Zoho has added another application to its portfolio, Zoho Sprints. Zoho Sprints supports companies who adopt an agile approach to project management. The solution is available as a standalone package and is also included in Zoho One. This is yet another application from Zoho that looks to support businesses using Agile methodologies.
The solution is free for up to five projects and five users. It starts at €20 per month for 20 users with unlimited projects. Larger organisations can add users at €3 per user per month. For organisations larger than 100 the price per user drops in bands.
What is included?
The new software includes several components that are familiar to those using an agile methodology for the development of software. It follows the scrum framework and includes support for backlogs, reporting and collaboration tools. Users can also create customised scrum boards.
The solution allows three security levels, admin, manager and member. Managers and administrators can create teams and projects. Within projects, the scrum master can create three types of work items: Stories, Tasks or Bugs. They can assign users to each item and allocate an estimation to complete based on points, as well as a duration.
Users are able to use timesheets to record how long each item takes. This generates a report that displays how successful a team is for a particular item or sprint. Each item also supports a work status that can be updated by the teams. It allows a scrum master and manager to quickly identify where sprints will not meet their objectives.
The reporting functionality includes Velocity Charts, Burn-Down reports, and Cumulative Flow Diagrams. All the normal tools that a scrum master would expect at their fingertips. The dashboard accumulates all the information within a given sprint, displaying a holistic graphical view of progress.
Zoho has also included a meeting module that makes collaboration easier. This includes the ability to schedule six different types of meetings. These are sprint planning, stand ups, sprint review, backlog refining, retrospectives and general meetings. For communication, Sprints includes a feature called feeds. Users are able to view different feeds that include relevant project information, notifications and direct messages.
What does this mean
For companies using agile as a software development methodology this is a low cost tool that is worth a look. What isn’t clear is the integration that it has with some of Zoho’s other solutions, most notably project management. While it forms part of Zoho One, it is not clear how it integrates into the bigger solution. Zoho Sprints lacks the complexity of Atlassian Jira. There is no apparent support for Kanban or mixed methodologies. However, at roughly half the price of Jira some companies will consider it worth a look.
Companies that use spreadsheets to manage their sprints will see benefits to using Zoho Sprints. As Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho commented: “Developing new software is nothing like making trains run on time. It’s more like laying train tracks through unknown terrain, which requires one to improvise and make decisions on the fly. Agile project management formalizes that spirit of improvisation, and Zoho Sprints brings that spirit to life for all agile teams.”