Product managers are ninjas at organizing information and resources, keeping track of deadlines, and knowing what needs to be done next. They are the glue that keeps a product team together and ensures everyone is working towards the same goal.
But even ninjas may fall short without the right tools. It can be challenging to decide which tool is the “sword” that will help you slay your product management challenges. Do you need a suite of tools or just a simple task manager?
Let’s explore the best product management tools to use in 2022. We will cover the top tool for each stage of the product development cycle.
Top Ideation Tools
Ideation is a brainstorming stage in a product development cycle where you generate ideas for new products or features. The goal is to come up with as many ideas as possible, no matter how crazy they seem. Since many ideas will bloom and die in this stage, it’s crucial to have a tool to help you capture and track them quickly. Therefore, we have rounded for you the top 2 ideation tools:
Craft has a reputation for being one of the best agile project management tools on the market. It’s also great for product ideation. With Craft, you can track every aspect of your product development cycle in one place. In addition, it provides a collaborative digital space where your product development and design teams can share critical information like product updates.
The top features of Craft.io that support ideation include:
- User story mapping
- Product road mapping
- Feature management
- Integration with existing tools like Jira, Slack, and Adobe XD
If you’re enrolled in an online product management bootcamp you’ll gain experience with Craft and other latest project management tools.
Mural is a digital workspace that helps distributed teams collaborate visually. It’s perfect for product managers who need to capture and track ideas quickly. With Mural, you can create digital whiteboards where you can post ideas, images, and notes. Mural also offers a variety of templates to help you get started, like customer journey maps and SWOT analysis.
The top features of Mural that support ideation include:
- Real-time collaboration
- Visual brainstorming
- Drag-and-drop interface
- Integration with tools like Asana, Zoom, and Dropbox
Top Requirements Gathering Tools
When you have a great product idea, getting feedback from stakeholders and users to validate it is essential. It is where requirements gathering comes in. In this stage, you’ll need to gather information about the problem you’re trying to solve and the needs of your users. It will help you determine if your idea is feasible and worth pursuing.
3. Google Forms
Google Forms is a free online survey tool part of the G Suite productivity suite. It’s an excellent option for product managers who need to gather user feedback quickly and efficiently. With Google Forms, you can create custom surveys with various question types. You can also share your survey with a link or embed it on your website.
The top features of Google Forms that support requirements gathering include:
- Gantt charts
- Real-time collaboration
- Prioritization frameworks
Although collaboration can be challenging with Google Forms, its easy access and no licenses make it an attractive choice.
Notion is an all-in-one workspace that helps you organize and track your work. It’s perfect for product managers who need to keep track of requirements, features, and user feedback in one place. With Notion, you can create custom databases to track whatever information you need. You can also label, sort, and filter your information for easy access.
The most highlighted features of Notion are:
- Kanban boards
- Customizable databases
- Task prioritization
- Shared team calendar
- Integration with tools like Slack, Zapier, and Google Calendar
Top Prototyping Tools
A prototype is a working model of your product idea. It’s a great way to get feedback from users and stakeholders about the feasibility of your idea. In this stage, you’ll need to create a prototype that accurately represents your product. The best prototyping tool will have a designer-first UX.
5. Adobe XD
Adobe XD is a vector-based design and prototyping tool. It’s perfect for product managers who need to create high-fidelity prototypes. You can create custom designs with various features and interactions with Adobe XD. You can also add animations and transitions to your prototypes to make them more realistic.
The features Adobe XD is known for are:
- Design augmentations
- Wireframe templates
- Rapid prototyping
- Integration with Photoshop and Illustrator
Figma has taken the product world by storm with its ability to test and design prototypes before the UX is finalized. Collaboration is done in real-time, which is a massive advantage for product managers. Your team can be on the same page, making changes and commenting as you go. The active community means there are always new plugins and integrations being developed.
Figma is known for its:
- Advanced prototyping capabilities
- Design handoff
- Version control
Top Launch Management Tools
Launching a product is a complex process that requires coordination and planning. In this stage, you’ll need to manage all the moving parts of your launch and ensure everything goes according to plan. The best launch management tool will help you with collaboration and iteration.
ProductBoard is a product management tool that helps you launch products successfully. Since it’s customer-centric, it helps you get insights from your users and stakeholders. It also has a flexible launch template that you can customize to fit your needs.
With high integration powers, ProductBoard allows you to extract customer feedback from tools like Zendesk and Slack.
The best features of ProductBoard are:
- Unlimited roadmaps for stakeholders
- Customizable road mapping
- Customer feedback portals
8. Pivotal Tracker
Ensuring your teams are performing at their best is crucial to the success of your product launch. Pivotal Tracker provides you with all the data and insights you need. It also allows for real-time collaboration to make changes on the fly.
Pivotal Tracker is known for its:
- Product backlog management
- Multi-project workspaces
- Iteration planning
Product management is a lengthy process. There are many moving parts, and it’s vital to have the right tools to manage them. Besides these tools, you’ll need excellent analyzing and interpreting skills. Above all, you’ll need to think like a user and understand their needs. Then, with the right tools and skills, you’ll be able to launch your product successfully.