Best Tools for Analytics
Analytics tools help product managers track and analyze usage and behavioral data about their products, customers, and market. This data helps them make informed decisions about product development, pricing, marketing, and user experience. PMs with modern analytics products in their toolkit can seamlessly track website traffic, user behavior, conversion rates, app usage, performance, user engagement, and customer interactions, and turn all of that data into actionable insights.
Having the right analytics tool in the Modern Product Tech Stack will help measure the success of their product, identify areas of improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize products and features.
Mixpanel helps product managers use analytics from behavioral data to convert, engage, and retain more users through user engagement metrics, tracking actions users take in the product, funnel analysis of key user journeys, cohort analysis of behavior patterns, A/B testing of features and their impact on user behaviors, and retention analysis. They can also build interactive reports within Mixpanel to bring data to life, including funnel reports, retention reports, and insights reports.
Product managers look to Amplitude for a web and analytics platform that allows them to understand how users are interacting with products and features. Using the insights available within the platform, product managers can track user behavior and identify key trends, usage patterns, and user journeys. They can segment their user base and analyze behavior based on different criteria like demographics, geographics, or device type. Amplitude can also be used for funnel analysis, user retention, and A/B testing. These actionable insights lead to data-driven decisions about product features and user experience.
Best Tools for Whiteboarding
Whiteboarding is what product managers use to brainstorm ideas, sketch out concepts, and visualize the user flow of their product. They use it for cross-functional collaboration with other stakeholders, such as designers, developers, and stakeholders. They use it to create prototypes, mockups, and wireframes of their product ideas to help stakeholders visualize the product and provide feedback. It’s a key piece of creating presentations and visual aids to communicate their ideas and product vision to stakeholders. And, now, they use cloud-based whiteboarding tools to collaborate with remote teams and stakeholders.
FigJam, i.e. Figma's whiteboarding product, is a favorite of product managers, designers, and researchers alike. It’s a collaborative online whiteboard that lets teams ideate and brainstorm in real-time, all at once. It’s great for visualizing concepts of ideas, product features, and user flows to help stakeholders understand the product vision. Product managers can use FigJam to create wireframes, mockups, and prototypes of their product ideas to test and validate their concepts. Plus, it’s so easy to use that even cross-functional teams can easily all jump in and get started.
Miro is a remote whiteboarding tool providing teams a way to connect, create, and collaborate. It has options for brainstorming, diagramming, and mapping, and it's used across teams for whiteboarding to visually organize ideas for their product. Teams can use sticky notes, images, mind maps, videos, flow charts, and drawing capabilities to work across teams. For product managers, it’s particularly useful for creating product roadmaps, looking at customer needs with journey maps, and building wireframes and user flows.
Best Tools for Roadmapping
Roadmapping tools help product managers prioritize their product strategy and features based on customer feedback, market trends, and product strategy. These tools help them outline their vision, goals, and priorities, and communicate these to stakeholders including designers, engineers, and researchers. Roadmapping tools can also be used to manage timelines, set deadlines, and track the progress of their product roadmap, plus make adjustments as needed.
Lastly, roadmapping tools can be used to make forecasts and predict future trends, enabling product teams to stay ahead of the competition.
Jira Product Discovery
Jira is a tool used by agile product teams to move fast, stay aligned, and build better products. There are templates available within Jira to help product managers get a head start on planning and tracking, but then they can leverage its customization tools to create product management flows that work best for their team and the specific needs of each product and feature launch. Workflows and boards help product managers keep track of user stories, offering sprints to plan and track development progress, labels to categorize and track the status of features, and reports to visualize and communicate progress to stakeholders.
Notion is a favorite across the tech world and beyond, with capabilities that include to-do lists, project management, and more. Product managers can use it as soon as they kick off a project for to-do lists and product management, and product managers can leverage intuitive tables to outline and organize information, boards to create and organize tasks as cards, templates to quickly set up a roadmap structure, and calendars to add timelines. It’s a simple-to-use, collaborative tool that keeps all pieces of product management in one central home base.
Productboard’s goal is to get better products to market — faster. They help product teams understand what customers need, prioritize what to build next, and align everyone around the roadmap. With a features library to capture, prioritize, and categorize feature ideas, a roadmap view to visualize and plan the product roadmap, and a central place to track and analyze customer feedback, Productboard is an all-in-one software for start-to-finish product management. Plus, it has integrations with other tools that make creating and collaborating throughout the roadmap process seamless.
Shortcut's roadmapping functionality is fully integrated into their software project management platform to help product teams plan, visualize, and track ongoing progress. Product managers can quickly navigate to specific blockers with just a few clicks, propose targeted solutions, and create alignment across teams throughout the product development process. By utilizing Shortcut's roadmap functionality, product teams can effectively communicate their plans and goals, track progress as it happens, and organize and prioritize the backlog of tasks and user stories based on project and company-wide goals.
Best Tools for Product Specifications
With product specifications, product managers are required to write detailed descriptions of the features, functions, and requirements of a product. This is the blueprint for product development and provides a clear understanding of what the final product should look like and how it should work. Product specifications will include product features and functionality, technical specifications, user experience and interface design specifications, performance criteria, quality and reliability requirements, regulatory requirements, as well as support and maintenance requirements. This serves as the entire foundation for a successful product development process.
Product Managers use Confluence is a collaboration and management tool that can be used to create and manage product specifications. Confluence’s pages and templates, with their customizable labels and categories, are perfect for product managers looking for a system to create and organize detailed specifications, while also allowing cross-functional teams to collaborate on, contribute to, and review those specs. They have access to over 3,000 integrations making it easy to organize the entire product management process, including tracking progress, within Confluence while having product specs easily accessible at your fingertips.
Notion makes a second appearance on our Modern Product Tech Stack for its value as a product spec tool — it’s what we use here at Sprig. Because of its customization options, ability to easily organize and manage data and projects, and its collaborative features, it’s a helpful tool for product managers as they oversee a new product or feature from ideation through launch.
Best Tools for Activation
Product managers need to gather, store, and manage user event data from various sources to create comprehensive customer views. This data helps them analyze customer behavior and preferences, determine which features and updates could be most beneficial for customers, as well as determine which customers should be targeted for feedback.
Segment allows product teams to make data-driven decisions across the product development lifecycle. It collects user event data from mobile, web, and warehouse sources using a simple API, and integrates easily with data analytics tools.
With Census, product teams can tap into user event data and connect their entire data ecosystem across apps, servers, tools, and warehouses. Census transforms the cloud data warehouse into a growth engine and provides a visual point-and-click interface to enable any user to explore data and build audience segments, then sync them to 200+ business tools like Sprig, Mixpanel, LaunchDarkly, Jira, and Asana.
Best Tools for Experimentation
The best product managers know that the process of creating great products is never done — there are constant and continual ways to optimize and improve features and updates. But this requires having growth-focused products for experimentation and testing hypotheses on how product managers can improve the users’ experience and product. With these experimentation tools, product managers can look at two versions of a design, webpage, or app to determine which performs better and whether a different solution is the answer.
LaunchDarkly offers experimentation that is integrated with the development workflow, giving product managers the ability to run experiments in any layer of the stack: front-end, back-end, or mobile. They leverage an easy-to-use system that allows product managers — or any team — to run experiments, but with guardrails in place (so no one can take the software down by accident!). Plus, product managers can get the answers quickly, and roll out the winning feature in just one click by leveraging feature flags and experiment integrations.
Statsig gives product managers the ability to conduct experiments in real time and observe how products are performing. Product teams can integrate feature flags, A/B tests, and experiments to make quick decisions, thanks to a powerful stat engine. Statsig’s focus on speed and statistical significance translates into an easy-to-use dashboard that gives product managers fast access to experiment results, metrics, numbers, and “Product Observability", which is a full view of how the features and experiments are actually impacting business metrics (read: the numbers stakeholders care about).
How to Get Buy-In and Support for the Modern Product Tech Stack
To get buy-in and support for investing in the tools that make up the modern product tech stack, it’s important to tie the benefit of the tool to the bottom line. The bottom line being revenue, which comes as a result of empowering product managers to do their job more efficiently, build better products, and increase users. In addition, they offer:
- Efficient ways to get and use user feedback in real time
- Ability to collaboratively whiteboard with cross-functional and remote teams
- Central, collaborative solutions for roadmapping and specs
- Clean, central warehouse for user event data
- Ease of analytics to make data-driven decisions
- Efficiency through cross-product integrations
These efficiencies and abilities directly impact the bottom line and provide a data-driven case to stakeholders and decision-makers for investing in the Modern Product Tech Stack.