This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best product development software and other product development cycle tools.
There are so many components to planning and building a viable product that it can make your head spin. A central tool is useful for syncing your product teams—taking your product strategy and using it to develop your product through prioritization, prototyping, testing, and all the way through to launch and post-launch.
In this post, I’ll explain what this software does and highlight some of the best product development software on the market today. I will also answer some FAQs that product managers are sure to find helpful.
The Best Product Development Life Cycle Software
Here’s a shortlist of the best product development software:
Product Development Process Software Comparison Criteria
What are we looking for when we select product design and development tools for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
Product design tools
Task lists with dependencies
User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
Usability: Is it user-friendly and easy to learn? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools, especially common tools used by product development teams like Google Suite, GitHub, etc? Any pre-built integrations?
Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Product Development Software
Here’s a brief description of each of the NPD software that are featured on this top 10 list.
1. monday.com – Project management software with pre-built templates
monday.com is a project management software to help project managers plan and execute projects. It has informative dashboards to help keep team members in the loop of news and other project developments. You can also use it to streamline the product development process by automating repetitive and straightforward tasks so product team members can concentrate on other crucial tasks.
monday.com is the best product development software for large teams because it makes collaboration easier. monday.com acts as a centralized platform where product team members can share files and communicate with each other. This product management software has pre-built templates product managers can use to launch new projects quickly. Its task management feature lets product managers assign tasks and monitor their progress to ensure that they meet deadlines.
monday.com integrates with other software critical to new product development, including Microsoft Teams, Dropbox, Google Calendar, Zoom, and Adobe Creative Cloud.
monday.com has a free forever plan with limited features for up to two seats, while the pricing for its paid plans starts at $8/month/seat.
2. Craft.io – Best end-to-end platform with drag-and-drop roadmapping & built-in collaboration
Craft.io is a product management platform that comes with features for feedback capturing, workflow planning, and roadmapping. On the platform, you can define product specs, prioritize and share key decisions, and manage workload capacity.
Through integration and collection of fragmented product data, Craft.io is your complete product system of record. It tracks all product information from stakeholder and team member feedback to strategy documentation of OKRs, personas, and themes.
Craft.io is also packed with sharing and collaboration features, various roadmap views, status monitoring, as well as customizable and shareable ways to view your data.
Craft.io integrates with Pivotal Tracker, Azure DevOps, Jira, GitLab, Github, Targetprocess, Intercom, Dropbox, Okta, Google Workspace, Active Directory, SAML, Google Drive, and Ping Identity. More integrations are available via a paid plan through Zapier.
Craft.io costs from $39/user/month (billed annually) and offers a 30-day free trial.
3. QA Wolf – Best for all sizes of companies where web-applications are their main product
QA Wolf is a product development tool that helps product teams at SaaS companies go to market faster by ensuring new software features are bug-free.
Product teams can benefit from using QA Wolf because it’s fast and can get teams to 80% automated test coverage in about 3 months while traditional QA teams/tools either take years to get to 80% test coverage or simply never get there.
QA Wolf demands no more than low effort by creating test matrices for users and thinking critically on their behalf. They create new tests and ensure they’re always at the 80% coverage benchmark. They also analyze data and synthesize findings so product managers immediately know what went wrong instead of having to investigate themselves while other tools/services may require you to be prescriptive and closely manage testing. QA Wolf also happens to be affordable because they charge for coverage and not for hours worked making using it cost as little as half the price of a QA Engineer.
With QA Wolf, users get unlimited tests and test runs, full web application testing, the benefits of no vendor lock-in, and 100% parallelization.
4. Zoho – Best for backlog prioritization & release management
Zoho Sprints is a product management tool that empowers agile teams to plan, track, and ship the best products for their customers.
Zoho Sprints helps product teams maintain an organized and transparent product backlog. A drag and drop planning interface simplifies sprint planning. Scrum teams can move work items from their product backlog to their sprint backlog with ease. The Scrum Board is highly customizable—keeping with the pioneering spirit of agile.
From planning to deployment, this tool helps teams navigate through the interdependencies of their release cycles. Product managers can track the progress of their epics, sprints, and releases through customizable reports and dashboards.
Communication and collaboration are crucial in every aspect of life and even more critical when you’re working with cross-functional teams to build products for your customers. In Zoho Sprints, product teams can collaborate within the context of their work through functionalities like built-in chat, virtual meetings, and an interactive project feed.
Zoho Sprints integrates well with popular code repository management tools like GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket. DevOps teams can automate their CI/CD pipelines by integrating with Jenkins or Azure DevOps. Product developers can leverage webhooks and APIs to build their integrations or browse through a growing library of apps listed on Zoho’s marketplace.
The pricing for Zoho Sprints starts from $14 for 12 users (billed monthly) with additional users at $6/user/month. They also offer a free trial and a free forever plan for up to 5 users.
5. Kanbanize – Project management software for Kanban-style workflow
Kanbanize is a Kanban software that gives product managers visibility of their projects and portfolio to receive status updates in real-time.
Kanbanize allows users to create workspaces where members of the same team can work on sensitive projects. Kanbanize has a project forecasting feature so a product manager can plan projects and allocate resources to ensure a timely product launch. It has a mobile app that works on Android and iOS mobile devices so members can access project information easily.
Kanbanize is an excellent product management software if your team wants an easy way of visualizing projects because it uses a Kanban-style workflow. It can help a product manager optimize project delivery by helping them spot risks and bottlenecks through Kanban boards. This collaboration tool can promote accountability by letting product team members know how their tasks affect others and the entire project.
Kanbanize integrates with other tools critical to the product development process, including Google Data Studio, Power BI, Microsoft Azure, One Drive, and Tableau.
Kanbanize pricing starts at $149/month/for up to 15 users, and they offer a 30-day free trial.
6. Pendo – Project management software for gathering feedback and product ideas
Pendo is a product adoption software to help you develop products with features that matter to customers.
Pendo has an analytics feature that lets you track user behavior and gives you an idea of features that users adopt and those they ignore. You can use Pendo to include in-app guides during software product development to cut onboarding time and provide user support to improve customer satisfaction.
One of the best ways to improve a project is by gathering feedback from team members, and Pendo is the best product management tool for you if you want an efficient way of collecting and managing feedback. You can use Pendo to share a product idea with team members or customers to ensure that a feature will make a product more usable and help increase revenues. You can also use this project management software to solicit new product ideas from customers to give you an idea of what your next project should be.
Pendo has a free version with limited features, while pricing information for paid versions is available upon request.
7. Pie – Project management software for visualizing portfolio and tracking dependencies
Pie is a visual project and process management platform to help you simplify complicated projects and tasks.
Pie has Kanban boards to give team members a visual idea of what they’re working on and if they can hit a target product launch date. It acts as a collaboration tool that allows team members to post messages at the project level to protect sensitive information. Pie has a file versioning feature to ensure that early versions of software products stay protected.
Developing new products can be complicated, and Pie can help you simplify new product development by helping your team visualize current projects and your entire portfolio. You can use this product development software to create an unlimited number of workspaces so your organization can handle multiple projects simultaneously. Pie lets you use multiple color schemes and tags to help members visualize the progress of projects. You can use this project management software to create and assign tasks and subtasks to make tracking dependencies easier.
Pie has a free version with limited features for an unlimited number of users, while the pricing for their paid plans starts at $5/user/month.
8. Planview – Project management software for agile product development
Planview is a portfolio and work management platform that uses agile management to plan, assign, and deliver project objectives.
Pie acts as a communication tool where team members can share ideas, files, and updates. Planview has a resource management feature to help project managers allocate budget, resources, and manpower to projects. Planview also has a forecasting feature to help managers anticipate demands and plan contingencies. It can also help managers automate simple tasks to ensure that team members can concentrate on their assignments.
One of the best ways to simplify complex projects is by breaking them down into simple tasks, and Planview is the best project management tool if you want to use agile methodology in product development. This project management tool gives agile teams visibility of their progress to create a sense of urgency and identify project weaknesses they need to address. It has a visual analytics feature to help product managers track costs and revenue projections.
Planview provides pricing details and a 30-day free trial upon request.
9. Favro – Project management software for roadmapping and team planning
Favro is a collaborative planning app developers can use to view backlogs and sprints.
Favro allows real-time collaboration through messages and comments, making it ideal for groups with members in different locations. Favro has automatic notifications to alert managers of pending approvals to prevent project delays.
Having a well-planned product roadmap can help ensure smooth product development, and Favro can help your team with its roadmapping feature. Favro has planning boards you can use to create a roadmap that your product development team can follow to ensure that team members are aware of their tasks and goals. You can use Favro to create a project timeline to guide team members and ensure they complete tasks on time. Team managers can use Favro’s dashboard to identify struggling team members so they can assist if needed.
Favro integrates with other project development tools, including Jira, Slack, Microsoft Calendar, Zapier, and Google Drive.
Favro pricing starts at $10.2/month/user, and they offer a 14-day free trial.
10. Amplitude – Project management software for gathering product intelligence
Amplitude is a data analytics tool to help you develop a combination of product features that can improve customer engagement and increase revenues.
You can use Amplitude to identify weak points you can improve. Amplitude lets you conduct A/B tests to identify which product version customers like better. You can also use Amplitude to analyze product intelligence from multiple data sources, ensuring you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Product data is critical in new product development because it can help you understand your customers’ needs, and Amplitude is the best software for gathering product intelligence. You can use Amplitude to automatically capture user behavior and identify features that need improvement. You can use Amplitude as a central hub for product intelligence to guide the management and development team in making product development decisions. Amplitude also recommends content you can include in your software to improve customer engagement and conversion.
Amplitude integrates with other product development tools like Adobe Analytics, Marketo, Salesforce-CRM, and Zendesk.
Amplitude has a free version with limited features, and they provide pricing details for paid plans upon request.
Jama Software -Great for defining, aligning, and developing complex products.
HCL Software – Great for building a next-generation software portfolio.
Whatfix – Great for driving digital adoption of your new product.
WalkMe – Great for collecting and analyzing user journey data.
Sopheon – Great for enterprise innovation management software and services.
Product Development Management Software FAQ
What Is Product Development Software?
Product development software (sometimes called new product development software or just NPD software) is a digital tool that helps you develop a product whether you are interested in minimum viable product software development or a fully fledged alpha product with a feedback system for ongoing development.
It can help you with product roadmaps and planning, analyzing your existing product data for better decision-making, task assignment and organization, communication and collaboration, bug tracking, and feedback/revisions/updates.
What Are the Benefits Of Product Development Software?
NPD software can benefit your product teams because it’s a way to keep all elements of your product development in one, easy-to-access hub.
By maintaining one source of truth, you will be able to foster your development team to shorten their time to market and maintain a higher degree of accuracy in every step of the project.
What Is The Difference Between Product Design Software And Product Development Software?
Product design software focuses more on the interface, aesthetics, branding, and/or physical presence of the product. It will most likely become a component of the product development as a whole.
Product design software isn’t used to manage a product—it’s used by the designers to conceptualize, prototype, sketch, wireframe, etc. An examples of product design software is the popular AutoCAD, a design and drafting app often used by architects, engineers, and graphic designers.
Yes! Some examples you might want to try include OpenProject, Trello, Taskade, Craftwork Marketplace, Productific, Productstash, and Bitrix24. Many tools have a free trial, too, if you want to try before you buy.
What Do You Think About These NPD Software?
Have you tried out any software listed above? What NPD software would you add to this list? Do you have on-the-ground product development insights that you want to share? Your thoughts are welcomed in the comments!