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Roadmapping

The 9 Best Roadmap Planner Software for Product Teams in 2024 (+ the ideal roadmapping tool checklist)

31 Mar 202412 mins read
Malte Scholz
The 9 Best Roadmap Planner Software for Product Teams in 2024 (+ the ideal roadmapping tool checklist)
By Malte Scholz
CONTENTS

Imagine a time before smartphones and GPS. You’re driving across the country, but you forgot your map book! How are you ever going to get to where you’re going?

While actual roadmaps are a little old-fashioned these days, roadmaps in product management have continued to stand the test of time. Roadmaps are the backbone of any project, letting us know where we are going, how we’ll get there, and when we’ll get there. 

Unlike their namesake, product management business roadmaps have adapted for the digital age, and now there are countless product management platforms on the market.

The right roadmapping tool, or roadmap planner software can facilitate collaboration, improve prioritization efforts, remove friction from the development process and help you consistently deliver better products. The wrong roadmapping software can leave you and your team scratching your head.

Roadmap

Product roadmaps are a little like a BFF from childhood; the one you really couldn’t live without, but who can irritate the heck out of you all the same. We say this because, while pushing on with product development without a well-planned roadmap is usually a recipe for disaster, designing and creating that roadmap can be an epic time drain and headache.

65% of Product Managers consider roadmapping to be the most difficult task of their role (Gitnux 2023).

It’s here that roadmap planner software can really help out your product team, and below are our tips for finding the best one for your needs.

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What is a roadmap planner software used for?

  1. Aligning teams

    Roadmapping tools gather insights from various stakeholders to create a unified vision for the project. This ensures every team member understands the goals, deliverables, and timelines, fostering a shared commitment to the project's direction.

  2. Positioning products

    These tools help outline the future evolution of a product, demonstrating how it will distinguish itself from competitors in the market. They visualize strategic directions and feature enhancements to emphasize the product's unique value.

  3. Securing stakeholder support

    Roadmapping tools are essential for showcasing the product's future to both customers considering leaving and internal stakeholders. They show how the product will develop according to user feedback, building trust and backing for planned initiatives.

  4. Communicating future visions

    Beyond listing current features, roadmapping tools give stakeholders a glimpse into what the product will be capable of in the future, highlighting upcoming innovations and improvements.

  5. Facilitating resource planning

    They enable product managers to realistically scope strategic initiatives, ensuring projects are achievable without overcommitting resources. If new initiatives arise, these tools help evaluate and adjust resource allocation accordingly.

  6. Enhancing internal communication

    With roadmap planner software like airfocus, sharing detailed plans with the entire team becomes straightforward, eliminating the need for numerous update meetings. Additionally, external sharing capabilities allow customers to view the product's direction, fostering transparency and confidence in the product's growth.

So, let’s check out some of the best roadmapping tools and what you should look for when choosing the right roadmap planner software for your needs.

Product manager

The best roadmap planner software in 2024

Now that we’ve established the key criteria used to judge a quality piece of roadmap planner software, let’s take a look at our options.

Here are 9 of the best roadmap planner software options for product teams in 2024 (and beyond). 

1. airfocus

Roadmapping

airfocus is the first modular product management platform that promises simplicity without sacrificing features. Our platform is jam-packed with powerful prioritization tools to help you deliver value with every decision. 

With our easy-to-use and intuitive roadmap designer, you can create fully functional roadmaps in minutes. Need a roadmap in a hurry? Try our pre-built templates! airfocus offers everything you could need to build strategic and lean roadmaps. The easy-to-use roadmap builder allows users to create roadmaps in minutes and share them with a range of views to suit different audiences. airfocus contextualizes your roadmap by offering release and timeline views so you can quickly view work linked to your roadmap. This helps develop your strategies by visualizing dependencies between items. airfocus Portal allows you to share roadmaps, plans, and launches with your audiences, complete with your own branding

Standout feature: airfocus allows you to consolidate multiple roadmaps into a single portfolio to get a better overview of the actions of multiple teams and promote cross-functional collaboration.

Ratings: G2 - 4.4 stars

Demos: Getting Started with airfocus

Pricing: Plans start at $69 per editor per month. 

Free trial: Yes.

Pros

  • Get started quickly and easily with great templates

  • Fully customizable to fit your brand and workflow

  • Intuitive filters to see what you need and nothing you don’t

  • Great prioritization functionality 

  • Expert customer service 

  • Huge resources area 

  • Plenty of integrations

Cons

  • We’ll get back to you if we find any!

2. Wrike

Wrike screenshot

Wrike’s roadmapping tools allow you to accelerate your products’ journey to launch. You can create boardroom-ready roadmaps that keep you aligned with your stakeholders and create 360° visibility at every stage.

Wrike visualizes each stage of the roadmap plan to give at-a-glance updates to key stakeholders and can also sync customer data from third-party integrations of over 400 apps.

Sync key dates across calendars, strategize upcoming releases, and streamline your approval process with a great range of integrations and automations. You can even automate product requests within your roadmap with Wrike’s customer request forms that automatically gather details and assign tasks.´

Ratings: G2- 4.2 stars

Demos: What is Wrike? Wrike Demo & Overview

Pricing: Plans start at $9.80 per user per month.

Free trial: Yes.

Standout feature: Good for large and small teams

Pros

  • Enterprise-level features like Gantt charts, workflow statuses, and file-sharing

  • Built-in time tracking

  • Detailed analytics

Cons

  • The interface can be hard to navigate

  • The mobile apps are lacking

  • Can be complex to learn and onboard people onto the platform

Key takeaways:

  • A handful of roadmap planner templates can be applied to get you started. 

  • A selection of pricing plans, from Free to Enterprise; however some features are only available on higher tiers. Gannt charts are only available on the Professional plan, for example.

3. Jira

jira screenshot

Jira is one of the most well-known tools in the world of product management, so creating a roadmap planner in Jira should be a piece of cake, right? The answer to that is yes, but there’s one small caveat to mention.

Jira has two types of roadmap: the basic version which comes as part of Jira’s core plans, and “Advanced Roadmaps” which is much more feature-rich and only available with Jira Software Cloud Premium.

Ratings: G2 - 4.3 stars

Demos: Demo: Project Management with Jira | Atlassian  

Pricing: Plans start at $8.15 per user per month.

Free trial: Yes, for up to 10 users.

Key takeaways:

  • Does not yet support roadmap planner templates, but more technically-minded users would be able to create and save their own. 

  • A free version of basic roadmaps is available with Jira Software Cloud Free, but is limited to a single team (among other restrictions). Advanced Roadmaps are only available with the paid Premium edition of Jira.

  • 7-day free trial for Jira Premium.

4. Trello

Trello roadmap planner

Trello is a project management platform from the makers of Jira. While it offers a great range of tools and features, it’s not great for roadmapping. However, it’s a good option for teams that love to use Kanban boards for their roadmaps. 

Using the airfocus Power-Up, you can create a powerful roadmap in Trello as easily as you would on the airfocus platform. Proof — if you ever needed it — that with airfocus, anything is possible!

Trello also includes collaboration features, calendars, checklists, attachments, due dates, and more.

Ratings: G2 - 4.4 stars

Demos: Boost your productivity with Trello 

Pricing: Plans start at $5 per user per month.

Free trial: Yes.

Standout feature - A blank slate to create any type of roadmap you want.

Pros

  • Transparent and easy-to-understand pricing

  • Real-time updating

  • Kanban-style

Cons

  • Not designed specifically for roadmapping

  • Trello doesn’t have built-in roadmap templates, though user-submitted templates are available

  • Difficult to use for large-scale projects

Key takeaways:

  • A growing library of templates, including roadmap planner templates for Trello. The app provides a dedicated website with filters to help users find the template they need. You can also learn more about creating roadmaps in Trello right here.

  • Provides a number of pricing tiers, including a feature-restricted Free plan. 

  • Also offers a 14-day free trial of its Premium tier subscription. 

5. Aha!

Aha!

Aha! offers users the ability to create and distribute effective roadmaps in minutes with templates, customization, and easy sharing. The platform also has whiteboards for brainstorming, built-in AI, real-time collaboration, and prioritization tools.

Pros:

  • Easy Integration

  • Project Management

  • Team Collaboration

  • Customization

  • Ease of Use

Cons:

  • Difficult to get to grips with

  • Lacks key features compared to others

  • Confusing UI

  • Customization is limited

Standout feature: Aha! offers feedback collection tools that can promote the best ideas from your branded portal straight to your roadmap.

Ratings: G2 - 4.3 stars

Demos: Aha! Roadmaps | Getting Started

Pricing: Plans start at $59 per user per month.

Free trial: Yes.

6. Roadmunk

Roadmunk vs. Productplan

Roadmunk’s roadmapping feature allows teams to commit to dates and create alignment around initiatives, objectives, and milestones. It also offers swimlanes for agile teams who don’t want to commit to specific timelines. 

Pros:

  • Templates

  • Can create multiple roadmap views from a single data set

  • Easily sharable

Cons:

  • Difficult to learn

  • Not flexible

  • Limited features

  • Can’t create customized feedback forms or portals

Standout feature: Roadmunk allows you to instantly pivot and filter your data to create and save different views of your roadmap, allowing you to tailor your roadmaps to a specific audience. 

Ratings: G2 - 4 stars

Demos: Learning Session: Roadmapping with Roadmunk - October 2023

Pricing: Plans start at $19 per month.

Free trial: Yes.

7. Monday

monday.com vs aha

Monday offers “all the features every product team needs.” There are over 200 integrations, burndown charts, multiple ways to visualize your work, and tools for sprint management. 

Pros:

  • Easy to use

  • Improves efficiency

  • Advanced reporting features

Cons:

  • Mobile app could use some work

  • Some features are hard to find

  • Cluttered interface

Standout feature: Monday dev offers a range of automations, including the ability to create an automation specific to your needs.

Ratings: G2 - 4.7 stars

Demos: monday dev overview (enterprise) | monday.com tutorials

Pricing: Plans start from $9.80 per seat per month.

Free trial: Yes.

8. ProductPlan

ProductPlan hero image

ProductPlan allows teams to easily build great-looking roadmaps that can be securely shared. Users can quickly switch between timeline, list, and table layouts and filter and share custom views with different audiences. 

Pros:

  • Simple and secure roadmap sharing

  • Easy customization

  • Intuitive interface

Cons:

  • So many features makes it confusing to use at times

  • No offline mode

  • Dragging and dropping are not always effective

Standout feature: ProductPlan allows you to share roadmaps with private links to ensure your roadmap is only seen by the people you want to see it.

Ratings: G2 - 4.4 stars

Demos: ProductPlan Demo and Product Tour

Pricing: Plans start at $49 per editor per month.

Free trial: Yes.

9. Portfoleon

Portfoleon Roadmap planner

Portfoleon differentiates itself in the market by having a singular focus on lean product roadmapping and portfolio management.

The Portfoleon app allows users to organize their roadmap planning in a variety of views, including timeline, spreadsheet, Kanban, and pivot table. The user interface may be more basic than other roadmap planner software options, but Portfoleon is still a relatively new solution with a lot of growth ahead of it. 

Ratings: G2 - 4.9 stars

Demos: Portfoleon Demo 

Pricing: Plans start at $24 per user per month.

Free trial: No, but they do offer a free tool, Portfoleon Timeline.

Key takeaways:

  • When first creating a Portfoleon board, users can select from one of a handful of templates including Marketing, Product, etc. But this app doesn’t yet offer an extensive library of templates. 

  • A feature-restricted free plan that allows up to 3 boards. 

  • Unlimited resources are unlocked with either the Roadmapping or Portfolio plans, both of which come with free trials.

What to look for in roadmap planner software? (+ a checklist)

PMs use an average of 3.6 tools for tasks like roadmapping (Gitnux 2023).

Whether you’ve been working within the limitations of a free roadmap planner software or you’re already familiar with some of the paid tools, the formula for an effective solution remains the same. 

That means there are a few essential ingredients you should be on the lookout for. So before we dive into the roadmap planner software options, here’s your list of must-have features:

  1. Template support

    Templates are great tools that allow teams to easily switch gears on a dime or get started with a fresh roadmap. Streamlining the roadmap process with templates helps teams focus on what’s important rather than fussing around creating a roadmap from scratch.

  2. Collaboration and alignment

    Seamless collaboration is the backbone of any great project, and it includes the ability to come together as a team to create an effective roadmap. Shared workflow is an essential feature to look out for when choosing roadmap planner software. Users need to be able to communicate with each other through the roadmap software, especially on an individual task level. This helps keep cross-functional teams and products aligned and moving towards the same direction.

  3. Simple, straightforward user interface

    There’s no space or time in an agile workflow for poking around to figure out how your new roadmapping tool works. You need software that is intuitive and makes it simple for you to find the features you need, fast. Software that makes it harder to get stuff done may cost you more than it saves.

  4. Help with prioritization and decision-making

    Two of the most difficult aspects of product roadmap planning are deciding which tasks to tackle and when. A good roadmap planner software will include features to help teams make better decisions that are insight and data driven. These features could include centralized user feedback and easy-to-use prioritization tools.

  5. Easy integration

    Integrating your roadmapping tool with your existing software is crucial for easy adoption. Ideally, the roadmap planner software you choose will easily integrate with your dev tools and feedback tools for a seamless experience.

  6. Feedback management

    Centralized feedback and customer insights can help influence your strategic roadmap. Your roadmapping tool should gather feedback from multiple channels into one place, link relevant ones and transform all of it into actionable insights. This will help teams quickly identify key user needs that will influence prioritization and roadmap creation.

  7. Public and internal facing portals

    It’s better to be proactive when seeking feedback, especially during the early stages of product development. A branded portal will create a sense of community with your users, allowing you to gain feedback at crucial stages and keep users in the loop during development.

  8. Designed for security

    Your IP is one of the most important parts of your business, and protecting it should be a top concern. This is especially true when developing new products. The last thing you want is to deal with data leaks during the roadmapping stage, so make sure the roadmapping tool you pick offers top-notch security and privacy features.

  9. Support product teams of any scale

    We all want our businesses to grow as big as possible, but not all roadmap planner software can handle enterprise-level businesses. Choosing a flexible tool that can scale as you grow allows businesses to grow without needing to reevaluate their software.

Roadmapping software checklist

How airfocus can help with roadmapping

At airfocus, we realize that not every team works the same way.

That’s why we made sure our intuitive yet simple roadmapping tool was fully customizable.

We built our roadmapping tool with simplicity in mind. airfocus makes roadmapping simple with a range of templates and our easy-to-use roadmap builder. 

An airfocus roadmap allows you to see how your strategy is developing by visualizing dependencies between items through release and timeline views. This allows you to plan around key objectives and milestones. 

Sharing roadmaps through airfocus is simple, with secure URLs and exports. You can also tailor roadmap views to send out to different audiences so everyone easily gets the information they need.

airfocus offers the ability to roll up multiple roadmaps and present them in a single portfolio. This allows you to gain a clearer picture of how multiple teams are working, as well as increase cross-functional collaboration.

Rather than fitting in with the way the software wants you to, you can create vibrant roadmaps that lay out exactly how your team expects.

Additional resources

For those new to product management and roadmapping or those simply looking to level up their skills, we have a fantastic resource section packed full of tricks and tips. You can learn what the purpose of a roadmap is, how to design a roadmap, and even how to utilize roadmaps for UX design

There are many roadmapping templates to get you started, including outcome-based, technology, and objective-led roadmaps. With our easy-to-use roadmap builder, you can create a clear and strategic roadmap within minutes and turn strategy into action with release and timeline views. Here are more resources below.

How to Build an Effective Enterprise Product Roadmap.

Roadmapping Best Practices With Real-World Case Studies.

Portfolio vs Product Roadmaps: When and How To Use Them.

6 Ways to Leverage AI in Roadmap Planning.

We may be a little biased here, but airfocus truly is the best option for all your roadmapping needs. Get started for free today. No credit card needed!

And don’t forget to download our FREE ultimate guide to roadmapping.

"Roadmapping from A to Z" is a free ebook featuring 60+ pages full of information about roadmapping, especially product roadmaps. In the eBook, you can learn what a roadmap is, how to create a product roadmap, types of roadmaps, prioritization, and tips on communicating with stakeholders effectively using roadmaps.

Malte Scholz

Malte Scholz

CEO & CPO @ airfocus
Malte Scholz is CEO, CPO, and co-founder of airfocus, the world's most flexible product management platform. His journey started as a product manager seeking a better tool, and now airfocus is trusted by more than 800 global companies, helping them build the right products and deliver greater value....more
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