One of the most powerful tools in a product manager’s bag is the product roadmap. It’s an important part of communicating product strategy to stakeholders and your team.
In this guide, we’ll introduce you to 10 product roadmap tools — seven paid solutions and three free alternatives — that can help your team be more productive and efficient.
Table of contents
- What is a product roadmap?
- Why use product roadmapping software?
- How to choose the best product roadmap tools for your project
- 7 popular product roadmap tools
- 3 free product roadmap tools to try
- Which product roadmap solution is right for you?
What is a product roadmap?
A product roadmap outlines the future product development and marketing plan. It’s a visual representation of the product vision and how to get there. It often contains detailed notes and tasks assigned to particular product team members.
The product roadmap is essentially a way for a product team to stay organized and focused on what’s important to optimize the development and delivery of the product. It shows progress on a project, estimated timelines, and what should be done next.
Why use product roadmapping software?
Product roadmapping software makes it simpler to keep track of large to-do lists, backlogs, and ideas. A roadmap helps to keep the various teams and stakeholders involved in building a product on track to meet development goals. It can also be a place for online collaboration and communication between employees.
Roadmapping enables product managers to more effectively:
- Communicate priorities — A roadmap visibly demonstrates why it’s important for a particular task to be completed in the grand scheme of a project
- Engage stakeholders — Stakeholders require updates on progress and what is happening, and roadmaps are an excellent visual aid to ensure efficient communication and build consensus for your product vision
- Provide visibility into work — Transparency is crucial to building trust with stakeholders. A roadmap can help provide visibility into what your team is working on and why
- Drive efficiency — A roadmap contains all critical information in one place, which makes it easier for cross-functional teams to understand priorities and what they should be working on
- Foster collaboration — Product roadmapping software provides real-time communication tools, enabling teams to quickly huddle (virtually) to answer questions and discuss new ideas
How to choose the best product roadmap tools for your project
Choosing the right product roadmap software will completely depend on your team, its work style, and your budget and business goals.
Below are a few things to evaluate when adopting a new product roadmap software.
Consider what tools you need for your team to successfully use a roadmap.
Answering these types of questions can aid in your search for a roadmapping software solution.
A visually appealing roadmap can help support your decisions when prioritizing the backlog. Whether you’re communicating with your team, your customers, business leaders, or other stakeholders in the product development process, data visualization makes it easier to communicate your product strategy.
For some companies, budget is not an issue. Others are more cautious with their expenses.
Consider your company’s budget while also considering your needs as a product manager when choosing a roadmapping tool.
A good product roadmap tool allows for real-time modifications and communication. The ability to take feedback and quickly incorporate it into your roadmap in one place is a major benefit of roadmapping software.
7 popular product roadmap tools
Let’s review some popular roadmapping tools and explore why they might be a good fit for your team.
Trello: Simple product roadmapping tool for small teams
Trello is a visual and easy-to-use project management tool. It’s a Kanban-style list-making application that provides a simple way to organize your team’s tasks.
Trello’s boards, lists, and cards can help a team move from ideas to functioning features with real-time updates.
Trello makes it simple to get started because it provides numerous templates to create workflows. These templates can help you track product development, manage agile sprints, and collect data on feedback.
If you need multiple integrations, Trello has “Power-Ups” that can connect with tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive. It can make your product roadmap easier to understand and swiftly move the workflow along.
Most of Trello’s features are free to use. Paid plans range from $6.00 to $17.50 per user per month. Features in paid plans can include unlimited boards, timeline view, and simple data export.
The free plan enables users to have up to 10 boards. If you’re a small team with a limited budget, Trello might be an easy option to get started on product roadmapping.
|Easy to share with stakeholders||Not designed specifically for product roadmapping|
|Easily integrates with other apps in your workflow||Limited functionality|
|Visually appealing||Can’t create different levels of access for different stakeholders|
airfocus: Easily customizable roadmapping software
airfocus is specifically designed for product roadmapping. It has an easy-to-use roadmap builder and can be customized to meet the needs of the product team.
No matter how unorthodox your process, airfocus is flexible enough to match your team’s collaboration style. It offers several views including Kanban boards, tables, timelines, and more.
It also has unique features, such as custom scoring frameworks to automate prioritization. airfocus also has Priority Poker, an interactive negotiation meeting with stakeholders to discuss product priorities.
airfocus has a 14-day free trial. Once it’s over, plans range from $19–109 per user per month. If you pay annually, you’ll get two months free. There is no free version of airfocus available.
|Customization makes it easy to fit your team’s work style||Some integrations are only available in higher-tiered plans|
|Can change access views for different stakeholders||The lowest-tier plan only has one workspace|
|Syncs with several popular online tools||No free tier|
ProductPlan: Beautiful, ready-to-go roadmap templates
ProductPlan prides itself on its ability to help product managers easily build and share roadmaps. PMs looking to impress stakeholders with a visual roadmap will enjoy ProductPlan. It has many templates, which can be customized using a drag-and-drop builder.
One of the key benefits of ProductPlan is the ability to create different levels of viewing access for stakeholders. For example, the development team might receive a more granular version of the roadmap while investors might see a roadmap dictating the vision and direction. This saves product managers time because they don’t have to create multiple roadmaps for each stakeholder.
The basic plan starts at $49 per user per month. Premium plans are only available on an annual basis starting at $828 per user for one year. It’s a more expensive option, so you’ll want to take advantage of the 14-day free trial to determine whether this is the best option for your team.
|Unlimited viewers (meaning they don’t have editing privileges but can view the roadmap)||More expensive compared to other tools|
|Great visualization for every person on your team||Functionality can be overwhelming for newcomers|
|Many customization options|
Productboard: Best for prioritization
Productboard helps teams organize feedback, prioritize tasks, and create a visual roadmap. By putting a focus on customer feedback, product teams are more likely to focus on meaningful backlog items, which will improve sprint planning, the customer experience, and, subsequently, revenue.
One of the unique features of Productboard is the ability to collect and organize customer feedback. Listening to your customer’s needs and desires is a crucial part of successfully prioritizing your product tasks.
Productboard has a 15-day free trial with no free plan available. Paid plans start at $25–90 per user per month. Scale and Enterprise plans require custom quotes.
|Makes it easier to analyze customer feedback for prioritization||One of the more expensive product roadmap tools|
|Different views are available for different stakeholders||Only has Kanban and timeline views|
|Has a backlog import feature||Advanced features such as Slack integration are not available in the basic plan|
Wrike: A real-time collaboration and productivity tool
Wrike is a product management tool with a focus on improving internal collaboration and communication. This can help boost employee productivity by ensuring everyone is aligned with the product roadmap.
This tool can help centralize product discussion by uniting messages across cross-functional teams. Wrike claims this can help break down silos and organize key decisions. The workflows make it easier to see what progress is being made and eliminates the need for check-in emails.
Wrike offers a free plan, which includes features such as task management, live activity stream, interactive boards, and spreadsheet views. Paid plans have more advanced features, including interactive GANTT charts, shareable dashboards, and custom workflows.
Plans range from $9.80–24.80 per user per month. Large teams may ask for a custom quote. Wrike also offers a 14–day free trial of its paid plans.
|Helps facilitate collaboration across internal teams||Advanced features such as custom workflows only available in premium plans|
|Improves time efficiency||Learning curve|
|Contains prebuilt product templates|
Aha!: A comprehensive tool for incorporating product strategy
Aha! is one of the most popular product management tools, boasting more than 500,000 users. This product management tool can easily create a timeline with details tailored to specific stakeholders. The drag-and-drop builder makes it easy to collaborate with other team members and convey important information on the timeline.
Product managers like using Aha! because it does more than create a compelling visual roadmap; it also includes other features not found in other roadmap tools, such as setting a product strategy, crowdsourcing ideas, and reporting on progress. Having one software tool that can accomplish all of these tasks makes product development easier in myriad ways.
Aha! plans start at $59 per user per month if paid annually. There is a 30-day free trial that enables you to test all features in the Enterprise plan.
Aha! is one of the most expensive tools on this list, but it does include everything you need for successful product development.
|Generous 30-day free trial||Most expensive, especially if you add additional features|
|All-in-one place for product development needs||Time-intensive to set up all features|
|Nearly everything is customizable||Contains more features than some product teams need|
Roadmunk: End-to-end product roadmapping
Roadmunk has several product roadmapping features, such as milestones, various roadmap styles, and tracking ownership of tasks. It’s easy to import your data and use the drag-and-drop feature to quickly create a product roadmap.
Roadmunk also includes features for collecting feedback from consumers to make informed, customer-driven product decisions. This can help teams confidently decide what to prioritize next when combined with the built-in prioritization scoring method.
All plans start with a 14-day free trial; there is no free plan. Paid plans range from $19–99 per user per month when paid annually. You may have to pay additional fees for advanced features such as additional viewers and two-way Jira+Azure DevOps.
|Import and export options||Two-way Jira integration is only available in higher-tiered plan|
|Easy to set up visual product roadmaps||Extra fees to add additional viewers|
|Includes other features, such as capturing feedback and prioritizing ideas|
3 free product roadmap tools to try before you buy
Some tools we’ve mentioned, such as Trello, have free plans, but they often restrict certain features to paid users. However, there are other free alternatives that do not impose strict limitations.
Bitrix24 offers simple product management tools and a variety of views, including a GANTT chart, Kanban board, calendar, or planner. It also provides tools to help you efficiently manage scrum teams and projects.
The free plan is fairly comprehensive and may include enough features to serve your product team’s needs. You can also upgrade to get more advanced features, such as allowing observers and participants to your roadmap.
TeamGantt has a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to customize prebuilt templates. Since it’s all online, TeamGantt allows for easy collaboration between team members.
The free plan is a great option for students and small projects. It includes one manager, two collaborators, one project, and 60 tasks. For more advanced features, you can try the 30-day trial for a premium plan.
If you’re looking for an on-premise solution, OpenProject may be a viable product management tool. It’s also available on the cloud.
The basic free plan includes features such as custom fields and workflows, user permissions, and time tracking.
Which product roadmap solution is right for you?
You may need to sign up for a handful of free trials to find the product roadmapping software that fits your product team’s needs. Above all else, look for a tool that enables you to effectively communicate your product strategy, track and report on your progress, and facilitate collaboration with employees and stakeholders.
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