10 product ops tools every team should be using

Blake Thorne
|
August 17, 2022

Product operations (otherwise known as product ops) aims to provide product teams with the tools and resources they need to connect teams, customers, and stakeholders. These roles typically need to manage a variety of different elements, which makes choosing the right product ops tools a critical decision. 

1. Heat mapping tools

Heat mapping tools work to clearly define how visitors are interacting with the content on your website. Once implemented, these tools are able to track a visitor’s mouse movements, where they click, what they’re looking at, and even when they leave the site.

As a powerful data visualization tool, determining the heat signature of your content can help highlight both the effective and inefficient aspects of your product. While there are a variety of features these tools can offer, heat mapping tools will typically use confetti reports, mouse movements, scroll maps, and screen recordings to help you understand how visitors are interacting with your content.

Some of the more popular heat mapping tools available today are:

2. A/B testing tools

A/B testing works by testing one variant of a  against another one. The objective is to determine which elements within your website are optimal. To conduct an A/B test, you’ll need to present two versions of your web page to visitors, tracking each version’s performance.

The value of A/B testing comes from its ability to validate new ideas in a tangible, measurable way. Ideally, as you continue to conduct A/B tests over time, you’ll develop a stronger sense of what visitors are responding positively to.

Some of the more popular A/B testing tools available today are:

3. Prototyping/wireframing tools

When it comes to UI/UX, prototyping tools help designers develop a simple experimental model, combining visuals, interactions, and navigational elements with the intention of testing and validating ideas.

Engineering can quickly become an expensive process, which makes the use of prototyping tools critical when aiming to identify and resolve user pain points.

Prototypes are typically broken down into four key components:

  • Representation: The actual prototype itself.
  • Precision: The degree of detail associated with the prototype (high-fidelity vs. low-fidelity).
  • Interactivity: The level of functionality open to the user (view-only, fully functional, or partially functional).
  • Evolution: The scope of the prototype. Some prototypes are designed to be built, tested, and replaced quickly. Others are designed to be improved upon until they become the finished product.

Some of the more popular prototyping/wireframing tools available today are:

4. Product portfolio management (PPM) and road mapping tools

Product portfolio management (or PPM) tools are designed as a way for teams to easily monitor, organize, manage, and analyze the status of your products/services. 

With PPM being such a critical aspect of business planning, PPM tools make it easy for project managers to measure the potential revenue of a particular project before it even starts. A PPM tool can lead to more informed decision-making, a faster project turnaround time, and a reduction in overspending.

By properly leveraging a PPM tool, teams can acquire the data necessary to get a project off the ground, without making any potentially expensive mistakes.

Some of the more popular PPM tools available today are:

5. Usage analysis tools

A strong product ops team needs tools that present them with the right data. If you’re looking to obtain insights on analytics or product usage, your team is going to need a usage analysis tool. These tools work by getting insights on both how and where your visitors are engaging with your website.

By tracking visitor behavior and analyzing the overall impact of a particular release, usage analysis tools help product ops teams monitor product usage patterns, as well as any user feedback.

Some of the more popular usage analysis tools available today are:

6. Data analysis tools

Data analysis is at the core of most businesses' growth strategy, and whether your team has data scientists or nontechnical users, there’s a data analysis tool that will support your business.

The ability to visualize that data and analyze it is crucial, as this can reveal otherwise unseen opportunities for growth. For teams that need to ask and answer questions in real time, and visualize data from nearly any source, data analysis tools are an essential element of your product ops toolkit.

Some of the more popular usage analysis tools available today are:

7. Agile development tools

When considering the needs of a team that’s in the market for agile development management solutions, agile development tools can be extremely useful. Agile teams are built around the idea that they must move quickly and adapt easily.

A methodology typically used in software development, agile teams usually divide a task into a series of smaller tasks and complete them over ‘sprints’. The key to effective agile development is a capacity for flexibility while preserving organization.

Agile development tools need to be able to support different workflow templates (like Kanban or Scrum), and they need to provide clarity to the status of how teams are progressing through a variety of projects.

Some of the more popular agile development tools available today are:

8. Collecting feedback tools

With every product team needing a way to both collect and manage user feedback, collecting feedback tools work to make this process as simple and efficient as possible. If you’ve ever seen a sleek, professional survey sheet, you’ve likely already used one of these tools.

The idea behind these tools is to provide features like customizable forms with multiple question types and engaging product feedback forms on the user end while providing management systems and integrations to make your team’s job simpler.

Some of the more popular collecting feedback tools available today are:

9. User testing tools

While you can certainly conduct usability testing without a dedicated tool, user testing tools are a much more efficient way to collect substantial usability data. Usability testing tools are designed to help teams collect actionable insights about how user both experience and perceive your product.

These tools can put your website or prototype in the hands of real users, allowing you to monitor their experience accomplishing a given task, as well as identifying future friction points.

Some of the more popular user testing tools available today are:

10. Collaboration tools

With the explosion of remote work, collaboration software has become a staple in many workplaces around the world. Collaboration tools are most useful when they are eliminating the boundaries between team members, and making productivity easier to achieve.

These tools go beyond simple messaging capability, incorporating features like cloud document storage, video conferencing, and multi-platform support. Collaboration tools work to not only make management and communication easier but also to provide a level of transparency and clarity in communication that puts email to shame.

Some of the more popular collaboration tools available today are:

Bonus: Product Success

The main objective of an effective product success tool is to accelerate your product development flywheel. The process begins by capturing stakeholder feedback and collecting actionable insights from a variety of sources.

From there, these tools start incorporating that feedback and leveraging it to inform the prioritization of dynamic, shareable roadmaps. These tools then coordinate launch readiness, keeping stakeholders coordinated with relevant updates throughout the building process.

Finally, a product success tool helps close the loop by continuously communicating the right updates to the right customers via their preferred medium.

LaunchNotes implements all of these components seamlessly.

Schedule a demo today and learn more about how LaunchNotes can help you optimize and accelerate your product development flywheel. Click here to learn more about us.

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