Technical Product Manager

Cengage - Raleigh, NC (30+ days ago)3.7


Do you dare to reinvent the future of education?
At Cengage, we are 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 will pioneer transforming the way people learn. Collaborating with the best of the best, you will feel challenged and inspired to do breakthrough work. With the support of our united team, there is no limit to what you can imagine, create and set in motion.

Are we right for you?
We bring our "A" game, unique talents and point of view to the table every day. We are curious and comfortable with change and are willing to take risks to transform education. Most importantly, everything we do, we do for the learner.

What You'll Do Here:Know the User:
Know 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)

Know the market:
Understand 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

Know our business:
Understand our 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

Make bold business decisions:
Decisions will move us forward while understanding 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

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

Maintain an open and updated and prioritized backlog that has a clearly understandable set of user intent / value stories
Actively communicate with all 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

Own and Lead 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

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

Demonstrate foundational understanding of our systems and architecture
Make decisions understanding the architectural roadmap and the tradeoffs 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:
7-10 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

Ideal Education

BA or equivalent experience, CS or business degree a plus