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.
What is PLM Software?
PLM software is an end-to-end product development platform that helps organizations increase innovation, modernize their companies, simplify product development, and enhance collaboration. It acts as a single point of truth for real-time product data to connect teams, products, and development throughout the entire product lifecycle. This allows users to create products within one single platform.
Zoho Sprints is a project management solution designed for agile teams to efficiently monitor and manage their products. Users can utilize the Scrum and Kanban boards to manage a product’s lifecycle, but the platform itself is not designed as a PLM solution. Still, Zoho Sprints is worth mentioning on this list as it does have a bevy of PLM features, including task management, collaboration, and reporting features.
Why I Picked Zoho Sprints: Zoho Sprints gives users a bird’s-eye view of their projects’ progress and track their respective release schedules. The platform comes in four different plans, with the Free plan being the most limited and the Premium plan is the most extensive. The price difference between each paid plan is small enough that makes it worthwhile to immediately subscribe to the Premium plan. The Free plan only has limited backlog management and reporting features while the cheapest paid plan has dramatically more management and reporting features and even Zoho Analytics integration that can give more insights on certain products. Zoho Sprints has even more features and integrations available that can turn the platform into a makeshift PLM software solution.
Businesses that use Zoho Sprints as a PLM solution can use the Scrum and Kanban boards to monitor projects. Zoho Sprints improves collaboration between team members and visualizes activity workflows through Kanban cards. The different features that businesses can use for product lifecycle management include Scrum and Kanban boards, Epic management, work item management, release management, and integrations. Most of these features are locked behind a low-cost paywall that most companies will be able to afford, even when considering the Premier plan.
Even if Zoho Sprints is not designed as a PLM solution, it still has plenty of features and supported integrations that can help users manage product lifecycles. When opting to use this solution, it’s ideal to subscribe to the Premium plan and explore the supported integrations to have a better platform to monitor product lifecycles.
Zoho Sprints Standout Features & Integrations
Features include Features roadmapping, project management, reporting & analytics, task scheduling/tracking, customer management, prioritization, and notifications.
Integrations include Integrations include Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, Zendesk, and ServiceNow. Integrations via Zapier and Zoho Flow are also supported. Being part of the Zoho ecosystem allows you to connect to several of Zoho’s own services for Sales, Marketing, CRM, customer service, and other options.
Zoho Sprints costs from $3/user/month for up to 100 users and offers a 15-day free trial.
- Easy to use interface
- Affordable pricing
- Huge functionality scalability by adding other Zoho products
- Some customization limitations
- Zoho Sprints doesn't have a dedicated mobile app
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.
- Excellent storyboard and statistics features.
- It has built-in integration with Jira.
- Users will have efficient task tracking.
- There are no monthly subscriptions.
- The price might be too high for some businesses.
Bamboo Rose is the leading PLM software for goods and supply chains.
Why I picked Bamboo Rose: It connects retailers, brands, suppliers, and supply chain partners to help innovative markets products quickly, profitably, and with larger margins. These organizations can create and share visual storyboards among their teams, join with suppliers to receive creative input, and reduce sampling costs. The software’s intelligent AI assistant gives users pinpoint costing, scheduling, and optimization accuracy.
Bamboo Rose typically helps mid-sized companies and large retail or supply chain organizations get products to the market faster than their industry’s average. They can typically do this up to 60 days faster than their competition. The platform provides a scalable and secure solution to perform high-volume transactions.
Bamboo Rose Standout Features and Integrations
Features include supplier management, sales orders, demand forecasting, production tracking, inventory management, activity dashboard, shipping management, and supply chain management.
Integrations include Microsoft Azure.
Bamboo Rose offers custom pricing upon request.
- Users can create digital showrooms to manage orders, suppliers, and payments.
- It allows users to upload and share designs.
- The platform automates the import and export process.
- It can be difficult to navigate at first.
- It doesn’t provide many options for creating reports.
PTC Windchill provides users with product lifecycle and product data management solutions.
Why I picked PTC Windchill: The tool helps organizations distribute, transfer, publish, and share information in real time. You can also use this information to visualize the product data. This ensures your teams have all the actionable insights they need for better product development.
PTC Windchill provides comprehensive PLM software for companies of all sizes. It enables your teams to discover design issues in the earlier lifecycle stages and resolve them before moving to the next phase. The proof of credibility feature within the software helps users protect the organization’s intellectual property.
PTC Windchill Standout Features and Integrations
Features include quality and BOM management, outsourcing management, platform structure, data visualization and analysis, technical knowledge base, reliability and requirements management, and collaboration management.
Integrations include XDocs DITA CCMS, TouchBase, Procurence Meercat, ProWritingAid, OpenBOM, See Electrical, Rimsys, Arbortext, PTC Move, PTC Implementer, OpsHub, and Kovair Software.
PTC Windchill offers custom pricing upon request.
- The user interface makes tracking and locating product history easy.
- Maintaining your product’s lifecycle through the change request process is simple.
- Users can perform quick searches for the data they need.
- New users might need guidance to start using the platform.
- Users might experience freezes with the platform when using heavy model workspaces.
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 has an intuitive user interface.
- The platform enables users to create 3D drawings faster.
- It’s easy for new users to understand.
- Some design options require modifier plugins.
- The platform can have slow run times and occasional bugs.
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.
- It has a straightforward document management system.
- It provides users with a straightforward interface.
- The platform provides excellent approval processes.
- Integrations can be complex and require API customization.
- The platform has a steep learning curve.
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.
- It has a straightforward user interface.
- It works well when integrating document management with change controls.
- The platform can quickly store new data.
- Sometimes the system doesn’t let users check in data.
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.
- The excellent user interface provides smooth navigation.
- It’s easy to onboard new specifications and recipes.
- Users can manage a significant number of employees at various levels.
- Some users say it has too many capabilities that new users might not use.
- It has a bit of a learning curve that might require guidance.
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.
- Manages enormous amounts of data.
- It helps users easily and efficiently manage data.
- The platform is easy to use and customizable.
- Users mention it’s an expensive solution.
- It doesn’t support data extraction into different formats.
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.
- The vendor provides excellent customer support.
- They have very affordable pricing.
- It’s cloud-based, so users can sign in from anywhere.
- It can be slow at times.
- It can use some improvements to its inventory management capability.
Best for its backlog prioritization options
15-day free trial
|From $3 /user/month for up to 100 users||Website|
Best agile PLM software for software development teams
Free demo available
Best for retailers, brands, and suppliers
|Pricing Upon Request||Website|
Best for product data management
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle
Best for accurate lifecycle control
30-day free trial
Best agile PLM software for quick and easy insights
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best for product development efficiency
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Infor Optiva PLM
Best for beverage, life sciences, chemicals, and food industries
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best for collaboration with remote teams
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best agile PLM software for fast and easy setup
20-day free trial for up to five users
- Dassault ENOVIA
Best global product launch capabilities
- Aras PLM
Best for controlling and managing finance
- SAP PLM
Best solutions for the entire product lifecycle
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.
- Siemens Teamcenter
Best for comprehensive end-to-end PLM solutions.
- Propel PLM
Best for fully engaging the entire value change.
How I Picked 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.
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 cloud PLM system 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 the product information you need 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. Therefore, I look for the software’s training modules, documentation, templates, and anything that can give you a quick start. 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. Top PLM tools connect with other product lifecycle management software, document management systems, enterprise resource planning tools, and many others that can make your product development process. Examples include SAP ERP, Zendesk, Bantam tools, Siemens Teamcenter, and Oracle Agile PLM.
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.
What does PLM software provide companies with?
What are the Key Features of Agile PLM Software?
What Other Product Software Should I Use?
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.
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