How different are agile PM software from traditional project management software? In short, a lot. On the other hand, however, both product types have many things in common.
Many say that "agile" is not a project management methodology but a product development method. In many cases, however, companies tend to treat the project and thus the concept of agile project management. Now the agile and traditional approaches are completely different, so the first thought would be that the software used to manage each type of project would be different.
The idea is that agile PM is not a method in itself, but a comprehensive concept of different processes. But agile processes are very different.
Scrum has small teams, usually assembled, no project managers, and very often there is no need to manage the software. The team is self-organized, team members take part in daily meetings and are divided into project iterations, which takes up to one month. At the end of each iteration, they decide that the next, and so on … No one wants to lose the update of the time in a plan that is constantly changing or monitoring the team's day-to-day progress with a project scheduling tool.
In other agile processes, iteration takes longer, but the main idea is that the project plan, requirements, and product specifications may change. Thus, traditional project management software does not solve these needs. In fact, there is a need for the project and team supervision process, the client communication system, etc. But due to the dynamic nature of the processes, there is no need for imaginary or complex features. A mobile software should be easy in functionality, easy to use, easy to access and highly portable.
In certain environments, such as constructions and engineering design, the project plan must be well defined from the outset and the changes rarely occur. This is the case when traditional PM methods fit well. Because of the complexity of projects, tools need to be more robust and provide more functionality to support all analysis and constraints, resource management capabilities and user rights management. Since the project is basically managed by a project manager or a small subset of decision-making members, there is no need for great collaboration.
So why wouldn't it be suitable for the traditional PM software agile process? Well … it can be used, but it lacks efficiency with the complexity of things with features that are not necessary. On the other hand, the traditional PM tool lacks flexibility in communication, which is much needed for agile teams.
PM 1.0 and PM 2.0
Certain users have called traditional project management PM 1.0, while new and improved ways of projecting have become PM 2.0. In the latter case, the emphasis on collaboration – using web-based tools – is put at the expense of more efficient functions. PM 2.0 is better known by name as PM 1.0, but the truth is that there is no clear answer to which one is better. It all depends on what type of projects someone is managing. More than likely, PM 1.0 remains the preferred solution for traditional project management, while PM 2.0 is more suited to agile project management.