In this era of fast-changing technology, companies want to make the most revenue while keeping costs as low as possible.
This means many businesses can no longer afford the haphazard management or execution of their products.
So, most product teams and managers are tasked with ensuring that developed products are usable by customers. At the same time, they continue to make changes and add new features to improve.
Product Managers are tasked with managing the entire product lifecycle and roadmap.
Inside these simple task descriptions, are highly demanding subsets of activities like:
- Product ideation.
- Strategy development.
- Planning feature releases.
- Conducting customer research.
- Analyzing customer behavior.
- Collaborating with other teams, and creating reports and analytics.
But how sustainable is doing all of these recurringly for Product Managers?
While some smaller companies can still adapt and use product managers to handle most things, with growth and expansion, the need for product operations becomes more evident to help companies successfully build a product from idea to launch. However, it's also possible to still struggle with effectiveness or experience difficulty with managing the administrative parts of product development as a smaller company, which are areas where Product Operations come in to bring structure and take the excess workload off.
While most people are familiar with product managers and what they do, many engineers, product managers, designers and other stakeholders relevant to the product building process still don't understand product operations or why it is essential.
In this article, we will explore product operations and how product teams can use them to optimize and scale modern-day product development processes.
What is product operations?
Product operations perfectly balance product management, analytics, and operations to develop and establish processes and frameworks that enable successful product building, delivery and optimization.
It is designed for product managers and teams to manage the complexities of scaling up and launching more products. The streamlining of these processes and systems contributes to building a great product.
The main focus of product operation is to remove redundancies from product teams and concentrate on optimizing the operational aspects of product management while still fulfilling the conventional responsibilities of product development.
In many ways, product operations complement product management, and when executed correctly, they can boost the productivity of an entire product team.
Why do companies need Product Operations?
Until recently, Product Operations as a role did not exist and only emerged due to necessity.
In the past, the job of product operations was mostly done by product managers, but product management is not just about building products; there are administrative parts to the role
Product Management is a very fast-paced role. To allow Product managers to focus on building products users love, companies need Product Ops to cover all operational aspects and other recurring day-to-day tasks that consume time. The long-term benefit of this is that there will be increased efficiency on both ends, which will show in the quality of products being built and consequently impact company revenue positively.
The benefits of product operations to product development teams
1. Through collaboration & improved communication
Product Operations involve every team relevant to the product building process, product managers, designers, engineers, and other stakeholders to ensure that the product development process runs smoothly and all teams are aligned on product vision and roadmap.
This enables cross-functional collaboration and communication to make sure that errors or areas for improvement are immediately fixed during the product building or, in the case that it is brought to light after the launch, there's synergy between all teams to resolve issues fast, prevent misunderstandings and miscommunications that can lead to unwanted outcomes.
2. Better data analytics & reporting
Every Product team needs to work with Data. Product operations is responsible for helping all teams involved in product development make sense of data collected during product discovery, customer feedback, or research phases to enable the product team make better decisions.
By collecting and analyzing data, Product Operations can help the product teams discover which features are most popular among customers, track user engagement and identify areas where users are dropping off or experiencing issues. This can help inform all other product development decisions.
3. Increased efficiency & project management
Product development involves many repetitive tasks; product operations cover multiple time-consuming activities to help product managers push attention to other significant things. They also help in better management of projects, ensuring projects stay within budget and are completed on time.
4. Managing product team tech stack
The tools used during product development significantly contribute to the success rate. Product Ops handle the product tech stack and train employees with the necessary skill and knowledge to get the most value from each tool.
5. Quality management & control
This is also a critical part of production operations to ensure that products delivered are of the highest quality by testing and validating new features before release. Product Operations assist here by helping the product managers, designers and engineers comprehend customer feedback; look for loopholes and potential churn triggers that can negatively impact the product development process.
6. Increased speed to market
A product operations approach can help teams streamline product development, reducing the time it takes to bring products to market. This can be achieved by using data and insights to identify roadblocks in the development process and implement changes that produce more efficient results.
7. Increased revenue
A product operations approach can enable product development teams to discover underutilized opportunities for revenue increase by improving the quality and performance of the product, whether already in the market or still in the development stage.
All the abovementioned benefits help teams save time, energy and resources to stay ahead of the curve and focus on what matters - Building products Users love. This is another reason why more companies have embraced ProductOps; it is clearly here to stay.
How Scribe can help product teams streamline processes
Scribe is a process documentation tool that helps teams communicate and work together more efficiently. Now there is nothing a product operations team needs much more than proper documentation. With so much to keep track of from idea to launch, documenting is one way to ensure you stay on track.
Using Scribe eliminates the need for manual processes like paper documentation that are easy to misplace and harder for employees to transmit or find the information they need.
But how does Scribe make a difference? Here are a few ways:
- Auto generates step-by-step guides: With just one click, you can turn any process into a step-by-step guide or tutorial. Since you are working with different teams at separate paces, using Scribe helps preserve every relevant information you want to share and ensures consistency among teams.
- Visual process documentation: One of the fastest ways to encourage learning or pass new information is through engaging visuals. Scribe and Scribe Pages allow you to add and customize visuals to your process documentation. You can use this to advantage during product development phases and create visual SOPs, employee and user training manuals, and more. You can take complete creative control of the process, add text, multiple scribes, Loom and YouTube videos, plus images
Just like this verified Scribe user, imagine they had tried to manually explain things to teammates while there's the option to show how things are done.
- Collaboration friendly: Create a centralized location for all documents related to a project with Scribe Pages. The difference this makes is that everyone on the team has access to the latest information on the product; you can bring anyone up to speed as simple as sharing an auto-generated Scribe link with them. It takes them directly to the Scribe you created. This significantly reduces the likelihood of miscommunication or duplication of effort.
- Facilitate smoother transfer of knowledge: Nobody wants to stay stuck on a project because they don't have the full breakdown of what to do. It causes tasks to slow down and build up frustration. Scribe helps you preserve knowledge during and after a product development phase. This makes it easy for design, engineering and product teams to make iterations and add new features and updates while sticking to the initial product plan for months or years after. It also makes it easy for new teams or employees to be brought to speed quickly. Say during the process there's a new hire. You can quickly bring them up to speed with a Scribe.
You also need little to zero training to comfortably use Scribe. For example, see how easy it is to break down a technical concept, and in seconds, everyone involved can learn how to create a joined report in Salesforce.
To create a Scribe like the one above, check out the Scribe template gallery and you will find one you can duplicate and replicate. It is free to use!
Finally, It is clear how product operations can help you optimize and get better results either as a team or business. If you haven't explored it before now, take the tips and insights shared in this blog post to guide your decision and get started today saving more time, resources while building an effective product for your target market. Remember you can document every relevant processes and procedures to makes things easier.
Create your first Scribe and see how it works now.