One Knight in Product

Build Better Products at Scale with Product Operations (with Melissa Perri & Denise Tilles, Product Consultants & Co-authors "Product Operations")

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Episode notes

Melissa Perri is the renowned author of "Escaping the Build Trap" and a well-known product consultant and educator. She has worked for a long time with Denise Tilles, another seasoned product leader, with whom she has been evangelising Product Operations to help scale product companies effectively. They recently collaborated on a book, coincidentally called "Product Operations", and we spoke all about the story behind the book and the themes within it.

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Episode highlights:


1. Product Operations is about helping product managers make faster, better-quality decisions

It's important to dispel the myth of multi-armed product managers who can just do everything. There's too much for everyone to do! This creates barriers to doing great product management work and pulls product managers away from doing the real, value-add product management work that they're judged on.

2. There are three pillars of product operations...

The three pillars are ways to think about how to organise enablement. They are "Business & Data Insights", "Customer & Market Insights" and "Process and Practices". They are all the foundation of good product decision-making, and all companies will have a certain level of maturity already.

3. ... But you don't need to build all the pillars all at once

You don't need to fix everything at once. If you already have good capabilities in one or more areas, fix the ones that you don't have good capabilities in! You don't need to boil the ocean, just find the biggest gaps and opportunities to improve, and start to work on them.

4. Process shouldn't be seen as a dirty word

There's such a thing as too much process but, even if you don't call it process or try to define it, all work involves a process. It's important to have people to oversee the process at scale, prevent duplication or rework, and make sure that process is right-sized rather than ever-expanding.

5. The first step is being honest about your current state

There are plenty of ways to go with product operations as you scale, but the most important thing is being really honest with yourself about what your most important limiting factors are, what your product managers are spending time on and what's going to work for you.

Check out "Product Operations"

"Many companies want to reap the benefits of economies of scale that comes with being a product-led company. As our businesses change shape to focus more on software, so do our ways of working. We need to make sure we’re breaking down these silos of information and capabilities that arise at scale. To react quickly and set great Product Strategies, leaders and team members alike need access to high-quality data and a process to implement their decisions."

Check it out on Amazon or the book website.

Check out "Escaping the Build Trap"

"To stay competitive in today’s market, organizations need to adopt a culture of customer-centric practices that focus on outcomes rather than outputs. Companies that live and die by outputs often fall into the "build trap," cranking out features to meet their schedule rather than the customer’s needs. In this book, Melissa Perri explains how laying the foundation for great product management can help companies solve real customer problems while achieving business goals. "

Check it out on Amazon.

Contact Melissa & Denise

You can catch up with Melissa at, check out or follow her on LinkedIn.

You can catch up with Denise at or follow her on LinkedIn.