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17 Best product management tools effective teams (actually) use in 2018
“Product managers are often responsible for the strategy, roadmap, and features that’ll be included in product releases”. That means you’re expected to perform several different tasks, and it can be difficult to pick between tools that are specialized for one task or those that are designed to help you with several product management activities. To give you some ideas on which tool(s) may work for you, Product School examined 17 product management tools that effective teams are actually using in 2018.
Every tool tries to make it easier to do certain things, and as a matter of course makes it difficult for you to do other things. Your choice of tools also supports cultural values or works against them. When you’re looking at using a new tool, Marty Cagan suggests that you examine what behaviors and activities a tool encourages and discourages and make sure that’s in alignment with what you want for your organization.
You may have wondered whether you really need a product management tool. Simon Cast (co-founder of ProdPad) explains that “you don’t need a product management tool to do your job, but there are several benefits to introducing a tool that is worth considering” including to generally become a more effective product manager.
Do you need a summary of the tools product managers commonly use? Product Manager HQ compiled this list of the 50+ recommended tools based on conversations with hundreds of product managers who revealed the tools that they currently use. The tools are organized into categories so you can see the most popular tools used for collaboration, road mapping, and a variety of other activities.
Why program management tools don’t help product managers
You may be tempted to use the project/program management tools that your engineering team uses for your product management work. Unfortunately, as Rich Mironov points out, “Product management work is an essential input to the development process. Program management tools aren’t necessarily a good fit for front-end product/market planning.” Rich suggests some criteria for a useful product management tool that accounts for the different natures of product management and program management activities.