Why Adopt Product Operations so Early at Seamless.AI?

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Jake Phillips
September 1, 2021
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min read

Product Operations is a position typically added after a product team has reached a certain size.  A size that we are still building towards at Seamless.AI. So, why did we decide to establish this role so early? Plain and simple - it’s for the exact same reasons a company with a larger product team would establish this role.

The resources of our product manager were being stretched far too thin with managing internal processes, product requests, training, and keeping everyone informed at Seamless. Rather than trying to add a new Product Manager, get them trained and acclimated to Seamless, it’s most advantageous to move these responsibilities over to a person with internal knowledge of the company's structure and has pre-established relationships with people across every department of the company.

As we have continued to grow, the need for data about the product has also grown and has become natural for the management and distribution of the product data to also fall under that same Product Operations umbrella, as well as the management of the various product tools that we leverage. The addition of this role seemed exactly like something that our incredibly lean team needed.

What is Product Operations at Seamless.AI?

Title of "Product Operations??" with a confused stick figure on the side.

The primary, and perhaps most critical role of Product Ops at Seamless.AI is to promote and maintain a highly collaborative and communicative relationship with the other departments at the company. We have built amazing relationships with our Development, Customer Success, Enterprise CS, Marketing, and Sales teams, and using those relationships to build efficient and reliable processes across the organization.

Part of the close relationship between Product Operations and Customer Success is knowing what is top of mind for our customer base. Supported by the data we get from tools like HotJar and, Product Operations represents to the Product Management team what customer issues need to be addressed and also handles the prioritization of those issues.

Another core function of the Product Operations role at Seamless.AI is the collection and distribution of product data. Leveraging Gainsight PX as an important source of product data, Product Operations provides both generalized and specific product data to any team who needs it. Our Marketing, CSM, and Product teams can get rapid and reliable access to the data they need to make decisions.

The most critical role of Product ops at Seamless.AI is to promote and maintain a highly collaborative and communicative relationships with the other departments at the company.

What Value does Product Operations provide?

One of the key benefits this role provides is that it frees up a significant amount of time for our product management team. This allows them to focus on building the product rather than handling internal logistics and communication tasks.

The relationships and the trust that we build up across the organization is another major benefit of the way we are doing Product Operations. Everyone knows where they can go to get their questions answered, and who can handle their requests.

The other major piece of value that the Product Operations team can provide is serving as the Voice of the Customer. With such a close relationship with the Customer Success team, easy visibility into customer data, and management of customer feedback, the Product Operations Manager is in the perfect position to serve as the voice of the customer and ensure that their needs and desires are in front of the Product team at all times.

Overall, Seamless.AI simply felt that adopting a Product Operations role and leveraging this discipline would be a great way to scale more effectively, rather than attempting to retro-fit this role later in a process that was already in need of it. We are excited to see how this role helps us better operationalize our product (and teams), and have already started to see a major improvement in our product management and development processes because of it.

So the question for you is… do you think your team could benefit from Product Operations? If so, we hope you have learned a few things and can take some of these insights to help you grow your product and your business!

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