Written by: Raquel Rodarte and Danny Jozsef
Reviewed by: Tacio Lobo
Product Operations is a very strategic role for a company such as Nubank, that constantly challenges the status quo and aims to recreate financial products and services. They are key players who navigate from business strategy to project management, from risk assessment to cross-team alignment.
This role offers many opportunities for someone who is a generalist with strong business acumen, and who is able to navigate through various areas within and across teams.
As Nubank grows in its organizational complexity by tackling new segments, new products, and new geographies, the impact that Product Operations will have on the company will be even greater.
This article will delve into what it means to be an effective Product Operations at Nubank and why it is such an essential job in our organization.
What does Product Operations do at Nubank?
Product Operations is an emerging discipline designed to help product teams operate as effectively as possible. Product Operations usually work on a project-based approach, which makes the work broad and dynamic, touching different topics and working with different teams.
Projects vary from studying strategic approaches for new markets to improving customer experience operations, including working alongside a multidisciplinary squad focused on enhancing the usability of Nubank’s app.
Even though the work is broad, Product Operations is always focused on building a foundation of excellence through metrics, infrastructure, business processes, best practices, budgeting, and reporting.
Scope of Work
The scope of Product Operations at Nubank is split into the following main blocks:
- Strategy: define what are the main objectives and how to get the team to its goals. Plan ahead, assess risks and opportunities, break down objectives into smaller projects, define metrics (key results) to inform success of team’s operations, and manage the project’s roadmap to continuously reassess;
- Operations: ensure everything is going according to the plan (and course-correct if needed). Design efficient processes, improve and automate the existing ones. Create rituals to monitor team’s progress, and report the development of each business sprint;
- Cross-team alignment: build a trusting environment to ensure alignment with main stakeholders from other teams. Provide visibility to leadership through assertive and efficient communication.
The main skills we look for in a candidate that aims to become a Product Operations at Nubank are:
- Strategic thinking: planning, OKR definition, as well as customer-first and smart efficient mindset;
- Problem-solving: data-based analyses, problem deep-dives, solutions trade-offs and results & impact measurement;
- Complex project management: roadmap definition, meetings and rituals facilitation, continuous improvement practices, and risk and change management;
- Communication: ideas presented in an organized and objective manner, messages adapted according to the audience, and high-impact content to influence others;
- Stakeholder management: navigate through different stakeholders and scenarios efficiently, build trusting and reliable relationships, and manage stakeholders’ contributions.
What is the difference between a Product Operations (POps) and a Product Manager (PM)?
Despite having similar titles and working closely with one another, there are a few big differences between their roles:
- Primary responsibility is managing complex projects, building and scaling operations, and leading business planning processes;
- Main challenge is in complex execution, stakeholder management (e.g. cross-teams) and embedding products into our operations;
- Key success metrics are timely project delivery, smooth rollout of new processes and efficient scaling.
- Primary responsibility is exploring a new market and/or launching and scaling an innovative solution;
- Main challenge is customer pain points discovery, creating and evolving a product concept, and experimentation/hypothesis validation;
- Key success metric is reaching PMF (product market fit), scaling and delivering business outcomes/financials.
Want to know who represents the client’s voice and develop the product’s marketing strategy? Check out the Product Marketing Manager role.
What our Product Operations say:
“Having a Product Ops role at Nubank means bridging the gap between strategy and execution, influencing and prioritizing the team’s activities according to customers’ needs and business priorities. As a POps you need to excel in planning, execution, and stakeholder management, driving everyone towards a common objective. Finally, you need to be able to balance short-term impact with sustainable and long-term results”– Julia Braganca, Product Ops Director