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Director, Product Development

SUMMARY:

The Director of Product Development leads the development and delivery of Questar’s digital K-12 educational assessment products. This is a senior-level technology strategist who has a proven ability to evaluate the needs of customers and other end-users, the goals of the company, the requirements of external stakeholders, and the capabilities and capacity of the product development team to deliver products that delight the users as well as meet budgetary and profitability expectations.

The Director of Product Development builds and leads a diverse, high-performing team of creative and innovative technologists, including business analysis, software development, and production support. The Director of Product Development works closely with product management, assessment services (content) and other business groups to understand the market, and execute technology roadmap, infrastructure, and organizational issues.  More than just a technologist, the Director of Product Development is able to understand the needs of a market, envision innovative solutions that meet those needs, and lead the teams that design, build, and deliver those innovative technologies that drive differentiation, create organizational efficiencies and support revenue goals.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Dedicated to rapidly delivering high-quality products that delight users and produce results for the business.
  • Perform management fundamentals of estimating, budgeting, hiring, goal-setting, performance management, mentoring, career development, and day-to-day management, all with the goal of building a diverse, cohesive, high-performing team.
  • Working with the CTO, VP of Assessment Design & Psychometrics, and other stakeholders, develop and own a coherent product development strategy and roadmap spanning a variety of user experiences and user personas (including administrators, students, instructors, and regulators.). Balance on time execution and improvements to existing products and platforms with potential innovative new product concepts.
  • Translate this strategy into actionable product development initiatives. These initiatives may especially include “productizing” capabilities that the organization has historically designed and delivered as discrete, custom projects.
  • Communicate product development strategy and product performance across the organization and outside the organization as necessary.
  • Work with other technical and business groups to devise an analytics framework that enables smart decisions about product priorities.
  • Stay abreast of relevant technology, business, and educational trends and evaluate their implications for Questar’s digital product suite. Lead the research and analysis of third-party technical solutions that can contribute to Questar’s product suite.
  • Define a mobile/tablet product strategy that accounts for the rapidly expanding use of mobile devices.
  • Build and lead a Product Development team within a broader technology department led by the CTO. Roles may include business analysis, technical architecture, front-end web development, and back-end development.
  • Develop a culture of innovation, inspiration, accountability, and collaboration that’s
  • Mentor and develop additional leaders within the team (supervisors, managers, team leads, etc.)
  • Lead product development staff to develop and deliver digital assessment products in a timely, high quality, and efficient manner. Work with team to allocate staff and technical resources, establish clear priorities, and track progress to meet established milestones.
  • In collaboration with other technology experts, analyze, recommend, and implement technology platforms and architectures to support product and technology strategy.
  • Develop a robust discipline of understanding user motivations, needs, and satisfaction through user research techniques such as product feedback, focus groups, user surveys, usability tests, A/B testing, and prototyping.
  • Along with other experts, implement and refine an agile, user-centered digital product ideation, discovery, prioritization, design, development, and delivery process, based on user research, marketing insights, competitive intelligence, and broader trends in online technology and user experience.
  • Manage the development cadence and product scope to ensure product innovations anticipate market needs and meet release timelines.
  • Introduce and enforce sound product technology development practices such as source code control, integration practices, code reviews.
  • Continually measure the effectiveness of products and the performance of the development team. Manage and report on the performance of products to KPIs. Use measurement insights to develop product plans.

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS:

  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Information Systems or similar discipline

CERTIFICATES, LICENSES AND REGISTRATIONS:

  • PMP, Scrum or other product delivery certification would be preferred

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE, SKILL AND ABILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • 10+ years of technology, product, or engineering experience, including experience at a director level or above.
  • Deep understanding of software product development lifecycle, including strategy, design, usability, and implementation, preferably in user-centered, agile development environments.
  • Proven ability to build and lead cross-functional teams of technology, design, and business professionals. Ability to build a culture of collaboration and high performance. Experience leading offshore development teams preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to drive accountability for results within tight schedules and project plans.
  • Fluency in diverse aspects of digital product technology, including front-end technology, back-end technology, user experience, web services, database administration, and mobile applications. Practical or contributor experience in one or more of the following disciplines: software development, product management, business analysis, user experience design.
  • Outstanding written, spoken, and presentation communication skills, including exceptional ability to present to internal and external audiences and represent the product and the organization in a variety of contexts.Proven experience demoing software prototypes and products and explaining the value to a wide variety of stakeholders, including end users, customers, business partners, and regulators.
  • Experience with Agile software methodologies. Formal training in one or more recognized Agile methodologies (Scrum, XP, Kanban, etc.) or toolsets (JIRA, VersionOne, Rally, etc.) preferred.
  • Strong analysis, research, and problem-solving skills.
  • An empathetic, user-centered orientation to product design and development.
  • A high tolerance for ambiguity and change.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and affinity for innovation.
  • Experience in large scale, summative, or state assessment market strongly preferred.
  • Experience developing, integrating, and managing item banking applications.

 

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