A product management role can include keeping in touch and working with many different departments at the same time.
Considering that the responsibilities can vary a lot depending on the needs of an organization and the skills of the product manager, the tool-stack of a PM will also show great changes.
In this article, we gathered the most fundamental tools and software that great product managers make use of while building great products that customers love. Here is the curated list of best software and tools for Product Managers to add to their stacks in 2023.
User research is one of the most fundamental phases of a product or feature lifecycle, which requires a constant effort along the whole product journey.
With the help of the following tools, you can conduct user researches much needed to analyze your user’s problems, needs, and behaviors.
Intercom is a perfect solution that embeds all user-related tools, such as chatboxes, email campaigns or help-articles to gather the valuable user insights you need.
Zendesk is also one of the most famous customer engagement platforms helping you solve, track, and prioritize customer support tickets.
In addition, EnjoyHQ can help you gather all your data in one place, fasten your analysis process, and share information easily with your teammates.
Especially for web products and their PMs, Hotjar is an indispensable platform.
Hotjar’s heatmaps allow you to see where the user attention is directed, their session recordings let you watch users in action, and their on-site surveys help you get feedback at the right moment.
Every insight gathered from these different tools can be combined to shed light on your product strategy, see what’s working or not, and establish a roadmap to perfect the user experience.
Lastly, we have Hotjar. We’ve already mentioned a few of our software’s features —Session Recording tools and Heatmaps— but our users also get access to features such as feedback widgets and on-site surveys, aka those small pop-ups that ask website visitors questions about the user experience (you might have encountered one while reading this page).
All of these features allow our users to get a much better understanding of their customers, in one centralized place. This is golden information for PMs, who can then use it to inform their product strategies.
Moreover, the following survey tools can help you gather any information you need from your users as a tailor-made solution;
- Google Forms,
- Survey Anyplace.
One of our favorite solutions for collecting valuable customer information is monitoring live sessions of users while they’re using your platforms.
Fullstory and Hotjar are two amazing tools that can help you keep track of the user experience and create User Stories accordingly to tackle any UX problems you encounter.
Product adoption refers to helping your users get acquainted with and used to your product. Mostly done in the most crucial part of a user’s journey; onboarding, product adoption is a key to growth.
UserGuiding is a web-based user onboarding software that helps you create great user onboarding processes and turn your users into masters of your product in a matter of minutes.
And the fact that the tool is a %100 code-free makes it an irreplaceable addition to any product manager’s arsenal of tools.
Your (product) intuition that you have developed over the years is your best companion when it comes to deciding in which direction the product is going to go, but, when it comes to validating those options, data is our best friend. Here are the best data management tools in the market that will help you with that.
Google Analytics is of course the first option that one will consider when it comes to tracking user analytics for free. With the help of GA, you can oversee your online traffic, conversions, and gather tailored user insights.
If you would like to get serious with your data and go into more detail, however, Mixpanel will be your go-to option.
Optimizely is another great tool for product managers to build better products with the help of A/B tests and experimentation solutions like fast prototyping and in-depth feature tests.
Depending on how you run your software projects, Scrum or Kanban, you can utilize many advanced task management tools out there to manage your projects and communicate your plans and progress with your teammates.
“Save 1 day every week with ClickUp.”
Although it sounds like an exaggeration, we’ve found it very true with our experience with ClickUp.
We’ve tried many tools for managing the tasks in both product and marketing team, and ClickUp is certainly our favorite.
It has tons of features for a better collaboration experience, numerous options for automation to take your task management to the next level, and a great product experience to make everyone’s work-life simpler.
Producter – for product-led teams
Producter is an all-in-one product management software for product-oriented companies.
It offers teams a complete cycle between collecting feedback, managing tasks, tracking roadmap, and sharing updates. Producter provides all departments a collaborative workspace run by strategic business direction compatible with the product vision.
Nifty – for the smart PMs
Nifty is a cloud-based time tracking and project management solution used by teams looking to manage projects, tasks, and milestones along with seeing detailed reports for time tracked on specific initiatives.
Once a task is opened a user can click on the play button on the top right-hand corner and time will begin to start ticking immediately and appear on the specific task which the time was tracked.
When a manager or team member exports all of the completed tasks a detailed log of time tracked by individual team members and task identification numbers will appear so you can know exactly who completed what and how long it took.
When it comes to Product Management, Atlassian’s Jira is also the go-to option for many Product Managers, offering a flexible and scalable agile project management ability to help you plan, track and manage your tasks, stories, epics, and even bugs with ease.
Owned by Atlassian, Trello is another great project management tool that functions as a virtual bulletin board visualizing your progress on certain tasks depending on their status as pending, in progress, or finished.
As Jira fits better with Scrum methodology, Trello fits perfectly with Kanban practices.
You can also utilize Asana for Kanban, another great task management tool, which offers timeline modes, helping you keep track of progress from start to finish in a timely manner.
Especially with the latest pandemic all over the world, companies of all sizes making a transformation to remote working, which raises the importance of centralized team communication even more.
Slack is surely the most prominent team collaboration hub where each department can create their own channels to discuss relevant issues, and help you create a great remote working environment with the help of countless integration options that Slack offers with other remote tools.
Zoom is the latest leading video-based remote communication tool that facilitated immensely the remote meetings for both at the individual and organizational level.
Google meet is a great solution for remote communication since it is a web-based service not requiring any installments and all you need is pass on the meeting link to start any virtual meeting right away.
WIREFRAMING AND PROTOTYPING
Wireframing and prototyping have the utmost importance while communicating early-stage software development ideas. Developers will understand better what they’re building, designers will have something to work upon and content creation won’t have to wait until something tangible is ready.
As a great design-collaboration tool, Zeplin brings together the development and design teams.
As our favorite design stack tool is Zeplin in UserGuiding; Proto.io, Balsamic, and Sketch are other great wireframing and prototyping tools that PMs can make use of while giving shape to their early-stage ideas.
Miro & LucidChart
In addition, Miro and LucidChart offer highly intuitive web-based solutions for diagramming that you can utilize for visualizing your product strategy and align your team around it.
Software for roadmapping is an indispensable tool in any PMs’ toolbox. Here are some of many roadmapping tools in the market facilitating this fundamental process.
Aha is a visual product road-mapping tool that will help you plan ahead your product strategy in ease and prioritize new features and tasks effectively.
Roadmap is another prominent roadmapping tool in the market helping product managers create visual and interactive roadmaps for a more effective communication and team alignment around software projects.
SOURCE CODE REPOSITORY AND DOCUMENTATION
Source code repositories help you safely store your product’s code in an organized way, collaborate on your source code, and guide you through the product development lifecycle.
Github is the best-known remote code repository as the largest community for software development.
Especially for the open-source community, Bitbucket constitutes a more flexible yet free-to-use alternative.
Confluence is a collaboration wiki tool from Atlassian that helps product managers collaborate and share information assets around their projects. Being ready at hand to be easily integrated with Jira, Confluence is the go-to option for product teams running on agile principles.
Doesn’t end here…
These are only the tools that I and the product team adopt/have adopted in the past at UserGuiding. You can get started with this list but there are certainly many alternatives and countless other solutions that you can try and achieve value with.
Product School, which is a product manager training platform, has recently created an interactive visualization of product management tools that doesn’t just offer a wide variety of options but is also fun to use. It’s called “Productverse” and you can access it here.
Frequently Asked Questions
😎 Who is a Product Manager?
A Product Manager is someone who is job is to manage every aspect of the product from development to customer service, ensuring the product’s success.
❓What are the responsibilities of a product manager?
A product manager should ensure the communication between every team related to the product in order to make the product market-ready and pain-point free.
🔧 What type of tools should a product manager use?
User research, product adoption, analytics, project management, team communication, and roadmapping tools are the most popular type of tools among product managers.