What Tools You Need To Be An Effective Product Manager: Part 1?

How to manage product effectively?

Plant Analogy :

Any product and it’s management is somewhat similar to any growing plants which bear fruits. Fruit is a product and the person who grows it is a product manager.

It starts with finding fertile land(Finding the right market/target audience) , adopting best seeding practices, planting seeds, nurturing it with right kind of water and fertiliser, monitoring the growth , trimming the unwanted branches & leafs to keep it in right shape(Improving product based on customer feedback), plucking the fruits as it comes on the way. Continuing the discipline of caring to help it bear new fruits. Planning a marketing strategy to take the fruits to the market, price it right, track demand supply trends to decode which seasonal fruits needs to grown and accordingly change the plantation strategy.

So if you want to be a product manager you need to act like a complete care taker who has committed his life for the product to sustain and grow.

I have spoken at length how product manager thinks and act. Please take some time to check out the below article .

So today i would like to share what are the essential tools which product manager needs to have in their kitty to feel empowered and deliver their responsibility with absolute control and efficiency.

Tools For Effective Product Management:

When this role was not very popular and very few people understood the value if it, most of the managerial activities happened through classic spreadsheets, PPT’s and some PMS(Project Management Softwares )to define a product roadmap but these softwares were not designed keeping Product Manager at the centre. But now as this role is becoming very crucial for many product based startups and growing companies many effective tools have been developed which covers the following essentials to support product management roles taking up this challenging role.

The tools listed here are grouped into the following major areas:

  • Product strategy and roadmapping
  • Analytics
  • Customer feedback
  • Design and wireframing
  • User experience testing
  • User onboarding
  • Collaboration and productivity
  • Project and task management

Today in the series of product management, we will cover following 3 areas, rest we will cover in part 2 .

  • Product strategy and Roadmapping
  • Analytics
  • Customer feedback

1. Product strategy and Roadmapping:

I have not used all of them but will share what i felt easy to use and which helped me outline my strategy, defining features, capturing innovative suggestions , lay down user story and prioritising it.

1. Aha !

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It works wonderfully well to communicate

  1. Product Vision
  2. Defining User persona
  3. Doing market research
  4. Competitive Analysis
  5. Identifying weaknesses and pain points

everything one strategist needs can be done with this tool.

Also it integrated seamlessly with others developer tools like Jira, Trello, TFS, Rally, Slack, Zendesk, Salesforce etc to help you monitor the progress and measure the outcome.

For more useful details do check out their website:

Other tools which i feel very useful is

2. ProductPlan

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ProductPlan is the easiest way to plan, visualize, and communicate your product strategy.

I found it very simple to use product roadmapping tool. You can swiftly lay down your product plan and communicate your strategy across the departments and stakeholders.

For more details and features do check out their website:

2. Analytics:

Data sourcing and analysis, i feel is one of the key factor for deciding your success and failures as a product manager. So if you are working on improving any existing product or planning to release new features altogether you first need to measure what your users are doing with it. How are they behaving while experiencing your product, what is the stickiness factor , what ticks them , what forces them to leave your product etc etc.. These are the important metrics to measure.

So you need a analytic tool to capture and analyse data with multiple filters to measure it. Here are some of the prominent data analytics tool which can help you make data driven decisions. Some of them you may already be using

1. Google Analytics:

This the most widely used analytics tool which helps your discover where your traffic is coming from and what people are doing on your site.

2. MixPanel :

Analyze user behaviour across your sites and apps. Then send messages and run experiments from what you learned–all in Mixpanel.

For more info please visit the link below:

3. GeckoBoard:

With Gecko, you can easily build the KPI metrics and share across your team members. Geckoboard pulls data from more than 60 sources to display real-time dashboards that show company performance.

Geckoboard makes it easy to transform your most important data into clear dashboards that can be understood at a glance.

For more details please visit:

there are many more tools

like Pendo, Amplitude, Pendo etc..

4. Customer Feedback :

Product Managers one of the key responsibility is to ensure they are closely tracking customers behaviour and capturing feedback. They always champion customer’s cause, listen to their problem statement, review their feedback and work closely with the product development team to improve their product constantly.

Some of the prominent customer feedback capturing tools which I have frequently used are

1. Google Forms :

This one is one of my favorite tool to run quick and effective survey and capture customer feedback. It’s easy to set up and make actionable. Also it can be integrated with any web and app easily.

So now create simple forms and surveys for free. You can even build forms from Google Drive or existing spreadsheets that record form responses for you.

2. SurveyMonkey :

As it claims, it is one of the most widely used survey tool where it captures almost 80 million questions daily. They are one of the global leader in survey software.

To know more survey more and you may be able to define a real actionable to enhance your product user engagement and experience.

3. Typeforms

Get better at collecting data using this elegant & user friendly tool to establish conversation with your user. Create surveys, quizzes, forms, or something completely new. Customize the design to speak your brand’s language.

Typeform works seamlessly on every device and browser.

There are some other useful tools also viz SurveyGizmo, Wootric etc..

What’s Next ?

In the next part we will see how a product manager after getting user insights manages other relevant phases of product life cycle and what are the tools he employs for the same.

So, we will cover the following sections in Part 2:

  • Design and wireframing
  • User experience testing
  • User onboarding
  • Collaboration and productivity
  • Project and task management

Summary :

I would sum up this article with a food for thought:

If you aspire to be an effective product leader always trust data which your user is giving. Until you empathize your customer and are willing enough to listen and learn about their needs you will never be able to deliver a product which can solve real-world problems and create measurable impact.

For more do check out : www.techprenuer.com where I very often share my learning for all you lovely readers .

THANKS A LOT……