e-Book

The Rise of Product Ops

Introduction

Product operations (product ops) isn’t necessarily new, but it isn’t exactly commonplace, either. For technology companies that are scaling, it can be the difference between successful growth and growing pains. It’s simultaneously novel (applying the ruthless efficiency of sales operations to the R&D function) and familiar (what successful company doesn’t have an ops function?).

You don’t hear about product ops as often as you hear about marketing operations (marketing ops), sales operations (sales ops), or their amalgam revenue operations (RevOps). Even development operations (DevOps) is prevalent throughout tech. But we think this could change, and product ops could soon find itself on equal footing with its popular predecessors.

To better understand the state of product ops, what the role entails, why it matters, and where it’s going, we partnered with Product Collective to interview professionals from the field, whether they perform the function themselves or work at companies with a product ops department.

The biggest takeaway? This is a critical time for product ops. And the sooner companies start to recognize this, the better for them.

What is product ops?

At its core, product ops is the intersection of product (including product design), engineering, and customer success (CS). It exists to support the R&D team and their go-to-market counterparts to improve alignment, communication, and processes around product development, launch, and iteration.

What is ProductOps Venn Diagram

But every company defines product ops differently, likely due to the novelty of the role, and the fact that every team, product, and business has unique needs.

Product ops’ specific responsibilities can also look very different at different organizations, depending on what’s most important for the business. Consider these three different models for product ops:

Outcomes-driven

At Uber, product ops is responsible for gathering insights and scoping out the business needs at the very beginning of the product development process (which often includes going out and talking to users), as well as at launch time, working with their ops counterparts around the world to execute launches and go-to-market strategy.

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