business-operations

What is Business Operations? And Does Your Organization Need It?

Your organization has a way of working — leads are generated, emails are sent, meetings are held, deals are closed, projects started and completed, widgets manufactured and shipped, invoices sent and paid — but how exactly does all the work happen?


Enter: Business Operations — the way work gets done.
Business Operations is the work of creating and managing the internal processes and tools that unify team members and assets in an efficient way to produce outcomes for your organization.
It is the intersection of performance, people, processes, and tools. The specifics of your business operations depend on your industry, your products and services, the stage of your business, and how you choose to build your systems and tools.
Business operations as layered system of people, process and tools.

Business operations is a layered system of people, process, and tools.

The Importance of Business Operations

Organizations with undefined business operations commonly suffer from these pain points:

  • You have no reliable way to monitor the performance and capacity of teams
  • You produce inconsistent results and break promises to stakeholders
  • Your team is misaligned on who is responsible for what internally
  • Your team miscommunicates and has no accountability
  • Your tasks are all manual and require a lot of human hours to do
  • Your data structures are different across all of your tools and systems
  • You rely on shadow training, doubling the costs of each onboarding
  • There is no inter-departmental empathy for departmental challenges

Organizations that have invested in their business operations benefit in various ways:

  • Adapt your process according to market needs or changes
  • Produce consistent results to earn customer loyalty
  • Automate recurring tasks to get time back in your workweek
  • Integrate tools and systems to increase your data accuracy
  • Maximize your technology stack’s return on investment
  • Reliably measure team member’s performance based on outcomes
  • Easily train new external hires, or help bolster bottom performers
  • Maximize your team’s skillset across the organization

Ultimately business operations is all about introducing efficiency, productivity, consistency, and transparency in how work gets done across the organization. To understand how these outcomes are achieved, let’s break down the components of Business Operations. 

Decomposing Business Operations

No business is built the same, but most share these components of their business operations:

  • Teams — a collection of roles with a shared purpose
  • Performance — a way to measure outcomes relative to benchmarks
  • Roles — a defined set of responsibilities
  • People — a team member assigned to one or more roles
  • Processes— a sequence of tasks that produce an outcome
  • Tools — a device or program that creates leverage
  • Training — a way to expand team members’ abilities
  • Data — a piece of stored information

All these components are intertwined in a complex system of constantly moving parts across your organization. It’s built from multiple functions that need to work together, which is why business operations teams often work across the organization. But sometimes, the BizOps team is not centralized. Instead, there are smaller dedicated teams responsible for the same set of components mentioned above specifically for their team or department:
 
  • MarkOps —responsible for enabling the Marketing team’s operations; responsibilities include ensuring accurate campaign attribution, managing ad budget, implementing marketing technology stack: Content Management System (CMS), Email Marketing, Customer Analytics, and Chatbot tools.
  • SalesOps — responsible for enabling the Sales team’s operations; responsibilities include ensuring proper lead routing and lead scoring logic, building high-performing sequences, implementing sales technology stack: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eSignature, Document Tracking tools.
  • ServiceOps — responsible for enabling Customer Success, Support, Delivery, or Experience teams’ operations; responsibilities include developing a customer onboarding process, managing knowledge base, enabling agents to maintain service-level agreements (SLAs), and implementing service technology stack: Project Management (PM), Ticket Management System, Time Tracking, and Survey tools.
  • RevOps — the combination of MarkOps, SalesOps, and ServiceOps; the definition combines all the Business Operations related to generating revenue.
  • FinOps — responsible for turning business transactions into financial transactions; responsibilities include sales commission tracking, expense reporting, subscription management, invoice management, payment processing, sales tax management, cap table management, and implementing a finance technology stack that supports these functions.
  • PeopleOps — responsible for enabling Human Resources team’s operations; responsibilities include attracting and hiring top talent, increasing employee productivity through development, engagement, and retention, and implementing a technology stack: Applicant Tracking System, Goal Tracking, Performance Reviews, and Employee Survey tools.
  • DataOps — responsible for enabling the flow and access to data across the organization’s operations; responsibilities include setting up data infrastructure, improving the transparency, quality, and the cycle time of data analytics, operationalizing data to non-technical teams, and implementing data stack: Data Integration, Data warehouse, Data Transformation & modeling, and Business Intelligence platforms.
  • DevOps — responsible for enabling engineers to deliver applications and services at a high velocity; responsibilities include finding. ways to increase the pace of releases, ensure the reliability of application updates, and manage development, testing, and production environments.
  • EventOps — responsible for enabling guests on-site at a company event; responsibilities include transportation arrangement, agenda management, on-site registrations, managing vendor services, setting up technical production, supporting guests, and implementing technologies that help orchestrate these functions.

 

Business Processes
These teams work together to bring efficiencies in rapidly scaling organizations through improving processes to maximize outcomes and build organizational capacity. They must up-level everything they touch such that things work better and faster after they are no longer involved. It is challenging work, but a set of best practices makes the process of making the process enjoyable! The goal is to go from firefighting to working with the big picture in mind.

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