You’ve read a few articles and blog posts about how product ops is on the rise and the value it can provide to your organization. So, you began building out your own product ops team. You determined the biggest areas of need and opportunity, then you hired the best people for the job. Now, the team has had some time to settle in.
Which means you can move on to the next step — measuring success.
How large of an impact has the addition of a product ops function made on team effectiveness? You may have some anecdotal evidence of product ops gathering useful data and/or improving processes. However, as any metrics-driven product person knows, it’s helpful to share some hard numbers.
Since product ops lives at the intersection of product, customer success, and engineering, these three areas are key to proving its overall level of success. Below are some of the metrics you should look at when evaluating the impact of the introduction of a product ops team.
- Number of deals won quarter over quarter with product team impact
- Number of hours saved that were previously spent on administrative or operational tasks
- Bug resolution trend: has the number of bugs increased or decreased since product ops was established?
- Release issues: how has the number of release problems and/or delays increased or decreased?
- Number of at-risk customers saved as a result of the product team gaining insight earlier in the process
- Number of support tickets submitted and closed both pre- and post-product ops establishment
This is not an exhaustive list and every organization is different, so your mileage may vary. However, these numbers can provide a good jumping-off point and help you uncover areas that might require a deeper dive into the data. You might also discover opportunities to improve alignment between teams.
While hard numbers are useful in proving the value of product ops to various stakeholders within the org, qualitative feedback is not to be ignored. However, we definitely recommend gathering it in a structured, measurable way. Qualitative measures of product ops success should focus on an essential aspect of the function: building strong interdepartmental relationships.
Christine Itwaru, director of product ops at Pendo, had the following to say about product ops team members: “People who have that ability to be trustworthy is really important because you’re dealing with three different customer sets — you have to be able to absorb their pain, but also articulate why or why not you’re doing something about it.”
While product ops’ activities affect multiple departments, the most critical to your business are likely the product and revenue teams. You’ll want to ask both groups to share their honest feedback on product ops’ impact. Below are a few questions you might pose to get the conversation started.
To your product organization:
- Do you feel that customer-facing teams know what your current priorities and roadmap are?
- How effective has product ops been in regularly surfacing data to help influence your decision making?
- Do you have a clear understanding of what customer-facing teams need from your product area?
Product ops teams serve as partners to PMs, helping them spent more time on customer outreach and strategic planning. Most likely, the product team will be able to quickly tell how effective (or ineffective) product ops has been in helping them reach their goals.
To your revenue teams:
- Since product ops has been established, do you feel that you have more visibility into the product roadmap and upcoming releases and launches?
- When new features are released, do you have a clear understanding of their functionality and the value they bring to customers?
- How responsive has product ops been to requests for support in high priority deals and/or high priority renewal accounts?
The effectiveness of the product ops team can be measured on how well revenue teams feel selling new product features. In other words, what do the numbers reflect since product ops was introduced? Asking the revenue teams to characterize the product ops team’s influence can help provide a qualitative review. You might also consider establishing cross-functional goals that hold product ops and its counterparts (e.g. product management, customer success, sales) accountable for shared targets.
Want to learn more about how to build, manage, and evaluate your team’s product ops function? Read Pendo’s latest e-book, How to Set Up Product Ops in Your Organization, available for download here.