Explore the essential tools for product managers that go beyond the basics. Elevate your skills and efficiency with the “Best Product Management Tools.”
When discussing tools for product managers, we frequently speak to the basic handful that the majority of product managers utilize on a daily basis. These product management solutions often comprise software for roadmapping, development tracking, and product analytics. But gathering product insight, monitoring the backlog, and analyzing the product roadmap are only a small portion of a product manager’s duties. The list of best product management tools below can help you succeed in your profession, whether you’re a novice product manager or an experienced PM who wants to double-check that you aren’t skipping a crucial aspect of your job because you don’t have the right tool.
- User tracking and analysis tools
These tools may be incredibly insightful and insightful sources of information on how users of your software or visitors to your website are actually interacting with your product and content. Product analytics solutions capture and assist you in analyzing what your consumers really do, as opposed to customer surveys or interviews, which are significant tools in and of themselves. Using a tool like Pendo or Amplitude might reveal crucial facts about what connects with your visitors and what doesn’t if your business sells software or just maintains a lot of material on a website.
- Customer service tools
The beautiful thing about web-based survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Typeform is that they have so many different sorts of pre-formatted questions that you can create a survey in a matter of minutes, whether you want to give multiple-choice questions, drop-down lists, or just open comment sections. The survey may then be distributed to your consumers, and the results can be readily tracked and analyzed. These tools are really helpful for getting rapid responses to crucial user queries. But watch out: Online survey tools are similarly simple, practical, and affordable that it may be tempting to utilize them excessively. To avoid upsetting your user base, utilize your surveys cautiously.
- Roadmapping Software
A must-have on any list of best product management tools is road mapping software. If you design and manage your product roadmap using any non-native tool (such as spreadsheets or PowerPoint decks), it will take much more time, be much less flexible and simple to distribute, and be much more susceptible to version-control problems that might impede the development of your product. Exactly for this reason, we created ProductPlan. Product teams can create and collaborate on product roadmaps with ease with ProductPlan. A visual, interactive roadmap helps your team unify behind your product vision and is considerably more successful at conveying product strategy.
- Industry Analyst Accounts
Here’s a tool you generally wouldn’t consider as part of the best product management tools stack, but you might want to take it into consideration based on your sector and target market. It may be quite helpful to guide your strategic thinking and decide where your market is going if you have access to the current thinking of the analysts covering your field as well as the collective industry research. You may get the exact data you need from the statistics and reports these research companies (like Gartner or Sirius Decisions) provide to prioritize and gain support from stakeholders for particular themes and features on your product roadmap.
- Team Messaging Tools
You will need an instant and simple method of communication when your product development, or any other complicated and cross-functional project, starts. You will need to keep a running log of all conversations regarding the initiative. Fortunately, there are many of straightforward cloud-based technologies that provide precisely this kind of convenient and centralized team communication. Some examples are Confluence by Atlassian and Slack.
- Project Management tools
Today’s project management software are significantly more powerful and offer a streamlined method of monitoring and documenting data, similar to the team chat tools we mentioned before. With a web application like Trello, for instance, you can monitor and share various items with pertinent team members by organizing these items into easy-to-view Boards — like “Sales Collateral in Progress” — and then generating individual Cards underneath, like “Product Data Sheets” or “Case Studies.” These cards are easily movable across Boards, for example, from “In Progress” to “Under Review.” Other well-liked project management applications include Jira, which is frequently set up as a less visible issue-tracking tool, and Microsoft Project, which teams generally organize in Gantt chart format.
- Feature Flagging Software
Once code has been put into production, feature flags allow product teams an easy method to “turn on and off” particular features. This is helpful when planning the introduction of a significant new feature, doing A/B testing, or pulling back a troublesome new feature. Product teams are empowered to manage feature flags and maximize their use with tools like Split.io and LaunchDarkly.
- Presentation Software
We frequently draw attention to the poor performance of roadmap presentation tools. However, this does not imply that Keynote or PowerPoint shouldn’t occupy a significant position in your toolbox for product management. For distributing your high-level goals, ideas, and plans within your company and to external audiences like clients, presentation decks may be quite helpful. For instance, vision boards may be a potent tool for selling a group of executive stakeholders on the vision of your product. Additionally, using presentations to teach salespeople or educate industry analysts about your product may be quite successful.
- Flowcharting Tools
Even while not all product managers utilize flowchart and diagram software, it is still an excellent approach to do a task that many PMs ignore but really shouldn’t: customer journey mapping. You and your organization will benefit from having a greater understanding of the whole client experience with your business after creating a customer journey map. A correctly made journey map will display every interaction a person has with your business, from their initial visit to your website (or their first phone contact from a sales representative) through their eventual purchase and use of your product.
- Session Replay
As a product manager, you invest a lot of time attempting to understand exactly what your customers’ experiences are like while using your product. You may gain new levels of insight into user behavior with technologies like FullStory and Hotjar. By graphically displaying visitors’ online activity, heatmap software aids in your understanding of exactly what they care about on your website. This information might be really beneficial as additional information for your product team. You will have enough information from a heatmap, many session recordings, and a few client interviews to make an informed choice about your product.
- Collaboration Tools
In order to arrange your insights into coherent strategies that will win the support of stakeholders, don’t forget to use business productivity tools to record ideas, evaluate and exchange meeting notes, and organize your observations. Since sometimes inspiration comes when your phone is across the room, we’re considering idea-capture tools like Evernote, cloud-based collaboration programs like Google Drive, Dropbox, and even paper and pen.
- Recording Tools
It’s usually a good idea to record phone conversations with consumers, even if you’re merely phoning to respond to a query. It’s simple to record those chats and use them afterwards by using a program like Zoom or GoToMeeting. You never know when a consumer will give insightful advice, pose a query that you know many other users will have, or just explain a unique reason for utilizing your product that you would not have otherwise considered.
In conclusion, introducing the idea of requesting a budget for best product management tools may be unfamiliar territory for many product teams, but it’s a crucial step towards improving efficiency, productivity, and overall outcomes. To successfully secure budget approval from executives, consider these key strategies. First, illustrate the tangible benefits of the tool by making assumptions about how it will enhance productivity, customer satisfaction, cost savings, or time-to-market. Quantify these benefits to create a compelling case.
Second, emphasize the value of the tool not only to the product management team but also to other departments within the organization. Demonstrating how the tool can directly benefit customer support, engineering, or other teams strengthens your case and garners additional support.
Third, acknowledge the existence of alternative solutions in the market, even if you’ve already chosen a preferred vendor. Highlight the reasons why your chosen solution is superior, whether it’s in terms of features, cost-effectiveness, or other factors. Having alternative options as a fallback plan can be valuable.
Fourth, take advantage of free trials if available. Use the tool within your team to gather data and build a stronger business case. This hands-on experience will enable you to demonstrate the tool’s effectiveness and alignment with your team’s needs.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to initiate the conversation about securing a budget for best product management tools. High-performing organizations require the right tools and processes to support growth and innovation. While it may be a departure from traditional practices, requesting a dedicated budget for these essential tools is a proactive step towards ensuring your team’s success and enhancing the organization’s overall performance. Even if immediate funds are unavailable, starting the dialogue sets the stage for future budget allocations to equip your team with the tools that can truly make a difference.
We trust you found our guide to the “Best Product Management Tools” valuable in enhancing your product management journey. Here’s to your continued success in this dynamic field!