Product operations is still an emerging role in product-led growth, so the responsibilities of the role are ever-shifting.
Of course, the key responsibilities of product ops, whether as a team of one or more, can vary depending on the organization, but some consistent areas have become tied to the role over the last year or so.
Let’s break them down briefly here:
Supporting the onboarding process
As product teams scale fast, new hires need to get up to speed very efficiently. Product ops can help to streamline and clearly define an effective onboarding process. Outlining a clear path from day one that helps new hires integrate quickly and smoothly.
Managing the right tools
PMs have a wide variety of tools available to them, and the tool stack only continues to grow. From user testing to analytics and roadmapping, it can all get a little overwhelming. Product ops can accurately identify the needs of the product team, manage and optimize the stack accordingly. Ensuring less time is wasted shuffling through tools and more time is spent on actually building the product.
Streamlining critical and routine tasks - Product development has its fair share of repetitive tasks that take up large amounts of a product team’s time; from analyzing feedback to roadmapping and interviewing users.
Prod ops can manage these tasks and streamline the processes involved. Ensuring less time is spent completing them and helping PMs achieve more impactful results. Key responsibilities, impact and value
“The hiring and performance evaluation processes are a key part of product ops (in partnership with HR, of course).” Chris Butler, Lead Product Manager at Google
Managing user feedback
Happy users are critical to successful product-led growth. The product experience is the user experience, and analyzing feedback is essential.
Product ops can play a central role in leveraging user feedback by collecting it across highly engaged channels while facilitating improvements through translating feedback to product teams, as well as analyzing, testing, and experimenting.
Staying on top of best practices
Product-led growth is constantly changing, and PMs need to be flexible enough to adapt to changing trends, methodologies, and best practices to maximize productivity and stay competitive.
Product operations can greatly help product teams by keeping fully up to date with these changing trends. They will be able to identify the methodologies and practices that cater to the specific needs of the product team, highlight areas of improvement and boost efficiency.
Ensuring resources and data are easily accessible
PMs manage huge amounts of data and resources during product development. An effective product ops team will be able to identify and organize the right resources and manage crucial data to empower product teams.
This can ensure critical resources and key insights are accessible from relevant data whenever needed
What do the professionals think?
To dig a little deeper into these responsibilities, we reached out to our surveyed product pros to ask what they thought the main responsibility of the function currently is. Just under half (48%) of all respondents rated helping cross-functional product teams discover, build and communicate better, as the top responsibility.
With making key decisions related to all aspects of product ops, alongside other executives (47%) not far behind. 30.7% rated collecting, organizing, and analyzing product data as key area products ops should be mainly responsible for.
14% of those surveyed fell into the other category and listed several other main responsibilities, including:
“Connecting and aligning the Product org with the rest of the organization with the end goal of delivering a high-quality product to market that drives customer happiness.”
“Owning the product lifecycle experience within the org and alignment to business strategies.” “Continually improving product department processes.”
“Removing noise and logistics from the day-to-day of product managers so they spend more time with customers and more time inventing.”
“Ensuring that everyone in R&D can make everyday count (efficiency and impact).”
“Providing the foundation of a successful product management discipline.”
“As teams scale systems and processes can break - there is so much waste and duplication or misalignment carried in the operating system and I think that’s the biggest win product ops can have as a main priority. Taking the cognitive load away from managers and leaders in terms of how we work at scale.”
“Simplifying product development through best practices and tools to enable product scalability and innovation.”
“Enabling product teams to scale and deliver.”
“Helping product teams operate as effectively as possible by building a foundation of excellence through metrics, infrastructure, product processes, and best practices.”
Looking for more insights into product operations? Check out the State of Product Operations Report 2022.