Product Ops People Podcast
By Simon Hilton
The podcast will be an interview-style show with guests from all over the world, including founders of successful startups, CPOs building product focus, and Product Ops managers at scaling companies.
Also check out my Product Ops playbook at www.simonhilton.co/productopspillars
Product Ops People PodcastFeb 07, 2023
Two Quick Announcements
Thank you to everyone who continues to listen to this podcast.
1) If you didn’t know, I have a playbook available for product ops at productopspillars.com. It’s a great summary of what modern product ops teams should work towards. It’s a free download and also available at amazon.com. But now I’ve just launched a cohort-based course on this same concept. To take this one step further, I put together what I believe to be the best way to succeed in the product ops role. It’s a cohort-based course that will help you really understand the role and what it entails. To learn more go to maven.com
2) I will soon launch my second playbook. This one is based around effective product strategy and how to really bring that into the day-to-day decisions of the teams. It’s really important that when you’re working with product teams that they have a good understanding of where they’re going and using that in their day-to-day decisions, so they know what they’re doing is on strategy or off strategy. To hear more about it, you can sign up at productstrategybridge.com
The Case for Product Ops at the Executive Level with Melissa Perri (Founder and CEO at Produx Labs)
In this episode, we speak with Melissa Perri, Founder & CEO of Produx Labs, joining us to discuss "The Case for Product Ops at the Executive Level." Melissa is a leading expert in the field of product management and product operations, and she will be sharing her insights on the vital role that product ops plays in driving business success at the highest levels of an organization. Get ready to learn from Melissa as she shares her experiences and knowledge on the importance of product ops at the executive level.
Melissa Perri is a product management expert, board advisor, professor, and the author of “Escaping the Build Trap.” As a consultant, she worked with some of the largest companies in the world to transform their product organizations. Through her online schools Product Institute and CPO Accelerator she helped thousands of product managers and leaders level up their skills. In 2019, she was appointed to the faculty of Harvard Business School to teach Product Management in the MBA program.
Failing Forward in Product Ops with Gabby Peralta (Product Operations Manager @ Tealium)
In this episode, we speak with Gabby Peralta Product Operations Manager at Tealium, to talk about "Failing Forward in Product Ops". Gabby and I discuss how some product ops managers can feel the pressure to get everything right the first time but instead, it might be more helpful to adopt a more experimental and lean, build, measure learn approach to your services.
Currently, Gabby is a Product Operations Manager at Tealium where she collaborates with high-performing Product and Development teams to build the most trusted CDP (Customer Data Platform) on the market. Before Tealium she was the first ProdOps hire at two startups where she assisted in building their ProdOps team. She is passionate about introducing teams to Product Operations and digging into how to make the function best work for them. Outside of work, Gabby attends ProdOps meetups and volunteers with local LGBTQ+ groups. She was recently nominated as "One to Watch in PLG 2023."
Product Ops Partnerships with Clare Hawthorne (Senior Director, Product Operations @ Oscar Health)
In this episode, I talk with Clare Hawthorne, Senior Director, Product Operations @ Oscar Health, about the value of developing good partnerships across the organisation when setting up Product Ops with a curious and empathetic mindset. Clare Hawthorne is the Senior Director of Product Operations at Oscar Health. She is an Operations leader with 15 years of extensive cross-functional experience and a soft spot for helping companies and teams evolve their processes for scale. Her experiences have included Product, Customer Success, Finance, Human Resources and DEI for B2B technology companies. She has worked for companies at all sizes: large enterprises (Citigroup & Bloomberg) and pre-seed startups (joined as employee #8). Outside of work, Clare enjoys advising startups, particularly in the HR Tech space and serves on the junior board of a New York based non-profit, Harlem Academy.
A CPO's Path Through Adopting Product Ops with Tanmay Bhola (CPO @ Zipline)
In this episode, I talk with Tanmay Bhola, CPO @ Zipline, about his journey of building a Product Ops function as a CPO and how this has helped Zipline navigate some rapid growth. Tanmay is a cross-functional Product leader with a passion for helping organisations find product-market fit. He is Chief Product Officer at Zipline.io, an AFR Fast100 company focused on simplifying healthcare compliance. Previously, he was responsible for Envato’s website builder offerings. Products led by him have been recognised at The Webbys and ProductHunt awards.
Developing your Product Ops backlog with Marco Chan (Product Ops Lead at Shopify)
In this episode, I talk with Marco Chan, Product Ops Lead at Shopify, about what it is like starting out in Product Operations in a new role or a new area of the business. We talk about building context and rapport with teams to make sure you are building a relevant backlog that will have an impact.
Marco leads Product Ops for the Ecosystem team at Shopify which operates the App and Theme Stores. He works closely with Product, Engineering, UX, and Data teams to coordinate initiatives across Shopify. He focuses on providing structure without introducing excessive structure to drive team velocity and culture. Prior to Shopify, he spent time at Uber in Operations / Launch roles and management consulting.
Good Product Strategy and How to Craft One with Radhika Dutt (Author of Radical Product Thinking)
In this episode, I talk with Radhika Dutt, Author of Radical Product Thinking, about the elements of what a practical strategy is and the common pitfalls that organisations have when developing it. This approach sets operations up for success when strategy is clearly articulated and enables greater alignment and autonomy within teams.
Radhika Dutt is the author of Radical Product Thinking: The New Mindset for Innovating Smarter which is being translated into several languages including Chinese and Japanese. She is an entrepreneur and product leader who has participated in four acquisitions, two of which were companies that she founded. She advises organizations from high-tech startups to government agencies on building radical products that create a fundamental change. She is currently Advisor on Product Thinking to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator. Radhika has built products in a wide range of industries including broadcast, media and entertainment, telecom, advertising technology, government, consumer apps, robotics, and even wine. She graduated from MIT with an SB and M.Eng in Electrical Engineering, and speaks nine languages.
Announcing the Product Ops Pillars
You may have noticed that we haven't had an episode in a few weeks and that's because I've been working on something pretty special. I want to share with you today. I have launched my playbook for Product Ops called "Product Ops Pillars".
Product Ops Pillars provides an accessible summary of what modern Product Operations looks like. You'll learn how to improve your team's performance, which tools are essential, and how to design an operating model that will keep your company on top.
Download your copy at https://www.simonhilton.co/productopspillars
Please vote for us today on Product Hunt at https://www.producthunt.com/posts/product-ops-pillars
Driving Product Change Across The Business with Layla Selick (Senior Director of Professional Services @ Productboard)
In this episode, I talk with Layla Selick, Senior Director of Professional Services at Productboard role of tools within our product organizations and how they fit into the changing and evolving maturity of that team. Productboard is the leading customer-centric management platform, helping product teams to deliver the right products to market faster with over 5500+ customers.
Layla has built a team of professionals that provide deep expertise and engagement with organizations making a transformation within their product teams. Prior to Productboard, Layla was a Customer Success leader at Hootsuite and has held roles in the media and entertainment industry. She holds two business degrees, including an MBA in New York University where she specialized in Media, Entertainment & Technology.
Building Strategy and Operations in Harmony with Srinivas Somayajula (Head of Product Ops @ Calendly)
In this episode, I talk with Srinivas Somayajula, Head of Product Ops at Calendly, about how strategy and operations influence each other. This relationship is key to not only being ambitious but also making strategy practical so teams can align themselves but still maintain autonomy.
Prior to Calendly, Srinivas was the Product Director for the core marketing platform at Mailchimp and spent a majority of his career in management consulting serving as a trusted advisor to product and technology leaders in hospitality, technology product, financial services, and financial technology companies.
Srinivas holds an MBA from Emory University's Goizueta Business School and a BSc from Pennsylvania State University.
Training Great Decision Skills in the Product Team with Chris Butler (Global Head of Product Operations @ Cognizant)
In this episode, I talk with Chris Butler, Global Head of Product Operations @ Cognizant, about the value of good decision making and how we can train this skill within the product team in low cost and safe ways. Chris Butler is a chaotic good product manager, writer, and speaker. He facilitates critical decision making for teams that build new and innovative products. Chris focuses on bias, uncertainty, and randomization to help build robust and resilient teams. He has over 20 years of product management leadership at Microsoft, Waze, KAYAK, aand Facebook Reality Labs. He is now Assistant Vice President, Head of Product Operations, at Cognizant where he PM's the PM experience.
Bonus Episode: Building Successful and Scaling Product Ops Teams from the Product Excellence Summit
This is a special episode recorded at the Product Excellence Summit where I hosted a panel about "Building & Scaling a Product Operations Team" at Productboard's Product Excellence Summit. We had some great insights from Anabela Cesário from OutSystems, Jodi Alperstein from Segment Srinivas Somayajula from Calendly.
It is an excellent discussion on how this function ensures that the product team can function smoothly, support the product team to move faster and focus on customer needs in a more consistent fashion.
The Good and Bad of Product Ops with Becky Flint (CEO @ Dragonboat)
In this episode, I talk with Becky Flint, CEO at Dragonboat, about the recent conversation of if Product Ops is a force of good or bad in developing an excellent product function. Hint, its not a simple answer :). Becky Flint is the founder and CEO of Dragonboat, the product portfolio platform for outcome driven product ops and product teams.
Prior to starting Dragonboat, Becky has built and scaled product operations and product portfolios for fast growing companies like PayPal, Shutterfly, Bigcommerce and Feedzai, when they were pre-unicorns or early unicorns.
In addition to leading Dragonboat, Becky is a big champion for women in tech and outcome driven product practice. She is the founder of ResponsivePPM.org and outcome focused product HQ Slack community for product ops and product leaders.
Designing the Product Ops Journey with Hugo Froes (Product Operations Principal at Farfetch)
Hugo Froes, Product Operations Principal at Farfetch, joins me to talk about what it is like starting a Product Ops function. We discuss how treating your work like any other product can improve your success and hone your skills. With over 20 years in the field of product and design, Hugo has explored user centered methodologies applied to product development (ex. UX, Design Thinking, Service Design and Lean UX). His main focus is helping teams reach their full potential to build better products.
As a teacher in various institutions, a co-founder of UXDiscuss and board member of the Global ResearchOps community, he strives to also contribute to the community and help shape young minds towards user centered methodologies. He loves solving problems and spending time with family, reading a book, listening to some tunes or watching a movie.
Balancing Product Operations and Delivery with Rhiannon Gaskell (Director of Product Delivery & Operations @ Culture Amp)
Rhiannon Gaskell, Director Delivery and Product Ops at Culture Amp, joins me to talk about how to organise delivery so your product teams can focus on discovering customer problems while still being connected to delivery. Rhiannon is a product leader with over 10 years of experience in delivery and product management related roles and has previously been part of teams at Australia Post, Carsales and Message Media.
Creating a Space for Customer Research with Brian Swift (Head of Product @ Dovetail)
Brian Swift, Head of Product at Dovetail, joins me to talk about how to integrate a space for research into the Product Ops model. We discuss how to encourage a research culture with open repositories that helps bring customers into product decisions. Brian is a product leader with over 10 years experience in product management and strategy. He is currently the Head of Product at Dovetail, and has previously been part of product teams at SafetyCulture, Atlassian, Twitter and Zynga, among others. Brian has helped build products like Dovetail, iAuditor, Confluence, Fabric, Crashlytics and FarmVille.
You can find more at https://dovetailapp.com/blog/
The Emergence of Product Operations with Denise Tilles (CPO @ Grocket)
Denise Tilles, CPO at Grocket, joins me to talk about the emergence of Product Ops from her experience in a wealth of environments across fintech, healthcare, finance and many others where she advises on how to embed a great Product Ops function. Denise has over 10 years of product leadership experience working with startup, growth stage, and enterprise organisations to transform opportunity into a crisp product vision, strategy, and building the org to enable execution.You can find Denise at at denisetilles.com
Product Ops in Enterprise vs Scale up with Jasper Streit (Product Director @ Elmo)
Jasper Streit, Product Director at Elmo joins me to talk about the difference in organising product in the enterprise environment versus a scale up. We talk about the different product skills that need to be weighted and how being transparent can help grow your team. Having performed product roles in companies ranging from early startups of 2-3 employees to behemoth enterprises of 40k employees - across a number of industries, Jasper helps us navigate these differences.
Organising product from the Csuite with Brad Dunn (CPO @ Whispir)
Brad Dunn is the Chief Product Officer at Whispir (ASX:WSP), a communications intelligence company. Before that, he was CEO of Nazori, a product development business in Melbourne. Brad joins me to talk about the expectations of Product in the executive space and how Product Ops contributes to being able to organise product development at all levels. Brad also shares about his team's exciting work in the field of Product Intelligence. Brad writes on Medium at https://jesterhoax.medium.com
Welcome to Product Ops People. Join me Simon Hilton as I talk with Product Leaders around the world about how Product Ops is growing and uniting product led companies.