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Software Tools for Product Managers

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Carrie Lowther from Hitwise and Jen Leibhart ran a great session at ProductCamp Melbourne on Saturday the 3rd of July. They discussed good software tools that can help Product Managers do their job more effectively and efficiently.

For those that didn’t attend ProductCamp Melbourne and for those that didn’t get a chance to take notes during the session here’s a list of tools the group came up with.

If you have any other tools that may be useful to Product Managers, please leave it in the comments field and we will add to the list.

Wireframes

Process Flows (New)

Web Analysis

Collaboration

Website Feedback / Testing

Surveys

Project Management

Product Management Blogs

Competitor Information

Requirements & Abstract Ideas Management

Product Backlog

Product Mapping & Note Taking

Video Recording (For product demonstrations – software/websites)

Calendar and Scheduling

Newsletters

Event Management

Crowdsourcing

Gamification (New)

Screencapture

Customer Support

Product Management Events

Other (New)

 

Please add your feedback in the comments below.

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37 Comments

  • Michael says:

    Massive fan of Visio for wireframes however also take a look at Axure http://www.axure.com – very similar to Visio from a drawing perspective however much more powerful in terms of creating a sitemap linked to your pages, centrally managing re-usable fragements, exporting a clickable model and annotating functional requirements. You can also download ready made component templates for most OS’s including Iphone etc.

    For crowdsourding there is Salesforce.com (Dell Ideastorm for instance) and Kindling


  • Michael says:

    I am a massive fan of visio for wireframing however Axure http://www.axure.com is also excellent for wireframing. A lot better than visio for creating site maps linked to your pages, managing re-usable page components, exporting a clickable model and annotating functional requirements. You can also download numerous component libraries. eg. Iphone components.

    For crowdsourcing salesforce.com should be up there (Dell Ideastorm for instance) and Kindling App


  • I am surprised no one mentioned FeaturePlan or Accept 360.

    Also, I use Evernote. Brilliant for personal note recording and storage.


  • Adrienne says:

    Stewy… How can anyone forget Feature Plan! Its on the list. Thanks for suggestion on Evernote.


  • Ah!


  • This list is empty to me if has not ONE mention of the Omni suite of collaboration and creation products!
    Omnigraffle makes Visio look like a piece of medical software.
    Also very web focused – where is your office Suite? Whether that be MS Office or Open office or Google Docs?
    Presentations?
    Keynote or god forbid, Powerpoint? With Jing (or something like that) for screen capture and sharing.
    Evernote?
    Jira or another issue tracking service
    Dropbox or another filesharing platform
    I don’t get how WordPress has been ordered “Requirements?”
    Collaboration
    NO Skype, no Webex – it’s an excellent piece of kit these days.


  • joe says:

    I’ve been trialling both flairbuilder and Mockingbird for Wireframes and quick prototyping and am Seriously Upset ( 😉 ) OmniGraffle isn’t in here!


  • joe says:

    …. and razorback for user testing …


  • jen says:

    During the session, I asked if anyone had used Feature Plan (although… I couldn’t remember the product name. I asked if anyone had used Ryma) & no one had. That might be why it didn’t make the typed list.

    Evernote definitely got a mention as did JIRA. We briefly mentioned social media (Twitter/FB/blogs) under competitive analysis.

    Gavin, you’re so right about missing screen shot software! I’d add SnagIt plus 2 Firefox exts: Fireshot & Lightshot.

    Plus QuestionPro.com to the surveys group. j


  • We developed software to measure delta between Customer expectations and experience with specific products on a 2 point scale (between Unacceptable=0 to Delightful=2). The Opinion Miner software uses comments and reviews published online by the customers, transcripts of customer calls and emails to produce accurate and consistent measurements of product functionality, reliability and support reputation.

    I believe such information can be very valuable to Product Management and Marketing professionals as a source of competitive intelligence for product planning and predictive analytical models to estimate demand and profitability.

    I know it is a long shot, but we are in a beta test for our Product Management tools and would like your opinion for their usefulness.


  • Tom Spence says:

    Hey Adrienne,

    Nice list, plenty of stuff I’d like to check out! I have a few suggestions of some tools I’ve used:

    Campaign Monitor – for your Newsletters one of the best mailing list services I’ve encountered, and Australians, too!
    http://www.campaignmonitor.com/

    Trac or Mantis – simple bug tracking tools, but you need a bit of web-savvy to set one up.

    Intervals – Very nice Task / Time / Project management, and not locked in to Agile as many seem to be.
    http://www.myintervals.com/

    I’ll second the calls for everything Atlassian do. But especially Jira and Confluence.
    http://www.atlassian.com/

    Ciao!
    Tom.


  • Redmine, I have talked about can be actually added to project management section.
    Also, Google Docs can be used for simple surveys (reference how – http://www.ehow.com/how_4615530_survey-using-google-documents-free.html)


  • sree says:

    I like Axure to create simple wire frames to interactive prototypes pretty quickly.


  • Nils Davis says:

    I use Accept360 on a daily basis (of course, I’m the product manager for it). I learned about Accept originally because I wanted a better way to manage my requirements and Accept was the best solution. I’d say it still is, but I’m biased at this point 🙂

    I can definitely second Evernote, Balsamiq, and Snagit as well.


  • Adrienne says:

    This list has now been updated with everyone’s inclusions.


  • Grant says:

    Great List!

    You can’t leave Marty Cagan’s SVPG Blog off the list though: http://svpg.com/articles


  • Toby Biddle says:

    Another ‘Web Analysis’ tool your should add to your list is Loop11: http://www.Loop11.com. Great for online unmoderated usability testing.


  • alan jones says:

    I’d add:

    Wireframing: iMockups and Sketchy for wireframing from an iPad (and especially for iOS mockups)

    Project management: http://www.copperproject.com

    Surveys: http://formbinder.com (aussie startup, yay!) and http://formstack.com

    Collaboration: http://ballparkapp.com for cool collaborative estimates that turn into invoices

    Event management: http://amiando.com is awesome with a capital AWE


  • Adrienne says:

    Thanks Alan. I’ll add to the list and let our LinkedIn group members know.


  • Hi there, here are a few I’d ad to this excellent list.

    Wireframes:
    iplotz.com nice alternative to Balsamiq

    Web Analysis: Adobe Omniture

    Collaboration:
    yammer.com twitter for companies

    Website Feedback:
    zendesk.com customer service and feedback management rolled into one.

    Surveys:
    Survey Gizmo http://www.surveygizmo.com/

    Project Management:
    Mingle (http://www.thoughtworks-studios.com/mingle-agile-project-management)

    Video Recording:
    ViewletBuilder: http://www.qarbon.com/


  • Kim Chan says:

    Hi Adrienne,

    We have just launched FeatureSet, a web-based on-demand software made to facilitate product/project management.

    FeatureSet is the first integrated suite of product management applications that connects the customer to the product management process.

    It also features social collaboration tools which allow the whole team to track projects and changes, Gantt charts (like in Microsoft Project), blogs and tools to create and link feedback, requirements and tasks.

    Please check out our product and add it to your list. Your feedback is also welcome!


  • RIchard says:

    I would add Greenhopper from http://www.atlassian.com/software/greenhopper/ and VersionOne http://www.versionone.com/ as excellent Agile backlog tools. They fit more under an undefined section “Product Roadmaps” then Project Mgmt.

    Also be great to know of any tools to help manage the business case for a product roadmap (Opportunity/Strength, FInancial Analysis – not just priority). I currently use a custom app in Salesforce to do it.


  • Adrienne says:

    Thanks Richard. Your suggestions have been added to the list


  • Max says:

    Another HTML interactive tool you might want to check out is Tiggr – http://gotiggr.com. With Tiggr you can create, share and preview Web and mobile HTML prototypes. The key is that you can create interactive HTML prototypes with navigation which you can view and test in any browser.


  • Arina Ardashiyan says:

    We addicted to workforce track tool . The name speaks for itself heh. We’re a small company of 6 designer freelancers. We gotta a very restricted budget. So boss decided to migrate from (i won’t tell the brand name – it is confidential) one famous brand to Workforcetrack. What can I say thee is nothing unnecessary. Sometimes i need more functionality. BUT w gonna right these guys because they need develop their system as Zoho did once.


  • Jorg says:

    Another great mockup/wireframing tool you might want to add is iMockups for iPad (endloop.ca/imockups/)


  • brinda says:

    I must recommend you Mockup Tiger the best product of this type I have found yet!
    Brinda


  • I would like to suggest adding OneDesk to this list: http://www.onedesk.com

    It features applications from several of the categaories you have listed: Customer service management and help desk, ideas and customer feedback management, social media monitoring, requirements and project management as well as social collaboration tools like chat discussions and wikis…all in one solution!

    Thanks for putting together thsi great list,

    Catherine
    OneDesk Inc.


  • Hi Adrienne,

    I noticed that FeatureSet is listed under requirements and ideas management. Note that FeatureSet has changed it name to OneDesk – it is the same software, with added features. We would appreciate it if you simply change the name.

    Thanks again,

    Catherine
    OneDesk Inc.


  • nick coster says:

    @Catherine – I have made the change to the name and the URL.


  • Vaishali says:

    We think our ProductOffice ( http://www.productoffice.com ) is a great option for Product & Innovation Management. Using ProductOffice companies can manage product ecosystem, consisting of various product stakeholders, assess R&D opportunities, manage product strategy, and innovate continuously to stay ahead of the competition.


  • nick coster says:

    @Vaishali – What category should we list it under?


  • Mike Leydon says:

    For Crowdsourcing, you could add
    ushahidi / crowdmap (they have done some amazing stuff with it)
    http://www.ushahidi.com/


  • Mike Leydon says:

    For Crowdsourcing, you could add
    ushahidi / crowdmap (they have done some amazing stuff with it)
    http://www.ushahidi.com/

    I don’t know if my submission passed your catchpa test or not;-)


  • Ana says:

    This is an excellent resource for PMs. It would be great to compile reviews of a few key strengths of each tool from users.


  • Johnnie says:

    Thanks for sharing yoսr thoughts abօut product management tools.
    Ʀegards


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