We are pleased to announce the release of the SiriusDecisions SiriusView “Product Planning, Prioritization and Roadmapping 2015.” The SiriusView covers 11 vendors whose offerings are designed to assist product managers with developing product plans, prioritizing features and enhancements, and maintaining and communicating product roadmaps. 

Clients of the SiriusDecisions Product Management advisory service can access the full report through our Web site. We have also made a version of this report available to non-clients – click here to download it.

Adding deeper coverage of product planning, feature prioritization and product roadmap tools to our existing scope of research is important for several reasons:

1) We believe that product management tools can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of product management. Technology alone cannot fix a broken process, but when used properly, it can aid and reinforce a best-in-class innovation and go-to-market process. Product management solutions can improve productivity by automating manual activities and reducing time spent looking for and managing information (e.g. feature requests). They can assist with customer- and market-driven decisionmaking by providing functionality to enable objective analysis of internal and external feedback. They can improve alignment across functions by providing a single platform for discussion and collaboration across product management, product development, marketing, sales and other functions.

2) Until now, there has been no resource for guidance on product management tools. The SiriusDecisions SiriusView is the first comprehensive look at tools and technologies specifically designed for product management purposes. Product managers and others looking for insight on tools for product roadmaps or product planning have previously had few resources focusing on what vendors are in the market, let alone information on the vendors’ capabilities and relative strengths.

3) In many cases, product managers are not aware that product management tools exist. Our research shows that the vast majority of product managers are not using applications specifically designed for product management, and nearly one-third of them indicated that they were not even aware that such applications existed. We hope this SiriusView will help inform product managers of some available options, as well as provide guidance on where and when these tools might be appropriately leveraged.

4) Satisfaction with tools currently in use is low. Most product managers are managing their roadmaps and product plans in products designed for other purposes (e.g. Excel and PowerPoint, or agile-oriented project management applications), and satisfaction is low. For example, our research indicates 30 percent of B2B product managers use a presentation application like PowerPoint for documenting and maintaining their product roadmap, yet only 12 percent of them are very satisfied with the tool for these purposes. Sixteen percent of product managers use an agile-oriented project management application (e.g. JIRA, Rally) for roadmaps, but only 10 percent of them are very satisfied with it for these purposes.

Our SiriusView includes an overview of the general capabilities that product management applications provide, along with coverage of 11 vendors:

This is an emerging and fast-moving space. Many of these product management technologies did not exist just a few years ago or have changed significantly, and we expect this landscape to continue to substantially change over the next several years. In fact, since we started working on this research, we have learned about new vendors and previously unknown offerings in the market, and many of the vendors profiled continue to regularly introduce major new functionality. More vendors will certainly join the fray, and it is possible that not all of the existing vendors will survive (an important consideration when you are choosing a product management tool for the long haul).

There are other tools available to product managers (such as those that support concept testing or pricing), though we may cover them in future SiriusViews. The fact that there are enough companies building applications for product managers to warrant one SiriusView – and potentially multiple guides, each covering a different area – says something about the increasing maturity of product management. 

It’s an exciting time for product managers. There is greater understanding of the role and recognition of its importance. Product managers also have a wealth of resources available, including books, blogs and services like our Product Management advisory service. And now, there are a number of product management tools available, and a SiriusView to help product managers navigate the available choices.

An updated version of this research is now available. Learn more about the SiriusDecisions SiriusView “Product Planning, Prioritization and Roadmapping 2017 and download a copy of the research.