Chris Butler at the Product Operations Summit New York

February 14, 2023

Hear from keynote speaker, Chris Butler from Google, talking about what he is looking forward to about the Product Operations Summit New York

Video Transcript

Speaker: Chris Butler, Lead PM, Google Core Machine Learning

Chris Butler: Hi, I'm Chris Butler and I'm lead product manager in the Google Core Machine learning group and have a lot of experience with product operations and really excited to share a talk with everybody. Previously with the PLA I've created the Product Ops Certified course. I've also written a lot of posts on their blog and then done numerous talks and round tables and different types of discussions around product operations.

What will you be discussing at the upcoming Product Operations Summit?

Chris Butler: So at the product ops summit, I'll be talking about what I'll call 'Deciding how to decide.' And what's really important about this is we all make lots of decisions over and over again during the day as individuals, but there's a lot of times where we have to decide with other people and that gets very messy. I think, you know, in places like google the default is to try to decide via consensus, but there's actually a lot of different ways and I think what's important is not only that there are different ways to decide, but that there are different stages to a decision that we should really be thinking about. And so that discourse, the way we set up that discourse and the way we decide who is actually the decision maker ends up being really important. And if you don't do it right, I think the biggest problem is that you'll end up spending lots of time spinning your wheels doing lots of meetings without really getting down to what the key decision is and and really how should we be making it

What do you think the top three priorities should be for Product Ops professionals right now?

Chris Butler: So I'd say the top three priorities really for product ops professionals tend to be one focusing really on the people that are part of your community practice, you know, how is it that product people even, you know, adjacent roles like designers, customer engagement etcetera. Really, how is their individual job actually working out? How are they kind of experiencing that? What's the individual experience and they feel valued? Second priority is really to understand what is the context that your organization exist within. You know, not everything that you see or read online is going to work in your context. And so really understanding kind of what are the different types of systems that are there in place already? What's the history and the context? How do people actually make decisions today? What do they feel good about what our behaviors that are actually rewarded is incredibly important. And then the third priority is really how do you as an individual make an impact for your team? And so I'd say in some cases my impact ends up being very focused on how do I add new programs, How do I end up helping them be more, you know, effective in the particular things that they do that we're trying to set up as like a group. But some of the time I think pushing back and actually becoming kind of somewhat of a roadblock is important because we shouldn't just do everything that that every leader wants inside of an organization, we should make sure that we're doing things for the right reason really for .1, which is really how do we prioritize the people that we work with and and the people that are in our community of practice?

What are you looking forward to most about the Product Ops summit?

Chris Butler: What am I looking forward to the most for the product ops summit? So I'd say that one sharing kind of my knowledge and understanding and really all the things I've started discover as I've really dive deep into decision making and the way that that's applied to product teams. So sharing all of that information is really helpful mostly because I get a lot of kind of meaning out of my work by helping other people be really great at their job, not only the product managers I work with, but other products ops professionals that are that are out there in the world. Um And then also, you know, I think I end up meeting lots of very interesting people with different perspectives. And so those different perspectives at this conference are probably the most important thing, right? Like, you know, not only am I trying to share things, but I'm trying to learn from other people all the time. And I think those those problems that people end up having or trying to solve within their own teams end up helping me build up kind of a like a library or a set of patterns that I can then start to apply to my own work. And new viewpoints from those perspectives

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