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Job Opening: Product Manager (Home Office) - Oakland

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  • Anne Christensen
    Aspire Public Schools, California s top-performing large, high-poverty school system, changes the odds for low-income students. We educate 12,000 students in
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 27 2:45 PM

      Aspire Public Schools, California's top-performing large, high-poverty school system, changes the odds for low-income students. We educate 12,000 students in 34 schools in 9 cities across CA. We make a promise to every single Aspire student: College for Certain. In both 2010 and 2011, 100% of our seniors graduated with admission to a four-year college or university.


      The Product Manager will be part of Team Godzilla, a diverse team of professionals with backgrounds in technology, business, and education.  Godzilla is dedicated to delivering technology solutions that support Aspire's mission.  Our team loves data, good design, teachers, kids, crazy ideas, and great sandwiches.


      Godzilla is continually launching new products.  Recent launches have included a new intranet platform, a Teacher Data Portal, a Principal data dashboard, and a Teacher Resources Library; upcoming launches include a new professional development system for teachers and a blended learning data management system.  Additionally, this year Godzilla has developed an externally-facing website, www.schoolzilla.org, to offer some of the tools developed within Aspire to educators across California (and soon beyond!)   Godzilla products are often new not only to Aspire but to the education sector as a whole.  We pride ourselves on doing whatever it takes to deliver what our educators need.  Meeting those needs often requires us to push the boundaries of education technology forward, either by building tools in-house or partnering with technology entrepreneurs.


      General Summary: 

      The Product Manager will manage the definition, development, and growth of both Schoolzilla and the technology component of Aspire's blended learning pilots, as well as other potential Godzilla projects.  Godzilla's success is due in part to our team's collaborative, user-focused approach.  We rely on our product managers to make that approach work. 


      Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

      Own the product development lifecycle from end to end, and engage all relevant stakeholders (Aspire's educational team, Aspire's technical team, Aspire's leadership team, technology vendors, and subject-matter experts) effectively in that process.  For Schoolzilla and other Godzilla software projects, this work will require more traditional product management: developing a vision, managing product development, and overseeing implementation.  For blended learning, the work will involve supporting Aspire's academic team in tackling the technical and data management issues involved with the blended learning pilots and programs Aspire pursues.


      Product Vision

      ·         Develop in-depth understanding of user needs (teachers, principals, and support staff), and serve as a champion for those needs

      ·         Translate user needs into a product vision

      ·         Develop a business case to persuade Aspire's leadership team to invest resources in the product


      Product Development

      ·         Work backwards from user needs to define requirements and develop a product roadmap

      ·         Balance user needs, technical considerations, and resource constraints

      ·         Work with internal and external resources to deliver on the product roadmap

      ·         Effectively track and report on the team's progress


      Product Implementation

      ·         Plan and manage pilots as needed

      ·         Plan and manage successful product launches

      ·         Use training, marketing, and other strategies to ensure high levels of user adoption; define and track other key measures of success

      ·         Collect best practices and lessons learned

      ·         Define a roadmap and vision for future versions of the product


      Blended Learning Project Management

      ·         Support Aspire's academic team in implementing and managing the technology components of blended learning pilots

      ·         Work with third-party software vendors to create a seamless user experience for Aspire teachers and students

      ·         Collaborate with internal and external technology resources to capture, extract, and present data to teachers, students and other blended learning constituents


      In addition, the Product Manager will perform other duties as required to help Team Godzilla support Aspire teammates, including but not limited to:

      ·         Provide effective data analysis to support decision making decision-making support for teachers, principals, and home office staff.

      ·         Become an authority on Aspire's mission-critical data systems and education technology, and use that expertise to support Aspire teammates



      Organization Relationships: 

      This position is based in Oakland, California and works closely with staff at all levels within our home office and schools, with outside consultants,  software entreprenuers and vendors. 



      1) Required knowledge, skills & abilities:

      ·         Proven ability to effectively lead cross-functional teams with diverse skills and interests

      ·         Conversant with technology and able to manage a technical team; track record of establishing effective relationships with people in business and technical roles

      ·         Entrepreneurial spirit; ability to work independently

      ·         Excellent organization, time management and follow-up skills; high sense of urgency; demonstrated ability to successfully handle multiple projects concurrently

      ·         Demonstrated ability to learn new tools, systems, and processes quickly

      ·         Strong analytical and research skills; able to develop cost effective solutions for complex problems

      ·         Excellent written and spoken communication skills

      ·         A sense of humor, the ability to find joy in hard work on a tough problem, and a passionate belief in Aspire' s mission


      2) Desired knowledge, skills, and abilities

      ·         Understanding of software development processes , including agile development, use cases, usability testing

      ·         Experience with the core components of Aspire's technical infrastructure:  Data Warehouses, SQL, Tableau, and Microsoft SharePoint

      ·         Experience or familiarity with web technologies including PHP, Ruby, Java, and  MySQL

      ·         Experience or familiarity with educational software, particularly student-facing software like iPass, Read180, or Dreambox


      2) Minimum education level:

      ·         Bachelor's degree; master's degree or equivalent experience preferred


      3) Experience required:

      ·         Experience or strong interest in K-12 public education

      ·         4+ years work experience in technology, business analysis, consulting, or product management.

      ·         Experience working in dynamic, high-performing environments


      How To Apply:

      Due to high volume of applications, we can only accept applications submitted via our website at http://careers.aspirepublicschools.org. To apply for the Product Manager position, select "Home Office" as the School Location prior to your search. Thank you!


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