Why is finding a good product roadmap tool so difficult? Just when you think you have found “the” tool, you discover during your trial period that this will fall short on a few parameters project tracking software. I guess I already know the answer to my question – a Product Manager’s requirements can be so different within organisations (sometimes even within teams) that it is not about finding a tool that satisfies a product manager’s purpose, but it has to help other people involved as well.
Let’s consider different people involved:
My CEO wants a tool that looks great – so that we have a roadmap that is presentable to investors and external stakeholders. And yet be a live document to showcase our progress against the roadmap.
Traditional usage for this purpose: Excel, Powerpoint, etc..
The department manager wants a tool that helps in resource allocation, along with detailed task-list. Almost like a gantt chart view. Something I personally hate, but hey, as a Product Manager, my job is to make sure everyone else finds tools useful, I am not going there to satisfy my personal needs 😉
Traditional tools for this purpose: Any gantt chart tool such as Smartsheet, etc..
The development team just wants a bunch of tickets to work on. They don’t want to get distracted with long-view roadmaps in the short-term.
Traditional tools for this purpose: Physical Kanban board, Trello, etc..
I have researched and tried several tools in the past. Most have fallen short. Some tools even go to the extent of removing dates from the roadmaps completely. Personally such tools don’t appeal to me. Product Managers should start thinking like business owners – if, as a business owner, you don’t tell me when something will finish, how am I supposed to understand why I am spending money on it?
Anyways, currently I am experimenting with a tool called ProductPlan. So far it has looked impressive. In fact it has allowed me to take screenshots and share it on a company-wide level with minimal fuss. I am quite positive about this.
Let’s see where this goes.