In this review, I’m going to share my analysis and evaluation from my hands-on experience with Craft.io. But first, if you’re just beginning your search for the best product management tools, check out my picks for the best product management software. You probably already know that Craft.io is among the most popular product management tools out there, but you need to better understand what’s good (and not so good) about it.
This in-depth Craft.io review will walk you through the tool's pros and cons, features and functionality, and more to help guide you to better understand its capabilities and its suitability for your needs.
Craft.io Software Product Overview
Craft.io stands as a strategic product management platform designed to help teams create clear and actionable roadmaps. It primarily serves product teams who require robust planning, collaboration, and communication tools.
The tool brings the benefit of streamlining product strategy development with a focus on facilitating better product decisions. It addresses common pain points such as prioritization struggles, unclear project progress, and disjointed stakeholder communication. Noteworthy features include detailed roadmaps, story mapping, capacity planning, and advanced prioritization mechanisms.
- Intuitive Design: Enhances user experience with its clean interface, simplifying complex product management tasks.
- Robust Integration: Offers extensive API support, seamlessly connecting with various SaaS tools to maintain workflow continuity.
- Advanced Features: Equips teams with sophisticated tools for prioritization, roadmapping, and story mapping that outshine basic project management software.
- Steep Learning Curve: Can overwhelm new users, requiring time to master all functionalities.
- Limited Templates: Provides fewer out-of-the-box templates compared to competitors like Productboard or ProductPlan, potentially impacting kick-off speed.
- Language Limitation: Supports primarily English, which could be a barrier for non-English speaking team members.
In my experience, Craft.io represents a solid choice for mid-sized to larger companies that focus on intricate product development cycles. Its capacity planning and advanced roadmapping features particularly stand out. However, it might require a robust onboarding process compared to other tools, and its English-centric platform may limit its adoption in diverse linguistic environments.
Craft.io: The Bottom Line
What sets Craft.io apart is its dedication to fostering decision-making in product strategy and development. Unlike some project management tools that merely track tasks, Craft.io elevates the process with a strategic perspective, facilitating the creation of great products. Its visualization tools, especially the product roadmap and story mapping, offer clarity and direction that truly enhance the product team's capacity to deliver.
Craft.io Deep Dive
Here's a deep dive into Craft.io's features, best use cases, pricing, customer support, and other purchase factors.
- Roadmap planning - Yes
- Backlog management - Yes
- Task assignments and scheduling - Yes
- Prioritization frameworks - Yes
- Workflow customization - Yes
- Collaboration tools (comments, @mentions) - Yes
- Reporting and analytics - Yes
- Integrations with other tools (e.g., JIRA, Slack) - Yes
- User story mapping - Yes
- Sprint planning - Yes
- Idea management - Yes
- Requirement gathering - Yes
- Resource allocation and capacity planning - Yes
- Progress tracking and status updates - Yes
- File sharing and management - Yes
- Customer feedback collection - Yes
- Release planning - Yes
- Customizable templates - Yes
- Multiple visualizations (Kanban, Gantt charts) - Yes
- Objective and Key Results (OKRs) tracking - Yes
- Risk assessment - No (Craft.io focuses more on product planning than on identifying and managing risks)
- Time tracking - No (Craft.io is more strategic and less about time tracking at the task level)
- Budgeting and cost tracking - No (Craft.io does not primarily focus on financial aspects of product management)
- Help desk and support tickets integration - No (Typically out of the scope for Craft.io's core offerings)
- API for custom integrations - Yes
- Strategic Roadmap Planning: Craft.io enables dynamic and visually engaging product roadmaps that align initiatives with company size and market demands, standing out with its strategic, high-level visualization.
- Backlog Management: The platform's backlog management feature offers a structured workspace for product teams to organize, prioritize, and refine product features before they hit the development pipeline.
- Prioritization Frameworks: Craft.io incorporates various prioritization methods, making it easier for product managers to decide which features or initiatives to tackle first based on strategic alignment and potential impact.
- Workflow Customization: It allows for the customization of workflows to match the unique processes of a product team, offering flexibility that adapts to different company sizes and methodologies.
- Collaboration Tools: Craft.io provides an integrated suite of collaboration tools that facilitate clear communication within teams and with stakeholders, enhancing clarity and efficiency in the product development process.
- User Story Mapping: The user story mapping feature stands out by offering a user-centric visualization that connects user reviews and feedback directly with the product features they influence.
- Sprint Planning: Its sprint planning tools help teams organize their work in time-boxed iterations, making it simpler to manage short-term objectives alongside longer-term product strategies.
- Resource Allocation and Capacity Planning: Craft.io provides insights into team capacity, helping product managers make informed decisions about resource allocation and workload distribution.
- Customizable Templates: With customizable templates, Craft.io makes it simple for teams to create and replicate docs and reports, tailoring them to the specific needs of the project or stakeholders.
- Analytics and Reporting: The software offers comprehensive analytics and reporting features that give detailed insights into the progress and performance of product development initiatives, aiding data-driven decision-making.
- Strategic Emphasis on Product Roadmaps: Unlike many project management tools that treat roadmaps as secondary features, Craft.io places them at the core of its offering, providing high-level, strategy-driven visualization that integrates with every stage of the product lifecycle.
- Objective & Key Results (OKRs) Framework: Craft.io differentiates itself with its native integration of the OKRs framework into the product management process, linking daily tasks to larger strategic objectives and allowing for a seamless transition from planning to execution.
- Advanced Prioritization Mechanisms: Craft.io stands out with its prioritization capabilities that go beyond basic scoring systems. It uses a matrix that plots items against two axes, such as value versus effort, enabling more nuanced decision-making regarding the product features and development initiatives to focus on.
Craft.io integrates natively with essential tools like JIRA and Salesforce, linking product planning directly with development workflows and customer relationship insights. The platform includes an API for crafting bespoke integrations, thus expanding its ecosystem to fit various team needs. Additionally, users can enhance functionality by connecting add-ons, ensuring that Craft.io adapts to the unique demands of their product management processes.
- Essential Plan: Priced at around $19/user/month (billed annually), this plan typically includes the core set of product management tools suitable for small teams, such as roadmapping, backlog management, and basic integrations.
- Pro Plan: This middle tier may cost about $79/user/month (billed annually), offering additional functionalities like advanced prioritization, team capacity planning, and custom integrations, designed for growing product teams that need more sophisticated tools.
- Enterprise Plan: Tailored for large organizations with extensive product management needs, the Enterprise tier often requires a custom quote. It usually includes all Pro features plus additional advanced options like custom permissions, premium support, and more strategic features which cater to complex workflows and larger company size.
Ease of Use
In my experience, Craft.io presents a user interface that balances sophistication with clarity, though newcomers to product management tools may find the array of features initially daunting. The onboarding process does a commendable job of guiding new users through the platform's primary functions, but navigation can become complex as one delves deeper into more advanced features like strategic planning and integrations. While the tool excels in organization, the depth of customization available for workflows and roadmaps may require a steeper learning curve for individuals less versed in product management methodologies.
Based on my observations, Craft.io offers a robust support system, with a comprehensive knowledge base, timely email support, and a plethora of resources including documentation and tutorials. However, customers sometimes express frustration with the lack of immediate assistance, as the platform does not always offer live chat or 24/7 phone support. This can lead to delays, particularly for users in time zones that do not align with the support team's hours or for those requiring urgent assistance.
Craft.io Use Case
Who Would Be A Good Fit For Craft.io
Craft.io fits best in environments where strategic product planning and detailed roadmapping are at the heart of the operation, making it particularly popular among mid-sized to large tech companies. The most loyal customers often hail from industries where agile development is key, and the tool excels in scenarios where teams of various sizes need to collaborate closely on product development, prioritize features, and align with overarching business goals.
Who Would Be A Bad Fit For Craft.io
Craft.io may not serve well in very small startups or solo entrepreneurs who require a more straightforward, less feature-rich platform, as the depth of its functionality can be overwhelming and not cost-effective for their needs. Customers from non-tech industries or those with smaller, less tech-savvy teams may find the tool's extensive suite of features and the necessity for a solid understanding of product management principles more challenging and less aligned with their simpler project management needs.
What is Craft.io primarily used for?
Craft.io is used for strategic product management, including roadmapping, prioritization, workflow management, and integrating the product lifecycle with business objectives.
Can Craft.io integrate with other project management tools?
Yes, Craft.io offers integrations with several project management tools, such as JIRA and Salesforce, allowing for seamless workflow and data synchronization.
Is Craft.io suitable for agile development teams?
Absolutely, Craft.io is designed with agile teams in mind, offering features like Kanban boards, backlogs, and sprint planning.
How does Craft.io handle roadmapping and planning?
Craft.io provides comprehensive roadmapping tools that allow for detailed planning, visualization, and tracking of product development stages and goals.
Does Craft.io support collaboration among team members?
Yes, Craft.io includes collaboration features that enable team members to communicate, share documents, and work together efficiently on product tasks.
Are there custom templates available in Craft.io?
Craft.io offers a range of customizable templates that help teams to quickly start new projects and align them with established product management frameworks.
Does Craft.io offer a free trial or a free version?
Craft.io typically offers a free trial period for new users to experience the platform before committing to a paid plan, but the availability of a completely free version would need to be confirmed with the current offering.
How does Craft.io support decision-making for product managers?
The tool offers features like advanced prioritization matrices, roadmapping, and integration with OKRs to support informed decision-making throughout the product management process.
Alternatives to Craft.io
- Aha!: Often chosen for its comprehensive roadmapping and vision-setting capabilities, Aha! excels for teams focused on aligning product strategy with business objectives.
- Asana: With its user-friendly interface and versatile project tracking features, Asana is preferred by teams looking for a balance between product management and general task organization.
- Productboard: Productboard is frequently selected for its strong user feedback integration, which is ideal for teams that prioritize user-centric product development and feature prioritization.
Craft.io Company Overview & History
Craft.io is a product management software provider that specializes in helping teams create better product roadmaps and streamline their workflow. The platform is utilized by diverse companies, ranging from startups to large enterprises. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, Craft.io stands as a testament to the country's vibrant tech scene.
While the company ownership details are private, its mission is to empower product teams to make smarter product decisions and to bring the art of traditional project management into the digital age. Since its inception, Craft.io has achieved significant milestones, including substantial user base growth and the release of influential new features tailored to product management.
This Craft.io review reflects a comprehensive platform that offers a wealth of features for product management, from intricate roadmapping to effective prioritization. It’s particularly well-suited for mid-sized to larger tech companies immersed in agile methodologies. While it may present a steep learning curve for smaller teams or those new to product management, the benefits of its in-depth features are clear for the right user.
For those considering a robust product management solution, Craft.io merits consideration. I invite readers to share their experiences or ask questions in the comments below to foster a community of informed decision-making around this tool.