Which tools do product managers use?
Leading a product from conception to completion is no simple feat. As a product manager, you deserve your own toolkit to help you do all the work that is necessary to deliver a product to market. This includes setting strategy, creating and sharing plans, making prototypes, helping to onboard customers, analyzing user behavior, and gathering customer feedback.
In the past, you had limited resources to help you do this. You relied on spreadsheets, presentation decks, and general project management software to create roadmaps, capture ideas, prioritize features, define requirements, and more. However, these tools were not created with product managers in mind — adding more time-consuming work to an already challenging job.
Today, a wide variety of tools are available to make product management easier. This includes everything from setting product strategy to the tactical work required when building out features, such as creating wireframes. While it is good to have a general knowledge of the various tools that are available, you also have to be selective. After all, searching for new tools and learning how to use them can be time-consuming and expensive. By adopting only the tools that best serve your team's needs, you simplify workflows and stay focused on delivering what you promised.
Getting started with the right tools
How do you evaluate and select the right tools for your team? Start by thinking about the size and stage of your company and product. For example, a small startup with one product manager will likely not need nor have the budget for many tools. You might select a few apps that offer a broad set of functionality and integrations. On the other hand, a large organization may need specialized tools that are designed for sophisticated workstreams and multiple teams.
A good rule of thumb is to choose the least number of tools to meet the needs of your team. So look for tools that offer the broadest set of functionality you need to build and deliver a winning product — no matter which stage of the product lifecycle you are in.
A list of popular product tools
Across the product board, there are quite a few areas from which you can choose tools. Just be sure you are not overextending and creating a bloated product tech stack. In the list below, popular tools are grouped into the following areas:
Product strategy and roadmapping
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Use an analytics platform for digital products to help teams better understand user behavior.
Build a real-time business dashboard visualization.
Learn how users interact with your product and identify key insights to drive customer satisfaction and retention.
Pull data from dozens of sources to display real-time dashboards that show company performance.
Gather data and user decisions into dashboards and reports.
Discover where your traffic is coming from and what people are doing on your site.
Capture every user interaction from web, mobile, and cloud services. Analyze clicks, submits, transactions, emails, and more.
Monitor each element of the user experience with embedded analytics, powered by Google Cloud's data analytics platform.
Track engagement on your mobile site by measuring and tracking user actions.
Collect, translate, and route customer data from any device across any tool and dispatch different data views.
Explore and understand data better with this popular business intelligence software.
Customer feedback and surveys
Capture every idea and implement the best ones to drive innovation. Aha! Ideas provides everything you need for idea management — online ideas portals, empathy sessions to better understand your customers, and in-app feedback to discover what people think of your product while they are actually using it.
Build online surveys and streamline electronic signatures.
Create simple forms and surveys for free.
Create surveys and integrate insights with business apps.
Build surveys, quizzes, and forms.
Design and wireframing
Make flowcharts, wireframes, mockups, user journeys, personas, idea boards, and more. Quickly drag and drop elements from built-in or custom libraries to create your diagrams.
Sketch your UI ideas onto a digital whiteboard or notepad to share with teammates and customers.
Design, prototype, and collaborate in context and in real time. Send out a link to collect feedback, receive change requests, and allow stakeholders to make copy updates in your designs.
Use the icons in this free database to create designs and save time on your work.
Create responsive layouts, design prototypes, and bring everything closer to production.
Turn your web and mobile designs into interactive prototypes and mockups. Use LiveShare, InVision's real-time whiteboarding tool, to collaborate.
Build, link, preview, and share mockups of any website or app.
Create and collaborate on wireframes, mockups, diagrams, and prototypes for any type of project.
Use this design toolkit for your earliest ideas through to your final artwork.
Design and manage your UX with interactive elements and functional prototypes generated from production code.
User experience testing
Test and optimize your digital experiences. Features include AI-powered UX testing, personalization, and automation.
Analyze customer interactions in the form of heatmaps and reports, as well as individual session replays.
Record users’ experiences on your website or app to gain insights into what they interact with.
Get reactions on your designs to test ideas and gather feedback before implementation.
Understand how visitors are using your website and collect user feedback.
See the screen, face, voice, and touches of your users. Record in-house or remotely.
A/B test your landing pages and website and deploy the winning solution.
Monitor and analyze product defects, UX issues, and customer onboarding behavior.
Collect user feedback to improve your website, app, and emails.
Receive videos and ask your target market questions.
Capture screen recordings and physical touch interactions on your app.
Publish in-app messages and walkthroughs to welcome your users and drive them to action.
Guide your users with interactive tours, tips, and tutorials.
Use machine learning to understand and interact with customers and prospects — with 1-to-1 experiences across channels.
Send targeted messages to onboard and activate users and announce new features.
Give users a tour of your app.
Engage users with in-app communications.
Track events, system usage, and user productivity to get insights about how to better engage users.
Ease onboarding, improve support, and reduce training effort for your users.
Collaboration and productivity
Organize and share files securely.
Have secure video, audio, or web meetings from anywhere via your computer or mobile device.
Connect with colleagues and instantly access the information you need — including Gmail, Hangouts, Chat, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms.
Use a virtual whiteboard for brainstorming sessions.
Host audio or video meetings, chat with colleagues, and collaborate in real time. You can share files on any device, store notes and documents, and share calendars.
Create communication channels, send messages, meet over video calls, and integrate with other tools.
Visualize and organize projects with this virtual whiteboard.
Communicate with coworkers and customers via video conferencing, webinars, online conference rooms, and group messaging.
Customize your workflows and streamline deployments with a fully extendible agile development tool.
Plan and ship code using a set of development services, including Azure Boards, Azure Pipelines, and Azure Repos.
Plan sprints, track the team's work, and release software.
Collaborate in real time and view a shared backlog.
Plan, prioritize, and track development work.
With the right tools, you can express the full power of your product management knowledge — so you can build exceptional products that help your customers.
From ideation to launch, better product development happens with Aha! — try it free for 30 days.
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- What is product development software?
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