Product Management Tools – Do we really need to use one?
May 19, 2018
May 19, 2018
Let’s start out with the obvious that no one needs to use a tool to do anything. You don’t need a hammer to drive a nail into a wall. You don’t need a lawnmower to cut your grass and you don’t need product management tools to manage your product. With that said, how hard is it to drive a nail into a board with your hands? Or to cut your grass with scissors? You get the point. You don’t need tools to complete a task but having the right tool can really make it easier and more efficient to complete a task and in this case that task involves using product management tools.
Do You Need Product Management Tools Day One?
Tools come in all types of sizes and you may not acknowledge it but using Word or Excel to track your product feature requests or using power point to show an investor your product roadmap is still using product management tools to accomplish your goal. Now the complexity of these tools are very simple and basic and would be the equivalent of using a screwdriver versus a drill to get a nail into a board. Simple tools are still tools and it is hard if you have many moving parts, working with many different resources and you need to actually show your direction to not use some kind of product management tools to accomplish this.
What can more complex product management tools do for me?
Complex Project Management Tools can make you a more efficient product owner because it can remove a number of niche simple tools from your workflow and consolidate them into a single location. Within that location, you start to get more insight into the data since the data flow from start to finish is connected and makes it easier to see patterns and compare ideas and features against each other. A big part of the product management job is to coordinate, communicate and prioritize and to do that effectively, you need tools to ensure you are getting and giving information needed to your team and customers about the product. Without the right tools, this can be challenging and when not done well, can lead to increase in churn, less conversions and even within your team higher turnover as the message is not communicated and you never achieve the buy in from your team members. Great product management tools gets everyone on board with your product vision.
So What Is The Takeaway?
Any job needs the right tool to get it done right. The better the tool, the better the job is done. The same is true for all crafts including product management. Whiteboards, spreadsheet and word documents are tools just like a screwdriver is a tool. Like the screwdriver and drill comparison, there are basic and more complex tools that make you better as a product manager and provides a better final solution. Whiteboards, spreadsheets and word documents are difficult to share with your team and customers and get buy in on the future of the product. As a product manager, look for tools that help you accomplish your product management needs to coordinate, communicate and prioritize to deliver the best product possible.