Product Management Tools

What are Product Management Tools?

Product management tools are designed to assist product managers in various stages of product development, launch, and maintenance. These tools streamline processes, facilitate collaboration, and provide insights to ensure the successful delivery of products to the market.

What ultimately defines a successful delivery? The features of a product match what customers really want. A winning product strategy framework enables product teams to create something that customers are eager to buy or use, and the right product management tool can help facilitate this.

Importance of Product Management Tools

Effective product management is crucial for businesses aiming to stay competitive and meet customer needs in constantly evolving markets. Product management tools play a pivotal role in this process by offering several key benefits:

  • Streamlining workflows: Centralizing communication, task management, and documentation ensures that everyone involved in the product development process is on the same page, reducing misunderstandings and delays.
  • Enhancing collaboration: Collaboration among cross-functional teams is essential for successful product development. These tools allow teams to share ideas, feedback, and updates in real-time regardless of their geographical locations.
  • Prioritizing features and requirements: With the multitude of tasks that go into product development, prioritization is critical. Product management tools often include features such as backlog management and prioritization frameworks, helping product managers make informed decisions about what features to build next.
  • Tracking progress and performance: Monitoring the progress of product development initiatives and tracking key performance metrics is essential for assessing success and making data-driven decisions. Product management tools offer dashboards and reporting functionalities that provide insights into project status, performance metrics, and user feedback.
  • Iterating improvements: Continuous improvement is at the heart of successful product management. These tools enable product managers to gather feedback from users, analyze data, and iterate on the product accordingly. This iterative approach ensures that the product can keep at pace with changing market demands and user needs over time.
  • Enhancing customer satisfaction: Product management tools facilitate the collection and analysis of customer feedback, enabling teams to identify pain points, preferences, and opportunities for improvement. By incorporating customer insights into product decisions and iterations, these tools help create products that better meet customer needs and preferences, ultimately leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In short, product management tools are indispensable for modern businesses looking to efficiently manage their product development process.

Key Components

Effective product management tools typically consist of several components that are intuitive, user-friendly, and customizable to accommodate the unique requirements of each product team and organization. The chosen tool should support the entire product development lifecycle, from ideation and planning to execution and iteration. While these components may vary depending on the specific needs and preferences of your product team, some critical components include:

Roadmap Visualization

A product roadmap is a visual representation of the strategic direction and planned initiatives for a product over time. An effective product management tool should provide features for creating and sharing dynamic roadmaps that align with strategic objectives, customer feedback, and market trends. This allows product managers to communicate the product vision, prioritize features, and track progress towards key milestones.

Task and Workflow Management

This functionality helps product teams organize and track the execution of product development initiatives. This includes features for creating, assigning, and tracking tasks, setting deadlines and milestones, and monitoring progress. Integration with agile methodologies, such as Scrum or Kanban, may also be included to support iterative development and delivery.

Collaboration and Communication

Collaboration and communication tools facilitate communication and collaboration among cross-functional teams involved in product development. This component includes features for real-time messaging, file sharing, commenting, and collaboration on documents. These tools enable teams to share ideas, provide feedback, and collaborate effectively regardless of their location.

Feedback Management

Feedback management functionalities help product teams collect, organize, and analyze feedback from various sources, including customers, stakeholders, and internal team members. This includes features for capturing feedback through surveys, feedback forms, support tickets, and user interviews, as well as tools for categorizing, prioritizing, and analyzing feedback to inform product decisions.

Analytics and Reporting

Analytics and reporting capabilities provide insights into product performance, user behavior, and market trends. This includes features for tracking key performance metrics, generating reports and dashboards, and conducting data analysis to inform product strategy and decision-making. Integration with analytics platforms, such as Amplitude or Mixpanel, help bolster existing data sources (and keep all product data in one place).

Integration and Customization

This enables product teams to tailor the tool to their specific needs and preferences and integrate it with other essential tools and systems used within the organization. This includes features for customizing workflows, fields, and dashboards, as well as APIs and integration capabilities with project management software, collaboration platforms, and CRM systems.

Different Approaches to Product Management

Let’s begin by debunking a common misconception: Product management is vastly different from project management. 

To ensure your team remains aligned with the product vision, it’s important to distinguish between the two. Project management focuses on executing specific tasks within set parameters like scope, time, and resources, aiming for a clear beginning and end. On the other hand, product management is about continuously developing and improving a product throughout its lifecycle. It involves strategic planning, market analysis, and ongoing optimization to meet customer needs and business objectives. Unlike projects, products are ongoing, and product management spans from idea generation to delivery and beyond.

In product management, you should be prioritizing work based on outcomes, not output. “Checking off” tasks is not what effective product management is about; rather, product management is about improving business outcomes like increased revenue and customer satisfaction. That is why we do not recommend relying solely on project / task management tools.

By leveraging the right tools for true product management, product managers can effectively plan, execute, collaborate on, and iterate upon their products to ensure successful delivery and alignment with customer needs and market demands.

General Purpose Tools

Project Management Tools

These help users organize and execute specific, well-defined tasks with a clear beginning and end. Product managers can utilize project management tools to ensure that projects stay on track, deadlines are met, and resources are effectively allocated throughout the product development lifecycle. Features typically include:

  • Task assignment 
  • Scheduling and due dates
  • Progress tracking

Collaboration Tools

Collaboration tools are instrumental in fostering communication among cross-functional teams involved in product development, particularly your customer-facing teams that may be sitting on important user feedback. These tools provide platforms for team members to share ideas, documents, feedback, and updates in real-time. Features typically include: 

  • Enterprise messaging
  • File sharing and content management
  • Video conferencing
  • Integrations with other productivity tools to enhance teamwork

Purpose-Built Product Management Tools

Product Roadmap Tools

Product roadmap software is essential for outlining the strategic direction of a product over time. They enable product managers to visualize and communicate the planned features, enhancements, and milestones for their product. Features typically include: 

  • Timeline views
  • Prioritization capabilities 
  • Integrations with project management tools to ensure alignment between the product roadmap and execution

Feedback Management Tools

Feedback management tools are designed to capture, organize, and analyze feedback from various sources, including customers, stakeholders, and internal team members. These tools enable product managers to gather insights into user needs, preferences, and pain points, helping prioritize product enhancements and inform decision-making. Features typically include: 

  • Feedback collection forms
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Reporting dashboards to facilitate data-driven product improvements

Criteria to Choose an Effective Tool

Choosing your solution does not happen in a vacuum. It requires both cross-departmental communication and balancing the realities of your business. Be sure to carefully evaluate the following factors.

Business Goals and Objectives

Before selecting a product management tool, it’s essential to align it with your organization’s overarching business goals and objectives. Consider how the tool will support these goals, whether it’s improving time-to-market, enhancing customer satisfaction, or increasing revenue. Ensure that the features and capabilities of the tool directly contribute to achieving these objectives.

  • How does this tool align with our organization’s overall business goals and objectives?
  • What specific outcomes are we aiming to achieve with the implementation of this product management tool?
  • Will this tool help improve time-to-market, enhance customer satisfaction, increase revenue, or achieve other strategic objectives?
  • Can the features and capabilities of the tool be directly tied to contributing to our business goals?
  • How does this tool support our product strategy and roadmap?

Team’s Needs

Understand the specific needs and preferences of your product development team. Consider factors such as team size, composition, workflow processes, and existing tools and systems. Ask for input from team members to identify pain points and desired features in a product management tool. Choose a tool that aligns with the way your team works and provides functionalities that address their specific requirements.

  • What are the specific pain points and challenges that our product development team currently faces?
  • How does our team size and composition impact the selection of a product management tool?
  • What are our team’s workflow processes, and how can a tool support or streamline these processes?
  • What existing tools and systems does our team use, and how will the new product management tool integrate with them?
  • What features and functionalities are essential for our team’s productivity and effectiveness?
  • How can the tool accommodate different roles and responsibilities within our product development team?

Budget Constraints

Evaluate the cost of implementing and maintaining the product management tool against your budget constraints. Consider not only the upfront costs, such as subscription fees or licensing fees, but also any additional expenses for training, support, add-ons, and integrations. Determine the long-term value the tool will provide relative to its cost to see if it offers a reasonable return on investment.

  • What is our budget for implementing and maintaining a product management tool?
  • What are the upfront costs associated with this tool, including subscription fees, licensing fees, and setup costs?
  • Are there any additional expenses for training, support, add-ons, or integrations?
  • What is the long-term value that this tool will provide relative to its cost?
  • Can we justify the investment in this tool based on its potential return on investment and impact on our business objectives?

Flexibility and Integration Capabilities

Look for a product management tool that offers flexibility and scalability to accommodate changes in your product development processes and organizational structure over time. Assess the tool’s integration capabilities with other essential tools and systems used within your organization, such as project management software, collaboration platforms, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Seamless integration with existing tools will facilitate data exchange, streamline workflows, and enhance overall productivity.

  • How flexible is this product management tool in adapting to changes in our product development processes and organizational structure?
  • What customization options are available to tailor the tool to our specific needs and preferences?
  • How well does the tool integrate with other essential tools and systems used within our organization, such as project management software, collaboration platforms, and CRM systems?
  • Are there any limitations or constraints regarding integration with existing tools or systems?
  • Will seamless integration with other tools facilitate data exchange, streamline workflows, and enhance overall productivity?
  • How scalable is the tool to accommodate future growth and changes in our organization?

Tools to Have in Your Product Stack

To encourage a holistic, centralized process, it would be ideal to find a product lifecycle management tool that combined all of the above four tool types and their capabilities. One that organizes tasks and tracks deadlines; outlines and communicates the product roadmap; fosters cross-functional collaboration; and captures, organizes, and analyzes feedback from various sources—all in one place. 

Consider the following best practices and integrations to create the most robust product management tech stack, with as few siloed systems as possible. 

Product Strategy Template

Being an effective product manager involves advocating for the customer’s needs while also advancing the broader objectives of the business. If you’re managing with limited resources, you’ll need to prioritize some tasks and features over others. This is where product strategy becomes essential. A product strategy template aims to provide a tangible approach to the product strategy process. 


To maintain a single source of truth for all product-related information, your product management tool must be able to integrate with a mix of applications—both ones your development and customer-facing teams are already accustomed to using, and new ones you would like to introduce into your tech stack to stay on the cutting-edge. 

Customer Feedback and Segmentation Apps

Regardless of which product management tool you choose, it’s important to be able to consolidate product ideas, requests, and feedback from a wide array of internal and external stakeholders. Importing customer data into your product management platform enables you to develop high-priority features that address genuine issues faced by each company and user segment.

You’re probably already relying on one or many CRMs, communication platforms, or survey tools. Your product management tool should be able to easily integrate with them so teams can continue working in what they are used to. Here’s a list of some mission-critical apps to consider integrations with, for you to pick and choose based on your business use cases:

Collaboration and Media Embed Apps

Hosting designs, prototypes, brainstorms, and videos in the same place your product team holds feature ideas helps eliminate silos. Collaborate with colleagues and integrate your chosen product management tool with the solutions you’re already using for daily work. Here’s a list of some apps to consider integrations with:

Delivery Apps

Wouldn’t it be nice to prioritize your features within your product management tool of choice (based on the insights inspired by the customer feedback integrations, of course) and then push them straight into development? This saves ample time spent aligning your product team and roadmaps with engineering and dev. Here’s a list of some apps to consider:


Only Productboard allows for all of the above integrations while also bundling all four product management tool categories into one with the following capabilities…

Workflow Management

Productboard complements otherwise limiting project management tools by providing a centralized platform for prioritizing and managing product-related tasks and initiatives. Productboard helps product managers prioritize features, define requirements, and track progress, ensuring alignment with strategic objectives and customer needs. Integration with project management tools like Jira allows for seamless coordination between product management and project execution.

Product Roadmapping

Productboard offers robust capabilities for visualizing and communicating the strategic direction of a product. With Productboard, product managers can create dynamic roadmaps that align with customer feedback, strategic objectives, and market trends. The platform facilitates the prioritization of features, tracks their development status, and enables stakeholders to understand the product’s trajectory at a glance.


Productboard enhances collaboration among cross-functional teams involved in product development by providing a centralized platform for sharing insights, feedback, and ideas. Through features like customizable boards, commenting, and tagging, Productboard fosters collaboration among product managers, designers, engineers, and other stakeholders. Real-time updates and notifications keep team members informed, facilitating efficient communication and decision-making.  Plus, integrations with a wide array of apps means that non-product team members can more easily communicate with the development and delivery side of the business.

Real-Time Customer and Stakeholder Feedback

One of Productboard’s key strengths lies in its feedback management capabilities. The platform enables product managers to collect, organize, and analyze customer feedback from various sources, including emails, support tickets, surveys, and user interviews. Productboard’s feature prioritization capabilities allow teams to categorize feedback, prioritize requests, and identify trends, ensuring that product decisions are informed by user insights. Integration with customer support systems and communication channels streamlines the feedback collection process, making it easier to capture valuable input from customers.

Request a demo or try Productboard for free to see how we help you get the right products to market, faster.