If you’re a product manager, you already know the importance of product management tools. You cannot deny that managing product-related data is one of the most difficult aspects of the business.
This is particularly true in big, remote, diverse teams, where each team member must be able to obtain allocated projects, backlog data, and other data. That too, without having to bother their squad leader every few minutes.
The reason? Because of conflicting organizational objectives (56.4%), insufficient time (50.8%), and an absence of position definition (35%). However, most project managers spend 52% of their effort on “fire-fighting” tasks that aren’t scheduled. That is a grave situation considering the challenges that they face.
The right project management tools help you overcome these challenges and save you a ton of effort and time.
However, do you know how to choose one? This article will talk about how to pick the best product management tools that suit your needs.
How to Pick the Best Product Management Tools That Suit Your Needs
As with almost everything that you buy, there are a few prerequisites that you must keep in mind before you choose a product management tool. These factors are as follows:
- Decide on a budget
- Look for collaborative features
- Factor in offline features
- Access your work on your smartphone
1. Decide on a Budget
Cost is probably the first thing you must look at before buying a product management tool. It is important that you decide on a budget and look for a tool that fits it. However, sometimes you might want to step up your budget a bit if you are looking for specific functionalities that do not come with a basic plan.
2. Look for Collaborative Features
The importance of collaborative features in product management tools cannot be overstated. Team members need quick and trustworthy web software to exchange and evaluate up-to-date documents and other material. This is important for the success of any innovative product team. When the workforce is operating remotely, this sort of technology becomes even more valuable.
3. Factor in Offline Features
You do not want to lose your work progress when the wi-fi is down, or you are traveling and do not have internet access. Offline features ensure that you can work on your product or record an impromptu idea from anywhere.
4. Access Your Work on Your Smartphone
It is not always convenient to access the software from a PC or a laptop. That is why it is important for a product management tool to have mobile support. In fact, mobile support increases business productivity by up to 34%.
Key Features to Look for in Product Management Tools
Now that you know how to pick a product management tool let us see what specific features will prove beneficial in your product journey.
Maze’s list of product management tools will help in picking out one for your business. The tools mentioned in the list are divided by functionality to make the decision easier for you.
Here are the key features that you can look for in a product management tool:
1. Add Feedback and Ideas With Roadmapping Tools
Investing in several hours and developing a robust product roadmap is among the cornerstones to effective product development.
Successful project planning tools are a lot more than just a Gantt plot or a whiteboard doodle. To actually get your project off the ground, you’ll need roadmapping software that is hypervisual, collaborative, and dynamic.
2. Stay Up to Date With Analytics
Setting objectives is one thing. Keeping them is one thing; executing on them is quite another.
You’ll need a sophisticated set of reporting tools to assess team performance to verify whether the product you’re producing is on pace to release on schedule and under budget, as well as satisfy the goals it was designed to meet.
A good product management tool offers everything from fundamental reporting skills like expenditure monitoring and performance reports to more sophisticated solutions like workload and staff capacity planning.
3. Communicate at the Early Development Stage Through Prototyping and Wireframing
When it comes to presenting early-stage development concepts, prototyping and wireframing are two of the most important tools.
Using these technologies helps developers to comprehend what they’re making, designers to build something, and content production to move forward without having to wait for something substantial to be ready.
4. Don’t Forget File Hosting Functionality
When it comes to creating a product, you need to make sure that everyone can access and exchange important papers. It must be conducted in a secure way, with only individuals participating in the project having access.
If you really want your team to thrive in delivering a quality product, you’ll need file hosting features that allow them to save and exchange these crucial documents.
5. Replace Manual Work With Automation
Getting your product management software platform up to date may be a big-time sink for a product manager.
The same is true for your team, which can result in a decrease in performance. It can even result in a refusal to even open the system and make essential modifications once work is concluded.
Neither of these is ideal for project management. Therefore you should focus on finding a product management solution that allows you to automate as much human labor as possible.
6. Leverage the Benefits of Integrations With External Software
The software project management procedure is complicated, and it usually necessitates the usage of several tools and software systems.
Lack of a robust set of integrations means a lot of tedious and unnecessary work.
To be honest, no one likes swapping between a bunch of browsers and hopping between platforms from time to time.
A good product management tool with integrations for popular tools like Slack, Gmail, Dropbox, etc., will save you from such issues.
We have come to the end of this article. Hopefully, this guide will help you pick a functional and efficient product management tool for your business. Remember, product management tools are your best bet at improving your product’s lifecycle and quality.
It takes a lot of effort to take a product from idea to execution. As a product manager, you’re responsible for staying in touch with various departments while also working on your own.
Since a product manager’s duties might change based on the company’s demands, the tools he or she employs are crucial in balancing out everything.