Besides the standard product management tools that every successful product manager uses; spreadsheets, word processors and their voice. There are some pretty beneficial tools that could make your life so much easier.
Despite most people’s perception of product management, our job involves a lot more than writing user stories and acceptance criteria to accompany the features we want to deliver for our customers. Gathering insights, analysing data, reviewing customer feedback and prioritisation would all benefit from software built specifically for these tasks. Therefore;
These are the Product Management Tools i’m using daily
Project Management Tools
Tracking user stories and their acceptance criteria is achievable with a spreadsheet, but transferring these into a project management tool like Jira, will allow you share requirements among the wider team, prioritise the backlog in a suitable and clearer way, work with Agile designed environments that make the process of agile delivery smoother.
You can work with ‘boards’ which ensure you as the Product Owner can see the status of a story along the development lifecycle such as; to do, in progress, ready for testing, and done.
Working in a small business, means you can stand up and walk over to someone you need to speak with. However, when you’re working for a larger organisation and need to ask a question quickly and efficiently sometimes internal communication or instant messaging is a god-send. Introducing Slack. Slack is a nifty communication tool that allows you to speak directly 1 on 1 or within ‘channels’ where every team member can see your message. Not only is it great for finding answers, its also a great way for the development team to share code snippets and seek advice on their work – improving quality and productivity.
3. Microsoft Teams
We also have Teams by Microsoft. I prefer the former method of internal comms; Slack – but i’m giving Microsoft a trial run for a while. It behalves similar to Slack just without the restrictions on file storage and message capacity.
Data Tracking and Analysis Tools
4. Google Analytics
Making decisions on a product’s feature set can be steered by hunch and business KPIs, but more often then not, you’ll want to back up your ideas with solid collateral. Data driven development (DDD) is a great way of proving why a feature is needed and how it performed once released. Using tools like Google Analytics can be an invaluable source of intelligence and insight into how your product’s users are engaging with your product. Without data, you are simply making assumptions on what the user needs.
There is a whole array of means you can be using to support your career in product, but these outlined above are the product management tools I think are vital to the perfect product manager. Most are inexpensive if not free to use, yet they will take you leaps forward in making informed decisions on your product and its goals.