One of the most important duties of a product manager is to coordinate the product development process. It is also their job to make sure short-term efforts in the product development process align with long-term business goals.

Product managers are also there to help keep every member of a team heading in the same direction.

To make their lives easier in doing that, product managers turn to product roadmaps.

What is a product roadmap?

A product roadmap is a visual that essentially maps out how the evolution of your product. It outlines the overall vision, direction, priorities and current progress of a product over time. It's a plan of action that aligns the short-term and long-term goals for the product and how they will be achieved.


They are created for the purpose of communicating the product strategy, as well as any tools and initiatives both to the people working on the product and to the internal, and external stakeholders.

A product roadmap is a document that will keep the entire journey of product development stays on track and that everyone involved is on the same page.

Why are product roadmaps so important?

What makes product roadmaps so important in today’s business world is its effectiveness and applicability to many use-cases and scenarios. They can be used to track progress towards a goal, prioritize tasks and initiatives (no matter how big or small they are), build understanding and consensus within all teams developing a product, and can help create transparency, both internally and externally.


Product roadmaps are a staple of any business and should be developed alongside other key plans like the marketing and the business plan. It gives a 360 view of the product and everything that's surrounding it.

A product roadmap must be a living and breathing document. It should change based on company priorities, market conditions, and available resources. The goal of the product roadmap is for it to be an independent cycle that feeds into itself.

Best product roadmap tools

Now that we’ve defined what is a product roadmap and why is it so useful, let's see what needs to be done before creating a product roadmap:

  1. Formulate the vision and strategy of the product
  2. Define the audience for our product
  3. Pick the most suitable format
  4. Choose the most important metrics to measure the progress

Once we have done all 4 of the tasks on the list, we now need to pick out the tool for our product roadmap. And today, we’ll be taking a look a the best product roadmap tools currently available on the market.


All of them were tried and tested with the same strategy and will be graded independently based on just on the experience of using them.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the best product roadmap tools.

Roadmap Planner

Roadmap Planner is a strategic communication tool that helps users build their marketing, product, and business development roadmaps. Once a roadmap was built, the users can easily show it to their teammates and stakeholders.

What makes Roadmap Planner great?

Roadmap Planners allows you to instantly create a roadmap by indicating all the required processes in a specific project. Roadmaps can easily be edited and updated as needed, even on the go.

All of the roadmaps can be marked with milestones. The milestones can be completed which can help teams meet schedule and goals. It also allows you to create and manage teams right inside the app.

You can also assign teammates to certain tasks and keep track of their progress inside the app, This is a neat feature for everyone that's looking to cut down the number of tools they use and combining planning and task management sounds great.

What are the disadvantages of Roadmap Planner?

The main disadvantage of Roadmap Planner is its very steep learning curve. It takes a lot of time to actually learn how to use the app, which means that be sure that Roadmap Planner is your roadmap planner app of choice before committing a lot of time to it.

How much does Roadmap Planner cost?

Roadmap Planner starts at $6.99 per month for the personal plan (which is limited to one user). The business plan is $10.99 per user per month with a minimum of 2 users (so $21.99 per month). There's also the custom plan for enterprise users for which you'll have to contact their sales team.

Roadmap Planner’s ratings as one of the best product roadmap tools

Features — 5/5

User experience — 4/5

Pricing — 4/5

Total: 4.3/5

productboard

productboard is a product management system that helps product development teams understand what their users need, prioritize what needs to be built and get everyone on the same page.

What makes productboard great?

productboard has many great features like Insights repository and Users insights which allow you to understand what exactly what users need. The tool can also help manage your feature backlog, help prioritize features using strategic criteria and scoring.

What are the disadvantages of productboard?

The app can be laggy at times, especially when it needs to handle a lot of that. It is also a bit more expensive than the rest.

How much does productboard cost?

productboard has 4 different plans for you to choose from and it starts at $49 per user per month. Up to 5 people can have limited access to the app with this plan. The most expensive plan (other than the enterprise one) is $199 per user per month with up to 50 contributors to the roadmaps.

productboard’s ratings as one of the best product roadmap tools

Features — 5/5

User experience — 5/5

Pricing — 3/5

Total: 4.3/5

ProductPlan

ProductPlan is a tool that makes planning, visualizing, and communicating a product strategy easily. Currently, they feature over 20 different roadmap templates for various needs. Among others, ProductPlan is used by teams at Microsoft, HubSpot, and Adobe.

What makes ProductPlan great?

With ProductPlan, you can build and share live roadmaps with just a few clicks. The roadmaps can be updated in real-time as decisions are made. You can also create visually-different roadmaps for different audiences which can help product managers easier get consensus across the company.

What are the disadvantages of ProductPlan?

The main issue with ProductPlan is that it can be clunky at times. It's also not easily navigatable and not intuitive. While it has a few integrations with Jira, GitHub, Trello, and a few other apps, the lack of integrations most likely won’t satisfy most teams.

How much does ProductPlan cost?

The basic, business plan starts at $39 per user per month when paid annually and includes all features minus some admin and security features. The enterprise plan which includes the aforementioned admin and security features starts at $69 per user per month annually. There's also the Enterprise Plus plan which starts at $99 per user per month annually.


ProductPlan’s ratings as one of the best product roadmap tools

Features — 5/5

User experience — 3/5

Pricing — 4/5

Total: 4/5

Roadmap

Roadmap is an app that helps product managers speed up their development process by centralizing feedback and prioritizing ideas.

What makes Roadmap great?

The app unifies all feedback channels into a collaborative feedback inbox. The feedback can then be categorized and sorted manually and automatically which creates an idea backlog. The created roadmap can be shared both with the internal stakeholders and the users.

What are the disadvantages of Roadmap?

The main gripe with a Roadmap is that the app can be buggy at times. While it's easy to use, not everything works as expected all the time. This can be a problem when you are trying to show one of your roadmaps to someone - a stakeholder or a teammate.

How much does Roadmap cost?

Roadmap starts at $19 per user per month when paid annually and includes the basic features plus integrations 7 other apps. For $39 you get more products and integrations and for $79 per user per month annually, you get the ability to customize your domain and remove their branding plus integration with Salesforce.

Roadmap’s ratings as one of the best product roadmap tools

Features — 5/5

User experience — 3/5

Pricing — 4/5

Total: 4/5

Conclusion

There you have it - the best product roadmap tools currently available on the market. All featured apps have their pros and cons but are all great.

If you want to combine your planning with your task management — Roadmap Planner could be your choice.

If you want a lot of features to make your planning process even more detailed — productboard could be your choice.

If you want to have visually audience-specific roadmaps — ProductPlan might be your choice

If you are looking to unify all the user feedback you get into one place and start building your roadmap from there — Roadmap could be your choice.