Product management tools make a product manager’s life easier. A product manager ensures a seamless product delivery from planning to launch. Product managers need a variety of tools to perform these tasks effectively.
This article will explore the importance of product management tools and why they ensure an effective workflow.
What Are Product Management Tools?
A product manager relies on a wide variety of tools, some of which are practically universal in the office. In contrast, others are more specific to the development process or product management itself and are intended to assist with specific stages of product management.
Product Management Tools and Techniques
There are several stages to the life cycle of a product. Product development involves many layers: ideation, product roadmaps, user journey mapping, prototyping, managing sprints, customer research, learning launch, and delivery. Traditionally, product managers used software tools like road mapping and development tracking tools to simplify tracking a product’s lifecycle.
From consumer goods to food delivery apps, management software has become a critical part of product development, changing management practices forever. A product management tool also undergoes serious changes and becomes more sophisticated as new software and technologies emerge.
We will examine some of the most commonly used product management tools.
Industry Analysis Tools
A product manager’s ability to determine which products to create and which features to highlight contributes greatly to a company’s overall business plan. Their first step should be to gain a sense of what is going on in the industry. An industry report from a research firm is usually the first step in creating a business plan.
Roadmapping and Flowcharting Tools
Developing any product requires an outline of how the process will work. Using a spreadsheet or word processor to draft your plan creates more problems than fixes. As an alternative, native applications, such as CEO-ME allow you to create flexible and collaborative roadmaps that include built-in features like version control, visualization, and interactivity. Such features make your roadmaps more accessible to your entire team.
After planning the product, a product manager can diagram and prototype the user journey using tools like Microsoft Visio and OmniGraffle. These tools identify all points of contact between the company and the customer. These are a valuable resource during the UX design process since they summarize the entire customer journey and provide details on individual interactions.
User Analysis and Feedback Tools
One of the product manager’s key focuses the product’s user experience. At virtually every stage of product development, intense research is necessary to understand the customer, their needs, and their experience using the product. Test users can submit their feedback about features they most like or would like to see added to future versions using Google Surveys, SurveyMonkey, Pollfish, and Typeform. However, while these can often point you in the right direction, they are not sufficient alone since they depend on which questions you ask and how well your clients understand their own habits.
You can use product analysis tools such as Pendo, Mixpanel, and Amplitude to learn things about your users that they do not know and therefore cannot report. In this way, product managers collect user experience data by tracking their visitors’ behavior on the site or when using their software.
When you reach the latter stages of user testing and feedback gathering, tools like Zoom or GoToMeeting enable you to listen to customers, test users directly, and record their feedback.
Project Tracking and Management Tools
Jira, Microsoft Project, CEO-ME, Pivotal Tracker, and Trello are some of the tools available for tracking and managing projects. However, they allow product managers to keep track of different tasks and statuses, communicate information to team members, and monitor issues for resolution. The purpose of these project management programs is to keep you on track with your roadmap.
It is possible to use programs like LaunchDarkly and Split.io for product development to effectively A/B test new features, activate or deactivate them once code is live, or experiment with new ideas in general. You can use this to manage feature launches or even pull launched features to retool them.
Lastly, product managers use tools to manage large teams of people, often in different departments and locations. Platforms such as Slack and Confluence can be indispensable for team messaging, while collaborative files are often stored on Evernote, Google Drive, and Dropbox. You may be called upon to use PowerPoint or Keynote to present ideas to team members or stakeholders as part of your Product Management duties.
How Product Managers Can Benefit From Project Management Software
CEO-ME, Trello, and Asana are tools that product managers can find indispensable for a number of reasons.
- They make strategy into discrete tasks that can be tracked. Developing a product roadmap is about strategy. Do you think about why you prioritize one feature over another? What happens when your executives approve your roadmap? With a project management tool that is intuitive and easy to use, you can break down each strategic element of your roadmap into several actionable tasks.
- Being a company’s go-to person for product updates will make you more effective. Besides driving the strategy for your company’s products, as a product manager, you serve as the company’s primary source for information about the status of your product. With the right project management software, you’ll always have access to the most up-to-date information regarding your product’s development.
The information may be useful for your own planning and knowledge or if an executive or another stakeholder asks you. A streamlined, user-friendly web project management tool is best because it will give you quick, concise answers to all the project and task management questions you and your team might have. Using color coding, icons, or other intuitive visual cues, your project management tool, for example, will allow you to see the status of a project or task in just a few seconds. Therefore, you will be able to respond to the stakeholder immediately.
- Team collaboration and communication will improve. Dedicated project management software has another valuable use: its ability to help team members communicate and share work information no matter where they are located. If you open up your roadmap, everyone working on your product will be able to add notes and comments. During the execution phase, your product development team definitely wants to share knowledge, ask questions, make suggestions, and learn from each other while working on different aspects of the product.
Choosing the right project management application is therefore vital. It allows team members to add comments, ask questions, and share assets like screenshots and other images, which will help them to collaborate faster, easier, and more efficiently, as well as make your life easier.
Whether you are a seasoned product manager or new to the domain, you should consider checking out CEO-ME’s Business Development Software. Implementing a streamlined, centralized platform like CEO-ME allows your organization to oversee multiple project development cycle’s efficiently, compliantly, and securely. You will be able to manage multiple products at a lower cost. Discover the benefits of an all-in-one product management tool. Try it out for free!