ProductBeat is a simple but powerful product management tool for modern product teams.
If you’re developing software and are looking for something a smack in the middle between Trello and Jira to help you plan and keep track of your product roadmap, releases and team work, this one is for you.
To try out everything mentioned in this post in just a few minutes, sign up for free at https://productbeatapp.com!
Remember to let us know what you think of our feature set so far, and what you’d like us to add!
Your products and backlogs are organised into boards. You can set up as many boards as you wish for free. Users are organised into teams, and each board belongs to a team. We create a private team for you when you sign up, and you can also create as many teams as you please.
Each board is divided into backlog (active and upcoming tasks), releases (continuous view into closed tasks) and, very soon, also roadmap (long-term planning). All of these are different ways to access the meat of your board: epics, milestones and backlog items such as tasks, stories and bugs.
Backlog items flow from bottom to top, in a way that you are probably familiar with: throughout your planning and development process, you gradually flesh out stories and other backlog items, until they become refined enough to first make their way into development, and then ultimately released into production. ProductBeat is not strictly a tool for Scrum, Kanban or anything else, but this basic agile process is encoded into the design.
Understand what’s happening right now
When it comes to active tasks and closing tickets, our approach is both strikingly simple, yet somewhat unconventional depending on what you’re used to.
First of all, we don’t have columns. Yup, they’re nowhere in the screenshots and they’re nowhere to be found when you log in. We’ve seen a thousand agile tools with column layouts and they never feel right: text is hard to read, screen space is poorly utilized, and you have to switch between several pages to get a solid understanding of what‘s happening in your product.
Instead, we simply show active and blocked tasks on the top of the backlog. This approach just works and lets us deliver a lot of meaningful information at a glance, while keeping the board design extremely clean.
Backlog items that are marked as done are called releases. We want to free product teams of the frustrations around closing tickets, and our first step is bringing a clear definition to what it means when something is done: it’s done when it’s out there, deployed, usable, working, case closed.
We have a lot of thoughts about how to make the path between opening and closing a ticket more transparent for everyone, but in our current app the releases page simply lists all closed tasks in a continuous view that is grouped by month and by week. No fix versions, sprints, or manual releases.
If you don’t do continuous releases (perhaps you’re developing native apps with a more fixed release cycle), we’d love to hear from you. We will design something for you very soon, although we do recommend continuous release flow whenever possible.
Epics, milestones and subtasks
Backlog items are shown on your backlog, can be commented on and also support attachments. Use backlog items to ideate and prepare requirements for your software, and track bugs or bigger development tasks.
To help you plan your development flow with more granularity, we also support assignable subtasks. Use subtasks to document a more detailed development plan for each backlog item and divide the work to several team members.
You can also use epics and milestones in your backlog to help you get the bigger picture. In the near future we’ll release a new roadmap feature that builds on the epic tags you can already use on the backlog.
Most of us work on multiple teams and projects (be it day job, freelancing or night-time hacking) at any one time. At the very least many teams often have multiple boards, or create a new board when their plans change.
ProductBeat is built from the ground up to work smoothly for you even when your account gets invited to new teams. You can use your own account to join any number of teams, and will always see all boards of each team you’re working on.
ProductBeat shows you all your assigned tasks from all your projects in one place. There’s also a super smooth text-based search always available with one click.
Did we mention that ProductBeat is completely supported on mobile? You can log in at use.productbeatapp.com with your mobile device and get access to the full feature set on all your devices.
We don’t have native apps in app stores yet, but if you simply save the bookmark on your phone’s home screen, we guarantee your experience is pretty damn smooth.
Oh boy, we have so many exciting things in planning!
But first things first. Right now, we’re deploying updates on a daily basis, polishing up the core experience to make sure we all the things you care about when using ProductBeat for serious business.
On top of that, we are releasing new features and on a regular basis. We release early, get your feedback and either keep iterating or use extreme prejudice to kill any features that don’t work for you and your team.
Sign up, get involved
Whether you want to be a part of this process, or just switch to a solid product management app, sign up for free at productbeatapp.com and send some feedback our way!