Associate Product Manager

Job details

Suggested skill score: 180

Skills Breakdown

Teaching Strategies, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is the leader in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) sector, providing the most widely-used developmental assessment and curriculum system in the US, serving children from birth through 3rd?grade.? Recently, Teaching Strategies launched a first-of-its-kind platform that integrates digital curriculum, assessment, and family communications solutions to accelerate learning outcomes for all kinds of children, teachers, and programs. Even before the announcement of the market-moving Build Back Better legislation,Teaching Strategies has been experiencing significant growth and was recently purchased by KKR, one of the largest private equity companies in the world.

The Early Childhood Education sector has been one of the fastest growing segments of the Education market over the past few years.?With bi-partisan support and an increasing understanding of the positive impact that whole child development can have on academic and life success, the sector is expected to continue significant growth in the public and private sectors in the coming years worldwide. Additionally, Build Back Better promises to dramatically expand access to high quality early childhood education.

In addition to the very healthy market tailwinds, there are two other significant reasons this opportunity is compelling:

  • There are few sectors where the intersection of for-profit and for-good combine so powerfully. The opportunity to create lasting effect on human outcomes is profound: 80% of the human brain is formed by the age of 3 and providing the right developmental experiences from birth to age 5 have an outsized effect on what happens in school and, more importantly, in life. By 3rd grade, developmental deficits are very difficult to remediate and too often seed indelible effect. There is no way to move the needle on human opportunity more drastically than improving the quality and availability of effective early childhood learning.
  • The early childhood space is a step or two behind the advances seen in similar industries such as healthcare in which the application of powerful data, recommendation engines, dashboards, and interactive tools has significantly increased the speed and precision of diagnosis, remediation, and interaction between practitioner and patient. Early childhood education is one of the few last frontiers in which technology and data can truly be force multipliers.
  • There is no other company in the market with the reach, reputation, mission-orientation, balance sheet, and financial sponsors to make the kind of significant and accelerated headway over the next few years as Teaching Strategies.
  • The Director of Product, Platform Services will be critical in pushing this agenda forward. With the investment dollars and culture to support explosive growth this individual will contribute significantly to Teaching Strategies impact and revenue goals.
The Opportunity

Do you get excited about the prospect of leading empowered cross-functional product teams to build intuitive products that solve meaningful problems impacting society? Do you want to apply design thinking best practices and the latest technology to help elevate the teaching and learning experience for early childhood education? We’re looking for passionate and intellectually curious product leaders with experience building digital SaaS and/or consumer products who are ready to roll-up their sleeves and join our team!

Based anywhere in the U.S. and reporting into our growing Product Management team, Associate Product Managers work to create new product experiences and functionality across one or more of our key ecosystem pillars spanning assessment, teacher experience, family engagement, professional development, data & reporting, and platform services.

You will serve as the Product Owner for your Scrum team as you drive the product vision from back-of-the-napkin ideation through launch in close collaboration with design / UX, engineering, internal stakeholders, other Product Managers, and customer end-users. Your charge will be to lead a cross-functional team to identify and build digital solutions that are usable, feasible, and add demonstrable value to teachers, families, and children.

You will be responsible for understanding the needs and jobs-to-be-done of customer end-users and breaking down complexity into well-articulated user stories, requirements, and acceptance criteria with our technology team. You will represent the voice of the customer and drive good decision making in partnership with Senior Product Managers, answer questions from your team, and ensure that your team is delivering against the product roadmap while maintaining operational excellence.

Success in this role will require you to have a bias for action, sound judgment to make high-quality decisions quickly, and a natural ability to build alignment as you move your team and ideas forward using data-driven analysis, logic, research, and strong problem solving as your tools of the trade.

  • Wear the “Product Owner” hat as a servant/leader for one or more agile scrum team (s)
  • Collaborate with Product Managers, UI/UX, Engineers, internal stakeholders, and customers to create solution(s) to meaningful problems and translate high-level vision and solution designs into user stories w/ clear acceptance criteria that are ready for development to begin
  • Engage with customers and customer-facing stakeholders as-needed to validate new concepts and prototypes, collect beta feedback, and inform short- and long-term prioritization decisions
  • Work directly with Senior Product Managers and Engineering Managers to ensure the product backlog is groomed and prioritized to best achieve product vision and org goals
  • Collaborate with Product Managers, Engineering Managers, QA, and DevOps to build the context and confidence to prioritize user stories, bugs, security issues, tech debt, and other key items for the scrum team
  • Track and report on product health metrics, progress to OKRs, and roadmap milestones
  • Actively understand, communicate, and manage risk
  • Ability to step back and see the whole ecosystem and provide solutions that impact the entire user flow, not only discrete features
  • Assist Scrum Masters, Project Managers, Marketing, and Product Support w/ translating technical details for tech and non-tech audiences (e.g., release notes, KB updates, training, etc.)
  • Attend all agile scrum ceremonies and represent the voice of the customer
  • Support Product Managers with market research, competitive analysis, product usage analysis, and product discovery research as needed
  • Partner with customer support and partner success teams to serve as a go-to-resource for prioritizing strategic feedback and engaging in continuous discovery
Required Experience
  • 4+ years of relevant work experience designing and delivering SaaS or consumer software products in cross-functional teams, preferably on a product management team in a digital native company
  • 4+ years of experience leading cross-functional agile/scrum teams as a Product Manager and/or Product Owner in an agile development environment
  • The ability to thrive in a fast-paced, collaborative, agile environment
  • Able to produce results independently as well as collaboratively in a cross-functional team
  • Experience working side-by-side with software developers, making good prioritization decisions, and creating feedback loops to determine the efficacy of your solution
  • A bachelor’s degree in CS, Engineering, UI/UX, HCI, or related field is a plus
  • Experience working in early childhood education or educational measurement is a plus
A Future At Teaching Strategies Includes
  • The chance to work with a passionate and highly functional team of leaders who are opening doors to lifelong learning and opportunity
  • The opportunity to consolidate a fragmented market working closely with PE ownership
  • The opportunity to drive aggressive growth and impact in a company…and to be compensated accordingly
  • The flexibility to live anywhere in the United States
  • The opportunity to wake up in the morning feeling really good about what you do for a living
Teaching Strategies offers our employees a robust suite of benefits and other perks which include:
  • Competitive compensation package
  • Employee equity program
  • Robust benefits package including 401k with employer match (includes coverage for spouses, domestic partners and children)
  • Professional development and growth opportunities
  • Tuition assistance
  • 100% paid life, short and long term disability insurance
  • Voluntary life and critical illness insurance
  • Unlimited paid time off (which includes paid holidays and Winter Break)
  • Paid parental leave programs
Teaching Strategies, LLC is committed to creating a diverse workplace and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer of Minorities, all Genders, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

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