• Technical Product Manager

    Job Locations US-MA-Boston
    Posted Date 2 months ago(1/2/2020 11:29 AM)
    Requisition ID
    Job Function
    Product Management
  • .

    Cengage Logo New

    Do you dare to reinvent the future of education?

    At Cengage, we're harnessing the power of tech to build a future where all learners have the tools and confidence to achieve their goals. As a Cengage employee, you'll be helping to transform the way people learn. Collaborating with the best of the best, you'll feel challenged and inspired to do breakthrough work. Together, there's no limit to what we can imagine, create and innovate!

    Are we right for you?

    We set the bar higher by bringing our unique talents and points of view to the table every day. We're curious and comfortable with change and are willing to take risks to transform education for the better. Most importantly, we put learning first with everything we do. We also offer a fun, challenging, and rewarding environment with the opportunity to work with some of the most talented people in our industry.

    What You'll Do Here:

    Technology is changing the way we connect, communicate and learn. As a Technical Product Manager here at Cengage, you will help pioneer products that transform the way people learn.  In this role, you'll be most effective by: 


    Knowing our Users:

    Be aware of their workflows, needs, value drivers, decision making process, and unstated intent and goals.

    • Identify the key users who will drive growth
    • Clearly articulate the target users' workflows
    • Understand their goals, value drivers, and unstated intent
    • Document user decision making process and relative importance of decision criteria
    • Understand the role of content and pedagogical approach in key disciplines (and implication for digital builds)


    Knowing the market

    Understanding the market, the products, major course areas, our competitors, and the route to market.

    • Clearly document competitive landscape and key discipline overlay
    • Understand and document the relative competitive position of Cengage products and feature area versus competition
    • Know which of the priority course areas / disciplines drives growth for the platform and the relative importance of value drivers between the priority disciplines (if any)
    • Have clear evaluation in decision making of the impact our decisions have on go to market


    Knowing our business

    Understanding the business context – mission, strategy, competitive differentiators, activations, sell through, sources of activations growth, business resources.

    • Understand and articulate the Higher Education (HED) strategy and how their work ladders up to HED (role within the mission)
    • Seek or define clarification for area of HED strategy that are unclear (make and confirm documented assumptions to allow progress to be made)
    • Document the articulation of our platform and workflow specific competitive differentiators and disadvantages
    • Define, track, and understand implication of all key user KPIs (e.g. activations, usage by site area of responsibility, DAU/WAU/MAU, engagement metrics including content type usage)
    • Understand and articulate how their area and work ladders up to the larger platform and then HED goal


    Making bold business decisions

    Decisions that move us forward will also demand knowledge of the business risks associated with them and implications for all other stakeholders (Discipline Product Managers, Production, Marketing, Sales, Engineering, Architects etc.).

    • Define creative solutions to key user needs that advance our strategy
    • Clearly balance the 'reusability/scale' considerations with decisions that delivery value for the specific priority discipline/program at hand
    • Make decisions that advance the HED business strategy and explicitly evaluate and mitigate the risks associated
    • Clearly evaluate the following when making decisions:
      • Alignment to platform and HED strategy and stated goals
      • Workflow of the discipline editorial teams (including digital production schedules)
      • Workflow of the go to market teams
    • Actively manage the technology risk, debt and non-functional requirements as part of the roadmap


    Being an Integrator

    Lead cross-functionally at all levels. Push information and drive understanding of the strategy and path of execution.

    • Maintain an open, updated and prioritized backlog that has a clearly understandable set of user intent / value stories
    • Actively communicate with relevant stakeholders (Global Product Technology, Global Product Management and Go To Market)
    • Understand and owns decision that impact other Cengage stakeholders and users
    • Define and create training for other team members in areas of skill and knowledge in which they excel


    Owning and leading the digital delivery process

    Understand the overall process and their role in the ‘idea to build’ process.

    • Manage, prioritize and execute on the program roadmap through detailed user stories and excellent cross functional communication with Engineering, Architecture, QA, GPM, and other Technical Product Management team members
    • Make time personally and for the team to invest in planning the next build cycle during the current build cycle
    • Communicates vision, strategy, and business value effectively to program team & stakeholders
    • Maintain a clearly documented articulation of 'the why' and makes sure that the user imperative and goal of each story and epic is understood by the team and relevant stakeholders
    • Develop other requirements artifacts (thin slice, process maps/flows etc.) to support the development process
    • Successful delivery of software development projects
    • Maintain scope and meeting established timelines
    • Ensure that all go-to-market enabling activities are executed per plan including sales-enablement training, release communications, and product documentation
    • Effectively manage and groom backlog, with sufficient lead time for team to plan the work
    • Demonstrates proactive ownership of problems until they find a clear solution
    • Consistently deliver planned roadmap value
    • Proactively manage interdependencies across teams


    Understanding our platforms and systems

    Demonstrate foundational understanding of our systems and architecture – importantly how they impact our decision-making process.

    • Make decisions understanding the architectural roadmap and the tradeoffs that may be implied by that
    • Internalize and be able to articulate the implications of the system level diagram / relationships on the program / EPIC at hand

    Skills You Will Need Here:

    • 8+ years of experience in software product management and/or product development.
    • 5+ years of experience managing product
    • A track record of successful product launches
    • Strong understanding of product and profitability modeling, business case generation and validation of potential product ideas.
    • Experience with high growth or transformative companies, or high-growth software divisions within larger companies is a must.
    • Comfort working closely with software teams and engineers.
    • Proven ability to develop analysis-based strategic plans to penetrate markets and develop successful products
    • Demonstrated ability to work within a matrix environment
    • Communication and collaboration skills
    • Experience with systems design and development from business requirements analysis to day-to-day management
    • Proficiency with Agile, Continuous Integration/Development, DevOps SDLC models.
    • Experience in management and/or technology consulting highly preferred
    • BA or equivalent experience, CS or business degree a plus.




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