Skip to content
📅 Our 2024 Roadmap: See Roadmunk's upcoming features

Product Ops

Product Ops Definition

Product Ops, short for “Product Operations”, refers to the strategies, processes, and tools used to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of product teams in delivering successful products to market.

What is Product Ops?

Product Ops is a multidisciplinary function to bridge the gaps between product management, development, and the larger business ecosystem. It focuses on streamlining processes, aligning product strategy with business goals, and ensuring product teams have the right resources and tools to succeed.

Product Ops is a crucial link, connecting various departments and ensuring effective communication between them. It’s about understanding the bigger picture and making sure that the processes within product teams are scalable, repeatable, and aligned with the overall company strategy.

The Role of Product Ops

The primary role of Product Ops is to ensure alignment across various product teams, facilitate efficient communication between groups, and provide tools and best practices to support product lifecycle management. They ensure that product managers, developers, and other stakeholders clearly understand the product vision, objectives, and key results (OKRs).

Communication Between Product Managers, Dev, and Ops

One of the main functions of Product Ops is to create a seamless flow of communication between product managers and developers. This can include implementing practical tools for feedback, creating guidelines for product documentation, and facilitating regular meetings and sync-ups. By doing so, Product Ops ensures that both teams are aligned and are working collaboratively towards a shared goal.

Product Ops vs. Product Manager

Product Ops vs. Product Manager is a common point of confusion. A publication in the Harvard Business Review differentiated the two by noting that while both roles revolve around products, they have distinct functions. A Product Manager is primarily responsible for defining the product’s vision, strategy, and roadmap. They focus on understanding customer needs and translating them into features or improvements. Product Ops, on the other hand, emphasizes the “how”. They provide the tools, processes, and methodologies to ensure product managers can efficiently bring their visions to life.

Difference Between Strategy and Ops

Another area of differentiation is between strategy and Ops. While strategy concerns a product or company’s long-term planning and direction, Ops focus on the day-to-day operations that bring that strategy to life. Essentially, strategy is about “what” and “why”, while ops is about “how”.

Is Product Operations a Good Role?

It is subjective and depends on individual preferences. However, industry experts such as those from the Product Coalition suggest that it can be a highly rewarding position for those who enjoy overseeing processes, facilitating cross-functional communication, and ensuring efficiency across product teams. Product Ops professionals often find themselves at the crossroads of strategy and execution, making them integral to the success of product teams.

Product Ops Examples

  • Tool Implementation: A Product Ops team might implement a new tool like JIRA or Trello to streamline product development cycles, ensuring everyone is on the same page and tasks are efficiently tracked and managed.
  • Process Improvement: If there’s a recurrent issue, like features being developed that don’t align with customer needs, Product Ops might step in to refine the feedback loop between customers, product managers, and developers.
  • Training: Product Ops can organize training sessions to onboard new team members or educate existing members about new processes or tools.

In Conclusion

Product Ops is an essential function in today’s fast-paced product-centric organizations. Drawing on insights from sources like the Product Management Institute and Harvard Business Review, it’s evident that Product Ops plays a pivotal role in driving product success and business growth by ensuring alignment, facilitating communication, and optimizing processes.

Try Roadmunk for free

14-day trial No credit card required Get started in minutes