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.
Overviews Of The 10 Best Product Management Tools
1. Jira – known as the #1 software development tool for agile teams
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.
2. Wrike – leading work management platform with release management, product development, and product vision software.
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.
3. ProdPad – offers product lifecycle management tools like product backlog, roadmaps, customer feedback, and more.
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).
4. Productboard – product management system to support your product development with customer research, prioritization, and product road mapping.
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.
5. ProductPlan – product development software with beautiful UI to easily visualize and communicate product strategy.
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.
6. Roadmunk – roadmap tool to visualize product strategy used by thousands of product teams
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.
7. Clubhouse – project management platform for software development focused on building better products
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.
8. Airfocus – powerful product team and product manager software offering roadmaps and prioritization tools
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.
9. Craft – described as the ultimate product management software for the entire product lifecycle
Craft.io empowers product teams to collaborate seamlessly, communicate with stakeholders, and deliver better products. Use their product planning tools to articulate and connect your product vision, strategy, and user personas to goals, initiatives, and product features.
Compared to other product management solutions on this list, Craft.io has a somewhat weak and lackluster user interface (pictured above). This is certainly something that came up in my review criteria consideration but it will not impede the quality of work for most teams.
Integrations include Jira, GitHUb, GitLab, Pivotal Tracker, Google Drive, DropBox, Intercom, Azure DevOPs, and thousands more through an account with Zapier.
It’s really difficult to specify just one stand out feature of Craft.io, other than It just does everything—and well. One element I want to call out is the way “Epics” and “Stories” work together to create a product theme in the app, which is great for hammering out ideal user behaviors and needs.
Craft costs from $39/user/month and has a 14-day free trial as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.
10. Aha – described as the world’s #1 roadmap software, trusted by more than 250K product teams
Aha is a robust roadmapping and product management solution that lets users define key initiatives so the work needed to reach objectives is painfully clear for all. Prioritize the best product ideas using the Aha “ideas portal”, which incorporates team voting options.
There isn’t too much to dislike about Aha but users should be aware that roles and permissions can feel a bit “all or nothing”, lacking the nuance of flexible access/ability that some product teams require to work.
Integrations include Jira, Azure DevOps, Pivotal Tracker, Rally Software, REdmine, Salesforce, GitHub, GitLab, Fogbugz, Bugzilla, Asana, TRello, Confluence, Google Calendar, Outlook, Slack, Flowdocs, Hangouts Chat, Office 365, Box, DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Google Analytics, Zendesk, G Suite, OneLogin, OKTA, Ping Identity, other Aha systems, and many more through Zapier.
With stellar online reviews, the “#1 roadmapping software” moniker, and robust usability support, it’s hard to pick just one thing to like about Aha. I want to call out their above-and-beyond list of third-party integrations, as it’s something every product team will find useful.
Aha costs from $59/user/month and has a 30-day free trial.
Criteria For Selecting Product Management Tools
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 (phine, 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: