Product Management Tools

List of Product Management Tools

There are a great many product management tools on the market.

You will want to choose the right tools to suit your business’s needs – there is no need to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut!

Therefore, with that in mind here is a list of Product Management Tools that will suit light users (simple needs) through to power users (very complex needs).

Office Suites

General-purpose office suites are the most common tools used by product management teams to generate documentation in a variety of formats. The most common components of office suites used by product management teams are word processor software; spreadsheet software; presentation software; and, database software:

  • Microsoft Office – Proprietary suite containing Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.
  • Open Office – Open Source suite containing Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw and Base.
  • iWork – Proprietary suite for the Mac containing Page, Numbers and Keynote.
  • Google Docs – Online suite with sharing capabilities that contains Docs and Spreadsheets

Dedicated Product Management Tools (Web-Based)

There are some great web-based applications for product management teams, such as the Accompa Product Management Tool.

Dedicated Product Management Tools (Traditional Client/Server)

There is heavy-weight Product Lifestyle Management solutions such as IBM Telelogic and DOORS that can be used very effectively for product management.

Tools for Documentation

Here are some tools for creating good documentation:

  • Flowcharts:
    • Microsoft Visio
    • SmartDraw
    • OmniGraffle – For Macs
    • Dia – Free software. UI is not as great, but it’s free!
  • Screenshots:
  • Images (Creating, Marking Up):
    • Microsoft Paint
    • SnagIt – Basic image editing only
    • Adobe: Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks
    • GIMP – Free software. Again, UI is not as great, but it’s free and powerful!
  • Screen Mockups:
    • Microsoft Powerpoint
    • Adobe: Illustrator, Fireworks, Dreamweaver
    • Balsamiq
  • Mind Maps:
  • Text Documents:
    • Microsoft Word
    • Google Docs
    • Adobe Dreamweaver
    • Wikis

Templates for Documentation

Although there are no industry standard templates, you are best off not trying to reinvent the wheel. If your organization has standard templates of its own, adopt these. If they do not, then you need to make sure that they start using one set as standard in the future.

You can find free templates (for MRD, Roadmaps, etc) by conducting searches in Google. Software such as the Accompa Product Management Software have built-in templates that can assist you in implementing standardized formats in your organization.

Organizations such as the “280 Group” sell document templates for purchase as well.