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Dedicated support from the backstage

BizOps, a.k.a. Business Operations – that’s the name of our cross-functional product team that creates and improves tools for Productboard’s internal business teams. 

In other words, we don’t build products for end customers, we build them for our employees in Finance, Sales, Marketing, or Customer Success. The goal is to help scale Productboard by addressing the internal pain points and needs through better tools, smart automation, and more efficient operational processes.

And we’re hiring right now – looking for an Engineering Manager to join the team.

Here’s a deep dive into the work we do – and why it matters.

What we do

Unlike IT teams, our work isn’t based on tickets or requests. Rather, there are a number of insights and opportunities where we can make improvements. This will have the biggest impact on teams, that will make their work more effective, and so on. It’s crucial to set priorities and put them in context with Productboard’s overall strategy.

As Productboard continues to grow, we have to ensure that our processes also scale quickly and effectively enough. There are so many challenges to solve – and that’s what our team focuses on.

To give an example, we’re working on a big initiative that will enable customer success teams to log in as customers – to be able to proactively help with onboarding, training, or troubleshooting. Thanks to this new internal tool, we will be able to assist our customers much more effectively, advise them on best practices, or simply solve issues on their behalf.

Here’s another example. Not long ago, when we acquired a new customer, our support team spent about fifteen minutes manually activating them. They had to save the contract, set up their account, and feed data to all relevant tools. Our support team spent several days a month doing this. So we automated this process – now it all takes just a few seconds.

At the earlier stages of Productboard’s life, all our people had admin access. There were no given roles. As we grew, it became increasingly important to be able to differentiate which specific tasks people need to be able to perform, then set related roles and limit powers and permissions accordingly.

What makes BizOps unique

BizOps is the only internal team working in such a cross-functional way, with an extremely wide scope. Also, the team decides what they work on and how to prioritize tasks. The autonomy we enjoy matches the impact of our work.

Productboard design team conference room

What are the challenges?

Our customers are different business teams, each with their own unique processes and tools. Grasping such a wide context is one of the most challenging things we face.
Before you can start building awesome products, you need to know how these teams work and what their goals and motivations are.
As the company grows, things that looked marginal not long ago become increasingly important. Even the smallest inefficiency impacts how effective our business teams are.

Our tech stack

One of the most appealing aspects of the team’s work is the technology we use. Our backend services are written in Ruby –we use either Ruby on Rails or Grape. 

Our primary data store is PostgreSQL, but we also use Elastic and Redis in parts of our stack. We mainly use REST APIs for talking to the backend, but we’re transitioning everything towards federated GraphQL. Our event-driven microservice architecture is powered by Kafka.

Just the beginning for BizOps

The team has been working for about half a year now, and this is just the beginning. Yet it’s already obvious how important it is to have a dedicated team that takes care of internal tools and concentrates all that context and information in one place. 

Our team should serve as a sort of knowledge center for how particular internal products work, giving us the unique opportunity to stay on top of things as we grow.

The key message here is that internal tools are just as important as the main product we create. We want to make these tools based on the same principles – we want to have a product designer who makes sure these back-stage instruments offer great usability, handling, user experience, and a unified terminology. It’s a long-run investment, but it pays off.

Check out our careers page for the latest vacancies. Do you know of someone who might be a great match for this team? Let them know.

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