Behind the SaaS (Retired - Look for PartnerOps Partner!)
By Aaron Howerton
Behind the SaaS (Retired - Look for PartnerOps Partner!)Apr 05, 2023
Partner Ops is a Strategic Role
This week we clarify the purpose of Partner Ops - delivering strategic value. That's it - skip the episode if you want because that's what we talk about or listen in for a reminder of what you already want/believe.
- Upcoming Changes/Housekeeping
- I got a new mic! Audio quality is improved
- Defining Partner Ops as a Strategic Role
- Strategic Mindset = Asking Questions
- Examples of strategic value add
- How to train other people on your new outlook
- Balancing strategy to higher level OKRs/MBO's/whatever to learn strategy
- Bonus Tips on tracking work: Brag Book and Metrics
Check out the newsletter tomorrow for the write-up that goes two steps further to discuss challenges you'll face in early stage companies as well as the existing, established companies as you grow a career in Partner Ops. Also, check out the archive and touch-base on anything that resonates!
Thanks - Aaron
Partner Experience is Shifting (AI & LLM Models)
I'm back at it this week with a personal revelation after gettin gmy own project stood up with the help of ChatGPT after literally MONTHS of beating my head against a wall looking for help and thinking about it.
Meet OSCAR: www.oscartech.co
How does this story of AI generation impact Partner Experience? Listen in to find out! In this episode:
- The generation of a new toy, OSCAR.
- PRM as a Hot Topic in Partnerships
- The Frustrations From Portal Users (see the newsletter for more details)
- How It's all Connected to AI and Experience
As always, thanks for giving me 10-12 minutes of your time (okay... 12 again). Reach out anytime to let me know what matters to you on all things Partnerships!
Partner Influence: Purpose, Architecture, and Caveats
What up Partner People? Welcome to another episode and this time we run 13 minutes (yeah.. I know... I'm working on it....) all about Partner Influence. In this episode:
- Partner Influence is a murky topic without a lot of clarity on the long term value.
- None-the-less, people are asking to track it and we're going to talk about how to do it.
- As with anything, there are caveats and advanced plays to consider when planning out architecture.
Get the details in the write-up!
As always, thanks for listening! And to those that are sending me feedback, it's most welcome! Keep doing it - firstname.lastname@example.org!
What happens when you put PartnerOps Under RevOps? Community Response
This week... my microphone failed and I had to use Airpods so #1 - my apologies and thank you for listening anyway! I think I'm about to have to buy some new gear so if you've been sitting on the sidelines waiting to jump in as a sponsor, let's talk!
Now... for the show.
We hear from the community to understand how shifting PartnerOps under RevOps can impact the role. Five of my colleagues from Partnership Leaders jump in to help another program leader get this critical insight. Who are these folks?
What I take away is that Partner Operations is on the verge of a moment and in the middle of a movement all swirling around the increasing interest and investment in Partnerships and the broader concept of Ecosystem. It's a great time to be in, or to get into, Partner Operations.
Account Mapping: 9-Box Strategic Plan
Account Mapping is a strategic play that comes with lots of incredibly powerful data. The real downside of Account Mapping is really the amount of potential it has because organizations are often under-staffed or under-prepared to utilize all of it at once!
Tune in this week to hear:
- What is a 9-Box strategic plan?
- Prediction for how people will handle Account Mapping in the next 12-18 months
- General Foundations for getting started
- Guidelines for each of the 3 major buckets: Prospects, Opportunities, and Customers
You'll have to go to the writeup to get ALL the details because this short format podcast doesn't provide the time needed to hit every single Overlap in the 9-Box Strategy. Nearly 2000 words and a few premium GIFs to help drive it home.
Check it out on LinkedIn: Partner Experience Digest
OR.. click on the 'Newsletter' button on my new website!
Search for "The Partner Experience Weekly" - usually published by noon the same day.
As always, good luck Partnering!
Building CRM for Partnerships: Don't Skip the Ice Machine
This week on Behind the SaaS, building CRM for Partnerships. Hint: the ice machine is your architecture.
Also in this episode:
- Big news in the partnership world for Reveal and Crossbeam as they announce new partnerships around content/community.
- Don't Skip the Ice Machine (or, my weekend date night observation)
- Elements of Partner Architecture
- Questions to help use those elements
- Teases about coming announcements
- A call to action - reach out if you need help with your architectural planning!
What are you waiting for.... hit play already!
Looking for the detailed write up and a place to connect?
- Subscribe to the newsletter on LinkedIn
- Search for 'The Partner Experience Weekly' on PartherHacker
- Join me at Partnership Leaders to build excellence around Partner Operations (Referral link to get you $50 gift-card on acceptance)
Salesforce Views for Partnerships (Making what you have work for you)
Salesforce, like any other platform, is only going to be as good as you make it. That being said, in my continuous effort to drive Partner Operations value out of the tech you have, some ideas on how to make Salesforce Views work for Partnerships. In this episode...
- Acknowledging the software that works is the software people use
- Building views that work as process drivers
- Tips on how to organize views with names and security access
It's another week of trying to bring tactical advice to the field for the small to mid-size company. Let me know your thoughts anytime and check out the full write up through the newsletter.
Design Principles and Building a Partnership App in CRM
Although this focuses on Salesforce, the concepts are the same for any CRM with comparable tools. Join me today for a quick discussion on:
- Why we need a partnership app
- Design principles for building a space
- Steps on setup
- Considerations for Home Page
- Custom Pages
As always, this post is available in detail on LinkedIn and now, weekly at PartnerHacker!
Got questions or thoughts? Shoot me an email and let's chat - email@example.com. No website, but the email is real... I promise...
Partner Recruitment Model Using Tools You've Got
Partner Recruitment is an often overlooked aspect of program development. It lives with program leads and ends up lost in spreadsheets and email.
Odds are, even a startup has all the tools you need to build a basic partner recruitment model that creates more transparency and improves your partner experience. In this episode, practical guidance on how to achieve that reality as well as commentary on the broader trend of purchasing unnecessary software and how org-wide teams can improve utilization of existing tech and avoid one-off feature acquisitions.
No video this week due to technical issues - apologies on the darkness!
Check out the newsletter or PartnerHacker.com for the detailed walkthrough with screenshots and, if your a member at Partner Leadership leaders, drop in to office hours every Wednesday at 9:00am CST to ask me more questions around your operational challenges!
Partnership Leaders: Sign Up Today with $50 back > https://fbuy.io/partnership-leaders/aaronhowerton
Crossbeam + Spekit: Just-in-Time Learning Enhances Overlap Data in Salesforce
Geez what a title.... but why not be specific?
In this episode, the value of enhancing your Crossbeam (or really any) Salesforce widget with the power of Spekit, a just-in-time learning platform designed to bring enablement and education to where your teams work in real time.
I put this tech together for the first time at 6sense and found it incredibly helpful for improving how the organization sees partnership data cross-functionally. Once you see it, it makes sense.
For images, links, and supporting content, check out my newsletter on Linked or search for me at www.partnerhacker.com where these articles go up every Wednesday.
Measure What You Give - Building Trust with Ecosystem
Building trust with Partners, like with people, takes time. 2023 is going to be a hard year for many and the word of the year is going to be 'Retention.'
Shift the narrative with your Partners and start measuring what you GIVE instead of what you GET. Tune in for ideas on:
- Account Mapping
- Renewals and Retention
The main idea? Give more. Track it. Share it.
See the write-up on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/partner-ops-digest-from-bts-7003369929953464320/
Show Me the Money... by Program and Partner
SaaS has a well established book of metrics as an industry that tend to revolve around a few key pillars of Revenue, Customer Behavior, and Marketing Costs. There's a lot to talk about within that space alone. If you've been listening then you know I tend to drill down toward Ecosystem. I'll come back to a primer on SaaS metrics soon, promise, but today is a conversation around the way I'd love to see Partner metrics evolve.
There's ongoing conversations around lagging indicators v. leading indicators and I went deep on a concept called Pipeline Velocity over the past few weeks. I think it's really fascinating and would love to see it applied to Partnerships. However, as I worked on a great comprehensive list of leading and lagging indicators FOR Partnerships.... I came up a bit short on the leading side. Even ChatGPT didn't help much.
I realized that all the metrics are built around lagging data, things that HAVE happened, and got back to what I really, truly want to see happen.
I want to see it all... by Program and Partner.
Back to Basics: Foundations of Partner Architecture
Another week, another podcast!
This week we go back to basics and review foundations of Partner Architecture. Yup... I know that's also obvious in the title.
What do we cover?
- Why Architecture Matters
- Core Assumptions
- Ideas for a Good Foundation
Also, if you're interested in building your network around Partner Operations use this link to sign up for a monthly connection event network thing I'm working on: https://forms.gle/rDA8W5EXLaXkRjh89.
Finally, get the written details on this podcast at the newsletter page on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/partner-ops-digest-from-bts-7003369929953464320/
To all my loyal listeners - I appreciate the lot of you. Stay tuned as I have high hopes for making 2023 a great year!
Self-Care Tips for 2023: Brag Book, Networking, Connecting
Closing out 2022 with a podcast is just fun. This is far and away my favorite 'thing' outside of work that's still professionally oriented. My apologies in advance as this one goes a couple minutes past my typical 10 minute goal, but there's just a lot of good things to say.
This week's episode covers the ideas in my weekly newsletter over on LinkedIn (link below). It's all about self-care in 2023!
Here's the big ideas...
- Build a brag book.
- Expand your network.
- Join a community.
- Do things you like that aren't work.
I'm also starting up a monthly session for Partner Ops professionals in January 2023, sign-up link below if you're interested in learning more. We'll talk about a lot of things with a goal of keeping it loosely structured and value-add.
And.. that's it for 2023!
Partner Ops Monthly MeetUp: https://forms.gle/2HpEWVdYwAe8CRUw9
Partner Experience Digest: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/partner-ops-digest-from-bts-7003369929953464320/)
Working in SaaS #5: Finding a New TEAM (Job Search Update)
Continue the journey as I shared where I've landed, why I picked it, what I'm excited about, and why I still have some concerns.
As always, I approach this with transparency and honest thoughts. I feel fortunate to have landed quickly at such a strong company with a manager that comes with stellar reviews from my personal network and a chance to start before the end of the year. There's a lot to be thankful for in this entire process, including this podcast being born because I'm only just getting started.
This process was really interesting and opens the door to a different future than I expected. I see the upside and look forward to... oh.. you know what? Just listen along. It's only 10 minutes after all.
Aaron, Behind the SaaS
If not Partner Ops... Partner Experience
This week I got a challenging response from a new friend - it's more than Partner Operations.
I'll admin, I get sucked into existing frameworks pretty easily. I think it's the nature of my personality, lots of fun personal history we can talk about sometime over a beer, but ultimately it's this desire to figure out what IS and work WITHIN that model to drive change. Not wanting to rock the boat, etc. etc.
It's apparently also got me talking Partner Operations when what I should be saying is Partner Experience.
Join me for another 10 minute, one-way conversation as I think about this change, why it makes sense, and why hiring Channel/Partnership leaders without an operational background or at least a plan to fill that gap is just a really bad idea.
Working in SaaS #4: Job Search Update and Offers
Working in SaaS #4: Job Search Update and Offers
Another lightning fast discussion around my job search! Tune in to learn about:
- The three different roles I got into process on within a couple of weeks of being laid off
- The disparity between three roles all tied to 'Partner Operations'
- How I got into those processes (hint: people make the difference!)
- What the processes looked like and why I didn't mind 5+ interviews for some of these roles
- How the offers were presented (i.e. the main components of each offer)
- How many offers I got (and didn't get)
- Why I think one fell through - rationalizing 'rejection' after a great process with 100% conjecture on what may have happened
- Which offer I decided to take..... naawwww just kidding. That comes later so you have to come back.
Here's what I DON'T talk about, but would be willing to chat through in a 1-1:
- The companies I interviewed with
- Details on the packages (restrictions may apply here, just being fully transparent)
- Detailed thoughts about each process - what I liked and/or didn't like with each role
- My final decision (also coming in a future podcast)
I am having a BLAST putting these together, so I certainly hope you enjoy them, too! Subscribe, like, share, and send feedback!
Aaron @ Behind the SaaS
What the heck is Partner Ops?
The short answer: A jack of all trades supporting a wide set of initiatives to drive Partnership process deeper into the org they serve. The long answer: It's really not well defined and will largely depend on your organizational maturity around Partnerships. This role could be responsible for the following (non-exhaustive) list of "things" within the organization:
✅ #PRM Implementation and ongoing management/enhancements (often a driving reason for the initial hire)
✅ #Reporting and #Dashboards in CRM/Reporting systems
✅ #Inbound referral process management/enhancements
✅ #Data hygiene and program modeling
✅ #Product level reporting for ISVs/OEM utilization/analytics
✅ Daily support of inbound partner issues for system access, quote support, license allocation, etc. etc.
✅ #Enablement systems tied to PRM or LMS delivery
✅ Account mapping solutions and ongoing reporting requests
✅ #Territory creation/alignment into direct rhythms for affiliates and resellers + conflict resolution
✅ System training and enablement, internally and externally
✅ Partner Onboarding - technical and otherwise
✅ Requirement gathering for Partner based initiatives
✅ #ProjectManagement for a variety of partner-related projects extending from every program deeper into the organization
✅ #Enterprise Architecture for #ecosystem tools such as LSM, PRM, SSO, etc.
✅ Turn ideas into scalable solutions to support Partner oriented growth/expansion Basically, your #partnerops role is a #partnermanager without the day-to-day responsibility (or potential financial upside) of managing partners.
▶ They will #advocate for more support and partner inclusion.
▶ They will #educate on what Partners do for the business.
▶ They will #collaborate with literally everyone in the org..
▶ They will #support... ucate.... (and it was going so well....) all the initiatives needed to make Partnerships successful.
The trend right now hiring a PartnerOps role between 12-24 months into program development, often tied to a major PRM (or other system) project and without a lot of clarity for the potential scope and influence of the role.
Working in SaaS #3: The Bad Stuffs
Working in SaaS is not all roses and sunshine, as we're seeing in the news week over week. One big risk for anyone in and around SaaS - layoffs.
This week, I talk about my first experience with layoffs, how to spot them coming (hint: it's all about growth), and the strange upside around perception that comes from being included in the cut.
Pull up a saddle and let me bend your ear for a minute... you might just enjoy it.
Working in SaaS #2: Great Things about SaaS
I stumbled into SaaS almost 15 years ago after working for low pay as a restaurant manager coming out of college. I got a referral in, underbid the salary, and they took a risk. I'm now here to tell you - there are great things about working in SaaS.
A few things I talk about in this episode:
- Education requirements for SaaS work (hint: there are basically none)
- Career mobility
- Do you need to know code? (hint: nopers)
- Remote work and flexibility
- Innovation and pace of change
- Rewards (comp, increasing pay, etc.)
- The great people
- Where to go for training (hint: www.aspireship.com)
Special note, this episode was NOT sponsored by Aspireship - I've been on the platform and evaluated the training and think it's a great place to get exposed to thought leaders and the initial ideas that build the framework for SaaS. Other great places include Partnership Leaders, PartnerHacker, RevGenius and other online communities.
Bonus Hint not in the episode: your best way in is through REFERRALS. We can get into that in yet another episode but it's worth knowing now.
Come along if you like, but... if not... that's okay, too.
Oh, I also end this 'good luck partnering' because I'm still looking for a good signoff catchphrase. Send me ideas, please. It's... starting to feel weird.
behind the Saas: Job Search Update (Working in SaaS #1)
You ever wonder what a job search in SaaS looks like following a layoff?
Yeah.. me either, but here we are and if talking through it offers some encouragement for the people I know recently impacted, why not be open on the journey?
I was going to talk about the pros and cons of working in SaaS but after a few tries realized those were worth their own shorts, so tune in next week for those.
Also, a word from one of my biggest sponsors. ;o) If you only get 30 seconds in, you'll be glad you did.
Good luck partnering.
The Ecosystem Mindset for Professional Services
If you work in Professional Services AT a software company, your job is not about Professional Services. Yes, that's what you do each day, but you do it in service to the Total Lifetime Value of the customer. The TLV impacts retention, which impacts valuation, which impacts shareholder value. Professional Services itself is wrapped up in the Customer Acquisition Cost so there should be a vested interest in keeping those costs low.
Enter the ecosystem.
In todays' cast I talk about the mindset of Professional Services for Ecosystem and the difference between non-partner centered PS teams and partner-centered PS teams. I also talk about Chris Murray over at Lead Forensics, but in a nice way because he spurred these thoughts on this morning.
Feedback? Find me on linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/aaronhowerton and let's have a conversation.
The Best Ops Moves are Often Invisible
Operations is almost an entirely 'behind the scenes' function for your average SaaS company. Projects in this space invariably touch 'live' environments where people are working and downtime is extremely limited or prohibited, depending on the system. The result is that most of the best moves happening in your ops ecosystem are nearly invisible to anyone outside the team, much less the company. This makes it easy for companies to undervalue operations on the whole.
In this episode I ramble a bit about these invisible projects, the impact on organizations, and the simple plan to improve that visibility and recognize your ops pros for the value they bring (hint: you just ask and share - boom! Saved you 7 minutes...)
Thanks for coming along. Let me know what you think over on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/aaronhowerton)
Welcome to Behind the SaaS
In 2022, I was unexpectedly laid off from what I thought was going to be a much longer and more lucrative journey in a SaaS unicorn. This podcast is born from that time, driven to explore the unknown side of SaaS companies and the constant ebb and flow of new technology. It was originally called 'The Partner Syndicate' but... well... I changed it.
I got to thinking about how many people I know that just don't understand SaaS, or even those within SaaS that still undervalue the complexity of the SaaS model and what it takes to operate well. I wanted to take people behind the scenes, talk about the different operational and business challenges of growing a successful SaaS company based on my own experience working inside these companies.
So here we are... looking behind the SaaS to discuss all things operations, partners, ecosystems, growth, failure, and success.
Thanks for taking a minute to check your interest - see you behind the SaaS!
The Future of Partner Ops: Enter the Ecosystem
Day 5️⃣ The future of #PartnerOps (hint: think #ecosystem)
Time for some speculation! Where, exactly is PartnerOps heading in an ecosystem driven world? Getting to the future requires we consider a bit about the current state.
#PartnerOps is not like other careers.
❌ There's not a clear entry point - usually pivoting in from program management (where ops begins) or an internal transfer from another ops role.
❌ There's also no clear end point - anyone ever see a C-Level Partner Ops role? Anyone? ... Bueller... Bueller.... (seriously, please comment and get me introduced to nail down that path...)
❌ We often work across multiple other departments but have no direct reports (i.e. lack management control and/or experience).
❌ Our mandate (as already discussed this week) can be broad, foggy, and lack prioritization.
❌ True expertise and opportunity tends to exist in only in the largest organizations (i.e. your Salesforce, Orcale, Atlassian, etc. etc. etc.
So we exist in this weird cross-section of roles where much is required in terms of corporate knowledge, collaboration, and cross-functional skill sets but little is offered in terms of growth and development.
Where is this all headed? Enter the #ecosystem.
As companies shift to #ecosystem thinking, #partnerled mindsets will start to emerge throughout the organization. This will lead to a lot of new opportunities that are partner-centric or partner-tangent roles. Those working in and around #PartnerOps right now will be the natural option to niche down into the roles needed to support a vibrant ecosystem.
What kind of roles?
➡ Partner Business Analysts
➡ Partner Project Managers for integrations and internal cross-functional project delivery
➡ Partner Experience Managers helping guide the overall experience (also coming out of and in collaboration with #enablement)
➡ Ecosystem Architects guiding the partner tech stack and tracking,
➡ Partner Support Managers inside or next to CS Managers
➡ A continued breakout of all the work of PartnerOps in organizations that truly understand and embrace the value of an #ecosystem mindset
The PartnerOps manager of today is the Ecosystem Leader of tomorrow, helping organizations navigate the change in mindset alongside the Partnership/Channel leader.
Looking for a place to connect with other experts in #partnerships? Then join Partnership Leaders , the home for the home for everyone in partnerships!
Tips for New or Simply Worn Out Partner Ops Hires
Day 4️⃣ New #PartnerOps Hires - Tips for Success
If you're new to #PartnerOps or just feeling a bit lost in your current role you might benefit from a few tips on getting started that can also help an established role get re-centered in an off season.
✅ Map the Partnership Processes. Go find every process tied to Partnership, write it all down, get it reviewed, and collect it into a single SOP to build from.
✅ Map the Relationships. Sign up for Lucid or another charting tool and start mapping all the people that are in any way connected to Partnerships. This helps you keep up with names/roles but also clearly demonstrates the company-wide culture of Partnerships.
✅ Map the Data. Part of process mapping will be figuring out the data model, during which time you can build out some basic reporting to check for quality issues like "Do we know how many partners are in X program?" or "Do we have a definitive list of Partner Contacts for event marketing?" Find all the gaps in process and data quality that need filled up.
✅ Map the Technology (are you seeing a trend here?). How does the tech stack support or, more likely, not support the larger partner ecosystem? Do they have a PRM? Do they offer SSO for partners? What's the LMS for enablement? How are they managing integration projects? What are they using for contracting? Just ask questions - every process likely has or needs supporting technology. Write. It. Down.
✅ Find the Reports. Pretty straightforward - find them, bookmark them, figure out how they are made, look for innovation.
✅ Ask about program prioritization. Which program matters most to the org, and why, so you can properly set your own agenda and work effort. Something will eventually have to give and you shouldn't have to make that call on your own.
✅ Setup Recurring Meetings. Program leads will appreciate regular touchpoints to share grievances an ideas. Start with bi-weekly half-hour sessions if the schedule affords it and then shift to monthly once the meetings close out in less than 15 minutes. Ask all the questions you think of throughout the week in this space to help drive the agenda. Listen listen listen.
✅ Define the process for change. If you want to drive change you'll need to know the who and how behind it. Do they have a well established framework for requests tied to CRM updates, data changes, etc? Do you do that work or do you write up requirements? If not you, who does and where do you send it? You may find they don't have anything like this, super flexible org, etc. so be prepared to offers ideas. IT/Systems will need to be your best friend here.
Looking for a place to connect with other experts in #partnerships? Then join Partnership Leaders , the home for the home for everyone in partnerships!
Refining the Scope: Partner Operations v. Partner Analyst
Day 3️⃣ Refining the Scope: #PartnersOps or #BusinessAnalyst?
Partner Operations, more than many other operational roles in my experience, tends to be a catchall title reflecting a deeper need for operational AND programmatic support. Operational work falls to the first few program hires trying to stand things up and by the time an Ops hire shows up on the scene there's a mixed bag of work that needs done.
The difference in skills overlap but the jump back and forth from daily operational work into deep research and analysis on how to drive improvement can slow down delivery and be mentally exhausting (i.e. being all things to all people, always saying yes, etc).
You might benefit from refining the scope of your need and balancing that against the maturity of your company to drive the results you really need, right now.
Below is a loose breakout of how you might visualize each role to more clearly delineate value and purpose in your hiring process and deployment of the role into the organization.
Partner Business Analyst:
✅ High level project management as core function
✅ Requirement development and road-mapping for strategic projects
✅ Cross-functional collaboration to drive partner initiatives internally
✅ Strategic program support - dedicated or multi-pronged
✅ Drives requirements into Operations to deliver
✅ Core reporting/dashboard development and maintenance
✅ Enterprise architecture/Ecosystem management
✅ Data enrichment/hygiene management
✅ SOP development and enforcement
✅ Daily support rhythms for team and external partners
✅ Maintaining and improving manual processes into automation
✅ Technical system ownership/representation into core business tools
Personally, I think early stage companies would benefit by leaning into the Analyst definition more heavily than the Ops as part of that role is driving or-wide awareness and resource alignment toward Partnerships. This ultimately benefits the company-wide effort to make partnerships an integral part of the organizational fabric and pushes ownership deeper into the org as those operational functions build out and support partnership solutions.
What do YOU think?
Looking for a place to connect with other experts in #partnerships? Then join Partnership Leaders, the home for the home for everyone in partnerships! Also check out their upcoming report on the state of Partner Operations: https://lnkd.in/gPjfZuye
Your First Partner Ops Hire - Internal or External?
Todays Post: 2️⃣ Making Your First #PartnerOps Hire
Yesterday (see link in comments because LinkedIn posting needs help), I covered a laundry list of things that typically fall into/around Partner Operations. The potential scope of the role combined with the timing of your first hire determines whether you look INTERNALLY or EXTERNALLY for your first partner ops role. Let's talk about the benefits and challenges of each.
INTERNAL PROS✅ and CONS❌:
✅ Well suited as early hire due to cost and ability to ramp with program growth
✅ The know the #organization, #product, and players already, making #collaboration easier and improving long-term performance potential
✅ Start part-time to help you define your true needs and make a more intentional hire/decision later based on actual program success
✅ Backfilling any other Ops role is easier than finding experienced PartnerOps hire in the open market right now
✅ It's likely more affordable that hiring outside the org
✅ #blunt: If you fail at scaling the program, an internal hire's existing relationships improve their own position to shift back into another role
❌ Ground up training means you likely go slower at the start
❌ No experience means a lack of best practices, tech debt, rework, etc.
❌ Taking talent from another team may create some tension if your partner culture isn't established
❌ Risk of mismatched talent that goes with any internal transfer
❌ May lack the technical skills or project management capacity of experienced hires
EXTERNAL PROS ✅ and CONS ❌:
✅ Would prefer to be an earlier hire but capable of coming in a little later and making an impact
✅ Outside experience brings knowledge of best practices, rhythms, and program models to support scale
✅ Familiarity with industry = help developing program model, definitions, and norms
✅ Will have existing relationships with vendors/platforms to leverage
✅ #Experience adds strategic value to #decisionmaking
✅ Collaboration and project management basics are already present
❌ May need 2-3 months to get to know the product, players, and program as well as decipher what's already been done to build a roadmap
❌ May come with higher upfront cost, challenging for younger programs
❌ As with any 'experienced' person, may be entrenched in specific ideas not suited for your program
❌ May have a different view of the role that does not reflect your goals
In an ideal world, companies investing in Partnerships would bring in experienced ops support right behind their first Program leader. This would allow your program to scale faster from the start and at every point along the way.