The ultimate guide to product operations | Melissa Perri and Denise Tilles
Play • 1 hr 20 min

Melissa Perri is the CEO of Produx Labs, a product management training organization; author of the seminal PM book The Build Trap; and a former Harvard Business School professor of product management. Denise Tilles is the CPO at Grocket, Melissa’s colleague at Produx Labs, and a seasoned product leader with over a decade of experience. Together they authored the new book Product Operations: How successful companies build better products at scale. In today’s episode, they share insights, strategies, and real-world experiences to master all things product ops. We discuss:

• What exactly product operations is

• The three pillars of the product ops role

• The biggest benefits of adding product ops to your organization

• Which tasks product managers should offload to product ops and which they need to own

• How to help PMs embrace the value of product ops

• Examples of companies that have implemented product ops well

• Who and how to hire for this role

This entire episode is brought to you by Jira Product Discovery—Atlassian’s new prioritization and roadmapping tool built for product teams

Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-product-operations-melissa-perri-and-denise-tilles/#transcript

Where to find Melissa Perri:

• X: https://twitter.com/lissijean

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissajeanperri/

• Website: https://produxlabs.com/

Where to find Denise Tilles:

• X: https://twitter.com/dtilles

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/denisetilles/

• Website: https://www.denisetilles.com

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) About our guests, Melissa Perri and Denise Tilles

(03:46) How common is the product operations role?

(07:41) The benefits of having a product ops person in your organization

(09:16) How to help PMs embrace the value of product ops

(11:44) The three pillars of the product ops role

(15:25) How user research fits in

(18:35) Why product ops will be an essential role for product managers to thrive

(24:24) Which tasks product managers should offload to product ops and which they need to own

(28:58) Project management vs. product ops

(29:44) The jobs of a product ops person

(37:38) Why the product ops role will never become obsolete

(39:31) How many product ops people you need

(45:13) First steps in building out a product ops team

(47:06) What to look for in your first hire

(51:11) Key skills needed for a product ops person

(57:29) Who product ops should report to

(59:50) An example of rolling out product ops at Athena Health

(1:09:35) Lightning round

Referenced:

Product Operations: How successful companies build better products at scalehttps://www.productoperations.com/

• Produx Labs: https://produxlabs.com

• How to create a winning product strategy | Melissa Perri: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-create-a-winning-product-strategy-melissa-perri/

• Blake Samic on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/blakesamic/

Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value: https://www.amazon.com/Escaping-Build-Trap-Effective-Management/dp/149197379X

• Athena Health: https://www.athenahealth.com/

• Pendo: https://www.pendo.io/

• PopSQL: https://popsql.com/

• Understanding the role of product ops | Christine Itwaru (Pendo): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/understanding-the-role-of-product-ops-christine-itwaru-pendo/

• Doodle: https://doodle.com/en/

• Stephanie Leue on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanie-leue/

• Jira: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira

• Dovetail: https://dovetail.com/

• Looker: https://cloud.google.com/looker/

• Brian Bhuta on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianbhuta/

• How to sell your ideas and rise within your company | Casey Winters, Eventbrite: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-sell-your-ideas-and-rise-within-your-company-casey-winters-eventbrite/

• Thinking beyond frameworks | Casey Winters (Pinterest, Eventbrite, Airbnb, Tinder, Canva, Reddit, Grubhub): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/thinking-beyond-frameworks-casey-winters-pinterest-eventbrite-airbnb-tinder-canva-reddit-grubhub/

• Shared services model: https://www.gartner.com/en/finance/insights/shared-services-model

• Shintaro Matsui on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/smatsui/

• Tableau: https://www.tableau.com/

• Jen Cardello on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jencardello/

• Tim Davenport on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-davenport-28249b9/

Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral: https://www.amazon.com/Traffic-Genius-Rivalry-Delusion-Billion-Dollar/dp/0593299752

The Art of Action: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Action-10th-Anniversary/dp/1529376963

Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value: https://www.amazon.com/Continuous-Discovery-Habits-Discover-Products/dp/1736633309

Deutschland89 on Hulu: https://www.hulu.com/series/deutschland-89-a4cf05f7-b4f2-44c7-84a1-4034671944b9

The Fall of the House of Usher on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81414665

Love Is Blind on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80996601

The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80189221

• Dragonboat: https://dragonboat.io/solution/product-operations/

• Vistaly: https://www.vistaly.com/

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.



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