VP, Platform Product Management

MacMillan Publishers   •  

Austin, TX

Industry: Publishing & Printing


8 - 10 years

Posted 394 days ago

Description Macmillan Learning is a part of the family-owned Holtzbrinck group of companies and is one of the leading educational technology companies. Through deep partnership with the world's best researchers, educators, administrators, and developers, we facilitate teaching and learning opportunities that spark student engagement and improve outcomes. We provide educators with tailored solutions designed to inspire student curiosity and measure progress. Macmillan Learning is comprised of renowned brands including Bedford/St. Martins, W.H. Freeman, Worth Publishers, Sapling Learning, SkyFactor, Intellus Learning, Late Nite Labs, and Hayden-McNeil. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to reflecting a broad representation of differences -- race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, physical ability, age, family status, economic background and status, geographical background and status, and perspective-- in our workplace. The successful candidate for this position will become an employee of Bedford Freeman & Worth Publishing Group, LLC (“BFW”), d/b/a Macmillan Learning. Bedford Freeman & Worth Publishing Group, LLC has developed an affirmative action program in compliance with the NY Department of Education’s guidance. Portions of the affirmative action program are available for review by applicants and employees by contacting Human Resources. Requirements
Purpose of the Role:
The VP, Platform Product Management drives core platform vision, strategy, and development for Macmillan Learning’s next generation and current generation learning solution portfolio. This senior, deeply involved role ensures customer-driven definition of core platform capabilities and business processes that enable a range of market-leading product and business models to be brought to higher education and adjacent markets at scale. The VP, Platform Product Management, has tremendous potential to measurably improve educational outcomes for millions of higher ed and high school students across STEM, Social Sciences, and Humanities curriculum areas.

The VP, Platform Product Management leads a team of Product Owners to define and implement business and product enablement capabilities spanning learning management systems, ecommerce, system integrations, and content production and management infrastructure. This role also is responsible for ensuring current generation platforms remain reliable and competitive, planning user/platform migration as needed.

The Platform Team works closely with other members of the Product Team (Discipline Strategy Team, Assessment Team, Learning Tools Team), as well as UX, Learning Science, and Technology partners to conduct discovery with customers and internal stakeholders to define, validate, and prepare requirement in the form of epics, user stories, and design and other supporting artifacts. Following agile development processes, the Platform Team works closely with Technology and other partners to implement, deliver, and support platform capabilities that enable market-leading learning products that produce measurable learning impact for customers.

The VP, Platform Product Management works to ensure an effective agile product development process, collaborating with the Platform Product Team, Technology, UX, Learning Science, and other partners to continually improve Macmillan’s product development lifecycle. The VP, Platform Product Management and the Platform Product Owners ensure constant and effective communication with partners and stakeholders.

Key Responsibilities:
• Lead, manage, and mentor core Platform Team Product Owners to ensure a motivated, high performing team
• Work with customers, stakeholders, and internal Product/UX/Content partners to conduct customer- and stakeholder-centric discovery to define vision, direction, and agile requirements for core NextGen platform services
• Work in close partnership with Technology teams and other partners to plan, prioritize, develop, and deliver NextGen and Current Gen platform and integration capabilities

Competencies Needed to Successfully Perform Job:
• Superior collaboration skills with the ability to listen, communicate, and motivate teams to achieve results
• Experience developing scalable service-oriented platforms
• Deep experience in Agile methodology, particularly managing product backlogs
• Able to drive discovery, design, and validation processes to understand customer and business needs/pain points, and turn validated learning into a well written and prioritized backlog
• Business analysis capabilities to evaluate development investment ROI
• Experience hiring, mentoring, and developing product owner teams
• Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
• Strong strategic planning capability and ability to engage with details
• Ability to build and maintain strong relationships with a variety of internal functional partners and stakeholders
• Strong customer orientation, with drive and curiosity to understand their needs, pain points, workflows, and goals
• Superior planning and implementation skills
• Demonstrated success in product strategy
• Knowledge of higher ed markets a plus

Education & Skills Required:
• Bachelor's Degree Required
• Minimum 8 to 10 years’ experience leading product development teams to design and deliver highly successful, scalable platforms and products
• Sufficient technical experience and aptitude to work effectively with Technology partners
• Higher Education domain experience a plus, but not required
• Experience successfully delivering partner integrations
• 5+ years agile development experience
• 5+ years leading higher performing product development teams
• Proven ability to hire, lead and mentor a high performing product team
• Excellent communication skills - able to clearly communicate, navigate, and build consensus at senior leadership level
• Ability to lead, work, and coordinate effectively across Technology, UX, Learning Science, Product, Content, and Business System teams.
• Equally comfortable and capable functioning at strategic and project detail levels
• Extensive experience leading agile product teams
• Strong technical aptitude and knowledge to facilitate internal and external technology relationships
• Deep commitment to customer involvement throughout platform design and development process
• Ability and drive to obtain and use data to make decisions
• High aptitude for problem solving, decision making, trade-off analysis needed to stay on track towards business deliverable commitments
• Ability to create and manage budgets
• Passion and curiosity for improving education through great technology, content, and design
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