Product Teams

How to hire a product ops manager

Published Sep 24, 2019

Sales ops, marketing ops, business ops, DevOps — we’ve heard them all. It’s time for product to have its day in the sun and get a function dedicated to improving visibility, collaboration, and productivity. And so today, we’re excited to share not only the ultimate product ops job description, but also a brand new e-book all about the rise of this important function.

There are nearly 5,700 people on LinkedIn with a product operations title (an 8% increase since last year), and product operations as a skill on LinkedIn is up a whopping 80% year over year. But, what is product ops?

Based on the interviews and research in The Rise of Product Ops, this new operations specialty is the intersection of product, engineering, and customer success. It supports a company’s R&D team and their go-to-market counterparts to improve alignment, communication, and processes around product development, launch, and iteration.

Product ops in the wild

To get a better idea of this emerging — yet in many ways, familiar — role, we’re sharing a real-world example of a product ops job description. Julia Baker, director of technical project management at ServiceTitan, the world’s leading all-in-one software and operating system for residential and commercial service and replacement contractors, is building out the company’s very first product ops team, starting with a product operations manager.

In the interviews we conducted for The Rise of Product Ops, we kept hearing that the need for product ops is first and foremost a cry for efficiency. This is definitely true at ServiceTitan. Julia told us: “As your company scales and there’s more complexity in the organization, there becomes a need for a centralized structure within the technology org to make sure people aren’t confused, or wasting time, or making mistakes.”

Julia noted that the product organization had a process gap that forced product managers to spend countless hours resolving product bugs, rather than doing the hard work of developing new products and features that deliver value to their customers. The lack of process also contributed to limited visibility and structure — ultimately driving inefficiencies across the organization. Julia and her team pulled together a compelling business case, making the launch of a product operations function a key Q3 goal that is supported from the top down.

Product ops in disguise

At ServiceTitan today, product ops responsibilities are spread across the organization with product managers, engineers, and technical project managers absorbing a lot of disparate (and sometimes distracting) tasks. Based on our research, this is a common theme: organizations already have some sort of product ops presence, but it’s spread out across roles or called something entirely different.

Product ops in practice

As you’ll see, the person ServiceTitan is looking for is extremely strategic, analytical, and collaborative, and will serve as a key partner for teams across the company. Whether you’re thinking about hiring for product ops or think you may be a product ops person at heart, take a peek for yourself at what a top SaaS company is looking for as they build out a product ops organization.

And if you’re interested in digging deeper, our e-book breaks down the five core areas of the role, how a dedicated product ops function impacts the rest of the company, and eight characteristics of a successful product ops practitioner. Or, if this is your dream job, we encourage you to apply!

Manager, Product Operations, ServiceTitan

What you’ll do

  • Drive Operational Excellence process and make sure key metrics and trend reports are available to our Product and Engineering teams
  • Create Pendo Center of Excellence and process that will enable cross-functional teams to safely utilize Pendo for in-app messaging and feature adoption metrics
  • Establish a process for managing Alpha and Beta programs; assure there are success metrics and learnings absorbed by the R&D Organization
  • Partner with our Customer Success organization to create a Product Advisory board; own engagement and process to inform product development
  • Partner with our Sales and Marketing organization to understand key gaps in opening strategic opportunities and incorporate competitive analysis into Product Development process
  • Gather key insights and feedback for the Product team to influence the roadmap/prioritization of potential product changes
  • Aggregate and analyze issues using internal tools, customer surveys, and queries of all available data sources to gather user insights.
  • Work with Product, Customer Success, Sales and Engineering teams to influence and shape the product strategy and roadmap, drive change for key issues, and prioritize product change requests based on issue volume, members impacted, revenue impact, and other relevant metrics.
  • Collaborate closely with product and design teams to ensure operational team processes are factored into new product development plans and designs, and to integrate solutions to identify user experience issues in upcoming versions.
  • Partner with the training team to establish enablement programs for both Product and Engineering teams to accelerate on-boarding of new employees and enable development of existing employees

What you’ll need

  • BA/BS Degree required
  • 4+ years’ experience in one or more of the following areas: Program Management, Product Management, Project Management, Product Marketing, UX Research or Operations
  • Management experience with prior experience growing and developing team members
  • Experience with Pendo, Tableau and SQL
  • Experience in gathering business insights and identifying trends from data
  • Experience driving process changes across the organization
  • Experience with cross functional collaboration and negotiation
  • Hands-on experience and passion for software development
  • MBA preferred

If you want to learn more about product ops, download our brand new e-book: The Rise of Product Ops.