Location: Princeton, NJ
Reports to: VP, Solutions Development
Email Resume to:
Learning Ally--a non-profit education solutions company dedicated to improving the lives of struggling learners at school, home, and in their lives-- began 70 years ago as Recording for the Blind with a mission to provide access to books for those who were blind or visually impaired. With a history of evolving that initial mission to serve even more readers and learners, Learning Ally continues to grow its vision and solution offerings.
Our solutions are currently in over 20,000 schools nationwide. We are passionate about growth, both internally and for the educators and students we serve. Our partnerships with world-renowned researchers at institutions like UC San Francisco and MIT are allowing us to develop new ground-breaking solutions that allow for early identification of literacy challenges, as well as cognitive strengths and weaknesses of students. We believe we can fundamentally change the way education works for the over 60% of students who are currently struggling by understanding how students learn and developing educational solutions to meet the needs of students.
Purpose of Position:
We are seeking an experienced Director with deep understanding of Product Management, specifically on the strategic, go-to-market aspects of releasing high value educational software solutions. This candidate will report directly to the Vice President of Solutions Development and will be responsible for product lifecycle across multiple product portfolios. As such, the candidate will need to be both a team player and a coach—leading without direct authority, yet delivering the best in class solutions for multiple market niches. The Director must be able to see from both the 1,000- and 1-foot views, providing enough detail and steering the course to deliver against the business roadmap. The Director must have direct experience as a Product Manager with an emphasis on the business strategy: valuation, market segmentation, product vision, key metrics, launch, and lifecycle. This candidate must have experience in PreK-12 market. Director should have comfort working in ambiguity periodically, using business goals and roadmap as guide to solve problems as they arise. This role requires high level of analytical skills. Candidate should be able to synthesize multiple sources of complex information and data to refine strategy, solutions, workflows, and processes.
Primary Position Objectives:
- Development and execution of research plans to guide product planning
- Gathering effective and clear product and business requirements from internal and customer stakeholders
- Ability to have firsthand understanding of and empathy for end users
- Ability to develop personas, story maps, and user stories
- Creation of clear Product Requirements Documentation at both document (high level) and ticket (detailed) levels
- Adherence to Agile Scrum SDLC; collaborate with Product Managers, Scrum Master and Development leadership to deliver quality software solutions on time and on budget
- Management and prioritization of a multi-product backlog
- Development of effective release plans from established roadmap based on business priorities, customer needs, and organization readiness
- Familiarity with Confluence/Jira, Trello, A-ha!
- Ability to conduct market research and write business cases
- Creation of comprehensive product roadmap outcomes and outputs across multiple product portfolios
- Understanding of the education sector funding and spending decisions, especially for special education, intervention, and Title I
- Ability to write value propositions, using personas and market research to provide for the most important needs for our students and educators
- Creation of competitive intelligence to assist marketing and sales
- Experience with technology implementations in school districts
- Planning and execution of Go-To-Market plans for feature and product releases
- Effective project management, with the ability to manage multiple simultaneous projects
- Ability to understand and ensure that the organization’s goals and strategies are supported by product development
Leadership, Collaboration, and Communication
- Excellent people skills
- Ability to communicate at both detailed and high levels, understands what level of detail a given audience requires
- Ability to identify and work with various cross-departmental stakeholders to garner consensus on release plans and to provide support for product launches
- Ability to manage multiple products across entire Solutions portfolio by collaborating and leading with product pillar leads
- Mentoring and/or people management
- Ability to build and manage relationships across departments with sometimes competing priorities.
- Ability to know who needs to be in the room to move initiatives forward
Bachelors in Education (preferred), Business, IT or similar field minimum.
At least 10 years of related experience in education, education technology, instructional design, and/or educator professional development.
At least 5 years of experience directly tied to Product Management (designing, developing, delivering, and maintaining) high-value technology solutions for educators and learners.
- Having been a certified reading specialist or classroom teacher
- Knowledge of literacy coaching
- Authoring educational resources
- Designing or delivering professional development to teachers and administrators
- Driving accessibility guidelines in technology product development
- Designing and executing UX research
- Product marketing management
10% or less
General office environment. Work is generally sedentary in nature but may require standing and
walking for up to 10% of the time. The working environment is generally favorable. Lighting and
temperature are adequate, with no hazardous or unpleasant conditions caused by noise, dust, etc.
Work is generally performed within an office environment, with standard office equipment available.
This position profile identifies the key responsibilities and expectations for performance. It cannot
encompass all specific job tasks that an employee may be required to perform. Employees are required
to follow any other job-related instructions and perform job-related duties as may be reasonably
assigned by his/her supervisor.
Learning Ally Benefits:
- Medical Insurance Benefits (Cigna Health Savings Account)
- Dental & Vision benefits
- Short-term and Long-term disabilities benefits
- Health Flexible Spending Account
- Life Insurance Benefits
- 401k Plan – With Organizational Matching program
- Generous PTO Policies per calendar year