Product management tools are the paintbrush to the project manager’s artist. Managing the development of a product involves taking care of innumerable working parts.
Managing the development, designing, testing, and finally the deployment – all this, is not an easy feat. There are many factors to take care of in the planning stage itself, and it only gets harder and less manageable from there.
If you are a project manager, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You have everything on the line, yet nothing is going as planned, not one thing is on track. What do you do when this happens?
The best managers out there will choose automation over chaos. Product management tools will help you stay on track with the requirements of the clients, with the progress of your team, and be ahead of schedule for the product’s delivery.
You wouldn’t be here looking for solutions if there wasn’t a problem. So let’s begin our journey to find a tool that fits your unique needs as we go through 13 of the most reliable management tools for product development.
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Table of Contents
- What Are Product Management Tools?
- Product Management Tools- The Powerful Combination Of Different Platforms
- Project Management Tools
- #1 ProofHub
- #2 Smartsheet
- #3 Asana
- #4 Workfront
- Road-mapping Software Platforms
- #5 GoodDay
- #6 ProdPad
- #7 LeanKit
- #8 ProductBoard
- Gantt Tools
- #9 InstaGantt
- #10 GanttPRO
- #11 TeamGantt
- Collaboration Tools
- #12 Join.me
- #13 Workplace from Facebook
- To Summarize
What Are Product Management Tools?
Product management tools can be defined as a set of various tools that product managers and teams use to perform different tasks (prototyping, customer research, managing sprints, product road mapping, etc. )across different phases of the product life cycle.
Whether you manage an in-office product team or widely dispersed remote team, you would need product management tools that can provide you with a centralized location to plan, execute, and deliver the product successfully.
Product Management Tools- The Powerful Combination Of Different Platforms
It’s a challenging task for product managers to oversee a product grown from its inception to completion. Before technological advancements made the lives of human beings much easier and efficient, product managers just had a handful of resources to utilize.
However, with more than a handful of highly functional product management tools available today, that’s certainly not the case now. Product management tools can be grouped into a broad range of categories, like Project Management Tools, Roadmapping Software Platforms, Gantt Tools, and Collaboration Tools.
Different tools are required in different stages of product life cycle. Product managers and their teams use these tools in tandem to achieve set objectives. This article lists some of the most popular, widely-used product management tools that are designed to help product managers and their teams manage, execute, and deliver their products successfully.
Project Management Tools
Some product management tools can help you do it all under one roof. These tools are ones that can help you achieve a lot more with a lot less effort. These software platforms are rightly called all-in-one since they come with a whole range of features, all curated to bring more efficiency to your work process. Let’s uncover these tools to determine which one can match the needs of the clients as well as the team.
Brace yourselves because you are about to find out what exactly makes ProofHub eligible for making it to the top of this list.
With features like time mapping, collaboration, easy communication, and proofing, ProofHub is a worthy partner, not to mention, a formidable tool for organizations like NASA, Netflix, Google, Trip Advisor, and Pinterest. With its ease of use and a highly customizable user interface, it is universally loved by more than 85,000 teams and businesses worldwide. However, let’s dig deeper to find out what makes this tool better than all the others.
Gantt charts are a highly useful tool for teams that are working towards the development of a product that has to be ready for a timely delivery. Are you confused about the assignees? Are you confused about how all the work items depend on one another? Are you confused about the rate of progress? Are you trying to make sure that everything works on track with the deadlines?
Leave it to Gantt charts in ProofHub to determine all of that for you. Not only do these help you track tasks and the submission of work items, but it also helps you plan the sequences of tasks and define dependencies. Therefore, if you look closely, you would find how Gantt charts can help teams with project planning and road mapping in more ways than one.
A novel approach to viewing and managing tasks, Table view comes with a plethora of benefits for managers, developers, designers, marketing teams alike. Want a quick overview to determine which task carries more priority? Want to plan your agenda by analyzing task deadlines? Want to quickly define the start and end dates for a particular task?
All of these things become a smooth reality with ProofHub’s Table view. Not only will this feature bring an air of productivity and efficiency to the table, but it will also help your team track their performance and manage their work in a better, more manageable way.
A calendar view would be more than helpful for a team trying to manage time and stay on task. Sync your ProofHub calendar with your Google Calendar so you never miss a task, an event, or a milestone. Do you need to quickly add a new event or an important milestone? Do you want to analyze your team’s agenda and add tasks on the go? Do you want to be on schedule and never miss a deadline?
ProofHub’s calendar view will help you accomplish all of that. With its calendar view, not only will you be able to track the number of tasks in your agenda, but you will also be able to track important events and be on schedule with the team’s milestones. Leave it to this view to help your team stay on the same page using different project calendars and defining recurring tasks to ease the burden.
Another innovative addition to the various project management views in ProofHub is one provided by easy-to-use Kanban boards. Do you want to instantaneously alert your teammates about the progress in a task? Do you want to create an impenetrable workflow for your team that is easy-to-follow and effective for your product at the same time?
The drag and drop features of ProofHub’s Kanban boards allow the whole team to implement a time-effective approach to performing tasks. It comes with predefined templates and customizable workflows to save you your precious time and efforts. Along with that these intuitive Kanban boards will also help your team actively implement the Agile methodology and track deliverables in real-time.
In addition to all the product management features that ProofHub so effortlessly facilitates, it also comes with a big bundle of integrations so you are able to run your operations seamlessly. It has integrations with tools that are widely used by development teams all around the world. Some examples of its most useful integrations would be:
- FreshBooks Classic
- Google Calendar
- Google Drive
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If we talk about management, I can definitely say ProofHub helps you keep up with the most basic to the most complex of project operations. However, what does it do for teams on the collaboration front? The tool in question helps you always stay on the same page with your team with the help of an in-built chat feature that offers instant messaging and group chats.
This feature will help you readily exchange notes, share links and media files, and achieve a lot more. This is one of the best features in this tool that so effortlessly facilitates communication, and consequently, collaboration within teams.
Do you ever wish you could track your team’s performance in terms of time, down to seconds? Do you wish to have the data of billable hours for all your employees on your table at the end of every month? Do you wish you could readily generate, use, and share time data with superiors or your stakeholders on the go?
Well, you would be glad to know that these are some very real things that can be easily done with this tool. Generate custom timesheets, track billable hours, save and export extensive timesheets across platforms in seconds with ProofHub.
Smartsheet, as the name suggests, is probably the smartest partner you’ll ever get for implementing effective product management. It is a widely used software platform for automating processes like reporting and work management. It helps teams take care of a wide variety of functions like:
- Implementing agile methodology.
- Management of extensive budgets.
- An easy-to-navigate client portal.
- Kanban boards to build functional workflows.
- Active portfolio management.
- Management of all resources from under one roof.
- Customizable workflow as well as project templates.
- Time and expense tracking for effective monitoring of resources.
Needless to say, Smartsheet proves its worth on a lot of fronts. This is why more than 80,000 organizations rely explicitly on this tool for efficiency.
Asana, one of the most popular project management tools in the world, is a prominent addition to this list of product management tools since it possesses some amazing features that help gain control of your development team. It doesn’t matter if your team is working out of the comfort of their homes, from the office, or working as a hybrid collective, Asana makes sure everything stays on track. 75000 organizations and teams around the world unanimously agree that Asana is a versatile tool that actively helps simplify the work processes and bring some efficiency to everyday work.
Some of its most notable features include:
- Offers extensive backlog as well as resource management.
- Helps record as well track feedback from clients.
- Supports scrum teams.
- Offers Kanban boards to build commendable workflows.
- Helps create reportable retrospectives.
- Offers a timeline or Gantt chart view to stay on top of deadlines.
- It helps with status tracking as well as time mapping.
- The tool comes with 24-hour customer support.
Therefore, if you are looking for a tool to invest in for all your product management needs in one place, Asana might be a pretty worthy contender.
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Workfront is a work management software that can help you track everything from resources to time. It helps in recording ideas, running brainstorming sessions, and documenting important project details. It is an easy-to-use, reliable tool that comes with a wide array of features that help the team streamline their work processes and come up with efficient solutions for the development of the product.
Here are some features that I would like to highlight:
- It comes with options for version control.
- It helps in organizing and storing various media files and documents.
- It has simple drag-and-drop features that will help you easily navigate your way through Workfront’s interface.
- It comes with calendar management and various integrations.
- It allows project management along with active task management.
- Project tracking and automated reporting are also two of the most amazing features of Workfront.
- It is helpful in scheduling various tasks, events, and goals.
- It also comes with some very thought-out search filters to further help you with easy navigation.
Road-mapping Software Platforms
Planning is a crucial part of any product development process. A foolproof plan is sometimes all you need to succeed. Therefore, if you are looking for the best product management tools 2021 can offer, here is an exclusive list of planning tools that will help you build a roadmap and follow it with effect:
GoodDay is one of the finest, most sophisticated tools to create roadmaps and generate effective plans for the development of a successful product. It has some intricate features that help teams create impenetrable plans that are impervious to errors. It helps in implementing the Agile methodology, which, we all know is a highly popular demand from teams nowadays.
Here are all the features that make GoodDay a formidable planning tool for Agile product management:
- It helps review tasks and resources on the go.
- It helps with resources as well as budget management.
- It works on the pillars of numerous collaboration features to ensure transparency and accountability.
- It offers a platform for effective communication within the team as well as with the client.
- Helps define as well as track milestones.
- It helps track expenses and cost overheads.
- It helps in tracking and the overall management of client requirements.
- It also offers active percent-complete tracking.
ProdPad is another planning tool that helps document ideas in a very articulate, not to mention, organized way. It helps collect ideas, define tasks, set priorities, and collaborate with the team in real-time to build effective strategies. It helps you map out a way through the whole project and ensure that you have a successful product at the end.
Here are all the features that make this tool a great one:
- It offers exclusive features to indulge in lean product management.
- It helps provide an easy-to-understand interface where you can easily understand and analyze your product backlog.
- It allows you to build flexible and customizable lean roadmaps.
- It helps take and give actionable feedback on the go.
- It helps in idea management and effective collaboration.
- It helps measure and track client requirements.
- It helps create actionable surveys for receiving helpful feedback.
Another amazing tool that can help you plan out strategies and put down actionable roadmaps is LeanKit by Planview. This tool comes with a ton of features that can help you simplify all the intricacies of collaboration as well as feedback. Along with helping you plan and define workable roadmaps, this tool will also help you implement a number of project management techniques for ease of usage. It helps in visualizing the workflow and defining various complexities that can be easily reviewed and edited over time.
Here is everything that LeanKit does right:
- Helps teams visualize tasks and allows customers as well as clients to keep tabs on the same.
- It helps apply the Agile methodology and maintain transparency with every party involved.
- It shows real-time work status and generates timely notifications.
- Helps identify and define high-value and high-priority tasks.
- It helps leverage past estimates and stats to help you create better plans and prioritize the right client requirements.
- It helps out in identifying risks and bottlenecks with functional Kanban boards.
- Set work in progress limits and other metrics that can help managers and the stakeholders track down the progress down to numbers.
ProductBoard is another tool that helps you map out the path to certain success with your development team and stakeholders. It is a tool that helps clients explain their needs better and be more involved in the production of their products. This way clients and stakeholders always know what is going on and find it easy to decide what they need to initiate next.
Here are all the things this tool can help you achieve:
- Give you a chance to use and implement project management tools and techniques.
- Customize controls and titles for all team members.
- Offers seamless customer support and offers a helpful onboarding process.
- Sync ProductBoard with other development tools such as JIRA and Azure.
- Provide your team with a chance to review the whole project all at once and come together to create actionable plans.
- Comes with usable templates for various roadmaps that serve many purposes at once.
- It offers certain features to strengthen security and privacy.
You might not know this, but the secret to better planning and time management can only be achieved through a reliable Gantt tool. Let’s discover the best of them and find how exactly they can be of use to your team in particular.
InstaGantt is considered one of the best Agile product management tools out there that can help you reinstate the value of time within the team. From scheduling to managing to tracking, there is nothing time-related that you cannot do with InstaGantt. It is a tool trusted by more than 20,000 teams worldwide and here’s why:
- It helps teams easily edit and modify preferences.
- It provides timely, not to mention, informative alters as well as notifications.
- It helps with capacity management and client request management.
- It helps organize tasks, files, and milestones with color-coding preferences.
- It helps define as well as track dependencies.
- It helps in tracking progress and milestones in particular.
- It plays a big role in task management.
- It even helps teams forecast future agendas.
If one were to make a product management tools comparison, one would realize that a Gantt tool such as GanttPRO might be the only tool they need for product management as a whole. This tool helps you make the interface completely your own. With excellent tracking as well as filtering features, it comes out on top in terms of time management tools.
Here’s why it can help you with effective management of product development:
- It provides easy access to customize projects and modify their details.
- Helps you create a functional project calendar that allows easy tracking.
- It comes with a functional board view to view tasks with accessible task cards.
- Offers quick reviewing as well as feedback features.
- It helps you customize your interface according to your needs.
- Provide a bird’s eye view of your projects as well as tasks in a presentable form.
- It provides you a window into the health of the project as well as the progress.
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TeamGantt is another powerful tool that can act as a real asset for your product management needs. With a clientele like Amazon, Nike, and Disney, it is backed up by numerous users that love the ease of use and the interactive interface it comes with.
It has many interesting features that make it a powerful ally for product developers. Some of these include:
- Set start and end dates for various tasks.
- Reorder, reorganize, and prioritize tasks according to user demand.
- Identify bottlenecks and track when the project slips off track.
- Review updates and recent activities on a neat, consolidated platform.
- Offers you to view and analyze all your projects in one timeline view.
- Manage resources, analyze spending, build doable plans under the same roof.
- Review team workload as well as individual workload to make assignments more manageable.
Another kind of tool that is required by high-functioning development teams is a collaboration tool. This is required for boundless communication both within the team and with the clients. Here are some of the tools that I feel are best suited for product management teams that need effective collaboration:
Join.me is a collaboration software that helps teams connect with stakeholders to make product management easier and doable. It provides an array of features that make it possible for the team to attain quick back and forth with the clients. It offers various communication channels that can help record and document ideas and various important decisions.
Here are all the features of Join.me that I would like to highlight:
- Document ideas and brainstorm effectively with easy-to-use whiteboards.
- It offers effortless screen sharing that is helpful for the clients.
- It offers users to customize the tool according to their needs and preferences.
- It offers many white-labeling outlets.
- It allows you to give a unique touch to participant bubbles and the backgrounds.
- It helps you connect with the stakeholders through chats, audio calls, and video calls.
- Join.me comes in handy when you need to hold webinars and video conferences.
- Allows remote access and comes with 24/7 customer support.
#13 Workplace from Facebook
Workplace is the one tool that helps teams actively collaborate through an easy-to-use platform. It has features like chats, group chats, video calling which facilitates a smooth back and forth within the team as well as with the stakeholders. It helps you connect your team across platforms. It is a secure application that ensures the exchange of information in the form of data, media, and/or documents.
Here are all the features that make Workplace an effective customer collaboration tool for product management:
- It helps record brainstorming sessions with discussion boards.
- It helps manage projects and tasks to a certain extent.
- It provides a seamless platform for video conferencing.
- Helps build agendas and manage workload.
- Provides the client a platform for action item tracking.
- Helps clients and stakeholders take votes on important issues.
- Allows you to see your agendas on calendars.
Well, if I were to summarize this article, I would like to shed some light on the fact that product management is not a one-man job. A manager has to share responsibilities with a reliable tool. I hope I came through with my collection of tools to help you run your business smoothly in the year 2021.
I hope you found that most of the tools above can help your team simplify their work processes and become a more efficient and productive team. ProofHub, in this list of product management tools, is one that fits all categories, and caters to all requirements at once.
Most of these tools come with a free trial, therefore, starting with the first tool on this list, you must try all of these product management tools at least once to find one with which you, your team, and your clients would like to settle with.