Product management tools support the seven stages of product management: ideas, specifications, product roadmaps, prioritization, delivery, analytics, and feedback. They include features designed specifically for a product manager and focus on managing data, capturing and iterating ideas, prioritizing features, and communicating short and long-term product strategies.
The best tools ensure product development activities provide the greatest value to the customer and the business. Product managers interact with various roles, including stakeholders, customers, and the development team, and the tools they use must support collaboration and include a wide range of product management templates.
This guide provides an overview of the 13 best product management platforms to help you determine which ones are right for your team.
1. Best for prioritizing ideas and building roadmaps: Jira Product Discovery
Jira Product Discovery is a single, centralized tool for product managers to capture and prioritize ideas and align stakeholders on the product roadmap. It supports collaborative idea generation, prioritization, evaluating impact versus effort for backlog refinement, and sprint planning.
2. Best for issue tracking and task management: Jira Software
Jira Software helps teams break down complex projects into manageable tasks for effective backlog refinement and sprint planning. It provides real-time visual status updates so teams can respond to changes and roadblocks as they arise.
Teams using Jira Product Discovery can seamlessly connect ideas to epics in Jira Software. This provides visibility and context for team members through every phase of the product development life cycle.
3. Best for documentation and knowledge management: Confluence
Confluence seamlessly integrates knowledge management into the product development life cycle. A central repository houses all documents—customer surveys, requirements, specifications, product strategy, and other important information—and supports team collaboration.
Confluence provides a collaborative space for teams to keep all project information up-to-date and discoverable. This makes it easy to include text, images, code, and tables and attach other files. It also offers a variety of templates so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.
4. Best for virtual meetings: Zoom
With Zoom virtual meetings, geographically dispersed team members can experience a collaborative environment as if they were in the same room. For product managers, this tool is essential for gathering client feedback, presenting ideas, sharing product strategies and roadmaps, and helping the development team stay focused on the success of the customer.
5. Best for real-time communication: Slack
Slack offers easy access and real-time communication with targeted team members. When meeting with customers, Slack allows product managers to quickly gather updates, ask questions, and find information from members who may not be on the call without interrupting the flow of the meeting.
Slack also lets product managers define sub-teams of individuals who are working on the same tasks or who have specialized skills.
6. Best for async collaboration and feedback: Loom
Asynchronous communication has become a reliable product management approach. With Loom, product managers can turn informational reports, such as strategy and roadmap overviews, and project statuses, into videos that team members and stakeholders can fit into their own schedules. Tools such as Loom help geographically dispersed teams remain informed and included, no matter what time zone they are in.
7. Best for ideation and brainstorming: Confluence whiteboards
Confluence whiteboards support brainstorming, visualizing, and turning ideas into action in both real-time and asynchronous environments. With Stamps, Votes, Timers, and other features, teams share ideas and make collaborative decisions. They can connect decisions to Jira issues and other project areas without leaving the whiteboard.
8. Best for A/B testing: Optimizely
Customers often require usability testing, and testing on live traffic can deliver fast results. For teams who develop web applications, Optimizely’s A/B testing features offer powerful multi-page experimentation options for deep insights, including predefined conversion goals when setting up tests.
9. Best for smart goal tracking and stakeholder communication: Atlas
The easiest part of achieving your goal should be tracking its progress. Atlas helps track parent and sub-goals across the company. Whether you use OKRs, SMART goals, or KPIs, Atlas is ideal for progress tracking and stakeholder communication.
Atlas goal tracking streamlines project communication by identifying who is responsible for and contributing to each goal. It also lets you group goals by product, team, or timeframe, making it easier to follow them to completion.
10. Best for connecting Dev and Ops: Open DevOps
For teams who build and operate their own solutions, such as internal applications, Open DevOps brings all the relevant tools into one location. With tools such as Jira Software, Confluence, Bitbucket, Opsgenie, and others, product managers can select the right tools to quickly focus the team on releasing products. The seamless integration of Open DevOps features bridges the gap between development and operations.
11. Best for coordinating with non-tech stakeholders: Jira Work Management
Jira Work Management allows teams to manage projects across the company, giving members real-time project data. Jira Work Management features let you create dependencies and build automation with tasks in Jira Software. This is important when coordinating with non-development team members working on the project because their work is often hidden from the process. Integrating non-development tasks provides a visual workflow of all the work associated with the project, not just development.
12. Best for data collection: Amplitude
Good product management decisions require collecting and analyzing data. Amplitude integrates with commonly used marketing, collaboration, and communications tools. It enables product managers to collect, store, and analyze data across the entire ecosystem. This makes it easier to compare results and manage discoveries.
13. Best for design and prototyping: Figma
Figma is a popular user interface design tool for brainstorming and creating prototypes and wireframes. It includes a variety of helpful templates, such as project proposals and OKRs.
One of the top choices for product design teams, Figma is a powerful collaboration platform especially useful for product managers with varied responsibilities.
Ensure success with the best product management tools
The best product management tools are customized for the demands of product planning and strategy. They should offer effortless activity and information linking across the product life cycle.
Jira Product Discovery enables agile teams to capture and prioritize ideas, align stakeholders, and track projects to success. It’s an all-in-one tool for product managers with the features to discover, plan, and prioritize development work and measure the outcome.
Jira’s collaboration platform gives product teams a central hub for managing every phase of the product development life cycle. With Confluence, cross-functional collaboration is smooth at every step. Jira Software’s task-tracking capabilities provide real-time project status and allow teams to recognize and solve roadblocks early.
With Jira Product Discovery, Jira Software, and Confluence, your team can work together in a collaborative, transparent, and data-driven environment.
Product management tools: Frequently asked questions
What are the benefits of using product management tools?
In the past, product managers relied on spreadsheets and scheduling tools to communicate strategy and roadmaps. Today, there are a variety of tools that make it easier to capture ideas, develop user stories, and define requirements.
These tools bring consistency to a product management system and help communicate the product vision to everyone across the company. This helps new features launch on time and meet the customer’s needs.
What tools does a product manager need?
Product management tools help managers prioritize and communicate the product plan. Tools that support vision, strategy, and direction include:
- Strategy and roadmaps: Jira Product Discovery helps product managers define strategy and create roadmaps with built-in templates—all of which are customizable. You can adjust roadmap views to provide the right level of information appropriate to the stakeholder.
- Analytics, reporting, and customer feedback: Using a central repository, such as Confluence, allows product managers to house everything—customer surveys, requirements, reports, and more—in one location. This makes analyzing input easier, especially with cross-linking and tagging capabilities.
- Collaboration and messaging: Confluence whiteboards and real-time messaging tools, like Slack, reduce the need for formal meetings and let teams instantly share information, answer questions, and keep the project moving forward.
- Idea capturing, prioritizing, and planning: With Jira Product Discovery, teams can generate ideas, break complex projects into manageable tasks, and prioritize them for sprint planning, all of which speed up time to market.
Project tracking: Tools such as Jira Software provide real-time visual status updates to help teams respond to changes and roadblocks as they arise. They give teams visibility and context through every phase of the product development life cycle.
Jira Product Discovery can help product managers identify the purpose, features, and priorities of the product and then communicate the plan to stakeholders.
What features should product management software have?
Project management software, such as Jira, should include features that help product managers prioritize and plan product features based on customer needs. These include:
- Collaborative idea generation and prioritization
- Impact versus effort assessments
- Strategy and roadmap templates
- Requirements templates
Backlog refinement and sprint planning
True end-to-end product management offers features for understanding customer needs, generating ideas, building roadmaps, and defining specifications. Jira Product Discovery helps product managers successfully engage the product team, stakeholders, and customers.