Welcome back to our segment on Product Management Tools.
As I stated in our previous interview with Ran, our PM, Product Management is a tough job. With all the different areas of responsibility and the necessary cross-disciplinary skill set, a good Product Manager needs to know his tools and implement the ones who best fit the company’s culture and workflow.
When it comes to your product, the tools aren’t just tools – they’re the difference between success and failure. This is why we are trying to bring you the most experienced, and the best people to recommend and share their workflows – so that you can save yourself the heartache that comes with failed attempts to implement the wrong tools in your workplace.
In the second installment of our Product Management Tools series, We invited Nir Erlich, CEO & Co-Founder of Craft, and a serial entrepreneur (Execute, Knocka TV, and more).
Just in case, for some reason, the name doesn’t ring a bell, Craft is an agile Product Management tool that enables PMs to Define, document, share and manage their product easily. – Including Roadmapping, Product Planning, Features documentation etc. Nir has been a Product and UX enthusiast for most of his career, and as such he is the perfect person to give tips on his favorite tools, and help you improve your own workflow.
Nir, what are the main areas of responsibility you have that require you to rely on tools?
Being a founder of a small startup means you end up taking quite a few responsibilities. Specifically, my main functions are CEO and leading the product at Craft, but I’ll refer to my product lead role as it’s more interesting.
So as a product manager, I need effective tools to help me be organized, communicative, productive and make my thoughts and work accessible to my teams.
What are the tools you are using every day in your Product Management operations?
As a very early user of Slack, I fought hard getting our teams to use it at the beginning, but after using it for a while now it’s one of our main sources of communication. We use slack channels to discuss UX, Product, Development, Content, share timeline events (“We’ve just hit xxxx amount of paying users, well done everyone!”) and much more.
This list of tools could have been much longer for a product manager before Craft, but we use Craft instead of what used to be docs, roadmap tool, story mapping tool, sprint planning, Axure and a couple of others. Craft allows us to manage our entire product creation and planning process as a team and communicate it easily with anyone external.
Not for long ago we used Jira for R&D workflow management and issue tracking. While not the most intuitive tool out there and definitely oriented towards techs, it’s still the easiest tool for us to create issues on the fly and manage sprints and resources.
Jaco really changed and accelerated our ability to learn fast how our users using our product and improve on pain points quickly. The nice thing about Jaco is that it’s not just another session recording tool but a tool that really allows you to analyze your user sessions, segment, create funnels, and use actions your users are taking to create meaningful insights.
I’m personally in love with Intercom. It creates a direct channel between Craft and its users, allows us to have real, meaningful conversations about what great about Craft, but more importantly what can be improved. I use Intercom all day, every day, to talk to our users and create a mutual benefit of building user value.
Unless you’ve been hiding or traveling to mars for the last few years, you’re probably familiar with Invision. It’s the best way to collaborate on designs with your team and external users and also has very nice prototyping capabilities.
Do is a nice online tool that helps you to prepare for meetings, manage meeting notes and action items, and follow-up all of those.
A very simple and effective screen recording app for Mac. Allows you to easily capture and share as a link stuff like bugs, suggestions for improvements, and inspirations. It also allows you to convert videos to GIFs which I use a lot for our tutorials.
MixPanel is my go to analytics platform, it allows me to set up and analyze, metrics, funnels and segments, compare data points and make date driven decisions.
Last but not least, OmniFocus is the best task management application (Mac / iPhone only) hands down. I don’t see my life being as organized and effective without it. I have it on my iPhone and my Laptop and it’s super easy to add tasks on the fly and later give them context and follow them up. This tool organizes both my personal and professional life.
Have any questions for Nir? Know of any other Product Management tools that you think he should try? Let us know in the comments and we’ll make sure he replies!