Operational excellence – product operations by Christine Itwaru "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs November 11 2021 False product operations, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 581 Product Management 2.324

Operational excellence – product operations by Christine Itwaru

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In this ProductTank Regional Collaboration, Christine Itwaru, Senior Director of Product Operations at Pendo, explains why product operations came to be and how product teams can use it to achieve operational excellence.

Watch the video to see her talk in full or read on for an overview of her key points:

  • Why do product managers exist?
  • Happy path and outcome for customers
  • Common pain as companies grow
  • Why product operations exists

Why do product managers exist?

Product managers exist to solve problems and create a beautiful, frictionless user experience. As Christine explains, they do this to bring an enjoyable, productive experience to their customers. Product managers achieve those goals by focusing on understanding their customers and being servant leaders to their teams.

Happy path and outcome for customers

When a customer is signed on, they expect frictionless onboarding, continued adoption, and regular incremental product value. Product managers do this while providing an enjoyable, productive experience.

Product teams are expected to know enough about the product to sell value, understand the product to show value, and be competent to train and retain customers.

On the other hand, expectations of the product manager include owning the roadmap and execution, maintaining a collaborative relationship with engineers, managing stakeholder alignment, deeply understanding the user base, and focusing on adoption and growth.

However, in many companies, there is a gap that needs to be plugged in to meet the expectations of the product manager and product teams.

Common pain as companies grow

As companies grow, they go through various external and internal pain points. Externally, new customers become a new plan to solve for. Multiple sources of product data emerge, including qualitative and quantitative. Also, nuances emerge across your customer base, and each new user consumes information differently.

Internally, teams find themselves having to repeat questions, and roadmap assets vary; training needs grow and adjust. Also, general release and beta management feel like one, and there needs to be a delicate balance of keeping customers happy and adding new customers. It’s at this point that scale becomes critical to maintain that balance. Listen to this talk at Mind the Product San Francisco where Laura Klein shares some of her insights into what makes happy product teams.

Why does Product Ops exist?

To enable product managers to do what they need to do, you need product ops. It helps the product team, and while product operations fits in the product management department, it is a muscle for the entire organization.

Read about what product ops can learn from user research

Product ops exists to empower and align product managers and revenue teams to help them achieve successful customer outcomes. It aims to reduce friction and create a delightful experience by focusing on the non-features necessary to win in product.

Ingredients in the recipe for enabling growth at scale include process, rigor, operational excellence, partnership, product management, and product-market fit.

The key takeaway from this talk is that every little thing matters in the product experience, including the experience for your internal teams and the non-tangible product-related items.

Enjoy more from ProductTank

ProductTanks are informal meetups, created by Mind the Product, to bring local product people together and to enable speakers to share amazing product insights. Today we have ProductTanks in more than 200 cities across the globe and there’s probably one near you.

Learn more about ProductTank – find your local meetup, explore more ProductTank content, see the latest ProductTank news, and discover ways to get involved!

In this ProductTank Regional Collaboration, Christine Itwaru, Senior Director of Product Operations at Pendo, explains why product operations came to be and how product teams can use it to achieve operational excellence. Watch the video to see her talk in full or read on for an overview of her key points:
  • Why do product managers exist?
  • Happy path and outcome for customers
  • Common pain as companies grow
  • Why product operations exists

Why do product managers exist?

Product managers exist to solve problems and create a beautiful, frictionless user experience. As Christine explains, they do this to bring an enjoyable, productive experience to their customers. Product managers achieve those goals by focusing on understanding their customers and being servant leaders to their teams.

Happy path and outcome for customers

When a customer is signed on, they expect frictionless onboarding, continued adoption, and regular incremental product value. Product managers do this while providing an enjoyable, productive experience. Product teams are expected to know enough about the product to sell value, understand the product to show value, and be competent to train and retain customers. On the other hand, expectations of the product manager include owning the roadmap and execution, maintaining a collaborative relationship with engineers, managing stakeholder alignment, deeply understanding the user base, and focusing on adoption and growth. However, in many companies, there is a gap that needs to be plugged in to meet the expectations of the product manager and product teams.

Common pain as companies grow

As companies grow, they go through various external and internal pain points. Externally, new customers become a new plan to solve for. Multiple sources of product data emerge, including qualitative and quantitative. Also, nuances emerge across your customer base, and each new user consumes information differently. Internally, teams find themselves having to repeat questions, and roadmap assets vary; training needs grow and adjust. Also, general release and beta management feel like one, and there needs to be a delicate balance of keeping customers happy and adding new customers. It’s at this point that scale becomes critical to maintain that balance. Listen to this talk at Mind the Product San Francisco where Laura Klein shares some of her insights into what makes happy product teams.

Why does Product Ops exist?

To enable product managers to do what they need to do, you need product ops. It helps the product team, and while product operations fits in the product management department, it is a muscle for the entire organization. Read about what product ops can learn from user research Product ops exists to empower and align product managers and revenue teams to help them achieve successful customer outcomes. It aims to reduce friction and create a delightful experience by focusing on the non-features necessary to win in product. Ingredients in the recipe for enabling growth at scale include process, rigor, operational excellence, partnership, product management, and product-market fit. The key takeaway from this talk is that every little thing matters in the product experience, including the experience for your internal teams and the non-tangible product-related items.

Enjoy more from ProductTank

ProductTanks are informal meetups, created by Mind the Product, to bring local product people together and to enable speakers to share amazing product insights. Today we have ProductTanks in more than 200 cities across the globe and there’s probably one near you. Learn more about ProductTank – find your local meetup, explore more ProductTank content, see the latest ProductTank news, and discover ways to get involved!

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