This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best product management tools. First, you’ll find a list of tools and then I’ll go over the types of PM tools you can take advantage of when building products.
The Best Product Management Tools List
Here’s a list of the best product management software I’ve come across:
Product management tools are software applications that help product teams carry out some or all phases of the product lifecycle, from planning, researching, and developing to launching, assessing, and iterating on a product.
Product management tools are used by product teams for any or all of these product-related tasks: prototyping, defining a product roadmap, user journey mapping, customer research, product road mapping, feature prioritization, managing sprints, analyzing product data, process mapping, and managing product releases.
There’s a lot of overlap in project management applications and product management applications. For example, many of the best tools on this list offer modules to help with both the project management and product management process.
This means in many cases you won’t use different tools—you’ll use a single tool where you’ll find project management features like resourcing, scheduling, and reporting alongside product management features like road mapping, product boards, and product diagrams. In this case, you get team management applications, project management applications, and product lifecycle management tools bundled together, or, alternatively as separate modules that you can activate as you need them.
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monday.com is an online product management platform that enables teams of all sizes to plan, track, and manage their daily work. From large scope product roadmaps to weekly iterations, monday.com helps teams define clear ownership, analyze and track their work, manage sprints, and collaborate together. monday.com’s easy-to-use agile platform makes it simple for teams to work together from anywhere.
monday.com’s Work OS is built from visual and flexible features that come together to create any agile workflow your team needs. It supports milestones, Gantt and Kanban views, task dependencies, and project analysis.
monday.com has a simple and intuitive UI, and onboarding is quick and efficient. Teams in any department can easily find the features they need to customize their account to fit their needs. monday.com also offers 24/7 support, recorded webinars and tutorials, and thorough Knowledge Base articles to ensure teams always have answers to their questions.
monday.com has customizable templates for any team or stage of product management. Use the template as is, or customize by adding column types (such as numbers for calculations, deadline, rating, and more) or switching between views (such as Kanban, Gantt, calendar, and more). monday.com’s flexible scrum platform provides value to managers and can support teams with anywhere from 5 to 5,000 members.
monday.com has integrations with 40+ tools which allow a 2-way sync of data. Within monday.com, sales teams can import their lead data from Salesforce, marketing teams can update campaign information in Hubspot, and R&D teams can manage anything through GitHub.
Pricing for monday.com starts from $17/2 users/month. The tool offers a 14-day free trial.
API Fuse is an embedded integration platform purpose-built for SaaS applications. API Fuse enables product managers to prioritize which integrations to build, as well as respond to their end-user integration requests without adding to their development backlog.
Product managers at SaaS companies can showcase their most requested integrations that are relevant to their customers in their own custom branded marketplace. API Fuse also allows product managers to enable their users to connect their disparate apps directly inside their SaaS application.
API Fuse is still a new integration solution and therefore has limited connectors compared to other iPaaS solutions in the market. However, they still have hundreds of widely adopted applications via pre-built connectors and their team can build any relevant integrations your users are requesting as part of their pricing model.
API Fuse starts at $500 per month. A tailored demonstration can be set up based on your unique use cases and goals.
Jira is a project management tool for agile teams needing to guide a product from wireframe to hard launch and beyond. Any product lifecycle management team will find support in Jira software features like scrum boards, roadmaps, agile reporting, and customizable workflow.
Despite Jira’s well-balanced features-for-pricing set, some users may be discouraged by some micro-level difficulties. Column customization within any given workflow, for example, can be a challenge. This is in no way a deal-breaker for the program, though.
Through the Atlassian Marketplace, Jira has over 3000 third- and first-party apps that integrate with the main platform to add further functionality. Examples include Google Drive, Draw.io, Microsoft Teams, GitHub, Slack, and Balsamiq.
For those new to product management, Jira has a whole host of Usability aids, which is something I value highly in my review criteria. On their website, they offer Training and Certificate options as well as an ongoing blog for further learning.
Jira costs from $7/user/month and has a freemium version of the software for up to 10 users.
Used by Google and Hootsuite, Wrike is a collaborative product management tool with a feature set that compliments any product development team’s work style. Whether you follow a traditional waterfall process or an agile framework, Wrike can support your product lifecycle.
Wrike is missing a few items that could possibly be helpful for product management, such as customizable templates for ideas and planning as well as comprehensive idea management solutions. However, most product management teams can work around this.
Integrations include Salesforce, Tableau, MediaValet, MS Projects, Hangouts, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Gmail, GitHub, JIRA, and more.
In the Features & Functionality section of the evaluation criteria above, the very first item I list for review is task management. Task management is vital to ushering a product from brainstorming to launch. Wrike happens to do task management very well by using advanced Kanban-style board systems and organizing the easy conversion of tasks to projects.
Wrike costs from $9.80/user/month and has a freemium version of the software for up to 5 users.
ProdPad is a lean product roadmap tool that keeps everyone on your team informed and aligned. Product management gurus will appreciate features such as product spec templates, annotated designs and versioning, and realistic user personas.
Some users might struggle with ProdPad’s browsing and search capabilities, which are not nearly as streamlined as they could be (good luck hunting for that “one” important item in your ideas bank). Regular clean-up and internal naming conventions can ease this pain.
Integration include Slack, Trello, Jira, Active Directory, Azure DevOps, Confluence, Doorbell.io, Dropbox, GitHub, Google Apps, Pivotal Tracker, Rally, TFS, UserVoice, and over 1000 more options with a connection through Zapier.
ProdPad spends considerable effort on ensuring their planning, ideas, and roadmaps solutions are strong; they meet and exceed what I am looking for when I list Idea Capturing as a must-have in the product management tools review criteria outlined above.
ProdPad costs from $99/month and has a free 7-30 day free trial (see: their “free trial” rewards system).
Used by the likes of Microsoft and Zendesk, Productboard is a product management system that helps your team understand what target users need, prioritize what features to build (and when), and unify everyone from planning to QA around your product roadmap.
One of the things I looked for in my review was the depth and breadth of third-party integration options with popular project management tools. While Productboard has a handful of integration options, a slight downside is that their available connections are fewer than most on this list.
Integrations include Slack, Intercom, Zendesk, Gainsight, Trello, Jira, Pivotal Tracker, and GitHub.
Productboard does a lot of things well but one thing in particular that stood out is the usefulness for being able to aggregate product insights and customer requirements/requests across multiple inboxes, including slack. If an ongoing product feedback loop is important to you, Productboard will stand out.
Productboard costs from $49/user/month and has a 15-day free trial.
Used by HubSpot and Coca-Cola, ProductPlan is an easy way to plan, visualize, and communicate a product strategy using 25+ roadmap templates,
Despite the strong features list above, ProductPlan is missing an adequate way to handle requirement management for the products they host. For many users, this won’t be an issue as requirements are often handled separately; however, it’s a good thing to keep in mind.
Integrations include Jira, GitHub, Slack, PivotalTracker, Trello, Azure DevOps, Confluence, and Microsoft Teams. More options are available using the ProductPlan REST API.
Something I highlight as important in the review criteria for product management tools is an available selection of product spec templates. ProductPlan is great for this, as they not only have product roadmap templates but also offer templates for launch plans, executive-facing portfolios, OKRs, IT strategy, and more.
ProductPlan costs from $39/user/month and has a 14-day free trial.
Roadmunk is an end-to-end, customer-driven roadmapping tool used by the likes of Amazon, Xero, and Slack. Product managers will value being able to capture customer feedback, prioritize what to build, and design boardroom-ready strategy roadmaps.
Some tricky formatting and coloring options require design intervention that prevents Roadmunk reports from being appropriate in an executive boardroom straight off the app. While this may be considered an inconvenience to some, most users won’t even notice.
Integrates natively with Jira and also offers a Roadmunk API powered by GraphQL for further self-lead integration options.
Customer feedback aggregation is a product management tool trait that I specifically call out in the evaluation criteria due to its importance for the development cycle. Roadmunk understands this more than most and scored favorably in its ability to manage all user requests in one organized place (their “feedback inbox” feature).
Roadmunk costs from $19/month and has a 14-day free trial.
Built for software developers by software developers, Clubhouse is a collaborative home for product development that is optimized for speed. Product management teams will appreciate features such as templated storyboarding and company-wide progress tracking.
Clubhouse is best suited for mid-sized Agile software teams, meaning that if your product management team falls outside of those parameters you may encounter limitations or slight road bumps. That’s what free trials are for, though.
Integrations include Outgoing Webhook, Lambda Test, Bugsee, Instabug, Testlodge, Google Drive, GitHub, Marker.io, Bugsnap, Bitbucket Cloud, Status Hero, Sentry, Figma, Box, Google Calendar, Zendesk, Rollbar, HoneyBadger, Slack, GitLab, DRopbox, Clocify and hundreds more through Zapier.
Clubhouse touches upon everything a good product manager needs, from solid roadmapping to plentiful integrations, and it does so at a very modest price. The value for cost reviews well for mid-sized companies and small teams/startups will appreciate their freemium solution.
Clubhouse costs from $8.50/user/month and has a freemium version of the tool for up to 10 users.
Used by Nike, Etoro, and Shell, Airfocus is designed to build comprehensive products with powerful prioritization and clear roadmaps. With their highly customizable product task scoring board, users can prioritize opportunities based on a defined set of value and cost criteria.
Integration mishaps were noticed, a key consideration in my review criteria: tasks from Airfocus had to be manually entered into Trello rather than having any automatic import options, for example. Certainly not enough to dissuade from using the program.
Integrations include Jira, Trello, Asana, Priority Poker, Azure DevOps, Basecamp, GitHub, BitLab, monday.com, Wrike, Yammer, Salesforce, Yoho, and hundreds more through Zapier.
Airfocus stands out in its ability to rate and rank each initiative and feature of your product based on pre-existing scoring criteria that users input themselves. This capability will uniquely service product management teams who struggle with stable priority rankings.
Airfocus costs from $29/month and has a 14-day free trial.
What are we looking for when we select the best tools for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): Does the app have a clean, intuitive, and modern-looking user interface across different operating systems, including mobile and PC variants.
Usability: How steep is the software’s learning curve? Does it offer adequate customer support across different mediums (phone, chat, email, etc.)? Do they have the training, certificates, blogs, webinars, or other materials to assist learning?
Features & Functionality:
Task Management – Does the tool have a way to manage and organize product-specific tasks? Is the task navigation solution suitable for product development and product testing?
Idea Capturing / Roadmaps – Not every feature is a “must-have” right away so any good product management tool should carve out some space to keep functionality wishlists and brainstorming results.
Product Spec Templates – Does the product management system have product spec templates for easy storage of functional details, files, and discussions?
Customer Feedback Aggregation – Does the tool capture customer (or even in-team) feedback through sources like email, support chat, browser-based help tools, and CRM integrations? Does the said tool compile the feedback into highly readable and actionable results?
Integrations: Does the product management tool have an apps marketplace or other way to connect with first- and third-party apps to unlock additional features?
Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
Other Types of Tools For Product Management
Some product tools are all-in-one suites, like several of the suites listed above. But there are also a number of great specialized tools that zero in on a particular niche within product planning, research, development, or strategy.
Here is a list of a few types of tools for developing, prioritizing, designing, and planning products:
Here are a few more product management tools that didn’t make the top list. I encourage you to experiment with these great options as well!
Craft.io – described as the ultimate product management software for the entire product lifecycle
Creately – A visual workspace for team collaboration used to draw flowcharts, diagrams, and mindmaps
Canny – Track feedback to build better products by collecting feedback from customers as well as teammates
Aha – Best product management tool for roadmapping
What Do You Think?
What do you think is the best product development software, and why? Do you think it’s better to use an all-in-one tool or do you prefer a collection of product development tools?
Weigh in with the rest of The PM community and product experts in the comments below.
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