To transform any idea into a profitable product, a product manager has to go through several stages, from ideation, product roadmap, user journey mapping, prototyping, managing sprints, and customer research to learning launch and delivery.
Each of the stages may include inbound and outbound activities.
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A product manager doesn’t have to perform all activities but instead supervises the whole fulfillment. With the best tools in hand for each stage, a product manager can quickly improve their work efficiency and work more closely with other stakeholders to deliver the best possible user experience.
In this article, we will share a shortlist of tools, which are the things to look for when selecting the best product management tool for your organization, and in-depth reviews of each tool.
What are product management tools?
A product management tool is a software application that helps product managers manage the entire lifecycle of a product, from initial development to launch to ongoing user support and everything in between. Product management tools have become a crucial part of product development.
They can help product managers facilitate every step of the product development process and improve efficiency.
Now let’s take a closer look at the best tools for each step that product managers cannot afford to miss out on.
12 must-have tools for product managers in 2022
1. User research tools
Intercom is a modern customer communications platform that unifies every aspect of the customer journey, from conversion to engagement to support. By using it, product managers can get a better understanding of the users. It shows you who your users and visitors are and what they do in your app and on your site.
Intercom makes it easy to personally communicate with the users with targeted content, behaviour-driven messages, and conversational support. In a word, Intercom brings everything you need to understand, communicate with, and support your visitors and customers on one simple, integrated platform that is easy for everyone, especially PM, in your business to use.
UXcam is an all-in-one mobile app analytics, empowering everyone on your mobile team with fast, contextual and high-fidelity insights. For product managers, UXcam can help to understand the reasons behind user drop-offs and uninstalls and incorporate UX feedback into ongoing research and development. More importantly, it can help to discover emerging user trends and propose new design trends and solutions.
2. Product roadmap tools
Asana is a great project management and team collaboration software that has roadmap templates to help product teams document tasks and create a visual representation of the product’s lifecycle. From the small stuff to the big picture, Asana organizes work, so product teams know what to do, why it matters, and how to get it done.
Product managers can use this software to add columns and sections based on product goals or release timing and insert reference sections for guidance. It has many outstanding features waiting for product teams, especially those who need a more flexible and customizable solution for their road mapping needs, to check out.
Aha! is a web-based product strategy and road mapping software for agile product managers. Product managers can use this tool to create individual product goals, such as increasing revenue or faster rollouts. Product team members can then prioritize the more impactful goals, plan each dependency and date, and track the release status on this platform.
What makes Aha! Unique is that it is built to create collaborative and customizable roadmaps. Customers love it because it helps them build strategy, coordinate across teams, and align their business and engineering processes in the most efficient way possible.
3. Metrics & Analytics Tools
GoodData is a cloud-based business intelligence platform providing data management solutions for product teams. Its composable data and analytics platform provides a single source of truth across organizations and to their customers.
GoodData has already helped more than 140,000 of the world’s top businesses deliver on their analytics goals and scale their data use cases — from self-service and embeddable analytics to machine learning and IoT. This company is on a mission to empower all users, no matter their technical proficiency, to make decisions with accuracy and confidence.
Segment is a customer data platform (CDP) that helps businesses collect, clean, and activate their customer data. It provides the customer data infrastructure that helps businesses put their customers first. Segment collects events from your web & mobile apps and provides a complete data toolkit to every team in your company.
By using segment, companies can collect, unify, and connect their first-party to over 200 marketing, analytics, and data warehouse tools. It is now welcomed and used by 20,000+ businesses around the globe that use this software and its APIs to collect, clean, and activate their customer data.
4. Prototyping tools
Mockplus is a web-based prototyping tool that lets you create prototypes online easily and quickly. It provides you with tons of pre-built components, including 3,000 icons and nearly 200 components for you to use directly across your prototypes.
You can simply drag and drop the components or icons you need into the Artboard and begin drawing your shapes. What’s more, you can upload designs and add hotspots to transform your static screens into clickable, interactive prototypes complete with gestures, transitions, and animations.
Framer is great at wireframing and prototyping, and it enables you to wire up screens and frames for designs you create on other platforms. With Framer, you can create responsive layouts, design realistic prototypes, and bring everything closer to production — all in one place. However, this prototyping platform has a slight learning curve, and designers who are not good coders may find it more difficult to use. It is also free for up to 2 editors, handing up to three projects.
5. Project management tools
Jira is a flexible and scalable issue tracker for software teams. The tool, developed by the Australian software company Atlassian, has become widely used by agile development teams to track bugs, stories, epics, and other tasks. For product teams, you can integrate this tool with your product roadmap; then, the team can also sync the status of its day-to-day tasks with its big-picture strategy.
If you are using a prototyping tool like Mockplus, you can simply attach a project link to Jira issues for instant access. You can access, preview and communicate all in Jira, making prototyping and design collaboration more efficient than ever before. Additionally, when creating an RP prototype, a template example entry was added for quick reuse.
Basecamp is a web-based project management and collaboration tool. With Basecamp, you can get all your team members involved, and everything, including every discussion, every document, file, task, important date, etc., will be related to the work at hand.
Product teams that switch to Basecamp are more productive and better organized. They can communicate better and have fewer meetings. Whether you’re a CEO, a project or product manager, or an individual contributor, Basecamp has everything you need.
ProofHub is a high-impact, all-in-one project management tool. ProofHub helps project teams manage everyday work more effectively by making the most of the resources at their disposal. From creating and managing workflows to prioritizing project goals and from creating project roadmaps to advanced resource management insights, ProofHub has it all.
A Timeline and Gantt-style view that shows task durations and deadlines are available if you’re interested in how things are going. You can reassign items or reorganize workflows in ProofHub. Dependencies can also be noted, and others can be informed when certain tasks are finished.
6. Product management productivity tools
Airtable is a user-friendly software that aims to democratize software creation by enabling anyone to build tools that meet their needs. Airtable can be used by people around the globe to do everything from cattle tracking to filmmaking.
Your data, team members and workflows across the organization can be connected by its powerful visual platform. It is very easy for you to start building on Airtable, and anyone can create and automate apps that perfectly meet their needs.
Coda is a comprehensive solution that combines documents, spreadsheets, and building tools into a single platform. Product managers can use this tool to track OKRs while also brainstorming with their teams. It also offers built-in templates such as to-do lists and rating tables, which can help improve project completion and management.
More than that, it has features like real-time collaboration, document sharing, revision history and document locking, etc. Coda has integrated with various third-party applications such as Jira, Google Calendar, Gmail, Shopify, Intercom, Figma, Slack and more. Mobile apps for iOS and Android devices are also available.
A product manager needs to have a wide variety of product management tools at their disposal to deliver a product that meets customers’ needs. When selecting a product management tool, you should first think about your needs.
Ask yourself: what are your weak points? Think about them as the places you can pivot from and improve your product management operations. Adding a new tool to your arsenal can do wonders for productivity, communication, and results. I hope the tool list here includes the one that you’re looking for, helping you improve team communication and work efficiency.
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