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What Is Product Operations Product Ops?

October 19, 2023
Bill Kimball

If your product managers are wasting time with administrative tasks instead of investing it in their core responsibilities, that’s your cue to find proper help in Product Operations. They’ll take care of daily procedures and set up best practices to achieve the team’s success.

More and more we hear about Product Ops skills or read Product Ops Manager job descriptions on LinkedIn, but things don’t look that clear yet—unlike the well-known value of Sales Ops, Marketing Ops, or DevOps for a SaaS company. It’s murky waters when it comes to definitions, responsibilities, or benefits of this relatively new role. In earlier stages, companies might assign Product Ops responsibilities to someone on their existing team or to multiple team members . But as the product and company grows, it makes sense to create a role that are specifically dedicated to Product Ops.

  • If your primary goal is to build a product-led business, you need to understand how product operations relates to achieving that goal.
  • Now we’ve established there are some major players hiring for the role, what exactly is it?
  • With this also comes improved communication and efficiency, since product ops acts as a resource that provides product expertise for teams across the company.
  • Whilst product ops primarily exist in these larger tech-first companies with more mature product functions, organizations that are looking to scale quickly, especially those with a product-led approach, will soon be embracing the new role.
  • Because these operations roles are intended to make the teams they support more efficient, they generally don’t make sense until the team grows to a certain scale.
  • The team can also report duties that previously fell on the product team.

Product ops help you here with an onboarding plan that is defined and outlined beforehand. This plan encapsulates every stage of being a productive team member and what you have to do to get there. Occasional travel will be required to LinkedIn office locations to give training, to understand processes, tools and needs, as well as to gather insights from our LinkedIn members. Now we’ve established there are some major players hiring for the role, what exactly is it? As with other product roles, the definition is evolving and varies from company to company. Now that we have seen the different skills expected from a Product Operations team, let’s take a look at how they are actually translated into real-market job descriptions.

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The position is rapidly becoming an essential function for high-performing, scalable teams. The cost-benefit analysis supports a strong case for adding and growing this function, especially once products start gaining traction. When no one is looking at the results of these experiments in aggregate, it creates a silo-based culture of product experimentation where the organization misses out on significant trends and insights. Today, businesses have more technology than ever to develop and improve their products, from apps that monitor customer usage, digital prototyping solutions and product roadmap software. They’re also simply an extra body familiar with the product and processes that can jump in when needed.

product operations management

Product Managers own the definition and development of specific products while the Product Ops team handles the daily repetitive functions to sleek development, launch, and continuous optimization across multiple products. It’s one thing to focus on building the product, but another thing entirely is making that process much smoother. As product teams expand, evolve their practices, and gain access to ever-growing amounts of data, the demand for Production Operations will continue to increase. Assigning a person or team to manage Product Ops will help ensure that the product team stays focused on strategic work that’s aligned with business outcomes. And that brings product teams and organizations one step closer to Product Excellence. Product Ops owns product usage data and communicates themes and trends with sales and marketing.

Core Responsibilities Of Product Ops

Feedback should be collected across different channels, tagged and organized in a single system of record, and then turned into prioritized product work to be done. Product operations sits at the intersection of a few different teams, helping to connect the teams who are building your product, like product and engineering, with customer-facing teams, like customer success, support and sales. After this quite explanatory blog post, you should know almost everything about the product operations. They are some of the most underrated people in the industry, and most of the time, you will need them to be on your side. When production ops are paired with production management, your company will be on the next level you aim to be at.

Although they seem not of high importance, they might take lots of time for your team. A product ops expert will identify these tasks and try to find opportunities to make them more “automatized” and less time taking. Also, it is among the duties of a product ops expert to create an education program that has compelling materials for your employees to have a better learning experience and is convenient to schedule and access to the training. The product management process highly involves partnering with engineers and customers to bring out new ideas to life and experiment on them.

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If marketing is ill-informed, they may create misleading or false messaging, target the wrong messages to different personas, or create assets that don’t represent the product’s capabilities correctly. Product ops can be deployed to oversee or restructure quality assurance processes to minimize these disconnects and increase the product’s quality and velocity. The oversight may include deploying best practices and documentation to ensure all parties involved have appropriate visibility and understanding of expectations. Product ops make things more efficient for the product team and other parts of the organization. While they may have some firm responsibilities, they add even more value by taking on problems. When your team is growing fast, you want to make sure that your newly hired team members can get up to speed quickly, learn what they need to know and plug into the current team, all without slowing the existing team down.

product operations management

As the field of Product Ops continues to develop, there are plenty of job descriptions out there to draw inspiration from. But with this template, your product ops meeting can be productive, informative, and even motivational.

This assistance may include enhancing communication within the team and with the other parts of the company, standardizing planning, and enhancing the practices and the knowledge of the team by scheduling training programs and finding resources. Collaborate closely with their 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. Product ops is here to help give product managers their time back. But, they also help to align the organization so they always have what they need for their customers.


In the center of the organization, you have the product function and design team. Other groups, such as onboarding, technical support, customer advocacy, lead generation, and so on work around it. These other groups are focused on attracting leads, serving customers well, and growing the customer base.

Product ops are uniquely positioned to help make sense of all that data, creating dashboards and separating the valuable bits from the background noise. Product ops weren’t on too many product leaders’ radars a decade ago.

The Evolving Role Of Product Management

This includes scaling operations for existing products and designing operational programs for new initiatives. They also develop the process for testing, launching, and rolling out new features. They work across teams including product management, compliance, legal, engineering, and customer experience. That is exactly what product ops is; just like a sales team needs sales ops or a marketing team needs marketing ops, product managers need product ops in order to curate the best experience possible. Product Operations Managers are LinkedIn’s cross functional team communicators and collaborators shaping product/solutions using the voice of the members.

Collect And Manage Feedback

More and more companies switch to a tone that is centered around their customers. If you are one such company, you know how important your customers are. They pay for your product, refer your product to their coworkers, friends, etc., and obviously use it. Whilst product ops primarily exist in these larger tech-first companies with more mature product functions, organizations that are looking to scale quickly, especially those with a product-led approach, will soon be embracing the new role.

Product ops helps by defining an effective onboarding process and then puts everything in place so that there’s a clear path from day of hire to becoming a productive member of the team. Product ops, generally, are hired when there is a demand regarding problems of product management. In this article, you will learn about the great, mystique, and thrilling world of product operations. Experience driving complex projects or programs with several competing stakeholders, ideally in a software development and/or software launch readiness role. LinkedIn was built to help professionals achieve more in their careers, and every day millions of people use our products to make connections, discover opportunities and gain insights. Our global reach means we get to make a direct impact on the world’s workforce in ways no other company can. We’re much more than a digital resume – we transform lives through innovative products and technology.

I also explain the importance of the role in the product management space, and the future of product ops in the world today. It might be tempting to start with leadership when building out the product ops role at a company, but beginning with more junior staff is often a better bet. They can take on discrete functions that the product and business need right now. There’s nothing worse than designing a great product only to see its implementation plagued by problems. Whether it’s an inconsistent user experience, performance issues, not fully meeting the requirements, or just a whole bunch of bugs, these flaws can seriously harm the reputation of the product team and impact adoption, usage, and churn. Specialists build systems to capture, review, and analyze usage information and other vital data.

If any of these pain points resonate with you, you may want to consider product ops. Product ops people need to have certain qualities to help them succeed in their role and in turn, help the business to succeed too. After all, experimentation helps us to come up with new strategies, new ideas, and new ways to grow.