Are you looking for the best product roadmap tools and software? Then, you've come to the right place.
Customer experience is vital to the success of any business, and businesses that focus on improving customer experience generate 80% more in revenue.
The most successful teams understand that customer experience doesn't begin when your customer makes a purchase. It actually starts at the origin of the product development lifecycle.
Successful product development depends on several resources, including robust product roadmap tools.
The best product roadmap tools help product managers and teams prioritize feature development, outline processes, set tasks, track progress, and more.
Keep reading to learn more about product roadmap tools, benefits, and which factors to consider when comparing software.
Below is everything we will cover. Feel free to skip ahead.
- Why do you need a product roadmap?
- How do product roadmap tools work?
- Types of product roadmaps
- Planning the data, you'll enter into your product roadmap tool
- The 12 best product roadmap tools and software
- Product roadmap management best practices
Why do you need a product roadmap?
A robust product roadmap method and culture helps product managers achieve several things. First, product roadmaps help generate excitement and align product strategy.
If you want to bolster product strategy knowledge across your organization, a product roadmap tool is perfect for this. It can also show your stakeholders that you're in control of a directed, effective strategy. When your entire organization understands what to prioritize internally, and for customers, decision-making becomes grounded in that direction.
Visibility into the product roadmap process benefits product manager's from top to bottom. It gives executives complete oversight and visibility into what's happening inside of their organization. They can see how things are changing, stalling, or progressing within the strategy.
This isn't meant to create a culture of micromanagement but of confidence so that all stakeholders feel good about the product development process. They are assured that the company is taking positive strides toward solving customer issues, which will produce the most significant business impact.
Product roadmaps lead to cross-functional team collaboration and clarity surrounding priorities. The process of prioritizing products is complex and requires online, collaborative communication among teams and stakeholders.
A product roadmap encourages organizations to narrow their focus to problems that can be solved using open resources. This process is a prioritization activity in itself.
How do product roadmap tools work?
Building a successful product begins with a breakthrough idea. This idea is to have a deep understanding of your customers so you can solve a genuine problem.
A product manager's job is to define the product vision, which is why you're building the product and its direction. The next step is to set strategic, measurable goals and a plan for achieving them.
The purpose of a product roadmap is to help you and your team visualize your product plan. How will you build it? When will it be finished? What work will help you achieve your goals?
A roadmap ensures your team stays focused on meaningful work and communicates new features, timing, business strategy, and any dependencies to the rest of your organization.
Until introducing purpose-built product management tools, product managers used spreadsheets and simple text documents to create static roadmaps. While these are helpful, they're disconnected from the daily work.
Spreadsheets also require time-consuming manual updates—especially when you need to present the information in several different ways. Using manual methods to update roadmap versions and slides, you waste precious hours that could be better spent solving customer pain points.
The best roadmap tools for product managers provide a framework to set and share a product strategy easily. You and your team can use a single tool to create initiatives and goals, communicate about product plans, prioritize features, and build visual timelines for stakeholders.
Inside the product roadmap, you can link each feature to the goal it supports. Then, your team can fully understand how well they're delivering against the plan.
Types of product roadmaps
Product roadmaps allow your team to capture and collaborate on product plans. Your stakeholders and audience are also a contributing factor that determines what portions you present and how.
You can decide which elements to include based on the information you want to convey, whether it is goals, initiatives, product releases, features, or something else.
There are four common types of roadmaps: portfolio, strategy, release, and features. Let's discuss the characteristics of each.
A portfolio roadmap uses a single view to showcase planned releases across multiple products. If you're sharing your strategy with executives or other stakeholders, this is one way to provide a high-level, strategic overview.
This type of roadmap can also show your team how their specific efforts relate to the overall project plan or the work of other groups.
A strategy roadmap shows the high-level initiatives that the team needs to focus on to achieve specific goals.
This type of roadmap is perfect for presenting your work to executives. It's also a way to provide internal teams an understanding of how product releases play into the overall business strategy.
A release or timeline-based roadmap is unique in that it outlines the tasks that you must complete before the product can be released to the market. This includes what needs to be done, who is responsible, and when the work needs to be completed.
If you're coordinating a product release with other teams, such as sales, marketing, and customer support, this type of roadmap is helpful.
A features roadmap shows the specific timeline for when you will deploy new features. If you need to detail which features are coming to other teams in your organization or customers, this type of product roadmap is ideal.
Planning the data, you'll enter into your product roadmap tool
Before choosing a product roadmap solution, you'll want to determine which features you need by organizing data. Which data points are most important to you and your organization's stakeholders?
With prioritization, focus, and advanced planning, you can take some out of the difficulty out of product planning.
First, narrow down the priorities you intend to tackle for a specific period. Then, define goals that focus on particular outcomes (not deployment dates) and specify your metrics and KPIs you'll use to determine success.
Your product roadmap journey will begin with these pieces, so commit to recording them now and communicating them with your teams. Then, you'll be on your way to product roadmap strategy success.
Generate your goals for a predetermined amount of time
Ideally, you're planning a product roadmap to lay out the next few months or quarters. It's rare for a team to know what's in the pipeline for a year from now due to discovering new customer needs and market changes. For this reason, attempting to execute a year-long timeline doesn't make sense.
To be successful, you only need to know the who, what, and how for the month and quarter. Focus on meeting one or two high-level goals. Don't beat yourself up if this isn't immediately achievable. This time frame is sometimes a stretch for even the most agile teams.
To determine what the product goals should be, start with your product vision. The first step is the same, whether you're a ten-person startup or a seasoned enterprise. Your vision is the reason for creating the product. What outcomes do you want to achieve for current and potential users? This should determine every task you complete.
Start with your business goals. Say your organization's goals are to push acquisition metrics and acquire new customers or satisfy the needs of current users. When you know exactly what your business goals are, you can curate your product KPIs to align with that direction.
Identify solvable problems
Once you've determined your business goals and have developed a product strategy to improve and measure metrics related to those goals, you can move into the next phase: problem discovery.
What problems are your customers having? What can you solve to improve the metrics you defined? Search for the problems with answers that will have the most significant impact on business goals.
You can remove any distractions during this phase by focusing on customer feedback, usage data, and competitive product analysis.
It's vital to talk to your customers regularly. Ask your sales and customer service teams about feature requests. Meeting with these teams can give you valuable insight into user problems.
However, it's essential to meet with the customers yourself, as well. Look for significant problems that you may be able to solve with time carved out in the roadmap.
Next, find out exactly how your customers are interacting with your product and its features. Search for barriers, problems, and expected trends in customer behavior that you can eliminate through product development.
Product Competitive Analysis
It's crucial to keep aware of the problems your competitors are solving before you. To perform competitive analysis effectively, you must experience your competitors' platforms. This will give you a comprehensive frame of reference to understand where your product holds in the market.
Interact with your competitors' products as much as you can. Then, perform a deep analysis, measure your experiences, and compare them to your product.
Completing this problem discovery and research in the roadmap planning phase is vital to producing the correct problems you'll commit to solving over a specified amount of time.
The research you collect will determine and justify why certain features should live on the roadmap during discussions with stakeholders.
Align your internal teams and stakeholders
Your product management strategy will not be successful if your roadmap planning isn't collaborative from the beginning. You can't effectively solve customer problems on your own. You will need a team to come together and brainstorm possible solutions. From these conversations, you can determine a viable path to achieve desired outcomes.
During the planning process, you'll need to spend much time talking to your customer-facing teams. You can't ensure that you're making market-driven decisions if you don't have a good pulse on what your customers need.
Too many companies say they don't spend enough time processing customer feedback—70% spend five hours or less doing so per month. And this is ongoing work that most product managers can't fit into their schedule. However, not performing comprehensive research will be a significant obstacle towards identifying solvable problems.
The best way to tackle this is to address the problems you can solve the fastest early in the product roadmap. Your roadmap alignment process will be an ongoing exercise, so it should begin during the early days of planning.
Defining a product roadmap isn't a way of jotting down ideas and keeping stakeholders in the loop. It's about allowing other teams to participate in the conversation.
You can prompt your customer-facing team with the following questions:
- Which problems do you think are most urgent?
- Why do you feel this way?
- What evidence are you basing your suggestions on?
- What do you think is the impact of acting or not acting on this feedback?
Define metrics of success for roadmap initiatives
Ensuring that your roadmap is aligned with well-defined KPIs is the best way to quantify the impact of the goals you wish to reach and the problems you want to solve.
Your product roadmap should illustrate the answers to the following questions:
- What will the long-term impact of this be?
- How will we measure whether we achieve this impact?
- What is the process for updating and reporting the progress of this impact?
Prioritizing the product roadmap
Prioritization framework is vital during the product roadmap planning phase. You will make decisions based on an understanding of customers' needs combined with what's possible with your company's resources.
To make prioritization decisions, start by asking questions:
- What product initiatives will cause the most significant impact?
- What is the most urgent task to tackle?
- What are our scope of time, effort, and technology?
Then you can move into strategies to quantity those answers to lead your decisions.
The 12 best product roadmap tools and software
Now that you know what data goes into a product roadmap tool, how do you choose the right one for your team?
To jumpstart your research, let's start with a list of roadmap tools to consider.
Below, we'll take a look at some of the top purpose-built product management tools in detail.
TrueNxus is at the top of our best product roadmap tools and software list. With TrueNxus, you'll manage all of your organization's product roadmaps in one central location. You'll have all of the features you need to plan and execute projects successfully.
- Intuitive user interface
- Incredible Timeline view
- Automated status reports
- Personalized views of product roadmaps, so you know what you're on the hook for delivering
- Ability to see everything you're responsible for, and dependencies, across all projects in one location
- Collaborative with colleagues, clients and third parties
- Real-time notifications
- Role-based access controls
- Privacy when needed
- Great customer support
- Attractive pricing
TrueNxus untangles product roadmaps and allows you and your cross-functional team to increase productivity, efficiency, and accountability across all stakeholders.
TrueNxus's pricing plans start at $10/month for a team of 5. Then, each additional user is only $9/month.
Try for free today (no credit card needed).
Aha! is second on our list of best product roadmap tools. It is a product management suite that helps teams capture ideas, set strategy, score features, and share plans. It also provides the ability to crowdsource feedback with Aha! Ideas Essentials.
This platform is best for companies looking to centralize feedback, hold live empathy sessions, and prioritize requests.
Aha!'s pricing plans begin at $59 per user per month. All of their plans are billed annually. There is no free version available. However, you can sign up for a free trial.
Aha! boasts ease of configuration and flexibility for implementation as a game-changer in the product roadmap space. The platform makes it easy to store ideas, even if you choose not to implement specific features.
Some customers report unexpected product updates that break current processes without warning. Depending on how you use the platform, this may cause delays of several days to weeks.
Productboard is third on our list of best product roadmap software. Productboard's developers boast that the software is a flexible and comprehensive open-source platform that can meet the needs of today's product marketers.
Using Productboard, teams can prioritize features that mean the most to them. You can also tailor product roadmaps for specific audiences, making this platform suitable for groups that seek to understand customer needs better.
Productboard is a platform built for teams of 1,000 or more and is best for product teams and product managers.
Productboard's plans begin at $20 per month with a per user pricing model. They offer a free trial as well as a free version of the platform with minimal features.
Productboard is flexible and allows its users to define specific views. It has a user-friendly UI that allows the user to rank features according to priority.
If you have much information to display, Productboard can sometimes feel sluggish. It's also impossible to separate internal insights from customer ones. This is important when trying to measure the customers' demand for new features.
Roadmunk is fourth on our best product roadmap tools list. Roadmunk is an end-to-end product management tool that allows users to create customer-driven roadmaps. Product teams from small startups to large organizations use Roadmunk to align their product strategy.
With an idea management board, Roadmunk users can capture and store customer feedback in one place. Then, you can systematically choose which features to use next.
Pricing plans begin at $19 per user per month. Enterprise customers must contact Roadmap for pricing. There isn't a free version available, but you can start with a free trial.
Roadmunk offers built-in prioritization templates (value vs. risk and RICE) that help teams build roadmaps on the fly. You can also create your own method to present product roadmaps that are ready for the boardroom.
This platform isn't known for being super user-friendly and can be hard to use in presentations due to poor default formatting.
Airfocus is fifth on our best product roadmap software list. Airfocus is a prioritization platform that's best for teams that need a reach, impact, confidence, and effort (RICE) scoring roadmap to prevent feature bias.
It's a customizable tool that employs algorithms to score items based on input. Then, you can visually map priority tasks on an interactive matrix.
Airfocus is built for teams of one to 200 users. Decision-makers, such as product and project managers and startup founders, all benefit from this platform.
Pricing plans begin at $19 per month and go up by the number of editors. While there is a free trial available, there is no free version of Airfocus.
Airfocus provides tools that core all project management basics, such as Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and priority charts. Its interface is easy to use and straightforward, and they tout excellent customer service.
Some users report dissatisfaction with the lack of public roadmaps with the ability to up or downvote features. At this time, Airfocus's Gantt roadmap lacks a dependency feature.
ProductPlan is sixth on our list of best product roadmap tools. ProductPlan is a platform designed for teams that want to share their roadmaps with a broader audience. It's a good solution for those who seek a collection of ready-to-use roadmap templates.
Using ProductPlan, teams can integrate with other software to bring all of their vital tools to one platform.
Pricing plans begin at $39 per user per month. Enterprise users have to contact the ProductPlan sales team for pricing information. While there's a ProductPlan free trial available, but no free version exists.
ProductPlan is intuitive with a clean design and easily integrates into existing tools. Because of great visualization tools, you can share your project with anyone.
Moving bars between swim lanes is difficult in ProductPlan, as it's only possible with drag and drop. It also doesn't allow you to upload a spreadsheet as a roadmap template.
Compared to other options, Roadmap seems slightly expensive.
Asana is seventh on our list of best product roadmap tools. Asana is a straightforward project management tool that allows teams to organize their daily tasks alongside broader initiatives. It was designed to keep teams on task. Team members can easily communicate within the app.
Asana offers a free version with plenty of valuable features. Paid plans begin at $10.99 per user per month. The business plan is $24.99 per user per month. Asana doesn't share its enterprise pricing online and encourages larger organizations to contact them for information.
Asana offers team transparency. It tracks achievements and shares them with the team so that everyone can enjoy a feeling of success.
Users report frustration with email notifications that are difficult to disable. If you work on more than one team, it can be hard to switch between projects. There have also been concerns over clunky customer service offerings.
Monday.com is our eighth best product roadmap software. Monday.com is a project management tool built for any size team. It's ideal for groups looking for a platform that helps them chart, record, and manage their work.
Monday.com has an aesthetically pleasing interface that provides a space for teams to collaborate on projects. It is designed for teams across industries. Its customization capabilities make it an option for any project and organization.
Pricing plans begin at $29 per user per month. There's also a limited-feature free version available. They offer a free trial if you'd like to test out premium features.
Monday.com offers 24/7 support, which is impressive in this space. They also frequently provide supplementary tutorials and webinars. Their interface is easy to use, and they offer a 14-day trial.
The free plan is lacking, however, and the pricing plans can be confusing. Monday.com also doesn't offer advanced task tracking features.
Also, hyperlinks don't always carry over when copying data from a spreadsheet, which can be a nightmare for some product managers.
Portfoleon is ninth on our list of best product roadmap tools. Portfoleon was created to provide accurate, up-to-date data for decision-makers in an organization. It offers clear visibility into a project's timeline, status, and resources demand and supply. These features enable all team members to make decisions.
This platform is best for organizations that work on several projects at once and need a realistic way to manage their day-to-day work.
While there is a free plan available, premium pricing begins at $19 per month. You can try Portfoleon for free before committing to a plan.
Portfoleon's ease of use of high-level portfolio planning and project visualization is top-notch. However, there is a lack of user training materials, and customer support seems to leave users wanting.
Harvestr is our tenth best product roadmap tool. Harvestr enables teams to make informed roadmap decisions based on data and customer feedback.
This platform can integrate with all of your data sources and customer feedback solutions, including Salesforce, Intercom, Zendesk, Slack, and more.
Pricing begins at $39 per user per month. However, there's a free trial and a free version available. Elite users must contact Harvester to discuss their needs before determining the price.
Harvestr was built by a team of product managers who know what it takes to create successful roadmaps. It's appropriate for teams of all sizes.
Users say Harvestr is an easy-to-use solution with solid support. Some users complain about the lack of integrations with popular platforms like HubSpot and Segment. Others comment on the platform's slow loading speed.
Tara is our eleventh best product roadmap software. Tara is a product development tool that promises quick insights and stats to determine daily and weekly team progress. It is synced to GitHub.
Tara was built for modern software teams looking to manage tasks along their complete product development lifecycle. It connects to data using an API and ML models. Then, it predicts technical tasks, forms a project timeline, and which team members to include when starting a new project.
Tara is completely free. They strive to be free forever and offer unlimited users, sprints, workspaces, sprints, and tasks.
Tara offers an impressive amount of features for free. Even though users don't pay, they report excellent customer support. The platform makes it easy for teammates to communicate with each other.
Some users complain that Tara doesn't allow you to edit project names after creating a new project.
SharpCloud is the last product on our best product roadmap tools list. SharpCloud is unique because it's a product roadmap tool that provides a path forward to achieving goals. With the correct data, you can create product roadmaps in minutes. This makes it easy to ensure all team members and processes are aligned for the entire product development lifecycle.
This platform is best for organizations looking for a new way to collaborate around their data visually. The goal is to provide communication methods that help teams make intelligent strategic decisions.
At the time, SharpCloud hasn't posted pricing publicly. They encourage interested decision-makers to schedule a discovery call with their team as the first step in the sales process.
SharpCloud is suitable for visualizing the decision-making process and presenting data in an easy-to-understand way. They also have a super-responsive customer support team.
However, the platform is new, and some users report that it takes time to get used to.
Product roadmap management best practices
Your product roadmap shouldn't include the finer details of resource management and shipping dates. It should focus on the user and business outcomes it's seeking to create during a period.
It's essential to keep your product roadmap flexible throughout the process. Executives will want to be kept abreast of what's going on over quarters and throughout the year.
Technology, however, moves fast, and competitors can release new functionalities that quickly become table stakes. Other priorities will continue to emerge from conversations between product managers and customers.
Plus, development timelines can be unpredictable, so it's best to consider your roadmap as a fluid plan.
All of this isn't to say that a roadmap is useless. You just have to clearly communicate to stakeholders that change is part of a typical development process.
Take the time to measure your team's performance and provide plenty of status updates. By now, you realize that roadmaps should never be static documents. And the product roadmap lifecycle shouldn't end with a presentation.
You should continue to follow up on progress and keep your customers informed.
While there are free excel product roadmap templates and free google sheets product roadmap templates available to plug into software like Excel and PowerPoint, these are often limited in their capabilities.
The best product roadmap tools are purpose-built to manage ideas, define strategy, build visual roadmaps, and enable teams to analyze results in a central location.
Are you planning product releases with teams across your organization? TrueNxus organizes everything you need into one platform. This way, you can plan, collaborate, and executive projects, programs, and strategic initiatives in one place.
Ready to turn your ideas into reality and manage innovation, change, and business transformation with a robust product roadmap tool? Start your 14-day free trial of TrueNxus now.