Product Thinking
Making the Case for Product Operations with Denise Tilles
November 17, 2021
Denise Tilles is an experienced product leader, consultant, and coach who has spent her career helping organizations transform opportunity into product vision. She specializes in product strategy, organizational design, and product operations. Denise joins Melissa Perri on this week’s episode to argue strongly in favor of the need for Product Operations as organizations start to scale.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Denise talk about in this episode: How Denise got started in the field of product operations. [1:57] Denise and Melissa explain why they strongly disagree with Marty Cagan’s recent post characterizing Product Ops as simply “process people.” Product ops helps organizations actually scale, and helps teams inform, deploy, and monitor their product strategy. [3:20] There are three tenets of product operations: business and data insights, customer and market research, and processes and practices. Processes and practices concerning areas of product management are especially important as they allow teams to get the work done. Clear roadmaps prevent individuals within organizations from working in silos and contribute to a healthy product culture. [4:54] Many organizations have lots of differing styles of roadmaps that make it difficult to reconcile critical decisions. What they should be doing instead, Melissa says, is have processes in place that standardize strategic decision-making with clarity and transparency. Denise remarks that these aspects of product management are being left to the wayside, putting unreasonable expectations on product managers and that that needs to change. [6:04] Product operations teams are very powerful in that they help product leaders think about how they are measuring, what they are doing consistently, and how they can be truly transformative. Product ops is about enabling product leaders and managers to make decisions. [9:44] When looking for a product analyst, you need to hire someone who’s great at crunching the numbers and more importantly, good at extracting actionable insights. You need a diplomatic person who can help product managers understand how and why the data is being used by the product team. [11:45] Denise and Melissa talk about democratizing customer research. It puts time back into the product manager’s hands so they can focus on more important matters.[15:00] Product managers often don't focus on the market research, but to understand different trends, or how the market is moving, they need to. [18:46] The skillsets of product ops people have to be diverse because product ops has three disparate functions. “You're not going to hire the same type of person as a product ops person across this entire area. It's more about really figuring out what you need in each one of those cases and then going from there,” Melissa says. [24:18] Resources Denise Tilles | LinkedIn | Twitter Produx Labs
Denise Tilles is an experienced product leader, consultant, and coach who has spent her career helping organizations transform opportunity into product vision. She specializes in product strategy, organizational design, and product operations. Denise joins Melissa Perri on this week’s episode to argue strongly in favor of the need for Product Operations as organizations start to scale.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Denise talk about in this episode: How Denise got started in the field of product operations. [1:57] Denise and Melissa explain why they strongly disagree with Marty Cagan’s recent post characterizing Product Ops as simply “process people.” Product ops helps organizations actually scale, and helps teams inform, deploy, and monitor their product strategy. [3:20] There are three tenets of product operations: business and data insights, customer and market research, and processes and practices. Processes and practices concerning areas of product management are especially important as they allow teams to get the work done. Clear roadmaps prevent individuals within organizations from working in silos and contribute to a healthy product culture. [4:54] Many organizations have lots of differing styles of roadmaps that make it difficult to reconcile critical decisions. What they should be doing instead, Melissa says, is have processes in place that standardize strategic decision-making with clarity and transparency. Denise remarks that these aspects of product management are being left to the wayside, putting unreasonable expectations on product managers and that that needs to change. [6:04] Product operations teams are very powerful in that they help product leaders think about how they are measuring, what they are doing consistently, and how they can be truly transformative. Product ops is about enabling product leaders and managers to make decisions. [9:44] When looking for a product analyst, you need to hire someone who’s great at crunching the numbers and more importantly, good at extracting actionable insights. You need a diplomatic person who can help product managers understand how and why the data is being used by the product team. [11:45] Denise and Melissa talk about democratizing customer research. It puts time back into the product manager’s hands so they can focus on more important matters.[15:00] Product managers often don't focus on the market research, but to understand different trends, or how the market is moving, they need to. [18:46] The skillsets of product ops people have to be diverse because product ops has three disparate functions. “You're not going to hire the same type of person as a product ops person across this entire area. It's more about really figuring out what you need in each one of those cases and then going from there,” Melissa says. [24:18] Resources Denise Tilles | LinkedIn | Twitter Produx Labs

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