In any industry, the two key ingredients to success are team management and product management. This is especially true in the software development industry, where products are constantly changing and teams are working together to create better products.
In a growing company, it can often become a hassle to manage both team members and products effectively. Thankfully, there are multiple types of automated software that can help.
This article discusses the different types of automated software required to ensure better teams and product management.
1. Project management tools
Project management tools help product managers keep track of tasks, deadlines, and progress. They can also be used to assign tasks to specific team members and track their progress. Popular project management tools include Asana and Trello.
A sign of an effective team is optimizing processes and having effective communication. Often remote team members let tasks slip through the cracks because people are unsure of their responsibilities. This is especially the case when working with international team members who work in different time zones.
A project management tool helps you automate many tasks.
A project management tool allows teams to be on the same page. Managers can keep track of what work employees are doing. Leave comments on tasks to avoid confusion. Create sub-tasks. Define dependencies. Set deadlines according to the work schedule of other team members. Create new work requests and set priorities.
For instance, instead of having to call a team meeting to explain which tasks should be prioritized, you can simply assign ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ priorities on the project management tool. Your team can view it from the tool. The time saved from attending meetings can be spent on completing the tasks.
A good project management tool will allow you to create a whiteboard that looks like how you envisioned it. Visualization helps you understand the project scope, brainstorm ideas and prioritize tasks.
2. Audio-to-text converter
Product managers, especially the ones managing remote teams, often have to record their meetings. Having the meeting’s transcription can be useful for the following reasons:
- You couldn’t attend a meeting and want to go through the key points discussed.
- You were unable to understand any key concept that was explained.
- Your employee has a disability, such as being hard-of-hearing.
- You need to have a written record of what was discussed and decided during the meeting.
- While completing a task, you want to go through the meeting’s key points to ensure that you are on the right track.
Whatever your reason is, an audio to text converter can make that happen. It is a good resource to have transcriptions of meetings and important discussions that can be reviewed at a later time.
3. Version control systems
Version control systems help developers keep track of changes made to the codebase and enable them to work on different versions of the code simultaneously. This is important for team collaboration as well as for individual developers who need to be able to go back and forth between different versions of the code. Examples of popular version control systems include Git and SVN.
Git allows you to track changes made to the code and revert back to previous versions if necessary. SVN enables developers to work on different versions of the code at the same time without affecting the main codebase.
4. Configuration management tools
Configuration management tools help developers manage the configurations of their applications and infrastructure. This is important for keeping track of changes made to configurations and to avoid unforeseen issues from occurring in production environments.
Continuous integration tools help developers automate the process of building and testing their code. This is important for team collaboration as well as for individual developers who need to be able to go back and forth between different versions of the code.
An efficient tool will allow you to:
- Automatically build and test your code whenever changes are made to the codebase.
- Prevent configuration drift that is often caused by manual changes done by team members.
A continuous integration server, also known as build server, automatically compiles code, runs tests, and provides feedback about the results of those tests. This helps team members know whether or not their code changes have caused any regressions and also makes it easier to identify which changes need to be made in order to fix any bugs that have been found.
Team members get the notification anytime there’s a broken code in the central code repository. A great product manager can effectively prevent those code changes from being deployed to production environments, which could cause severe issues.
5. ChatOps tools
ChatOps tools help teams communicate with each other about their workflows and collaborate on tasks using chat rooms. This is important for providing a centralized place for team members to communicate with each other and for keeping all communication about a project in one place.
ChatOps Tools ensure better teams by:
- Allowing team members to communicate with each other about their workflows and collaborate on tasks using chat rooms.
- Keeping all communication about a project in a centralized place, allowing product managers to keep track of conversations between team members.
6. Issue tracking systems
Issue tracking systems help developers track and manage bugs and other issues with the codebase. This is important for ensuring that bugs are fixed in a timely manner and for keeping track of which issues have been resolved and which ones still need to be addressed.
An efficient issue tracking system will have features such as:
- The ability to prioritize issues based on their severity.
- A built-in workflow engine that can be used to automate some of the processes.
- Integrations with other tools such as chatops tools and continuous integration tools.
Managers can keep track of open problems. Team members can ensure that the set milestones can be achieved without delaying the deployment.
7. Automation for your apps
Nowadays, you have to work with so many applications that it gets overwhelming to keep track of all of them. Automation can help you by providing a single interface to manage all your apps. This way, you don’t have to log into each app individually whenever you need to check for updates or new notifications.
App automation tools can help you automate some of the tasks that you would otherwise have to do manually.
Use a web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called "recipes", which are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
An example of such a tool is IFTTT (if this, then that.) Tasks get completed automatically in the application and you can define your own rules. For example, if someone leaves a comment on your Twitter or LinkedIn, you can create a task to consolidate them on a Google Doc.
This is a relief for teams that are using dozens of applications and often find themselves distracted because “too much is happening at once.”
8. Deployment tools
Deployment tools automate the process of deploying code changes to staging or production environments. This is important for keeping track of what changes have been made and when they were made, as well as for ensuring that code changes are properly tested before they are deployed to customers.
Important features of deployment tools include:
- The ability to manage different environments such as staging and production.
- Integrations with other tools such as monitoring tools and build servers.
- Easy installation to all endpoints in a network.
- Support for rolling updates deployment.
That’s a wrap. In this article, we discussed how automated software can help ensure better teams and product management. Investing in the right software for version control systems, automation tools, deployment tools, configuration management tools, and project management tools can really make a difference.
One thing is certain: having good software development practices and the right tools is the difference between an average team and an exceptional, high-performing team.
Teams can work more efficiently and effectively together to create better products by using these types of software. This article was just an overview of some of the most popular and important tools available. If you want to learn more about these topics, we recommend digging deep into the features, pricing, and feasibility of each software.
Osama Zahid is a technology content strategist who is passionate about content marketing and all things SEO. He has helped various companies rank their content on the first page of search engines. In his free time, Osama loves to play football and travel.