Companies that understand the importance of customer experience also know that a great experience does not start when the consumer buys a product; it starts at the very beginning of the product development journey. Like any other journey, the product development process depends on various resources, including product roadmap tools.
This article focuses on the best interactive roadmap tools available on the market today for product managers and team members. We start by providing general knowledge about defining roadmap software, its benefits, and the factors that managers can focus on when evaluating and comparing roadmapping tools. Finally, we list the best tools that can bolster product strategy for agile teams.
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An Overview of the Best Product Roadmap Tools
Here’s a brief description of the ten best product roadmap tools we could find on the market today:
1. monday.com – Best product management tool for teams of any size
monday.com provides a viable option for big and small teams looking for roadmapping solutions that can help them plan, track, and manage their work. This tool comes with visual and flexible features to assist teams needing an agile workflow to collaborate on projects. The availability of 24/7 support makes using this software easier.
Excellent support through recorded webinars and tutorials.
Simple and intuitive user interface.
Free 14-day trial.
Many important features are missing from the basic plan.
2. Craft.io – Best for connecting strategy to features
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 Zapier.
3. airfocus – Best customizable product management platform to fit your team’s workflows
airfocus prides itself on offering a modern and modular product management platform. It provides a complete solution for product teams to manage and communicate their strategy, prioritize their work, build roadmaps, and connect feedback to solve the right problems. Designed with flexibility in mind, airfocus allows you to quickly customize the platform to fit your needs without disrupting the way your team works.
airfocus offers dedicated PM apps that help solve very specific product management problems such as prioritization, and feedback gathering. They also let you easily collaborate across teams, products, and units with interlinked workspaces.
airfocus integrates with Jira, Trello, Asana, Azure DevOps, Shortcut (formerly Clubhouse), Microsoft Planner, and GitHub. You can unlock further integrations with a paid plan through Zapier.
airfocus costs from $15/user/month and comes with a 14-day free trial.
Ability to create your own set of custom views and fields.
Scalable, straightforward, and easy to use platform.
Great customer support.
More integrations only come with an advanced plan.
With basic plan, you can only create one workspace.
4. Zoho Sprints – Best for planning and tracking product releases
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.
6. SharpCloud – Best for roadmapping guidance, like webinars and ebooks
One of the attractive features of SharpCloud is that it’s simple to use, making it possible to create a roadmap in a few minutes as long as you have the data. The software shows the path toward attaining your objectives. This ensures that all individuals and processes are aligned to the goals of the project.
7. ProdPad – Best for lean product roadmaps with plenty of room for change
The main focus of the developers of ProdPad was to ensure that your product planning process follows the lean-approach. They have accomplished this by ensuring that you only share what is essential for your project with your team. The tool is also focused on helping developers of products to understand the needs of the customers.
The interface design is intuitive.
Visualization chart helps teams to prioritize projects.
Allows you to create multiple ideas that you can use later based on your priorities.
Issues with customization, particularly for areas not related to your business.
Needs external tools to fully use the client feedback feature.
8. ProductPlan – Best for an extensive collection of ready-to-go roadmap templates
ProductPlan is designed for teams that want to share as many roadmaps as possible so that everyone keeps in sync. Coming with a 14-day free trial period, the tool helps product development teams integrate data and all crucial tools on one platform.
Simple to use with great intuitive design.
Integrates into existing project management tools easily.
Great visualization that allows everyone to get a glimpse of the different stages of the project.
Moving bars between lanes is only possible with drag and drop.
Slightly expensive when compared to other tools.
It doesn’t allow you to upload a spreadsheet to build an initial roadmap.
9. Productboard – Best for understanding customer needs and prioritizing tasks
The developers of Productboard boast that the software is “comprehensive, flexible, and built on an open platform to meet the needs of today’s product organizations.” It allows users to prioritize the features that customers need most. The software also allows you to tailor the product roadmaps for different audiences.
Flexible and allows users to define different kinds of views.
Allows for features to be ranked according to priority.
Great user interface.
No free trial to allow users to decide if they like the tool.
The Roadmap Planner delivers a solution for teams that want to keep track of the future stages of product development. This software does not require a connection to the internet, implying that you can continue using it wherever you are. It’s generally useful for individuals responsible for the planning phase of product development.
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Other Product Roadmap Tools
Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for a handy software product roadmap, check these out:
Trello – Best for Kanban-style project planning and scheduling
Before we get into more detail about product roadmap tools, let’s answer some of the common questions product management teams ask about roadmapping software.
What Is A Product Roadmap?
To answer this question, I checked out what some of the experts in product roadmapping say. According to Atlassian Agile Coach, “a product roadmap is a plan of action for how a product or solution will evolve over time. Product owners use roadmaps to outline future product functionality and when new features will be released.”
The product roadmap works in the same way as any plan you put in place when you embark on a journey. You look at the speed limits and possible obstacles that you might encounter along your journey. You also anticipate any delays and determine how you will deal with them. Several tools are available to help you accomplish this.
What Is Product Roadmap Software?
Product roadmap software is a digital tool designed to assist product managers and project management teams in planning, prioritizing, and mapping a product strategy that aligns with a firm’s business goals.
Usually, product roadmap software is offered as a web-based SaaS (software as a service) product. The SaaS model involves customers accessing and using software via an internet browser with the help of applications hosted by a third-party.
Roadmapping software is used by individuals or teams involved in product strategy and development to help them create visual roadmaps that will keep the teams on track throughout the product life cycle. The software also includes project management features that assist product development teams in building timelines and identifying backlogs.
What Are Some Common Examples Of Product Roadmap Software?
Product management software does not always have to be complicated and expensive. In its simplest form, it could be an excel spreadsheet. Product owners can also create product roadmaps in the form of a mind map, Gantt chart, Kanban Board, PowerPoint presentation, text-based notes, an interactive calendar, and others like that.
Why Do Product Development Teams Need Product Roadmap Software?
A product roadmap software can provide several benefits for teams involved in product development. Let’s look at some of the reasons your team may need one:
Permits each team and individual to see how they fit into the product development cycle.
Ensures that everybody involved in product development has all the details they need about various product development stages.
Assists with prioritization, allowing managers to determine where more resources should be put.
Allows team members to continually analyze processes to determine if the processes are still valid and in line with the business strategy.
Product Roadmapping Software Comparison Criteria
Of course, we cannot pretend that this is a definitive list of the market’s best tools. We identify these tools to provide you with an idea of the features we think make the best tools. What are we looking for when we select the product roadmap tools for review? Here’s a summary of our evaluation criteria:
Does the software have the following key features?
Product roadmap template options
Agile product roadmap layout
Drawing/building tools to create roadmap layouts from scratch
Resource allocation and scheduling tools, including calendars and timelines, milestones, and dependencies
Backlog prioritization tools
Collaboration/whiteboarding tools to work in sync with team members
Does the product roadmap tool pass the following test?
1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? Do the templates and building tools look great and are they easy to pick up on?
2. Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company that provides the software offer good tech and user support, tutorials, or training?
3. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools, especially the standard tools used by product and agile teams such as Slack, Jira, and GitHub? Does it have any built-in integrations?
4. Value for money: How appropriate is the price for features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
What Do You Think About These Product Roadmap Tools?
Have you tried out any product roadmap builder listed above? Do you prefer free product roadmap software or many of their paid counterparts? Sound off in the comments.