The Best Product Management Tools, from Real Product Managers
The role of a product manager has grown significantly in importance over the last decade. The product manager is the head of the product team that identifies key features to create excellent new products and services for customers.
To guarantee that new products are delivered in a high-quality manner in time, and managed well throughout the whole product life cycle to avoid failure, product teams need a great variety of software, as well as the right product management tools.
Many new product managers feel overwhelmed by information, new methodologies, and the complexity of the product management process. It can be difficult to identify the right product management tools for the product manager’s arsenal if the main stages of product management are not clear.
The 7 Main Stages of End-to-End Product Management
Using the following processes, the product management team identifies key features to create excellent products for customers. As an agile team, they are applied iteratively, returning to previous phases from time to time.
The product team may use specific software at each stage of product development, but product management software tools cover the entire product management process, throughout the product lifecycle.
1. Generating new concepts and ideas and managing them
The process of creating new ideas and product vision is the foundation of each new product. At this stage, this is just the brainstorming, idea-generating process.
You can use an idea board to gather the feature requests and new ideas that come up during the product discovery process. The product ideas may change during this process and the best concepts are saved for later development.
2. Clearly defining specifications
During this stage, the concepts, suggestions, and feature requests from the previous stage are further developed and refined in the product backlog. As before, this will assist in defining the MVP and the amount of work required.
Creating product roadmaps for a product accounts for the product strategy and the product goals. The objective is to focus on user needs and build product features that support the product vision. Using a roadmapping tool, you can clearly show where you are in the product design and development process, where you want to go, and how you plan to get there.
The product backlog and the product roadmap are the main topics of this phase. This phase is to prioritize the product backlog based on the customer and business values to slice the first and the following releases. MoSCoW is one of the most common backlog prioritization techniques.
During this phase of the project, the product manager will be working closely with multiple teams. To guarantee that features are delivered in a high-quality manner, the product development team will use the right software development approach, as well as the top collaborative product lifecycle management tools.
6. Experimenting and analytics
Before a product’s launch, the product manager and the product team conduct research and analyze their results once more to better grasp the true customer value of the product.
Usually, this is the first phase of the product management process: before planning a new product it is important to know the target market, the target, and customers, define the competitors, and the feature gaps, validate the product or feature ideas, etc.
7. Getting feedback from users and clients
Customer feedback is critical at all stages of the product life cycle since it helps the support teams validate and improve the proposed goods and services. It also provides user feedback and insights on how well the product meets their needs. Gathering feedback helps the product team find undiscovered issues and new feature ideas.
30 Best Tools for Product Management
What tools are usually used by a product manager?
Product managers use holistic product life cycle management tools to manage the entire product lifecycle, but they also need specialized software for specific stages of the product lifecycle.
Task Management and Collaboration Tools
Trello is a great task management tool for those with many related features. You may add as many boards as you wish and organize your lists into columns there.
Jira helps you manage tasks and projects, set priorities, and collaborate with your team members. It also works well for managing bugs, issues, sprints, and releases.
This task management tool simplifies communication and real-time teamwork. Asana’s workflows and checklists help you stay organized. You can also make customized workflows for different operating systems.
Bootcamp is a beginner-friendly collaborative project management application, that you can use for product development projects.
Youtrack is one of the more popular projects and task management tools. Youtrack lets you set product-related tasks, track project time, and share files in real time.
Product Prototyping Tools
This tool has an intuitive interface and provides teams with a seamless UX workflow. With Adobe XD, you can test prototypes in real time with your entire team. You can also use AI to generate new design options for you to choose from.
Figma is a web-based product design and prototyping tool that lets teams collaborate. It’s useful for UI/UX, branding, and product design. You can build prototypes, mockups, and designs easily. You may also use it as a CMS on your website to avoid using different tools.
InVision is a simple prototyping tool and a collaboration platform. It includes animations and interactive components beyond traditional wireframing tools. This helps you make app prototypes that operate like the actual product.
Proto.io lets you generate a visual prototype of your product concept before creating it. It enables you to develop and collaborate on an app prototype in real time to test with people.
Sketch is a vector-based design program that’s perfect for product designers. Sketch offers everything you need to create and style your designs—from mockups to prototypes. Plus, it syncs with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, saving you time in the long run.
Tools for Roadmapping
StoriesOnBoard is an end-to-end product management tool built around story mapping, with feedback management, and roadmapping features. StoriesOnBoard maps product ideas as user stories from product discovery to onboarding. The app gathers the stakeholders, and as a visual, collaborative tool helps the product team make informed decisions to create a new, transparent product or plan a new feature with shared understanding.
It lets you organize your work into pipelines, set deadlines for tasks, and build a visual timeline of who will accomplish what. It’s an all-in-one project management solution that helps improve teamwork.
Roadmunk is a product roadmap tool that also helps you make decisions. You can lay out your roadmap and integrate it with various project management, design, and product development tools.
Aha! helps you produce meaningful data-driven insights. This product management tool merges product roadmap, product planning, discovery, user insights, and internal team communication into one perspective.
Productboard is also based on product roadmapping. This product management tool lets teams interact in real-time and make decisions on the fly so they can focus more on product strategy and less on the procedure.
Tools for Idea Management and Prioritization
Use the lightweight product management tool StoriesOnBoard‘s feedback management and story mapping feature to gather and prioritize your team’s product ideas. With this end-to-end product management tool, you can push your ideas to story maps to start the detailed work on them.
Miro is a collaborative whiteboard platform you can use as a very limited product management tool. You can establish deadlines and estimations for each item with Miro and you can track team progress and build user stories.
Mural is a digital whiteboard platform for product managers to collaborate. This tool helps PMs visualize products, and make smart decisions by sharing information that aligns with the company’s way of doing things.
Airtable enables you to create “sheets” or tabs to manage deadlines, collaborate, and organize activities. Add files on each sheet to create checklists. This tool helps manage major projects with a large staff. Airtable lets you assign tasks, subtasks, and due dates.
Clickup helps you manage your workplace, interact with coworkers, and monitor corporate events. Clickup is accessible from any device, so you’re always updated. Plus, you can easily see what’s on everyone’s plate and plan appropriately.
Google Analytics is a popular, free website traffic-measuring tool. Google Analytics tracks traffic, demographics, and conversions. You can see where visitors come from and what sites they visit, and it lets you create custom reports to evaluate your data.
This program connects with Google AdWords, so you get alerts and insights in your mailbox. A sidebar widget offers you instant feedback on each ad you run. This product’s ability to automate ad rules is a bonus. Their “split testing engine” lets you test multiple variables to find what works best for your campaign.
With Zoho, track and analyze your product’s success through the entire product life cycle. Zoho Analytics helps you plan and target marketing efforts. Keep track of consumer comments to discover what they think of your product and what features they want in future versions.
Hotjar is a web analytics platform that helps you understand your website visitors’ behavior. This is a great tool for those who want real-time feedback on their products or services.
Track customer engagement, including the conversion rate, retention rate, and more. You can also define custom metrics to track specific goals for your business.
Feedback Collection and Management
Use lightweight product management tool StoriesOnBoard’s feedback management feature to collect and manage customer feedback with ease. It’s a powerful way to reach out and check customer satisfaction and get new feature ideas. You can also use this management tool for sorting the new ideas and linking them to your story map or idea board.
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Intercom is an all-in-one consumer communication platform. It lets you send customized messages and trace who sent them so your team can focus on crucial conversations. Intercom offers a range of tools to maximize your product’s use.
Typeform lets you build online surveys, quizzes, and other interactive forms online. You can easily create a form or templates on your phone or computer. With a few clicks, you may reuse that template. Just add questions or instructions to the template as required.
UserVoice is a customer service and feedback tool that can be integrated with your product, website, or even just your email.
Construct questionnaires and connect the results with various business applications.
Even though it is difficult to pinpoint the best software you can use for product management, StoriesOnBoard is the most comprehensive end-to-end product management tool on this list. And if you want to test it out, you can Start Your 14-day Free Trial, No Credit Card Required!