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Dragonboat Named Among Top Roadmapping Tools of 2022

According to PMExercise, there are more than 41,000 product managers in the United States. Research done into the key challenges of the field show that nearly 50% of PM respondents define their main challenge as a lack of a consistent or well-defined process. However, a study done by UXCam, found that a “fully optimized” product manager can increase company profits by over 34%. With the known challenges of product management and the proven benefits of an outcome-driven roadmap, we are so pleased that Dragonboat has been named as one of this year’s top roadmapping tools.

The product management hub, Product-Led Alliance recently announced its ‘PLA Tools of Choice’ and named our product portfolio management platform as one of its 2022 leading roadmap tools

Roadmapping is a crucial part of product development and one of the many functionalities of Dragonboat. Every year, Product-Led Alliance publishes its ‘Tools of Choice Report’ based on product manager feedback. The report seeks to provide the best tools based on two simple deciding factors:

  1. Tool deliverability – Which tools actually deliver what they promise
  2. Investment worthiness – Which tools are worthy of consumer time and money

About the Tool

Here is what PLA had to say about Dragonboat:

“Dragonboat was cited as a fantastic platform for outcome-focused teams by the PMs we surveyed. It allows for product teams to align easier over a connected strategy, experiment, execute, prioritize, deliver and improve. The platform allows PMs to build outcome-based roadmaps using data-driven prioritization and portfolio modeling, connect initiatives to objectives (OKRs), compare roadmap scenarios to inform future iterations, and more. Dragonboat’s responsive product portfolio management platform, paired with an outcome-driven culture is the foundation upon which a successful product team is built.”

Product-Led Alliance, ‘PLA Tools of Choice’

Dragonboat was born out of necessity after founder Becky Flint tried countless tools and found that none supported the needs of an outcome-focused product organization. 

Since our inception in 2018, Dragonboat’s mission has always been to empower product teams by providing a software solution that allows them to build product roadmaps that will accelerate their portfolio outcomes. Today, hundreds of teams from startups to Fortune 500 companies like Chime, Miro, and Procore rely on Dragonboat to make sure their teams are rowing in sync. 

We are thankful to Product Led Alliance for recognizing our tool as one of its 2022 top roadmapping tools. We also want to thank our users and amazing community whose support has landed us as on this list. See the full report.

Top 12 Product Operations Tools

Rapidly growing companies around the globe are looking to scale without hampering their ability to deliver winning products to market. Operations roles are key here and the need for them in the product org is no exception. One of the biggest reasons behind the growing demand for product operations tools and professionals is the increased scope of responsibilities for modern product managers and the emergence of the product-led movement.

Product teams are now a key catalyst for growth and responsible for driving business outcomes.

Product operations (aka product ops) gives product teams the tools they need to move from being feature focused to outcome focused, connecting product teams, customers and stakeholders to achieve the best outcomes across the entire portfolio. Additionally, product ops plays a critical role in owning and evolving the processes and tools for individual product teams and the entire product portfolio.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the different tools that product operations might use or should be familiar with in order to empower their product teams. 

Recommended Product Operations Tools to Get the Job Done Right

Here are 12 main categories for product management tools and product operations tools:

  • Product portfolio management (PPM) and roadmapping
  • Agile development
  • Usage analytics
  • Product experience
  • Data analysis and visualization
  • Heat mapping
  • User testing
  • A/B testing
  • Collaboration
  • Knowledge management 
  • Collecting feedback
  • Prototyping / wireframing

Below, we’ll touch on some of the most recommended tools by product operations managers for each category. 

Disclaimer: Having 1 of each of these 12 types of tools isn’t necessary to deliver a winning product! With just a handful, it’s possible to deliver better quality products that move the needle faster.  

1. Dragonboat

Main uses: Product portfolio management, outcome focused roadmapping

Dragonboat is the fastest growing product portfolio management platform for outcome-driven leaders to strategize, prioritize, plan and deliver industry-leading products. With Dragonboat, product operations is equipped with the tools it needs to help product leaders connect OKRs with initiatives, build data-driven roadmaps, integrate with engineering tools for execution, and inform future iterations with past results all in one place. 

Product ops leaders are quickly finding value in Dragonboat because it’s been designed to help teams follow best practices stemming from the responsive product portfolio management framework (Responsive PPM). Leading companies like Miro, Chime and F5 employ Responsive PPM to adapt and adjust in real-time to best deliver customer delight and business outcomes.

product operations tools dragonboat screen

Dragonboat is the only ppm and roadmapping tool for: 

  • Connecting OKRs, Customer needs and building outcome-focused roadmaps using data-driven prioritization and allocation modeling
  • Enabling a strategic framework to guide product decision making across all levels
  • Effective planning and tracking of portfolio dependencies
  • Creating holistic plans, gaining real time visibility, and creating forecast schedules that prevent delays
  • Building customized reports and sharing roadmap updates automatically to the right stakeholders
  • Allocating resources and adjusting responsively, in real-time, by any dimension (OKR, themes, teams) and level (bet, initiative, feature) with scenarios
  • Centralizing customer insights and requests and linking them to product features dynamically, organizing them multi-dimensionally
  • Seamless integration with dev tools like Jira, Azure Devops, Clubhouse

Learn more about Dragonboat for product ops

Alternative tools that could be used for OKR portfolio roadmapping are Google Sheets and Google Slides.

2. Jira

Main uses: Agile development management, bug tracking

Jira is one of those tools that, for professionals in software development, needs no introduction. Jira is the #1 software development tool used by agile teams to manage their workflow from sprint planning to code releasing. Teams use Jira to manage software development activities with its out-of-the-box workflow templates (like Scrum and Kanban). One of its major advantages is that it integrates with other leading tools, e.g. product portfolio tools (Dragonboat), DevOps tools (e.g. Bitbucket, Jenkins, Github, Gitlab) and knowledge management tools (e.g. Confluence). 

Jira screenshot product operations tools

Jira is best one of the best tools for:

  • Agile development using Scrum or Kanban 
  • Bug tracking 
  • Organizing and prioritizing tasks 
  • Backlog and issue management 
  • Integrating with CI/CD tools

Check out the Jira website.

Other tools for agile development management include Clubhouse and Azure DevOps

3. Pendo

Main uses: Usage Analytics, in-app messaging 

As with any ops role, one of the primary focuses of product ops is collecting, organizing, analyzing and sharing data with teams across the company. Therefore, a good Product ops Manager or team will have to rely on the right tools that provide them the right data. When it comes to obtaining insights on product usage and analytics, Pendo is one of the leading options for product teams, implementation teams, and product ops managers. Pendo captures product usage patterns and user feedback while also enabling in-app communication to onboard, educate and guide users to value.

pendo dashboard screenshot product analytics tool

Pendo is one of the best tools for: 

  • Getting insights on where and how users engage with your site 
  • Tracking user behavior 
  • Onboarding resources and facilitation 
  • Analyzing the impact of a release

Learn more on the Pendo website

Other tools for usage analytics include Google Analytics,Amplitude, Heap, and Adobe Analytics

4. Gainsight CS, PX

Main uses: Product experience, customer success

The category creator and leader among customer success tools, Gainsight aggregates and turns disparate customer data from multiple sources into a single source of truth. Review customer data-driven insights and deploy actions that drive business outcomes for your clients. This tool allows you to get a comprehensive view of your customers, understand trends and risks, and empower your team to scale with proven actions that deliver outcomes. A thought leader and early mover in customer success, Gainsight built its tool around best practices to help SaaS companies retain customers. Product Ops teams can benefit from pulling data from Gainsight to give critical feedback to product teams and deliver information for executives to make business decisions. 

Gainsight screenshot

Gainsight is one of the best tools for: 

  • Teams working with Salesforce
  • Processing data from different sources, and displaying it in an easy-to-consume manner
  • Sorting customer accounts by various health factors
  • Understanding account health to be alerted to accounts that are most at risk of churn

Visit to learn more.  

Other product experience tools include Churnzero, Totango, and Vitally

5. Tableau

Main uses: Data analysis and visualization

Tableau is a market-leading tool for creating interactive graphics to visualize data from almost any source, with multiple format options. With Tableau, you can quickly perform ad hoc analyses that reveal hidden opportunities and ask questions in natural language. It has a drag and drop functionality to create interactive dashboards with advanced visual analytics. With product ops focusing heavily on data, Tableau is an essential solution to help them easily ask and answer questions in real-time, informing stakeholders who can make smarter product and business decisions. So, it’s not surprising that when we analyzed dozens of product operations job descriptions, Tableau was one of the most cited tool skills to have. 

Tableau screenshot

Tableau is one of the best tools for:

  • Ad-hoc reporting
  • Business intelligence standard reporting
  • Behavioral analytics
  • Report output and scheduling
  • Data discovery and visualization
  • Trend / problem indicators
  • User research analysis
  • Predictive analytics

Visit the Tableau website.

Other tools for data analysis and visualization include Looker, Qlik Sense, and Zoho Analytics

6. Hotjar

Main uses: Heat mapping, CRO

Hotjar offers a fast and visual way to understand your users. The tool enables your team to get instant visual feedback, see how people are really using your site, and uncover insights to make the right changes. Hotjar equips teams with product experience insights, showing them how users behave and what they feel strongly about, so they can deliver real value. Hotjar is a great tool for discovering product opportunities, consolidating qualitative and quantitative data, and communicating user needs. 

Hotjar screenshot

Hotjar is one of the best tools for: 

  • Getting real customer insight and data and to understand pain points and find out how to eliminate friction
  • Gathering insights used to define roadmaps and A/B testing strategy
  • Visual session recording
  • Conversion funnel analytics
  • Usability testing

Visit the Hotjar website.

Other tools used for heatmapping include ContentSquare and VWO.

7. UserTesting

Main uses: Real user testing, usability testing

UserTesting enables organizations to deliver the best customer experience powered by human insights. With UserTesting’s on-demand human insights platform, companies across industries make accurate customer-first decisions at every level, at the speed business demands. Several product teams, marketers, digital and customer experience executives use it to confidently and quickly create the right experiences for all target audiences, increasing brand loyalty and revenue.

User Testing screenshot

UserTesting is one of the best tools for: 

  • Usability testing on product prototypes in iterative development
  • Obtaining fast feedback (often same day) from users 
  • Obtaining qualitative data from your target audience and understanding the “why” behind users’ actions through recorded video sessions and interviews

Check out the UserTesting website.

Other tools for user testing include PlaybookUX, dscout, and UserZoom.

8. Optimizely

Main uses: A/B Testing, experimentation

Product ops teams are often tasked with owning experimentation so that product managers can focus on solving customer problems. Product ops teams use tools like Optimizely to run A/B tests to obtain data for product teams to optimize the user experience. With, Optimizely, businesses deliver continuous experimentation and personalization across websites, mobile apps and connected devices.

Optimizely screenshot

Optimizely is one of the best tools for:

  • Running experiments without the need to write code
  • Testing small UI changes and functionality to increase adoption
  • Running tests on a small percentage of your user base 
  • Running multiple experiments simultaneously

Learn more at 

Other tools for A/B testing include Split and AB Tasty.

9. Miro

Main uses: Collaboration, ideation, digital whiteboard

We recently overheard a Product Operations Manager who said, “I live inside of Miro! I love it.” Miro is a Dragonboat customer and we have to admit that we’re huge fans. Miro is one of the rising tools that has helped teams continue to brainstorm and collaborate despite not being together in the same physical location. Teams use its online, collaborative whiteboard platform for many things such as brainstorming with digital sticky notes and managing agile workflows. The tool boasts deep integrations with the Microsoft ecosystem, Atlassian ecosystem, Slack, Box, DropBox, Sketch, with over 60 templates to jumpstart collaboration. 

Screenshot of a Miro board

Miro is one of the best tools for: 

  • Overcoming challenges to remote brainstorming and interactive group activities
  • Allowing ideas and visualizations to be shared freely across teams 
  • Mind mapping and collaborative, complex problem solving

Learn more at

Other tools for collaboration include Trello, Google Docs, Slack, and Threads.

10. Typeform

Main uses: Feedback Forms & Surveys

Since every product team needs a way to collect feedback, both external and internal, product ops can help them manage or select the right tool for feedback collection and processing the data. A breakout tool for this very purpose is Typeform. You may have seen a Typeform survey before; they’re the ones that are so sleek that you don’t even mind the fact that you’re filling out a survey. Typeform makes sharing information fun and easy on any device and it integrates with just about any application.

Typeform survey screenshot

Typeform is one of the best tools for:

  • Customizable forms/surveys with multiple question types
  • Feedback management, NPS surveys
  • Building engaging and beautiful product feedback forms with templates
  • Third party integrations

Learn more at 

Other survey tools include SurveyMonkey, FormStack, and Google Forms.

11. Confluence

Main uses: Knowledge Management 

An established market player, Confluence by Atlassian is a team workspace ideal for not only product operations, but all functions. Confluence keeps everyone organized and aligned with everything from meeting notes to strategy docs and IT documentation so they can make better decisions faster and be more responsive to change. Another benefit of Confluence is that it integrates seamlessly with the Atlassian suite of products like Jira and other tools like Dragonboat to show reports and dashboard updates in real-time. 

As product ops are often tasked with the onboarding of new product team members, guarding product knowledge, and communicating it across the organization, Confluence is a great tool to add to the product operations tools list. 

confluence screenshot

Confluence is one of the best tools for: 

  • A repository or wiki for housing meeting notes, status updates, how-to documentation, product processes, etc
  • Enterprise-level document collaboration, allowing multiple users to edit a page in real-time at the same time 
  • Integrations

Learn more at

Other tools for knowledge management include Notion, Coda, Zendesk and Google Sites.

12. Figma

Main uses: Prototyping

Last but not least, every product organization relies on at least one good tool for prototyping. Figma is a cloud-based and on-premise platform that enables businesses to create custom designs and share prototypes among team members. Similar to Google Docs, Figma enables real-time sharing on the same file. 

figma screenshot

Figma is one of the best tools for: 

  • Sharing a design project with your stakeholders for their feedback and approval
  • Demoing features before coding them
  • Easy collaboration and information sharing between developers and designers 
  • When a team or group of designers want to work on a single project and leave one another comments on designs

Check out

Other prototyping tools include Balsamiq, InVision, and Sketch

The Right Tool for the Right Job

It takes the right tool to get the job done right. Modern product operations plays a strategic role in orchestrating both product teams and across the organization. This requires a new breed of PPM tool like Dragonboat. Isolated spreadsheets and “Gantt charts” no longer cut it.

One key to success for product ops is to drive a customer and outcome focus, strategic alignment as well as enabling cross-team, cross-functional collaboration and visibility. So, ask your team, “What tech stack do we need to foster alignment, clarity, communication, and collaboration?” and go from there. 

More Resources on Product Operations Tools

What do you think? Did we miss any tools? Tweet your thoughts to @dragonboat_io

How the Struggle to Connect Strategy and Execution Led to the Start of Dragonboat

In May 2017, I joined a Fintech startup, Feedzai,  to build its first product organization and create the product management best practices that connect strategy and execution: customer needs, business goals (OKRs), and long-term product strategies responsively.

Challenges From Rapid Growth

When I joined Feedzai, it was in super growth mode, from ~100 people to 300+ in about a year.

As the customer base expanded, it created a much wider roadmap intake funnel influenced by current customers, prospects, internal teams, and market insights. As a result, the engineering team grew, which formed more scrum teams. Before long, most features started to require multiple scrum teams. Dependencies started to slow everyone down.

Planning and executing on the same 2 week cadence no longer works in growing companies.

– CTO, Feedzai

Teams were busy, while business units didn’t get what they want. There were scrum and sprint metrics but no big picture visibility. No one could answer these 3 basic questions without some effort of digging:

  • What features will we launch next month? Why?
  • What does it take to add this critical feature in the coming release? 
  • Which team and skills do we need to hire next? How do we decide?

We also had gaps and misunderstandings between various departments, e.g. Product, Marketing, Sales, and Support as there wasn’t an end-to-end view of bringing the product to the hands of customers.

The Basics

During my first 2 months, I built an end-to-end PDLC process (Product Development Life Cycle) from idea intake and alignment to strategic prioritization, agile development, and go-to-market. 

To support these processes, I reconfigured Jira, instituted quarterly and rolling roadmap planning and tracking cadences, and built 4 spreadsheets to manage ideas, product planning, resourcing scenarios, team assignment, and rolling planning (current period execution and next period discovery in parallel).

I made these changes quite quickly, as Feedzai was the 4th growth company I went through this type of transformation with. There were some slight tweaks partnering with product and engineering teams, of course.

The framework, Jira optimization, and a suite of spreadsheets enabled us to plan strategically, flow through to execution, and adjust our plan when new things come to our roadmap. We could now connect strategy and execution but with a lot of effort and meticulous record-keeping and syncing by product managers, engineering managers, and Project managers/ scrum masters. On average, each spent 2 or more days per week on updating spreadsheets, syncing data in different tools, and writing various status updates.

While this sounds challenging, it is not quite unique.

We Needed a Better Tool

A growing company needs to adjust focus frequently – both on the product front as well as the team and resource front. This requires overall visibility, and the ability to re-align initiatives and resources quickly to respond to changes.

However, planning is painful. It takes a lot of time to iterate through various roadmap options within the constraint of resources, timeline, and dependencies (see Build A Better Execution Roadmap). This gets exponentially more complex when the company gets bigger. If a feature requires 2–3 teams or skills, and there are 10+ teams, the permutation combination can get out of control very quickly. At most, we do 2–3 iterations of roadmap options and quit then. We simply run out of energy and time to find the best combination. And even if we’ve “locked down” the upcoming roadmap (next month or quarter), things change… and the pain will start all over again.

While many companies practice big picture planning (connect strategy and execution) to complement agile execution, the way we manage this process has not changed for 20 years.

Spreadsheet + meetings + presentation is still how most teams connect the dots between strategy and execution.

The Lightbulb Moment

In the preceding 3 years, I’ve been on several tool hunts, tried and used dozens of roadmap and project portfolio tools, including Aha!, Portfolio for Jira, Roadmunk, Product Plan, Airtable, Trello (on steroids), Smartsheet, Asana, Monday (back then it was called Dapulse) and even “old school” tools like Planview and Clarity (CA PPM). I also did many interviews with many Product, PMO, and engineering leaders. There was no modern tool to connect strategy and execution and enable cross-functional collaboration.

When 2 engineering leaders from 2 different companies reached out for suggestions on a “better spreadsheet” to manage their roadmaps and resources… I realized they didn’t need a better spreadsheet, they needed an intelligent system to connect strategy and execution and support iterative planning to respond to changes quickly.

I decided to build one – This is the start of Dragonboat – the smart, complete, and Responsive Product Portfolio platform to help companies build better products and teams.

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