Taylor Belchak, speaker at Product Ops Summit London 2023

September 27, 2023

Video Transcript

Speaker: Taylor Belchak, Product Operations Lead, Sedna Communications

Taylor Belchak: Hi, everyone. My name is Taylor Belchak and I am currently leading product operations at the B to B2B data driven communications startup known as Sedna, which is based in London UK. And I started my career at Google actually, which is where I first truly learned the value that product ops can deliver in product organisations and making them more effective and efficient. And more recently, prior to joining Sedna, I was working for the UK-based food delivery company known as Deliveroo, which some of you may have heard of. I was helping them to establish and grow their product operations discipline.

Taylor Belchak: Given the current economic pressures in the tech industry today, product operations, individuals and teams are facing a very real challenge when it comes to proving their financial impact and long term value to their businesses. Without a clear understanding of the role of product operations and its associated responsibilities. Business leaders can kind of fall into this view that product ops is simply an enabling function or the glue to you know, a temporary project plan. This is obviously an uninformed perception of the role, but with this uninformed perception, it can be very difficult for business leaders to prove the value of product ops when it comes to a company's bottom line. And naturally, this may lead to product ops individuals and teams being called into question when it comes to cost cutting discussions or decisions. Obviously, this is to the detriment of their company. So in my panel discussion, I really hope to be able to speak a little bit more about how we as product ops leaders and teams can be more open and speak loudly about the value of our teams and our role within our business and better define and share KPIS that can really prove the value of the great work we're doing to drive efficiencies within our business as product operations.

Taylor Belchak: Product operations is still an emerging role in the world of technology. There are new products and tools and resources being introduced every day and every one of us is finding new and innovative ways to solve the familiar problems that are plaguing most of our tech companies and and other companies out there. So events like this are really good um as an opportunity for product ops professionals to come together to connect to share and ultimately learn from one another by coming together and kind of starting or continuing these conversations. We as a community can help to influence and drive the future vision of product operations.

Taylor Belchak: The biggest lesson that I've learned in my career is usually one of the most surprising for people to hear, which is that you should know when to let things break, especially in product operations, we tend to pick up projects and processes in order to fill an immediate gap in our business, whether this is a gap in a product, organization's ways of working or a gap in our actual product. Because we decided to deprioritise building a feature or overlook a particular bug, it's important to ask the question whether filling this gap is actually critical to business success or if it's actually covering up a fundamental issue with your business or your product, there are only so many gaps that one individual or team can actually fill. And as a business scales, these gaps will only grow wider, especially when haphazard or kind of temporary fixes have been put in place. Uh This is where it's really important to recognise that it may actually be helpful to let things break rather than be harmful. Especially when you are looking to build and develop a solid and sustained company for growth.

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