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With so many different PLM solutions available, figuring out which one is right for you is tough. You know you want to oversee product development, from brainstorming to design, production, and eventual launch but need to figure out which tool is best for it. I've got you! In this post I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using dozens of different tools with large teams and complex products, with my picks of the best agile PLM software.

What is PLM Software?

Agile PLM software is a specialized tool that aligns with the principles of agile product development and Product Lifecycle Management. It provides a platform for organizations to manage product-related data, collaborate on design and development tasks, and maintain visibility and control over the entire product lifecycle, supporting rapid iteration and adaptation to changing requirements.

Features include product data management, change management, collaboration tools, and workflow automation. These features enable organizations to centralize product information, manage changes systematically, facilitate collaboration among cross-functional teams, and automate processes to ensure efficient product development and delivery.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Agile PLM Software

Here’s a brief description of each agile PLM software to showcase each one’s best use case, some noteworthy features, screenshots, and pricing information.

Best for its backlog prioritization options

  • 15-day free trial
  • From $3 /user/month for up to 100 users
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Rating: 4/5

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Huge functionality scalability by adding other Zoho products
  • Affordable pricing
  • Easy to use interface

Cons:

  • Zoho Sprints doesn't have a dedicated mobile app
  • Some customization limitations

Best for collaboration with remote teams

  • Pricing upon request

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • The platform is easy to use and customizable.
  • It helps users easily and efficiently manage data.
  • Manages enormous amounts of data.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t support data extraction into different formats.
  • Users mention it’s an expensive solution.

Best for retailers, brands, and suppliers

  • Pricing Upon Request

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • The platform automates the import and export process.
  • It allows users to upload and share designs.
  • Users can create digital showrooms to manage orders, suppliers, and payments.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t provide many options for creating reports.
  • It can be difficult to navigate at first.

Best agile PLM software for fast and easy setup

  • 20-day free trial for up to five users
  • From $25/user/month

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • It’s cloud-based, so users can sign in from anywhere.
  • They have very affordable pricing.
  • The vendor provides excellent customer support.

Cons:

  • It can use some improvements to its inventory management capability.
  • It can be slow at times.

Best for product data management

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Users can perform quick searches for the data they need.
  • Maintaining your product’s lifecycle through the change request process is simple.
  • The user interface makes tracking and locating product history easy.

Cons:

  • Users might experience freezes with the platform when using heavy model workspaces.
  • New users might need guidance to start using the platform.

Best agile PLM software for quick and easy insights

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • The platform provides excellent approval processes.
  • It provides users with a straightforward interface.
  • It has a straightforward document management system.

Cons:

  • The platform has a steep learning curve.
  • Integrations can be complex and require API customization.

Best for product development efficiency

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • The platform can quickly store new data.
  • It works well when integrating document management with change controls.
  • It has a straightforward user interface.

Cons:

  • Sometimes the system doesn’t let users check in data.

Best for beverage, life sciences, chemicals, and food industries

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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.

Best for accurate lifecycle control

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $545/year

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • It’s easy for new users to understand.
  • The platform enables users to create 3D drawings faster.
  • It has an intuitive user interface.

Cons:

  • The platform can have slow run times and occasional bugs.
  • Some design options require modifier plugins.

Best solutions for the entire product lifecycle

  • Offer a free trial
  • Pricing upon request

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • It can be challenging to learn and use
  • The number of features can be too much for smaller projects

The Best Agile PLM Software Comparison Chart

Here is a table where you can compare all the tools we just covered in the overviews.

Tools Price
Zoho Sprints From $3 /user/month for up to 100 users
Oracle Agile Pricing upon request
Bamboo Rose Pricing Upon Request
FusePLM From $25/user/month
PTC Windchill Pricing upon request
Arena PLM Pricing upon request
ProductCenter Pricing upon request
Infor Optiva PLM Pricing upon request
Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle From $545/year
SAP PLM Pricing upon request
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

Compare Software

Other PLM Software Options

Here are a few more options that didn’t make the best Agile PLM software list but are still worth your consideration.

  1. Aras PLM

    Best for controlling and managing finance

  2. Jira Align

    Best agile PLM software for software development teams

  3. Dassault ENOVIA

    Best global product launch capabilities

  4. Scoro

    Best for managing entire workflows.

  5. Smartsheet

    Best for project management with a spreadsheet-like interface.

  6. Runn

    Best resource management platform for professional services firms.

  7. Acuity PPM

    Best for new project management offices.

  8. Planview

    Best for all teams to apply lean management with a visual work delivery tool.

  9. Propel PLM

    Best for fully engaging the entire value change.

  10. Siemens Teamcenter

    Best for comprehensive end-to-end PLM solutions.

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.

Selection Criteria

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.

Usability

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.

Software Integrations

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.

Pricing

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.

Agile PLM Software FAQs

Find answers to common questions other people ask about this topic.

What does PLM software provide companies with?

PLM software provides agility to your company to help manage complexity, scale when ready, and meet customer demand while adapting to unexpected changes. This software provides product traceability, which can increase product development speed as stakeholders who work in various countries, offices, time zones, and languages collaborate efficiently. You can also use Agile PLM software to enhance innovation because it can provide real-time consumer data when developing new products.

What are the Key Features of Agile PLM Software?

Here are some key features I look for when searching for the best Agile PLM software.

  • Bill of Materials (BOM): A bill of materials feature in PLM software is vital because it defines your product and its components. Advanced BOM features include segregating materials based on the role of your team members, such as developers, designers, and other professionals who collaborate on the product.
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD): Sometimes, you might find CAD sold as a stand-alone solution. CAD can simplify your design and engineering process. It helps product designers and engineers develop 2D and 3D models of a product’s commodities on a computer instead of paper. Regarding PLM, CAD features should manage product configuration changes while maintaining its physical and functional attributes throughout the lifecycle. The feature should also manage product documentation so all stakeholders can access them from a single source on any device.
  • Product Data Management (PDM): The right PLM software will help users store, arrange, and analyze finished product data. A product data management feature will help users save important product designs, procedures, and necessities in one place. The product’s internal and external stakeholders, designers, and other teams can use this feature to upload and share product notes.
  • Product Regulation and Governance: Staying compliant can help your organization maintain its reputation. The PLM platform you choose should centralize vital, relevant information and documentation to make it easier for everyone to achieve and maintain compliance.
  • Project and Component Maintenance: Your project management capabilities provide visibility into your processes and progress. This feature enables users to manage product development and allocate resources in real time. Your team members can use it to see upcoming milestones and constraints for further product planning.
  • Quote Process Management: You will need data from multiple sources throughout the quote process when developing new products. Product managers use their coordination capabilities to gather and organize product design data to support their teams. Your PLM software should be able to share the necessary data with the right team members, which helps them focus on their work and spend less time searching for the right information.
  • Risk Management: Reducing risks early in the product lifecycle can prevent issues from becoming more significant while developing. This feature helps users identify potential risks, enabling them to manage, report, and mitigate them effectively. Risk analysis tools allow users to better understand their process’s weak spots. Some platforms can do this by detecting or highlighting risks, while others offer visibility through project management tools.
  • User Access Levels: Your teams should be able to easily access sensitive information from a PLM platform. Product development can be expensive and complex, and you don’t want the competition to benefit from your team’s work when it’s avoidable. Your PLM software should have user access control that prompts users to enter security credentials before the system starts.
  • Workflow and Change Management: This feature is a toolset that provides your teams with product activity insights. They can use it to determine the product’s phase and assign milestones to ensure their stay on track. Some software will allow users to see pending and implemented changes, which impact all aspects of your product.
  • Collaboration and Reporting: Some of the best PLM software provides tools to offer some reporting capabilities to users. Excellent platforms include various methods to help users understand the data, such as a Gantt chart that conveys targets and whether you’ll hit them on time. But it’s important to implement a system that provides understandable reporting attributes.

What Other Product Software Should I Use?

As you can see from this article, PLM software is an effective tool when monitoring your product’s development throughout its lifecycle. But product management can involve more than developing the product. To ensure you’re not missing a key component of your role, you can study these articles to discover a list of product software tools to help you excel.

What's Next?

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.

By Hannah Clark

Hannah Clark is the Editor of The Product Manager. Following six years of experience in the tech industry, she pivoted into the content space where she's had the pleasure of working with some of the most brilliant voices in the product world. Driven by insatiable curiosity and a love of bringing people together, her mission is to foster a fun, vibrant, and inspiring community of product people.