Many organizations in various industries rely on PLM software when creating complex products. The best Agile PLM software oversees product development, from brainstorming to design, production, and eventual launch. These platforms can help users predict their product’s future, enabling them to shift marketing messaging and their approach to connecting with the target audience.
Picking the best product lifecycle management (PLM) software for your business is essential to ensure smooth product development and accurate manufacturing processes. There are many options to choose from, and I will be your guide and highlight which ones to consider.
How I Selected the Best Agile PLM Software
Perhaps you're wondering how I selected the best Agile PLM software for this list? To build this top 10 list, I evaluated and compared a wide range of Agile PLM software with positive user ratings.
After determining my long list of top choices, I further honed my list by using the selection criteria below to see how each platform stacked up against the next one. I also drew on my years of product management experience to pinpoint the features that add a lot of value.
If you have general questions about Agile PLM software or how to pick the best Agile PLM software for your organization, take a look at our frequently asked questions section below. Or, you can skip directly to my detailed software summaries, if that's what you need the most.
Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best Agile PLM software for this article:
User Interface (UI):
The best PLM software will be easy to navigate, enabling users to find the features they need to use immediately. Markets move quickly, making it essential to avoid lengthy processes to find what you want to use. So, I look for pre-configured platforms for fast deployment and help your teams remain productive from the beginning.
Software with excellent usability is crucial for product managers working to bring their products to the finish line. It should be easy to use and learn for new users. I look for software that steers clear of unnecessary jargon. Everything about the platform should be easy to understand immediately. Your software’s usability will prevent your teams from making mistakes due to unclear communication and not understanding how to use the platform.
Performance, Reliability, and Security:
Your product data is valuable, and it’s crucial to ensure its security throughout your entire organization. So, I look for vendors who offer best-in-class IP protection to assure you that you have a secure infrastructure. I also look for vendors who offer continuous operation and optimization of the platform with a minimum availability of 99.5%. This will result in experiencing less downtime, reducing overall IT concerns, and improving compliance.
Your PLM software is only as good as its integration capabilities when working alongside your current processes and systems. Your company might already be using systems for product design and development. The best Agile PLM software can instantly optimize your production processes. I look for software to share your vital data among your current systems.
On-premises software deployments can result in you assuming a high upfront investment for hardware, software, and configuration. Using PLM on the cloud can require investing in an operating expense model, where the vendor is still responsible for all system updates and upgrades. When considering the price, I look for vendors offering subscription pricing to give you the flexibility to support your product lifecycle needs. I also look at platforms with active user pricing, which involves paying for the real value and making adjustments as your organization grows.
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Overviews of the 10 Best Agile PLM Software
Here’s a brief description of eachAgile PLM software to showcase each one's best use case, some noteworthy features, screenshots, and pricing information.
Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle, now known as Fusion 360, provides users with a central product database.
Why I picked Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle: The platform centralizes product data management, allowing for accurate and complete product lifecycle control. Your centralized database means you have a single source of truth for your product data, eliminating confusion and inaccuracies. Your teams will see the latest information and only use it when performing their tasks.
Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle helps businesses of any size control data and processes based on employee roles or privileges by using permission settings. Managers can extend access to supply chain and contractor stakeholders to establish efficient collaboration. The platform also enhances your processes by giving you accurate ongoing project metrics.
Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle Standout Features and Integrations
Features include task management, version control, project management, manufacturing design data, design management, CAD tools, and data visualization.
Integrations include OpenBOM, AWS Secrets Manager, Autodesk PD&M Collection, Bantam Tools, HSMWorks, Modecsoft, Autodesk A360, SimLab Composer, CAMplete TruePath, and Causeway Flow.
Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle costs from $545/year. Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle offers a free 30-day trial.
- It’s easy for new users to understand.
- The platform enables users to create 3D drawings faster.
- It has an intuitive user interface.
- The platform can have slow run times and occasional bugs.
- Some design options require modifier plugins.
Aras PLM is an excellent solution for potential users looking for a future-proof platform that can promote financial sustainability.
Why I picked Aras PLM: The platform allows your company to thrive in turbulent business environments by reducing implementation costs, which adds flexibility, sustainability, and agility. It has various financial capabilities that make it ideal for managing production and marketing costs. The integration features that Aras PLM provides help users control and manage end-to-end financial requirements for the product lifecycle.
Aras PLM works with medium and large businesses, but it enables companies to grow with the product instead of the other way around. Its core function is managing change requests for products, systems, assessments, plans, and orders while providing complete visibility regarding the impact of these changes. Aras PLM provides users with version and changes control for files in a searchable and secure repository.
Aras PLM Standout Features and Integrations
Features include product data management, graphical data presentation, ideation, workflow management, cost tracking, bill of material analysis, and compliance management.
Integrations include OpenBOM, Design Force, Gears, nTopology, CLOVER CollectIT, OpsHub, Kovair, and QuickSync.
Aras PLM offers custom pricing upon request.
- It’s easy for new users to implement
- It’s a cloud-based platform
- It can be slow when creating larger designs
- The user interface is lacking
SAP PLM provides businesses with solutions to manage their entire product lifecycle processes.
Why I picked SAP PLM: From the beginning of your product lifecycle, including product ideation and brainstorming, to manufacturing and service, SAP PLM’s features can enhance your processes. It simplifies project proposals, tasks, progress, and timelines so you can monitor data from a single platform. You can use the platform to design, plan, and manage product production with more control and visibility.
SAP PLM is an enterprise-level software part of the SAP Business Suite, which provides excellent integration with the suite’s other platforms. It also provides features that provide faster and better decision-making on product plans to satisfy custom requirements from various stakeholders. Your program, product, and project managers can collaborate to ensure all key product stakeholders know what’s going on.
SAP PLM Standout Features and Integrations
Features include project plan coordination, project document control, commercial project management, product collaboration and enterprise visualization, product engineering, and project portfolio management.
Integrations include all of SAP Business Suite’s platforms.
SAP PLM offers custom pricing upon request. SAP PLM offers a free trial but doesn’t readily provide the details.
- Users can easily do the initial budgeting stages, such as quotations
- The platform ties well with various projects, such as software design and engineering
- Excellent for referring users to reports and instructions
- It can be challenging to learn and use
- The number of features can be too much for smaller projects
Jira Align is a planning solution to help organizations manage large-scale software development projects.
Why I picked Jira Align: The platform works with one or more occurrences of Jira software and collects team-level data. Jira Align uses this data to provide intermediate and high-level reports on your project’s progress. These reports give your stakeholders, such as the portfolio manager, a view of the progress toward your goals and identify the cause of any delays.
Jira Align helps enterprises simplify efforts when governing and guiding large-scale software development projects. It connects your leadership team’s goals and strategies with your technical team’s work execution and delivery. These capabilities promote a greater return on your investment when developing new software and enhance your time to market.
Jira Align Standout Features and Integrations
Features include portfolio management, product management, live roadmaps, program management, budget management, resource management, and reports.
Integrations include Jira Software, Microsoft Power Platform, Process Street, strongDM, Hevo Data, Scientrix, Nucleus, Zistemo, Creately, Ubertesters, and Vulcan Cyber.
Jira Agile costs from $27,000/year.
- Users will have efficient task tracking.
- It has built-in integration with Jira.
- Excellent storyboard and statistics features.
- The price might be too high for some businesses.
- There are no monthly subscriptions.
Infor Optiva PLM helps organizations manage ingredient statements, formulations, projects, and cost optimization.
Why I picked Infor Optiva PLM: The platform efficiently handles project and resource management. Its ERP capabilities allow users to access and integrate data throughout their organization with their PLM activities. The platform’s design can give you a unified view of production processes and data to improve your visibility into these processes and enhance productivity.
Infor Optiva PLM provides bulk manufacturing management features that ensure organizations of any size comply with internal and other regulatory standards. You can use the platform’s wide range of data visualizations to get an overview of your operations and focus on complex product designs. It’s an excellent option for those who must undergo strict labeling regulations.
Infor Optiva Standout Features and Integrations
Features include approval process control, change management, BOM analysis, audit management, activity dashboard, cost tracking, compliance management, portfolio management, ideation, and document storage.
Integrations include Infor CRM and Infor CloudSuite HCM.
Infor Optiva PLM offers custom pricing upon request.
- Users can manage a significant number of employees at various levels.
- It’s easy to onboard new specifications and recipes.
- The excellent user interface provides smooth navigation.
- It has a bit of a learning curve that might require guidance.
- Some users say it has too many capabilities that new users might not use.
FusePLM is an intuitive platform that enables organizations to implement it quickly.
Why I picked FusePLM: After subscribing to the platform, you can start using the system in just one day. The platform provides your teams with simple impact visualizers that will allow you to quickly access the impact of your changes on the product. You can use a card feature to develop process workflows - just drag and drop the cards to change your product’s state.
FusePLM is an excellent option for organizations of any size, thanks to its affordable pricing, looking for ways to simplify their BOM, components, change management, and documentation. It provides users with an AI-powered chatbot to help them market products faster, easier, and cheaper. The chatbot can help you reduce the learning curve and setup and training costs.
FusePLM Standout Features
Features include role-based permissions, requirements management, version control, workflow management, product data management, supplier management, document storage and management, lifecycle management, and drag and drop.
FusePLM costs from $25/user/month, billed annually. FusePLM offers a 20-day free trial for up to five users.
- It’s cloud-based, so users can sign in from anywhere.
- They have very affordable pricing.
- The vendor provides excellent customer support.
- It can use some improvements to its inventory management capability.
- It can be slow at times.
Oracle Agile is a PLM tool that enhances remote work collaboration when managing product value chains and designing and launching new products.
Why I picked Oracle Agile: The platform enhances remote team collaboration when working on new products. This is possible thanks to the platform’s cloud-based servers, which make location irrelevant. The global network optimization within the software enables collaborations and product development to be more cost-effective and productive.
Oracle Agile is an excellent option for enterprise-sized businesses and provides multiple products. Enterprise organizations can use Oracle Agile to maintain, change, and manage product documentation and records. These include Agile Product Quality Management, Agile Product Collaboration, and Agile Product Portfolio Management.
Oracle Agile Standout Features
Features include design management, cost tracking, portfolio management, lifecycle management, and requirements management.
Oracle Agile offers custom pricing upon request.
- The platform is easy to use and customizable.
- It helps users easily and efficiently manage data.
- Manages enormous amounts of data.
- It doesn’t support data extraction into different formats.
- Users mention it’s an expensive solution.
Arena PLM enables businesses to measure product-related business process performance with quick and accessible insights.
Why I picked Arena PLM: The platform helps businesses design, produce, and improve innovative products. The insights your product managers can receive provide a real-time understanding of your process’ performance. This information can help your teams make critical process improvements, track changes, and ensure product quality.
Arena PLM helps organizations of any size in the computer network and hardware, aerospace, defense, transportation electronics, biotechnology, and internet of things industries. It’s a comprehensive approach for teams to introduce new products with few errors by utilizing better visibility and greater collaboration. These users can be confident that their teams and partners always have access to current and complete designs.
Arena PLM Standout Features and Integrations
Features include project management, history and version control, supplier management, notifications, file transfer, time management, collaboration support, and file sharing.
Integrations include NetSuite, Altium Designer, Zendesk, Salesforce, SAP ERP, SolidWorks, Microsoft Dynamics GP, FlowEQ, 1factory, xTuple, Ravacan, Idosell, and Kenandy.
Arena PLM offers custom pricing upon request.
- The platform provides excellent approval processes.
- It provides users with a straightforward interface.
- It has a straightforward document management system.
- The platform has a steep learning curve.
- Integrations can be complex and require API customization.
Dassault ENOVIA enables businesses to launch their product around the world simultaneously.
Why I picked Dassault ENOVIA: The typical product release involves launching in developed markets and then moving to other nations. This platform helps users launch their products worldwide simultaneously, resulting in more client loyalty and higher revenues. It also shortens the time to market by reusing design functions.
Dassault ENOVIA covers medium and large-scale businesses operating in various industries, such as transportation, industrial equipment, and marine. It offers a comprehensive solution for managing your product lifecycle. It can also help these organizations save costs and enhance productivity because it’s a SaaS solution and doesn’t require additional hardware.
Dassault ENOVIA Standout Features and Integrations
Features include high-tech design management, product planning, quality and compliance, program management, strategic supplier relationships, configuration and change management, and IP classification and management.
Integrations include Adlib, C++ API, and ENOVIA X-BOM for SAP.
Dassault ENOVIA offers custom pricing upon request.
- It’s easy for beginners to use without any assistance.
- Product managers will have better control of the product’s timeline.
- Teams can easily collaborate and understand the product’s status at any time.
- It sometimes has performance issues because of all its capabilities.
- There’s no FAQ section to help answer questions.
ProductCenter helps organizations automate product lifecycle and data processes.
Why I picked ProductCenter: The platform can help companies see immediate product development efficiency. The platform’s solutions can help you improve business results - even in the most challenging market conditions. You can use the software to automate processes such as configuration management and change flows - basically, any process that requires workflow.
ProductCenter enables small, medium, and large-sized companies and their teams to collaborate, centralize, and improve product data management. It helps you simplify the steps to create, manufacture, and support your products, from brainstorming concepts to the final launch. It also helps ensure your company complies with regulations from ISO, FDA, and other governing bodies.
ProductCenter Standout Features and Integrations
Features include version control, BOM management, cost tracking, change management, product lifecycle management, design management, access controls and permissions, and a customizable dashboard.
Integrations include Microsoft and Autodesk applications.
ProductCenter offers custom pricing upon request.
- The platform can quickly store new data.
- It works well when integrating document management with change controls.
- It has a straightforward user interface.
- Sometimes the system doesn’t let users check in data.
The 10 Best Agile PLM Software Summary
30-day free trial
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Offer a free trial
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|From $27,000/year||Visit Website|
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20-day free trial for up to five users
|From $25/user/month||Visit Website|
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Other PLM Software Options
Here are a few more options that didn’t make the best Agile PLM software list:
- Bamboo Rose
Best for retailers, brands, and suppliers
- PTC Windchill
Best for product data management
Best for managing entire workflows.
Best for project management with a spreadsheet-like interface.
Best resource management platform for professional services firms.
- Acuity PPM
Best for new project management offices.
Best for all teams to apply lean management with a visual work delivery tool.
- Elastic Path
Best headless ecommerce system to integrate into ERP programs.
- Siemens Teamcenter
Best for comprehensive end-to-end PLM solutions.
- Propel PLM
Best for fully engaging the entire value change.
Choosing the Best Agile PLM Software
The platform you decide to use will depend on your specific needs. Agile PLM software is about maintaining process visibility and centralizing your data to facilitate them. Keep this in mind throughout your search for a new platformThe good news is that you now have this list to help you get started immediately. If you need more help during your search for Agile PLM software or are looking for product management tips and advice, sign up for our newsletter. Here you’ll find the best product management information and updates, including tool lists to make your work more efficient.