GuidesProduct development11 essential product management tools

11 essential product management tools

Last updated

23 May 2023

Author

Claire Bonneau

Reviewed by

Jean Kaluza

Is your business using the right product management tools to create the best possible products?

A great product management tool can truly be a lifesaver during the busy and stressful product development process. Whether you’re just entering into a product design refresh or are nearing a new product launch, integrating product management tools can help your team stay organized (and hopefully keep you on schedule!)

When used correctly, project management tools allow for team collaboration and communication, no matter if your co-workers are in-office, in the field, or working remotely. Convenience and efficiency are the names of the game—and we created this article to help you find product management software that will make a world of difference in the day-to-day working experiences of your team. 

In this article, we share our list of the top product management tools we recommend integrating into your current product development workflow—we promise that once you start, you’ll never believe that you used to get things done without them!

What is a product management tool?

Product management tools are software programs or applications that you can use throughout the product development process. They can help to create increased project organization and communication during product planning, research, sourcing, development, marketing, launching, assessing, and refreshing.

As an essential tool for teams looking to efficiently communicate and collaborate, examples of projects that product management software can help with include:

Selecting the best product management tool for your business

With a seemingly never-ending list of product management tools available for your team to try, it can be hard to know which will be best suited for your needs. And while some level of trial and error is always involved with finding the right product management software, it’s possible to save time (and resources) by considering factors unique to your team and business.

Before signing up for a long list of free product management trials, we recommend sitting down with your team to brainstorm about the following aspects of your workflow:

The type of product you’re creating

Your team needs to find product management software that will benefit the specific type of product your company creates. A large-scale manufacturer has different project needs from a company that creates bespoke SaaS products—and your product management tools should be tailored to your specific industry and product type for the best results.

The size of your team

Do you work with a large global team, or are your operations run out of a small, local office? Companies with many employees will require product management tools with plenty of customization options, while smaller teams may find these tools too complex or overwhelming for their needs. 

Where people work from

Are your co-workers working from home or in person at an office? Remote teams will likely require additional communication-based tools to keep everyone on the same page. In-office teams may benefit from product management tools that document and record meetings and brainstorming sessions

Team preferences and existing systems

No matter the size of your team, each member has their own workflow preferences and existing systems that they use to complete their jobs. Making large-scale changes from these habits will likely be met with discomfort and frustration—so, for the best results, it’s a good idea to search for product management software that compliments and improves your existing workflow as seamlessly as possible.

Our top 11 product management tools of 2023

Now that your team is ready to take your product development and organization to the next level, here are the top 11 product management tools that we recommend you try:

ProductPlan — best for road mapping

If your team is looking to plan, brainstorm, and create a visual roadmap for your upcoming product launch, ProductPlan is an easy-to-use software with built-in templates.

Made to be collaborative for virtual and in-person teams, one of our favorite features of ProductPlan is its wide variety of data visualization options. Capable of displaying your project plan session as a list, timeline, table, or portfolio, this is a great product management tool for teams looking to create a clear road map for upcoming projects.

Further information about ProductPlan:

  • Integration — ProductPlan is compatible with Jira, Slack, GitHub, Trello, Confluence, Microsoft Teams, and more.

  • Trial period — ProductPlan offers a free 14-day trial.

  • Cost — ProductPlan starts at $39/user/month, with professional and enterprise plan options also available.

Slack — best for team communication and messaging

Virtual communication is essential for a successful modern business, even if your entire team works in-office. As a place to share ideas, schedule quick calls, and share a good laugh, our top product management tool for this purpose is the well-known (and well-loved) start-up Slack.

Used by global companies like Airbnb, NASA, Uber, and Target, Slack is an easy-to-use communication software that can be used by both internal and external stakeholders in your project. Capable of allowing your team to create an infinite number of different project channels, Slack helps to declutter and organize communication, which helps to reduce confusion and wasted resources. 

Also, Slack lets you edit your messages after sending and reacting to messages with custom emojis, so what’s not to love?

Further information about Slack:

  • Integration — Slack can integrate with 2400+ apps, ranging from Google Drive and Zapier to Salesforce and Twitter.

  • Trial period — Slack offers a 90-day free trial for clients on their pro plan.

  • Cost — Slack offers different plans based on your needs. The price per plan ranges from $0 for personal use to $12.50+/user/month for business and enterprise clients.

SurveyMonkey — best for customer data collection

Conducting thorough customer research is one of the best ways to improve your product—and SurveyMonkey is one of our favorite data collection product management tools.

Offering pre-formatted question options, including multiple-choice, open-ended comment sections, and drop-down information sections, you can easily customize SurveyMonkey surveys to meet your team’s unique needs.

In addition to their intuitive survey design interface, SurveyMonkey links are easy to send to your customers, allowing for quick and effective data tracking almost immediately. 

Further information about SurveyMonkey:

  • Integration — SurveyMonkey can be integrated with many other commonly used productivity tools, including Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, Zoom, and MailChimp.

  • Trial period — SurveyMonkey offers a free trial, limited to 20 survey responses.

  • Cost — SurveyMonkey has different product plans, ranging in price from $25/user/month to $75/user/month for their team premium package.

Asana — best for project management and visualization

High-quality product organization requires management tools that easily display assignments and communicate team progress. For this purpose, the progress-tracking software app Asana is one of the best options that we have come across.

As a software that displays tasks like a dynamic bulletin board, calendar, timeline, and a new customizable view, you can mark each task clearly throughout the project journey. Being able to tag tasks and assign them to team members is incredibly helpful for communicating the flow of work to your teammates, especially when you’re working remotely. 

The reporting and automation functionality of Asana is one of its standout features—making it also an excellent option for brainstorming and prioritization sessions throughout product development.

Further information about Asana:

  • Integration — Asana can integrate with other planning platforms like Jira, Miro, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and a full library of many more.

  • Trial period — Asana offers a free forever plan to individuals or small teams getting started. 

  • Cost — Asana has multiple price plans, ranging from $0/month for individual use to $24.99/user/month for enterprise clients paying annually.

Notion — best for brainstorming and tool consolidation

Business productivity tools are a must for any product development project. Notion, a powerful yet flexible tool, is a great choice for teams looking to record ideas, track projects, house engineering wikis, and organize research throughout all stages of your project.

As a software designed to take the cluttered and disorganized nature of early project development and turn it into beautifully organized workspaces, Notion allows your team to create pages, to-do lists, and database views perfect for keeping everyone in the know.

Further information about Notion:

  • Integration — Notion integrates with well-known apps like Jira, GitHub, Slack, Asana, Google Docs, and 100s more.

  • Trial period — Notion offers trials on request for both their business- and enterprise-level plans.

  • Cost — Notion offers multiple product plans, from a free basic plan to a small group plan at $8/month and $15+/month for business- and enterprise-level plans.

Canva — best for creating dynamic presentations

Creating compelling presentations and vision decks is an essential component of getting the needed buy-in from stakeholders of any product-based project. Canva is by far one of the most powerful tools for this specific purpose.

As a visual tool used to communicate your team’s ideas, aspirations, and future plans, Canva offers easy-to-use templates to create beautiful and engaging presentations. Canva is also the most versatile and adaptable presentation software to play around with, so it's perfect for those looking to create brand-specific decks that wow external stakeholders.

Further information about Canva:

  • Multi-purpose — Canva is not only great as a presentation tool complete with presenter mode, recording ability, or sharing, but you can also create everything from branded social media campaigns to print pieces like posters or flyers. 

  • Trial period — Canva Pro offers a 30-day trial of their paid features for new users

  • Cost — Canva offers a free tier plan for individuals. The pro subscription costs about $120/year, and their team plan (for five members) is priced at $150/year. Schools and non-profits also have their own pricing tiers.

Split.io — best for feature flagging

Is your team creating a digital product? If so, using feature flagging software like Spilt.io is incredibly helpful for turning certain features on and off within your product code—a must-have for relieving product development stress headaches!

As a helpful tool designed to reduce the time wasted between product creation and launch, Split.io is a valuable resource for A/B testing (and even more helpful during large-scale feature launches or bug fixes).

Further information about Split.io:

  • Integration — Split.io can integrate with Amazon S3, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Amplitude, and more.

  • Trial period — Split.io offers a free 30-day trial of their paid features for new developer accounts.

  • Cost — Spilt.io has different payment plans, ranging from $0/month for a developer account to $60/seat/month for business accounts.

Zoom — best for interview recording and hosting

Being able to record calls with your customers, stakeholders, or team members can be an incredibly helpful resource throughout the product development process.

Zoom (a well-known virtual communication software) is one of our top picks for this purpose, as its virtual conferencing software allows you to view seamless recordings at a later date. As a very recognizable name that blew up in popularity due to remote working requirements over the past few years, another added benefit of using Zoom is its familiarity. 

Chances are, most people you’re looking to chat with have used Zoom at least once before, which makes integrating this product management tool into your existing workflow easier.

Further information about Zoom:

  • Integration — Zoom offers integrations with a wide variety of other software options, including Google Drive, Zapier, HubSpot, Dropbox, Google Calendar, Zendesk, and more.

  • Trial period — Zoom offers a 30-day free trial.

  • Cost — Zoom costs $65/room/month for a total of 49 unique room licenses.

FullStory — best for heat mapping and session replay

User insights are often some of the best sources of ideas for new product features or updates.

FullStory is a product management software designed to create a heat map of user behavior for your team to analyze and assess. By creating a pattern of the most commonly viewed and used sections of your website, your team can better serve your customers while also improving your marketing and helping your team make informed project decisions.

Further information about Fullstory:

  • Integration — FullStory can be integrated with tech partners like Google Cloud, Google Analytics, Jira, Intercom, and more.

  • Trial period — FullStory offers a 14-day free trial for their business-level plan.

  • Cost — FullStory has three product plans (Enterprise, Advanced, and Business), available for free demos on their website.

OmniGraffle — best for flow chart creation and management

Is your team looking to create flow charts, either as part of your internal project process or as you begin extensive customer mapping? If so, product management software OmniGraffle will soon become your best friend.

Flowcharting is an incredibly helpful visual strategy for creating customer journey pathways. As an essential part of effective product design and marketing, getting a stronghold on the experience that each of your customers has with your brand is one of the best ways to build long-term product loyalty.

As your team begins to explore how your target audience interacts with your website, marketing, and product, flowchart software like OmniGraffle can help to create a clear path forward based on your findings.

Further information about OmniGraffle:

  • Integration — OmniGraffle can currently integrate with Lucidchart.

  • Trial period — OmniGraffle offers a free 14-day product trial.

  • Cost — OmniGraffle costs $12.49/month. It also offers two one-off payment options based on their regular and pro plans.

Dovetail — best for customer insight analysis

Customer insights are king when it comes to effective product design and rebranding—and there’s no better way to collect and analyze valuable customer data than by using Dovetail.

Designed as a flexible customer insight platform, Dovetail is one of the best ways to bring your customers into every decision related to your product.

As software made to store and analyze your customer data, Dovetail gives your team instant access to customer insights that will empower and impact every step of the product development journey. 

Whether you’re collecting quantitative data on your latest product launch or want to learn more about your user’s shopping experience, Dovetail can take your customer data and turn it into powerful and actionable insights that will act as your guiding light to brand loyalty success.

Further information about Dovetail:

  • Integration — Dovetail integrates seamlessly with Slack, Notion, Jira, Zoom, Google Drive, Confluence, Trello, Zendesk, Notion, Calendly, and more.

  • Trial period — Dovetail offers a free 14-day trial.

  • Cost — Dovetail offers pricing based on different product plan levels, starting at just $50/month for their starter plan.

Make your next launch easier with the right product management tools

Product management tools can be foundational building blocks to product success—but only when they’re a good fit for the needs of your team and business.

We hope this article has provided helpful insights into the many incredibly helpful product management tools available for your team to add to your current workflow.

Best of luck with your latest feature launch or product redesign—and may the power of product management tools carry you forward to your best product or feature launch to date!

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