Jo Pulse: How do I build a MOPs team?
After several years in a single-person MOPs team, my company is now willing to invest in growing MOPs. Encouraging as it is to have initial support from leadership, this will be my first time in charge of building out a team.
How can I hire, structure, and lead a MOPs team effectively? What should I account for in my plan?
Congrats on getting buy-in, Leah. By giving the green light to growth, your company is showing they take the success of MOPs seriously. Creating a team from the ground up is no mean feat, but as a new and rapidly evolving function, building and leading a team in the MOPs space comes with a few unique challenges to plan around.
Here’s a rundown of the key considerations your strategy should address:
- Competencies: While the tools and processes in your organization will determine some of the fine print, the essential mix of skills in a MOPs team broadly breaks down as follows:
- A people leader who understands marketing technology platforms
- A day-to-day owner of each marketing system and tool
- A data expert to own reporting and data warehousing, with expertise in BI tools (e.g. Tableau)
- Someone to handle day-to-day deployment and requests from Marketing, building campaigns, emails, and other tactical pieces
- Depending on your budget for headcount, multiple functions can live in one individual; for example, you might own admin or reporting while leading the team.
- Role design: Whether you’re hiring one person or several, indicate in the title if each role is a generalist or specialist position, and to what extent the position’s deliverables roll uphill and have the candidate interfacing with C-Suite. A smaller team might have a MOPs Manager (wearing all hats) and a Junior MOPs Specialist in support; in larger organizations, you tend to see Senior Directors and VPs of MOPs along with Managers of Martech and Analytics. Note how those roles suggest degrees of seniority and focus.
- Attracting candidates: The benchmarks of expertise in MOPs are different from more standardized functions like IT. It’s not uncommon to see job postings for senior MOPs leaders that ask for 10-15 years of experience—in a function that hasn’t existed for that long. Without prior experience hiring in MOPs, collaborate with HR to research the correct compensation and realistic skillsets for roles in the space. We’re in a candidate-driven job market right now, so your offers need to be compelling to poach top talent.
- Nurturing internal talent: For the same reason, recognize and reward effort. Don’t overlook junior colleagues from adjacent teams (e.g. Marketing, IT) who want to learn new things. Some of the best professionals get their start after an organization gives them the chance to grow, so keep an eye out for ambitious internal candidates.
- Leadership initiatives: MOPs people are driven to excel and willing to take a swing at things; you want to harness that competitive nature in productive ways. Your team should understand what success looks like, so share high-level KPIs for the organization that cascade downwards to Marketing and MOPs. Encourage your team to create job descriptions for more senior roles above them. This accomplishes a few things: clear upward career trajectories will incentivize people to dress for the jobs they want, and if your team is displaying these advanced competencies, it’ll help in negotiating promotions, training, and raises with HR.
You’ve got this,