Product development management software is a solution designed to help businesses manage the development process of their products, from conceptualization and workflow planning to the product launch.
This product management tool is used to develop, modify and enhance an organization’s product in a quick and efficient manner. It allows product managers and their team members to capture fresh concepts and ideas through continuous customer feedback, using the information to lay out a specific product roadmap to transform a core concept into an actual finished product. Although this type of product management software is mainly used by product managers and development teams, the solution can also provide meaningful insights and more transparency into product development for other departments within the business, such as sales and marketing.
Product development management software is equipped with a number of features and tools designed to help businesses with product decisions as well as proper organization and execution of product strategy. Roadmap features, for instance, can help break down complex workflows from conceptualization all the way to product delivery, while continuously monitoring the progress of the product development team and allowing for necessary modifications to the product plan and specific timelines. Prioritization is also a key component of product roadmapping, giving product managers the ability to aim their team’s efforts, in real time, on the most critical aspects of the development process.
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Product development management software is not the same as product development software, although they might have a few key similarities. A product development tool, sometimes referred to as new product development software or simply NPD software, is a digital solution that covers all stages of the product development process, i.e. everything associated with bringing a specific product from ideation all the way to market release and beyond. Essentially, product development solutions facilitate the development of a product’s entire lifecycle, while a product development management tool incorporates the management process of product development.
Confused yet? Well, you’re not alone. Think of it this way: product development software covers everything associated with the product development process, from identifying the market need for a certain product, conceptualizing that product, validating the solution and creating the product roadmap to developing the minimum viable product (MVP) and releasing it to users and conducting ongoing iterations according to user feedback and strategic objectives. It also involves many departments across the entire organization, such as product management, product marketing, project management, agile management, design, architecture, engineering, manufacturing, quality assurance and distribution.
Product development management software shares a few similar principles to project management software, although both types of software are also quite different in the sense that a project management tool is often used to facilitate general project delivery, while product development management solutions are utilized to facilitate the entire product management lifecycle.
Product development management platforms are also equipped with tools for agile workflows, task management, product portfolio management, as well as resource management and allocation. The agile workflow function typically includes tools such as bug tracking, user testing and sprint planning for development teams working in an agile environment. Many top-tier solutions may also provide a variety of communication and collaboration tools such as chat and/or comment threads.
Product managers and development teams can leverage product development management software for the conceptualization, planning and execution of product creation. This category of software enables development teams to easily track idea generation, share concepts and recommendations, assign and prioritize tasks, as well as consolidate key process information such as bug tracking and testing results. It is an informational organization tool that helps users remain focused on their product development journey and deliver a complete, requirements-driven end product.
Product development management platforms are equipped with a wide variety of features designed to make the process of developing a product that much easier and more efficient. They facilitate the product development process at every stage. Among these features is strategy and roadmapping, which allows product managers to map out their strategy or plan for the product they’re attempting to develop for the upcoming months or even years. Having a proper product strategy and roadmap provides a clear guide for you and your team to follow, ensuring everyone involved in the project is on the same page and heading in the right direction to accomplish common goals.
User tracking and analysis is a key function of product development management software. The tools in this category help empower product managers and development teams to leverage user research in the product development process by tracking, visualizing and analyzing user behavior and activity to determine what is and isn’t working in terms of product features, capabilities and other core characteristics. Using this feature can yield significant results that may dictate the key traits of the final product, especially since these are the type of tools that serve as invaluable sources of information and insight into the end user.
Product testing and assessment tools are also invaluable to product managers and development teams in creating new requirements-driven products. This is a key component of product development management solutions, as it allows teams to try out certain features of their product with real users. It’s usually provided in the form of a free trial in exchange for feedback. With this strategy, development teams can obtain very important actionable insights into their product prior to release. They can make all the necessary adjustments and modifications based on the user feedback before opening their product to the market.
Project management is also a common feature of product development management software. This function is often equipped with tools such as Kanban boards and Gantt charts to help streamline product development workflows as well as optimize schedules and deadlines. In essence, project management provides a central location for product planning, collaboration and to facilitate seamless communication among team members, contributors, clients and other stakeholders.
Finally, there’s feature flagging. This is a crucial function in product development management solutions that enables product managers and developers to easily turn specific product features on and off after deployment. Feature flagging is often used to minimize the risk of potential widespread issues with a newly deployed product, while allowing for a comprehensive and insightful product A/B testing process.
Product managers play a significant role in the creation and development of any product. They are the captain of the ship that is the DevOps team. To do their jobs effectively, product managers rely on comprehensive digital solutions such as product development management software, which allows them to create a product plan and strategy, streamline workflows, breakdown tasks to more manageable chunks of work, build a product roadmap, capture user feedback and perform analysis, ensure seamless communication among their team members and collaborators, as well as provide a single workspace for everyone to share their ideas, contribute and work together.
One of the biggest advantages of utilizing the right product development management solution is how it can easily transform a product vision into a workable plan. Product managers are responsible for capturing ideas and concepts from team members as well as customers. It is their job to obtain that product vision and transform it into a requirements-driven final product. The product development management tool’s role is to provide the product manager with a platform to create a cohesive, executable product plan and roadmap from the first moment of the product’s lifecycle. This is an invaluable tool for product managers as well as their development team.
Most of the top-tier product development management software in the market can provide you with a comprehensive task management system and the power to influence your product in real-time at every stage of the development process. This is quite important, especially when it comes to making sure that everyone involved with the project is on the same page with resource allocation, task dependencies and timelines.
Using this kind of management software allows product managers to create a more effective and streamlined workflow for their team members and the product development team as a whole. It can also help optimize the task management and resource allocation, thus avoiding scheduling conflicts and failure to deliver completed tasks on key deadlines. It’s important to make sure the product development process goes smoothly as possible, as things can quickly get messy, difficult and overwhelming for everyone involved.
Product development management software also helps to improve communication and collaboration among team members, external contributors, clients and other stakeholders. When it comes to product development, regardless of size or scope, having proper communication lines is crucial to a better and more effective collaboration. With proper channels of communication in place, maintaining a cohesive workflow and ensuring that everyone sticks to the product roadmap becomes a lot easier for the product manager. Also, having the ability to properly communicate with each other at any stage of the product lifecycle is a fundamental aspect in ensuring a smooth product development experience.
Product development management software is tailored to guide product managers and their development teams through their product roadmaps, making sure that everyone sticks to their roles and responsibilities throughout the product’s entire lifecycle. This type of software is equipped with tools to help dev teams conduct market research for the validity of their product, create product assessments, perform iterations at all stages of the product development process, as well as make plans and strategies to maximize their product launches.