What’s the purpose of the products we manage?
It’s not a trick question. Their purpose is to deliver value to our customers. And we spend days, weeks and months trying to understand what our customers value and how we can profitably deliver a solution.
Some of this is hard thinking work but much of it is hard work without much thinking needed i.e. the administration, communication and documentation of our ideas, roadmaps and requirements
Most of us do this using a generic office application – perhaps tracking requirements in a spreadsheet and presenting our strategy and roadmap in a slide deck.
But have you ever thought it might not the best way of doing things?
Things easily get missed. Making changes is cumbersome and collaborating is difficult. Not just that, but it’s tough to enforce a standard approach on the company – everyone makes up their own way of doing things.
However, there is a quiet revolution underway. Some software companies have been looking at what we’d value as product managers and have come up with products to help us do a better job. Their tools can help embed best practice approaches and enable product management to be more efficient and effective.
In our most recent survey we investigated the tools used by product managers. We asked questions about the tools they use for 8 different product activities: product strategy, getting insight, tracking requirements, prioritization, roadmapping, creating mockups, project management and metrics & analytics.
Unsurprisingly, the Microsoft Office suite still dominates but there is growing use of tools designed for product managers.
The top 10, in no particular order, are:
Some tools support many product management activities whilst others have a more focused approach.
All the tools are available as SaaS on a trial basis so you can explore them for yourself.
However, we’ve written a report to help with your evaluation and save you days of effort.
The 30-page report includes our recommendations on how to select the best tool for your company.
It also lists the top 50 tools used by product managers. But for the most widely used tools targeted at product managers, our top 10, we went a lot further.
We took out trials on the top 10 tools in order to come to our own conclusions about their strengths. The result is a detailed 1-page description of each of the top 10 and a score with our view of how they perform on our 8 different product management activities.
The report (Top 10 Product Management tools) is for sale now and you can find out more and see the first 6 pages, which includes the executive summary, in the resources section of our website, here.
Director, Product Focus