored to manager vs engineer needs.
Stay on top of tasks and updates on the go.
Key features that support agile development:
Manage prioritized lists of outstanding work items and defects.
Quantify effort and complexity to forecast volume of work per sprint.
Graphically monitor work remaining per sprint and project.
Visualize workflow stages on boards modeled after physical cards on columns.
Planned vs Actual
Compare baseline plans against actual progress metrics.
Capture meeting insights on improving team practices each sprint.
Compatibility with structured waterfall projects through:
Visually sequence major tasks across time showing dependencies.
Critical Path Analysis
Model project timeline to optimize efficiency.
Assign resources and track allocation rates across tasks.
Tie budget and actual costs to tasks and milestones.
Model impacts of alterations to scope, timeline or resources.
Map waterfall phases, testing gates and reviews into stages.
Bug and Issue Tracking
Manage defects across projects in one system:
Log bugs directly with steps to reproduce, attachments, details, severity, status.
Route to developers, prioritize severity, map to projects/sprints.
Link Bugs to Code
Connect bug tickets to branches and commits that resolved them.
Analyze trends, aging, open counts by project.
Public Issue Boards
Let users report bugs logged publicly to promote transparency.
Time Tracking and Billing
Some offer built-in timekeeping while others integrate third-party trackers:
Manage hourly time directly against tasks and projects.
Generate invoices based on tracked time and contracted rates.
Log reimbursable expenses like travel against budgets.
Report on billable time versus non-billable effort.
Identify areas where investing more time would have disproportionate benefits through reports.
Integrated or third-party tools enable aligning both in and out of the platform:
Comments and Activity Streams
Discuss tasks and projects in context.
Attach supporting documents directly to tasks and messages.
Chat and Messaging
Chat in the project management system or use third-party apps like Slack linked via bots/webhooks.
Notify team members by @mentioning them in comments.
Foster alignment with quick status posts on work across the project.
Choosing the Right Level of Capability
Evaluate team needs across:
Project Methodology – Waterfall, agile hybrid?
Team Size – Individuals, small team, large programs?
Integration Needs – What other systems need connecting?
Customization Needs – Standard workflows or complex processes?
Reporting Needs – Simple progress or detailed analytics?
Selecting a tool matching current maturity allows room to grow capabilities over time.
A robust project management platform tailored to your team’s size, agile practices and integration needs enables you to deliver amazing software efficiently. Connect tickets to code, track time against tasks, automate workflows, and stay aligned through customizable views, dashboards and reporting. The right PM system becomes the hub connecting all the elements driving development success.
- 1 Top Project Management Tools for Developers
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Agile Project Management Tools
- 1.3 Traditional Project Management Systems
- 1.4 Helpful Integrations and Add-Ons
- 1.5 Flexible Workflow Building
- 1.6 Dashboards, Views and Reporting
- 1.7 Agile Capabilities
- 1.8 Waterfall Support
- 1.9 Bug and Issue Tracking
- 1.10 Time Tracking and Billing
- 1.11 Team Collaboration
- 1.12 Choosing the Right Level of Capability
- 1.13 Conclusion