The 11 Best Product Management and Engineering Tools We’re Using in 2023

by
Rob Ridgeway
Director of Product

As SaaS product managers, we’re often pulled in different directions, and it gets difficult to keep track of what we should be prioritizing at any given time. At UserVoice, we’ve built up an extensive tech stack designed to track priorities, encourage easy collaboration, and support fast changes in product direction. 

With so many tools in the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with options. It's important to take a step back and evaluate what your needs are and where your team is experiencing friction or repeated challenges.

Product management tools should help your team’s efficiency and agility, so you can respond to customer demands quickly and continuously. The 11 tools we picked to share in this article are collaborative, agile, and integrated well with our tech stack.

What Makes These the Best Product Management Tools for Our Team?

When we’re building our internal toolkit, we look for software that helps us adapt quickly to customer needs. Our top picks make it simple to follow customer feedback and easy to work with the engineering team and the GTM team on the latest project.

1. Jira: For Project and Bug Tracking

Jira helps us track projects, issues, and bugs that our team needs to work on. Jira’s task management features allow us to track development work via a Kanban board while giving all of our departments visibility into what our product and engineering teams are addressing at any given time. Jira makes it easy to update project status and supports quick-moving, agile development—and those features are important for maintaining internal alignment across our different teams. 

UserVoice Discovery actually features an integration with Jira, so your engineering team can stay even better aligned with the customer needs that are driving their initiatives. With our Jira Integration, you can keep product and engineering efforts in sync by connecting Features and Ideas in UserVoice to Issues and Epics in Jira. As UserVoice items and Jira issues are updated, their status is reflected in each system.

2. Figma: For Immediate Feedback on Designs

Successful design depends on insights from sales, marketing, and customer support (in addition to the product and engineering teams). Figma makes it simple for all teams to collaborate on design in real time and throughout the process—designers can gather input on their latest sketch before finalizing their work. (FigJam, also from Figma, is an online whiteboard tool that’s great for brainstorming and ideation.)

Designers need to know the “why” behind their work in order to come up with the most effective design solutions for customers’ problems. Figma helps us turn remote designing into an interactive, collaborative process where any member of our team can leave feedback on design projects. 

Collaborative design gives everyone a chance to weigh in on upcoming projects and keeps designers from relying on guesswork while they’re working on wireframing, prototyping, tweaking the user interface, and other important design projects. 

3. Confluence: For Collaborating Across Departments

Confluence keeps everyone in our company on the same page—no silos. This remote collaboration tool offers templates to get projects up and running quickly, and it gives every team member an equal chance to participate. It includes storage for your associated docs, spreadsheets, and other external files, so you can easily access relevant information during the course of your projects. Confluence also integrates with Jira (both products come from Atlassian, which makes other well-known productivity tools like Trello). 

We use Confluence to get every stakeholder involved in a project into alignment. Without input from everyone, your project can stall. Project management tools remove barriers that would otherwise keep us from getting our teams aligned—and that makes projects much easier to manage.

4. SurveyMonkey: For Conducting Large-Scale User Research

While we use a scaled-back validation process for quick check-ins with our customer base, we turn to SurveyMonkey when we need to gather data from thousands of respondents. SurveyMonkey is great at gathering large amounts of feedback and data. It’s very useful for large-scale projects like a new product launch or for conducting market research to uncover a new niche or learn about a buyer persona. 

You can use the data gathered from surveys to validate your product ideas before you act on them. At UserVoice, we’re big believers in checking your assumptions against the facts by talking with your customers about their needs, preferences, and pain points. Product validation guides your overall product strategy, so your team can focus on developing product features that your customers really want.

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5. Heap: For Understanding User Journeys

Heap tracks customers’ digital experiences so we can understand the path they take within our product and what they do during user sessions. Heap collects user data, tracks and replays sessions, and alerts you to possible problems uncovered by looking at user behavior.

If there’s a friction point in your product that’s keeping your customers from fully adopting it, Heap can help you spot where they’re dropping off. It can also point out which features are the most widely used. With that information, you can make product strategy decisions that promote the most valuable aspects of your product while correcting the weak points. 

6. OpenAI: For Creating AI-Powered Product Features

OpenAI makes the endless possibilities of AI accessible to our engineering team. Our engineers can use OpenAI to customize GPT-3, a cutting-edge language generator with extensive machine-learning capabilities. That allows us to add AI-enabled features to our product. 

It’s also great at distilling large amounts of data into discernable patterns that we can strategize around—and it does that much faster than we could do as humans. OpenAI gives us a simpler way to include AI in our product. 

7. FullStory: For Understanding User Behavior

The in-depth product analytics that FullStory generates shows you what users do within your product. FullStory is a digital experience platform that tracks user behavior, collects analytics, and allows you to replay user sessions. We use that information to drive product growth. Since we can see which features or functions are most valuable to our users, we’re able to focus our work on making mindful product updates. 

User behavior metrics let you observe how a user interacts with your product. It’s a form of user feedback, and it’s simpler to collect compared to active methods like surveying customers or talking to them one-on-one. Collecting and analyzing behavioral data is a strong addition to a robust customer feedback system. (We also offer an integration with FullStory, so you can easily sync your behavioral analytics with the customer feedback you’ve collected using other methods.) 

8. GitHub: For Developing Secure Software

GitHub allows our product engineering team to develop and collaborate on their projects. GitHub’s well-known development workspace can be used for coding, automating software, and sharing software across teams. We like how easy it is for us to collaborate with engineering using GitHub. The product is scalable, supports cloud development, and is secure (they even update regularly regarding new security concerns).

It’s important for the product team to always know where engineering is during the development cycle. We run on short, six-week sprints for each project. The more opportunities we have to collaborate with engineering, the better we can avoid a backlog and stick to our timelines. 

9. CircleCI: For Continuous Integration and Delivery

Our product engineers use CircleCI to manage their continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) process. Since our product work does move quickly, it’s a huge benefit for us when we can automate steps in the software development process. 

Automation frees up our developers to tackle more projects and handle complex tasks that require their expertise instead of getting bogged down in menial tasks. CircleCI helps us allocate our time and talent strategically, so our developers can work on the tasks that are most influential to our product’s value.

10. Appcues: For Onboarding New Users and Making In-App Announcements

Appcues is an in-app onboarding tool that allows you to create custom workflows that guide new users through your product and make in-app announcements seamlessly. We use it to onboard new users through our free trial, announce new product features, and promote their adoption. Guiding new users through a thoughtful onboarding process improves usability and user adoption. It skips the learning curve and staves off the feelings of confusion and frustration that users can experience when they feel lost in an app, offering a better overall user experience. Appcues shortens the time to value, which should lead to growth for your product. 

In-app product announcements also help your customers find value in your product quickly. Any time you release a new feature, you can guide users directly to it within the app itself. 

Great onboarding and clear communication about updates are crucial parts of a great customer experience. A good product experience engages new customers—and that improves your retention and protects against churn.

11. UserVoice: For Customer Feedback Management

These tools sync together to help us run the best customer feedback management product possible: UserVoice Discovery. With an open line of communication to your customers, you’ll always know how they feel about your latest update or what they wish you’d add to the next one. That knowledge helps create better products—ones that deliver real value to customers.

Our product and customer support teams use UserVoice Discovery every day to monitor and assess incoming feedback, leave feedback on behalf of our customers, and help drive our decisions. We use our product roadmap feature to promote internal visibility into what we’re planning, which product changes are moving forward, and which ideas are still on the table for consideration. 

Try UserVoice Discovery to Manage Your Customers’ Feedback 

Having a tool to collect, organize, follow up on, and share feedback within your team makes it much simpler to act on that feedback. That’s what we created with UserVoice Discovery. Sign up for a free trial today and find out how acting on customer feedback can grow your product strategically.