Product operations by Christine Itwaru "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs December 12 2022 False product operations, product ops, ProductTank, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 563 Product Management 2.252

Product operations by Christine Itwaru

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In this ProductTank Berlin talk, Christine Itwaru, Senior Director of Product Operations at Pendo, explains the origins of product operations and how product managers can benefit from it. Her key points include:

  • The history of product management
  • Why do product managers exist?
  • Achieving the happy path and outcome for customers
  • Why does ProductOps exist?
  • How product operations solves problems

Watch the video to see her talk in full, or read on for an overview.

History of product management

Product management has undergone a lot of change over the years, from Brand Men in the 1930s, who studied data from marketing and sales to understand customer problems and try to find simple solutions, to the creation of the software product manager in the 1970s and a clear role.

Why do product managers exist?

Product managers exist to solve problems and create a beautiful, frictionless user experience. To create that enjoyable and productive experience for their customers, they focus on understanding their customers and being servant leaders for their teams.

Achieving the happy path and outcome for customers

Customers expect to see a return on investment and continued incremental product value for any product they purchase. For product managers to achieve this, they need to have frictionless onboarding and continued adoption of any new features for the product.

Customer-facing teams have to know enough about a product to show its value and sell it and train and retain customers. Product managers exist to solve problems. To do this, they must own, plan, and execute a roadmap, manage stakeholders, and understand the customer. However, product managers can’t achieve this as well as be responsible for other pieces like writing external and internal docs, assisting with deals and maintaining the voice of the customer, and more.

Why does product operations exist?

Product operations exist to empower and align product managers and revenue teams and help them achieve successful outcomes for customers. It aims to reduce friction and create a delightful experience by handling many of the non-features necessary to win in product teams. Ultimately, every minor thing matters in the product experience, including the experience for your internal teams and the non-tangible product-related items.

How product operations solve challenges

Product operations solve problems by operating with a product manager mindset, driving outcomes through people and processes. A good product operations candidate has skills such as empathy, a focus on data, the willingness to embrace rigor, be flexible, and be a strong communicator.

Success in product operations means being intentional, embracing and owning processes, and listening to the company’s pain as your product team works on experience through the product. Product managers must focus on change and adoption and then set measurable goals.

The key takeaways from this talk are that when you’re in product operations, you’re in the best seat in the house but shouldn’t take things personally or be afraid to say no to requests, but state your reasoning behind saying no.

Enjoy more ProductTank content

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 Berlin talk, Christine Itwaru, Senior Director of Product Operations at Pendo, explains the origins of product operations and how product managers can benefit from it. Her key points include:
  • The history of product management
  • Why do product managers exist?
  • Achieving the happy path and outcome for customers
  • Why does ProductOps exist?
  • How product operations solves problems
Watch the video to see her talk in full, or read on for an overview.

History of product management

Product management has undergone a lot of change over the years, from Brand Men in the 1930s, who studied data from marketing and sales to understand customer problems and try to find simple solutions, to the creation of the software product manager in the 1970s and a clear role.

Why do product managers exist?

Product managers exist to solve problems and create a beautiful, frictionless user experience. To create that enjoyable and productive experience for their customers, they focus on understanding their customers and being servant leaders for their teams.

Achieving the happy path and outcome for customers

Customers expect to see a return on investment and continued incremental product value for any product they purchase. For product managers to achieve this, they need to have frictionless onboarding and continued adoption of any new features for the product. Customer-facing teams have to know enough about a product to show its value and sell it and train and retain customers. Product managers exist to solve problems. To do this, they must own, plan, and execute a roadmap, manage stakeholders, and understand the customer. However, product managers can’t achieve this as well as be responsible for other pieces like writing external and internal docs, assisting with deals and maintaining the voice of the customer, and more.

Why does product operations exist?

Product operations exist to empower and align product managers and revenue teams and help them achieve successful outcomes for customers. It aims to reduce friction and create a delightful experience by handling many of the non-features necessary to win in product teams. Ultimately, every minor thing matters in the product experience, including the experience for your internal teams and the non-tangible product-related items.

How product operations solve challenges

Product operations solve problems by operating with a product manager mindset, driving outcomes through people and processes. A good product operations candidate has skills such as empathy, a focus on data, the willingness to embrace rigor, be flexible, and be a strong communicator. Success in product operations means being intentional, embracing and owning processes, and listening to the company’s pain as your product team works on experience through the product. Product managers must focus on change and adoption and then set measurable goals. The key takeaways from this talk are that when you’re in product operations, you’re in the best seat in the house but shouldn’t take things personally or be afraid to say no to requests, but state your reasoning behind saying no.

Enjoy more ProductTank content

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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