Tools for Product Managers

Session with Gerald Heller at the first international conference dedicated to the management of software and software-intensive products: Software Product Summit – April 17-18, 2018 in Frankfurt, Germany, .

For decades components of the Microsoft Office Suite dominated the tools used for planning and monitoring product development. And they still continue to do so in most cases. Using PowerPoint to paint roadmaps is perhaps the most widely used tool.

Well established and more data oriented tools like requirements management and agile planning tools have expanded their scope to higher level planning levels in the last decade. Some of them allow to create and manage roadmaps for products where the displayed data is connected to detailed planning information underneath.

Additionally, we see a new category of tools emerge in recent years. Tools of this category directly target the needs of product managers. A good illustration of such a product is Aha! which I have discussed in the post: “Aha! – More Than A Roadmapping Tool”.

However, there are quite some tools that offer support in other areas of product management as well: Market research, user research, agile planning, and monitoring.

For product managers it’s not easy to find out the most appropriate solution.

Based on my multi year experience with requirements tools (see blog entries on I have monitored and analyzed the situation for product management tools since a couple of years.

To get a better orientation I looked at tool support from the perspectives of product management activities:

SPM activities

This categorization is also supported by the activity based software product management framework from the International Software Product Management association ISPMA.

With this categorization in mind I analyzed the tool support for product managers in those specific areas. In my upcoming talk about this topic on the Software Product Summit on April 18 in Frankfurt I will dive into some details for a selected list of tools looking forward to insightful discussions with product managers.

If you haven’t registered yet for this event there is still time to do so now.