A Day in the Life of an Operations Manager
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single organization in possession of resources, must be in want of an operations manager to maximize their value.
Had Jane Austen been writing about the tech industry of modern times rather than the landed gentry of English society in the 19th century, one can imagine the novelist would have delighted in playing around with all the revolving concentric circles of 21st-century business, and all the arenas for rich melodrama and miscommunication therein.
It is another universally acknowledged truth of the modern tech workplace that, without operations managers, businesses would fall apart, plagued by inefficiencies and breakdowns in communication. Operation managers oversee all of a company’s production processes and, through understanding how each of them functions, work to increase efficiency and reduce extraneous costs, ensuring greater productivity and profit.
Think of them as expert planners in the company’s engine room, monitoring systems and maintaining all those moving parts — or, to take the Austen angle once more, as society’s unsung power players, working every room at once and navigating all manner of customs and commotion. We spoke to two operations managers in tech about the daily routines that keep them busy while ensuring the long-term success of their companies.
Convoso is a powerful cloud-based call center software for sales and lead generation teams, continuously developing solutions that help maximize the profitability of outbound call centers while supporting compliance.
Give us a little insight into a typical day for you.
Every day is different, but there are a few things that hold true each day. I always start the day bright and early, catching up on emails and reviewing my schedule before heading into the office. Our team has been largely working in a hybrid model since Covid-19, but I always try to make it into the office, as I believe it is important for a leader to be accessible to their team.
Things can get pretty crazy, as the nature of my role means I’m always working with other departments, either on large-scale projects — such as ensuring we are compliant with STIR/SHAKEN and other FCC compliance protocols — or customer issues with which I help directly. On a typical day, I work directly with everyone from our director of support to our accountant. The nature of my role means that I get to interact with the full scope of Convoso employees, even those who do not report to me directly.
My role is fast-paced, and it is easy for me to spend the majority of the day in meetings. To combat this and stay productive, I always take the time to schedule some focus blocks and breaks into my day.
Describe a project you’re working on right now, and why you find it challenging or rewarding.
It’s Q4 right now, and we are already well into looking ahead to next year. My major project at the moment, outside of my day-to-day activities, is coordinating with all our departments to get operating plans completed. We had an amazing 2021, and want to keep that momentum going by ensuring that strategy, goals, and timelines are aligned across the business. This is challenging in a lot of ways, as there are many moving parts and sub-departments that all need to be accounted for.
We have centralized the process of collating department plans for the first time this year, so getting buy-in from leadership — and ensuring the template we created would meet everyone’s needs — took a month to perfect. As an ops leader, I need to be sure that the plans we are putting in place are attainable given the time and resources that we have available — that we are setting ourselves, and Convoso, up for success.
As we are wrapping up the process, it’s rewarding to see the amount of cross-functional work that goes on at Convoso, and how collaborative our teams are, even when setting their own departments’ goals. “Teamwork makes the dream work” is one of our core values, and I’ve really seen it in action during this project.
What are some of the trends you’re currently watching in the operations space, and how do you anticipate they will affect your team’s day-to-day work?
As our company continues to scale up, I’m seeing now more than ever the need for a switch from a task-oriented business approach to a project-based one. We are in the process of trying to adapt a centralized project management office for our business, which will not only elevate our day-to-day operations but also increase our ability to track and implement changes for our customers.
An increased focus on agile methodologies is definitely a trend that I have been watching closely, and I believe that establishing a project management office at Convoso will allow us to incorporate those agile principles across all departments. As we continue to scale our operations and increase our remote headcount, agility and centralized strategic plannings will be vital to our ability to keep succeeding and providing fantastic service to our customers.
Endpoint is a digital title and escrow company that streamlines the home closing process by making it simple, fast, and transparent for everyone involved.
What’s on your to-do list? Who do you work most closely with?
A typical day can be mixed, given the day-to-day blocking and tackling of managing residential resale closings. This can involve anything from keeping teams on track in closing transactions, making sure support squads are trained and executing on workflows or KPIs, and ensuring phone calls, emails, or chats are being answered promptly and professionally.
The day-to-day life of escrow and title operations has no shortage of excitement. Within all the moving parts of closing real estate transactions, there is always something that bubbles up and needs attention, refinement, or optimization. I do a lot of connecting with employees to ensure they are empowered with tools and training to deliver at a high level, as well as supporting customers to ensure they are being taken care of throughout every step of the closing transaction.
Describe a project you’re working on right now.
My main project right now is the digitization of the closing process. It is challenging, because it is a large initiative that involves all parts of our organization. It is rewarding, though, because it has never been done end-to-end before, and I feel we are the company to make that happen. We have to approach it in bite-size chunks, taking processes here and there, reimagining how work can be done with the inclusion of automation and optimized workflows, but also remembering and holding to be true the necessary human and personal elements of a transaction. It is fun to jump deep into the details with my colleagues and come out with optimized and revolutionized processes that benefit our customers as well as our employees.
What are some of the trends you’re currently watching in the operations space?
I’m watching a lot of activity in the title- and escrow-operations world around remote work, digital signings, and transparent tracking of transactions. We were already laser-focused on these initiatives. But the more attention the industry pays to these emerging processes as ways of conducting business and technologies, the better-supported our mission is. We envision a world in which busy, repetitive work is handled by new technologies and human engagement factors are leveled up and enhanced. We’re seeing movement in the operations world toward technological and virtual solutions as a way of unlocking human potential: not only in terms of our staff and productivity, but also in terms of the ways we can engage and serve customers.