Why Tech Operations is Key for Startup Success
Starting a new business is a step that takes time, planning, and preparation. With over 3 businesses launched every second, any new organization will face challenges, competition, and rapidly shifting markets. A large percentage of those new businesses are tech companies, and, unfortunately, most go on to fail. Navigating the complex waters of launching and scaling an organization requires having the right elements in place at the right time.
While there are dozens of factors contributing to long-term success, including timing and understanding your market, technical operations is one of the most crucial.
What are Tech Operations?
The value chain includes everything that is completed in order to produce value. Operations includes the structure, planning, and strategy behind that value chain, making up the strategy behind work completed. In tech organizations, this includes designing teams, processes, work methods, departments, communication channels, sales, marketing, and much more.
Business operations defines how and why people work, connecting work to goals, and creating defined channels, goals, and output for work. Operations can be responsible for such diverse initiatives as business intelligence, system administration (CRM, product development tooling), creating feedback loops between customer service and product development, and so on.
Why do Startups Need Operations?
Very-early startups don’t benefit a great deal from defining operations and structure. Instead, everything is typically performed by whoever can do it, whenever they can do it. Structured tech operations become crucial as you start to scale. Here, operations function as a sort of roadmap and structure, offering guidance and support as your organization grows.
Why is this necessary? Kickstarter projects are extremely common, but many go on to fail and never actually deliver. While reasons are diverse, most simply don’t have the resources or planning in place to handle meeting quality and volume demand continuously. Orders increase, server load increases, demand for new features increase, and demand on customer support increases – at the same time. If you don’t have structure, you simply won’t be able to meet these needs in an organized way and affordable way.
Operations is a structure that ensures you can, by defining how and why you will meet demand, putting processes into place to scale up without losing quality, and integrating tooling to ensure quality and output. Whether these include processes around hiring and onboarding new people, integrating business processes into tooling, or using automation is less important than having the structure there to begin with.
Getting Started with Tech Operations
Scaling a startup is very much about structuring tech operations and building sustainable foundations for the future. The Vision to Value Framework covers operations from a technical perspective, helping organizations design operations around the needs of design, development, and a virtual product. While operations should also include extensive team-design around individual products and output, Vision to Value offers high-level input for top-down operational design. This will be crucial as your organization begins to scale, because it ensures you know how, where, and in what direction your organization is working towards. Structuring operations for tech companies means shifting perspective to long-term development and delivery, with infrastructure to support continuous quality output. Vision to Value walks you through the important aspects of tech operations to help you make those decisions for your organization to better realize long-term value.