Tools4Tools - Episode 1: ClickUp and our 'aha' moment in Product Management

Thomas Verhoef

A few years ago, when we founded SUMSUM, we instantly had a lot of discussions about which (product) management tool was best suited to tackle the challenges when diving headfirst into product or project ideas.

An overload of project management tools

After years of working with different tools to manage the various aspects of product development and project management, ClickUp introduced itself as a definite challenger for all prior used tools. We worked with Jira, TeamGantt, Excel, Youtrack, email (yes, of course, all product management has its flirts with email threads 😖), Trello, whiteboards, Word, Presentations, papers, cloud storage, and so on.

The slight advantage of working this way is that you are happy to have the idea on paper and not in your head (or someone else's head, whether that's the customer, developer, salesperson, marketer, or designer). This way, we could try to objectify the challenge ahead. In addition, this made the challenge more transparent and shareable than always having to sit face-to-mug, whether you felt like it or deemed it necessary.

However, those tools left us ear-drummed about the clutter they could easilycreate, the overhead they soon made everyone go through, and, yes - sorry - the inefficiency they could easily yield not long after the start. And this article is not just to bash other tools; we profoundly think product management is a complex 'thing,' and we're not judging here.

Project managers have to bring so many sources together: resources, insights, communication, ideas, visuals, timelines, input, output, guesstimates and estimates, data, analytics, surveys, and the list goes on. Soon, every product management effort explodes in the room and leaves the walls smeared with good intentions.

Centralizing our resources

That's where Clickup came in. We, too, had painted many office walls in previous ventures. It was an eye-opener to discover a company that made it its mission to go head-to-head with product management, leaving no stone unturned. When we started using it a few years ago, it was already a comprehensive tool that went above and beyond to offer you the elements to manage your product. Nowadays, we see how ClickUp is trying to provide you with the features to start organizing all your projects, even venture-related processes, such as recruitment, evaluations, etc. Their ambitions remain huge given their constant releases of updates, new features, and customizations.

At SUMSUM, we are currently placing our future bets on them. We see that they are helping us manage different aspects of our company and believe they will help us manage even more, all in one tool. We've started rolling out ClickUp in our business group, Raccoons, where we're slowly discovering how it can help us manage the complexity of a group of different organizations.

ClickUp Compass

To manage this right, we've created an internal learning path, ClickUp Compass, thatwill help every SUMSUM member become an expert in managing ideas, projects, products, venture-related challenges, and more. Nelleke, our ClickUp expert, will explain how we did this and how we think it helps us become better at what we do at SUMSUM. But it won't stop there: we're looking for ways to share the joy we're experiencing using ClickUp, which from an initial initiative, is culminating in much more than just our benefit. We are helping clients, helping people organize their (daily) work, helping, yes, I dare say it, the world become a happier and more productive place to work in. Stay tuned!

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