Are you a product manager looking for the best Product management tools to include in your stack to build that most successful product and launch it in the market? Well, all the best! And sure it is not a simple task. Your company is going to rely on you to ensure their product(s) is well designed, functional and performs well in the market.
A product manager is responsible for the product right from its ideation. This means a lot of responsibilities ranging from finding ideas for new products, deciding the features needed, designing, developing, launching, marketing, and even dismissing or re-launching products that don’t go well in the market. You definitely have to be a Superman having strong shoulders to take up all responsibilities. But it could become a lot easier if you have the right set of tools.
There is a wide range of product management tools today in the market that are designed to help product managers with a variety of tasks and bring value to the efforts put in. However, deciding on which one to use is a tough decision to make with the numerous options available. Here in this article, we bring to you the top Product Management tools that teams across the world use to effectively implement their product management plan.
Product Management tools categories
But, before we jump into the list of tools, let me briefly explain the types of tools that a product manager would have to use to smoothly perform day to day tasks.
- Product strategy and Roadmapping tools
- Prototyping and Wireframe tools
- Mindmapping and brainstorming
- Project Management tools
- Feature flagging tool
- User experience monitoring and Analytics
- Collaboration tools
- Feedback/Survey tools
Let’s now see what each category of tools are used for and the most popular tools under each category
Product strategy and Roadmapping tools
Roadmapping tool is a must-have in the Product manager’s product tool stack. A roadmap is the summary of the vision and direction of the product being developed. Creating visual and interactive product roadmaps is important to communicate the product strategy with the team and other stakeholders.
Aha is one of the most accepted product road mapping tools available in the market today. Ahal lets you create roadmaps for even highly complex projects easily. It really helps a project manager in getting the priorities right and communicating it to the stakeholders. Apart from roadmaps, Aha gives so many other features as well like SWAT analysis, vision statements, personas, goals, etc to keep you focussed. The support from the Aha team is also highly praised by the users. Its just “Aha!”!
Pricing : Starts at $59/month
ProductPlan is yet another roadmap tool which is designed to help product managers better plan and communicate their strategies. The roadmaps created using this tool are highly visual, communication focussed and built for team collaboration. They have intuitive drag and drop features. Prioritization, milestone tracking, Workflow management, etc are some other features of the product.
Pricing: Starts at $39/month
ProductBoard is one roadmap tool preferred by many customer-driven organizations. With its customizable boards, productboard offers the right balance of guidance and flexibility to help product teams understand what users really need, prioritize what to build next, and enables everyone in the team to be on the same page to achieve the product vision.
Pricing: Starts at $49/month
Prototypes, mockups, and wireframes are essentially a way to present a product. A wireframe is a basic visual representation of the product outlining structures and layouts. It helps the team members to understand the product. Mockups and prototypes are more close to the finished product. Mockup exactly shows how the finished product looks like, but it is not usually interactive and clickable. Whereas in prototypes, processes can be simulated and interactions tested.
Balsamiq Mockups is a tool with an intuitive user interface design for creating wireframes (also called mockups or low-fidelity prototypes). You can use this tool to generate clear digital sketches of your product ideas to facilitate discussion and understanding before any code is written. The tool also lets you control versions and run user tests.
Pricing: Starts at $89/month
InVision is a prototype design tool that allows you to quickly and easily create interactive mockups for your designs. You can share your mockups with your team or clients and presenting your designs is a breeze with Invision.
Pricing: InVision is free for 1 prototype, $15 for 3 prototypes and the unlimited plan starts at $25/month
Sketch is basically a digital design tool kit and can be used by product managers for prototyping and collaboration. It is very easy to use and fast. You can have hundreds of designed screens in a single file and it doesn't take forever to load! One another cool great thing about this tool is that there are tons of plugins out there which make it very easy to get things done
Another mockup and wireframing tool to check out. With MockingBird it is super easy to make simple but detailed wireframes, with multiple pages and functionality. Easy to save and present as PDFs, too!
Pricing: Starts at $12/month
Mind Mapping and Brainstorming tools
Mindmapping is all about using visual diagrams to represent ideas and concepts. It helps structure the information and better analyze, comprehend and generate different possible solutions.
Mindmesiter is a completely web based mind mapping and brainstorming tool. It llets you. It is very easy to use - the tool doesn't get in the way of the process. You can reorganise and rearrange maps easily or even create submaps with links back to parent. It has good integrations - e.g. Microsoft Teams. You can publish maps to the public library, embed on website or share as editable or view only.
Pricing: Basic plan free( upto 3 mindmaps). Premium starts at $4.99/month
SpiderScribe is another online tool for creating quick and simple mind maps. It is similar to Mindmeister.
Like MindMeister, SpiderScribe's free plan lets you create up to three mind maps, after which you need to upgrade to a paid plan for $5 per month--again, just what MindMeister charges. SpiderScribe's Flash-based editor is a bit more basic, but it allows file attachments, which MindMeister's free plan does not.
Pricing: Starts from $5/month
Project Management tools
Project management tools allow the product manager to plan, delegate and track work, all in one place. There are many effective project management tools available today which simplifies all the tracking and documenting needs for your projects.
Jira is a complete project tracking tool that lets you plan, track and release your product. It lets you create user stories, track issues, plan sprints and distribute tasks across the teams.
Pricing: The standard plan starts at $7/month/user.
Asana is another project management tool that is very popular. Its features include task management, reporting, automatic notifications, collaboration tools, dashboard and much more to organize your tasks, communicate and collaborate.
Pricing: Free version is available for up to 15 members. Premium plan costs $10.99/user/month
Trello is a new project management tool again from Atlassian, the creators of Jira. While Jira and Asana were designed for software development teams, Trello was designed for more general use. It's not just for development teams, but can be used for organizing many other tasks like marketing campaigns or even holidays trips. Hence it is a more lightweight project management tool compared to Jira/Asana. Trello allows you to use boards, lists, and cards to be organized and prioritize your project tasks in a fun and flexible way. Trello might not have a wide range of features that Jira/Asana might have, say for example reporting, issue management, time tracking, etc. But it definitely is much easier to use and more straightforward. So if you are a small company looking for an easy to use project management tool, Trello is the right solution.
Pricing: Guess what? It’s free!
Feature flagging tools
Feature flags basically allow you to turn on an off a feature of the product without having to make any changes to the code. Thus, it allows you to mitigate risks while releasing features and effectively manage the software releases. Thus, feature flagging tools allow you to perform gradual feature rollouts, fix bugs in the code without redeploying or do rollbacks of code easily.
Split supports products in different languages like Java, JS, Node, Python, PHP, Ruby, Rails, .Net, etc. It's incredibly empowering for the product managers and enables teams to make changes dynamically for safe and rapid deployments.
Pricing: It offers a free plan for starters and a more feature rich premium plan. The price of the premium plan is not available publicly.
Another fast and reliable feature management tool available. It too supports an array of programming languages including Java, C#, JS, Ruby, Go, PHP, Python, Swift, iOS, Android, etc.
Pricing: Starts at $75/month
User experience tracking and Analytics tools
User experience tracking tools play an important role in understanding your user behavior and throw insights on how your website’s visitors are engaging with your products or content. Session replays, heatmaps, A/B testing, user testing, etc are some of the ways to understand the user experience and realize what your users like or dislike.
Browsee is a user experience tracking and conversion optimization tool for websites. uses tools like Crowd animation, Session replays, and Heatmaps to help you visualize how your users use your product and what they like or dislike. The insights you get from watching some recordings or by analyzing the heatmaps are incredible in optimizing your website the way your users would like. Circles for segmenting your sessions, funnel analytics and reports, etc are some other useful features to understand the user experience more clearly.
Pricing: The StartUp plan is completely free. Premium plans start at $39/moth
Optimizely is an A/B testing tool that lets you test different versions of your product by splitting traffic. It lets you test new product features on a small percentage of your traffic, across different channels/devices. Monitor the user response to determine which ideas win and which don't. It enables product managers to take decisions based on user response rather than going behind guesses or intuitions.
Pricing: Not available as plans are custom made by their sales team based on the company’s need.
UserTesting lets you see, hear and talk to your customers as they engage with your products. UserTesting software lets you pick your target audience and assign users a task to perform on your website or mobile app. The tool will record the video of users giving their thoughts while interacting with your website/app.
Pricing: From $49 per video session
No doubt team collaboration is a key factor for the success of a productive team. From instant messaging to video conferences, there are many online tools and softwares available today to keep your team connected. Knowing what other team members are working on and collaborating with the team’s work are important as well.
Slack is one of the most widely used communication tools in organizations. It is a team messaging application. It can act as a single tool for messaging, voice calls and video calls. It also allows you to share files- just drag and drop PDFs, images or videos directly into slack.
Pricing: It offers a free plan for small teams. The premium plans starts from $6.67/month.
Confluence is the collaboration tool from Atlassian. It is an open and shared workplace where your team can create, collaborate and keep all work in one place.
Pricing: Starts from $10/month
A product manager would want to conduct a survey at multiple points like during the market research or to obtain the feedback of customers after the product release. Customer surveys are valuable as they tell you what the customer really thinks and says. With the web based survey tools available today, you can put together a survey in a few minutes and distribute it to your customers. Using these tools you can have multiple choice questions, dropdown lists or open comment fields in your survey. Some tools even have pre formatted questions to help you. You can easily track and analyze the results of your survey as well.
The first tool that comes to anybody's mind for creating a form or survey. It is very simple to create forms using GoogleForms and completely free. You can create have multiple choice questions, radio buttons, etc incorporated very easily to your surveys.
TypeForm makes form creation an easy task. It comes with a drag and drop feature and the availability of numerous objects, you can create various forms that you need in just a few minutes. It has other features like data export, ‘Logic Jumps’, etc. Logic Jumps allows you to integrate your own survey logic with the TypeForm tools. For example, you can greet people by name or segment them by channel with hidden fields.
Pricing: Starts from $35/month
Another tool that lets you design and send professional surveys as well as analyze your surveys. You can export data, filter and compare results and create custom results by creating multiple views of your data.
Pricing: The basic plan is free. The standard plan starts from Rs 899/month
I hope the article gives you an idea of the leading players in product management tools in the industry today. Leave a comment if we have missed any tools or if you have information about any interesting tools you use for your teams.