I think my core challenge with Product Ops, particularly standing it up from scratch, is the tension for modeling systems and processes as they are now vs how I want them to be. Paired with the tension between how much we need to change and how fast the organization is able to absorb change.

Especially as the guardian and manager of the product tool stack. I know that if I set up the tools the way we work now, then everyone will continue the way we are now. If I configure tools how I want us to operate the lift to get everyone using it is harder. If it’s hard you have the potential to get people diverting out of or around the tool all together.

I’ve hit this a lot recently as I’ve been getting us established in a product management tool and attempting to set good practices. We bought the tool because we knew we needed to fill a gap in how we were planning and communicating. But it makes every configuration choice a change management event.

On top of that, because it’s a new tool and a design process to set it up and get it working for the team you have to iterate. Sometimes I make suboptimal changes in the organization, naming or process. The line between agile discovery, implementation and change management is squiggly and a gradient.

Practices that are working for me.

  1. Create new views and tools privately first.
  2. Find members of the team you can trust for a variety of feedback.
  3. Write some documentation to clarify intent.
  4. Patience
  5. Adjust as needed