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ProdOps — Creating an environment for successful products

Leveraging the concept of ProdOps could lead to greater products, more satisfied customers and greater market penetration.

DevOps has been a growing interest within large organisations since around 2014 (thanks Google Trends) with the idea that bringing development and operations together, it would create higher quality software with much shorter cycle time on development. To this end, Google’s State of DevOps 2019 indicates that companies who are excelling at DevOps have lead times for deployments that are 106 times faster and are recovering from incidents 2,604 times faster than companies who aren’t.


But when we zoom out to get a broader view of this ecosystem, it appears strange that we haven’t seen a similar trend in Product roles.


It stands to reason that leveraging the concept of ProdOps could lead to greater products, more satisfied customers and greater market penetration.

What is ProdOps?

How often do you see Product people constrained to feature development, with the worlds of design, sales, marketing, customer service and analytics all a hand-off away sitting in different departments with different goals in mind.


Why not bring these capabilities, to both build and operate a Product under one title — ProdOps.


Bringing these functions together (not that this list is exhaustive) under a ProdOps model closes the loop on delivering products to market and enables a more aligned focus, more rapid turnaround on activities as well as complete transparency of what is driving each component.

How does one person become a master of so many domains?

Product people often see themselves as the Swiss army knife within an organisation, being forced to operate and excel across a broad range of domains. However it doesn’t make sense to rely on one person to attain mastery of each of these components.


What ProdOps does require, though, is to ensure that these capabilities, the ability to manage a full product development lifecycle, are aligned under the same purpose. Constantly working together. Collaborating closely. Shooting for the same north star.


Align across the board to create equal focus on:

  • developing products and features that delight customers;
  • ensuring customers adopt your product;
  • retaining customers and growing their lifetime value; and
  • creating an ecosystem where customers are well served when they require support.

Where do I start?

It may not be time to start that organisational restructure just yet. But don’t let me stop you. It makes sense to first start the conversation though.


Bring together all who are relevant to building and operating your product into a room (or into a Zoom as it may be) and ask the question “What are you trying to achieve for this product?”. If all answers are the same, you’re on the right path and it makes sense to ensure that you are all doing complementary things to get there. If the answers are different it may be time to take a step back and work towards alignment.


In either case, start to align your ProdOps ecosystem around your product and observe the difference it makes to achieving your goals.

Karl Stepan

Karl Stepan

Karl is a product enthusiast who enables high performing teams by leveraging data and user insights to create innovative products. Utilising Human Centred and Agile delivery practices he finds the sweet spot of value for businesses and their customers.

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