If you’re a product manager, you’ll know that one of the biggest challenges that comes with the job is having a single point of truth for all of your product-related information.
This is especially true with large, remote, distributed teams, as each team member needs to quickly and easily access assigned tasks, backlog reports, and other information without pestering their team leader every 5 minutes.
Product management software.
This article will show you exactly what to look for in your next product management tool, as well as outline why monday.com is the best software platform out there right now to help you make an informed decision and get that next product iteration on the road.
What are product management tools?
Product management tools are typically software platforms used by product managers for product roadmapping, team communications, customer feedback surveys, as well as issue and bug tracking activities.
This might include product roadmapping tools, communication platforms, customer feedback surveys, and development tracking tools.
There’s no one size fits all solution, and many product managers will actually have a number of software tools in their stack for different reasons.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the main features and functions product managers are looking for in effective product management software.
What are the key features of product management software?
Though the specific features each tool offers may differ (based on the need they solve), product management software platforms typically offer these 7 features:
- Roadmapping tools with space to add feedback and ideas
- Goal setting and tracking
- Reporting and analytics
- Team collaboration capabilities
- Ability to share projects with external stakeholders
- Automation rules to take care of manual work
- Integration with other commonly used tools
Let’s look at each in a little more detail.
1. Roadmapping tools with space to add feedback and ideas
One of the keys to successful product development is putting in the hours up front, and building out a solid product roadmap.
Modern project roadmaps are more than a simple Gantt chart or a sketch on a whiteboard. To really kickstart your project, you need a roadmapping tool that:
- Is hypervisual
- Allows for team collaboration and notetaking
- Is dynamic and flexible to change as your project does
With monday.com, product managers can create beautifully visual, color-coded roadmaps that work across multiple views, facilitate product team collaboration, and can flex and change over time.
2. Goal setting and tracking
The product development process consists of multiple, time-dependent goals, all of which contribute to the overarching goal of getting your new product to the market.
For that reason, you need to choose a product management software platform that allows for in-depth goal setting.
More than that, you need a solution that will allow you to track your progress against those goals in real time.
monday.com offers a free Quarterly Objectives Template to help you kickstart this process, allowing product managers to assign owners to goals, update goal statuses in real time, and append documents and notes to each objective.
3. Reporting and analytics
Setting goals is one thing. Delivering on them is another.
To ensure the product you’re developing is on track to launch on time and under budget, as well as meet the objectives it was intended to achieve, you need a robust suite of reporting tools to analyze team performance.
That’s exactly what monday.com provides.
From basic reporting functions like expense tracking and progress reports, to more advanced tools such as workload and team capacity management, we’ve got you covered.
4. Team collaboration capabilities
Of course, product development is no one-man game, often involving diverse teams from all over the globe.
So, you’re going to need to collaborate efficiently, effectively, and instantly.
Here are the collaboration features you should be looking out for (all of which are taken care of by monday.com, by the way):
- Ability to assign tasks to individuals
- Instant messaging
- Task-based comments
- Document sharing
- Calendar & meeting planning capabilities
- Integration with workplace communication tools like Slack
- Deep search functionality
- Cross-team collaboration
- iOS and Android apps
- Email and push notifications
5. The ability to share projects with external stakeholders
As a software product manager or product owner, you’re very likely going to be liaising with external stakeholders.
This is especially true for product development agencies who might be contracted to create a product for an external client.
In these situations, you want to be able to share updates with external stakeholders easily, but you also need to keep in mind data privacy and the simple fact that you probably don’t want to share everything (personal employee information and project costs being two examples.)
The good news is this doesn’t need to be a burden on your project management timelines.
Thanks to monday.com’s intelligent board permissions functionality, you can pick and choose who sees what, making working with external stakeholders and freelancers simple and straightforward.
6. Automation rules to take care of manual work
As a product manager, keeping your product management software system up to date can be a real time drain.
The same goes for your team, and ultimately, this can lead to a drop in productivity, as well as an unwillingness to even open the platform and perform necessary edits when work is completed.
Neither of these are conducive to the project management experience, and so you should prioritize finding a product management solution that allows you to automate as much manual work as possible.
Setting up an automation recipe in monday.com is simpler than you might think, no complex algorithms or coding experience required here:
Using monday.com’s intuitive automation features, software product management teams can create repeating tasks, notify managers when task statuses are updated, and even perform cross-board automations to keep all aspects of the product management system in check.
7. Integrations with other commonly-used tools
The software project management process is a complex one, and typically involves the use of multiple tools and software platforms to undertake.
With a strong set of integrations, this can mean a tonne of grunt work (yuck), a cluster of browser tabs open at once (double yuck), and a decrease in productivity as a result of constantly switching between platforms (infinite yuck).
Thankfully, monday.com has over 70 integrations, playing nicely with all of your favorite tools, such as:
- Creative Cloud
What is the top software for product managers?
Designed with a people-first approach, monday.com is a Work OS that allows product managers to plan and execute new projects, collaborate with and manage team members, and access robust reporting and analytics on project performance through a digital workspace.
With a dynamic timeline view that flexes and grows as your product does, monday.com is the ideal product management software for product roadmapping without the fuss, thanks to a drag-and-drop style functionality.
Product development often requires the collaboration of multiple teams within a company, often working remotely and in different time zones, which comes with its own unique set of challenges.
monday.com inspires creative collaboration across the board, and makes team communications easy, with:
- Chat functions
- The ability to upload documents directly to a workflow for maximum context
- @mentions to give users an instant update
- Configurable notifications
- The capacity to leave comments on workflows, and give team members a thumbs up to let them know you’re on board
It’s not only ideal for team communication and collaboration. monday.com also offers reporting features that will quickly and accurately track where things are at, generate update reports for stakeholders and senior product managers, and plan out your resources and capacity.
Simply put, monday.com is so much more than product management software. It accomplishes everything needed from a product management platform and then goes way beyond into seemingly every facet of your business operations.
Here’s a look at one of our capacity planning reports:
Ready to get started?Whatever kind of product you’re working on, you’re going to need a strong product management software tools (aka monday.com)
Ideally, the platforms you work with should allow you to:
- Create product roadmaps
- Capture customer feedback
- Work collaboratively with remote teams
- Assign and manage tasks
- Share documents and communicate easily
While most of the services out there can do some, if not most of these, it’s only with monday.com that you get all of these benefits, plus a full Work OS that can extend to several key departments throughout your company.
Ready to get started? Check out our product roadmap template for monday.com. You can try it at no risk using our free 2-week trial.