Product Management Practices – Must You Use a Product-Specific Task Management Tool?

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Product Management is a battle of details. Almost all product managers can agree that email and human brain power simply is not sufficient for conveying requests up and down the line.

Enter the task management tool. But which task management tool? The market is flooded with them.

It’s tempting to pick a task management tool specifically made for software development, such as Jira and Youtrack. The benefits of this kind of software is that they anticipate almost any kind of product issue. Want to filter by sprint? By sub-product? Link issues together? Done. But the problem with these products is the sheer volume of features often feels more bloatware than best flexible assistant.

(I’m looking at you Jira. You’re flexible up until you force users to set rules, and then you’re just stupidly rigid. Let’s not even get into certain features which take near-endless burrowing to find.)

And what if you’re more than a product manager? What if you’re a Product Marketing Manager? Someone who has to handle both product and marketing? Or better yet, what if you’re a member of a small start up team, where titles and clear task divisions are left at the door?

At that point you may want to consider something like Trello. Trello is not only visually pleasing, it accommodates a greater rage of tasks and types. I found it to be very useful for coordinating marketing activities. It’s almost like an expanded Evernote.

 

The holy grail of task management is to find something that works for everything. Unfortunately, from my personal experience, at the end of the day, product development still requires a product-specific task management, especially if you’re coordinating a global development team.

What about you? What task tool do you use for product management?