Product Manager (19-20)

Weslaco, TX, United States
Apr 06, 2019
Position at IDEA Public Schools

At IDEA Public Schools, we believe in college for ALL and we are committed to ensuring that all of our students graduate from college. IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school to the fastest-growing network of tuition-free Pre-K-12 public charter schools in the United States sending 100% of our students to college. 50% of our students graduate from college in 6 years - that's 8 times the national rate for students in our communities!

IDEA was founded in 2000 as a single school with 150 students in the Rio Grande Valley. When interest exceeded building capacity, to meet the demands, IDEA's co-founders committed to serving more students in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and beyond. We now serve nearly 45,000 students across Texas and Louisiana. By 2022, IDEA will serve 100,000 students. Be on the lookout for IDEA schools opening near you-with continued growth in our current regions and new launches in Tarrant County (Fort Worth/Arlington), New Orleans, Houston (2020), Permian Basin (2021), and Tampa Bay (2021)!

When you choose to work at IDEA, you are part of our IDEA Team and Family. You will work alongside team members who set and reach ambitious goals every day, are excited to continue to grow with IDEA, and work relentlessly to make college for all a reality.

To learn more about IDEA, check out this video .

Role Mission: The Product Manager is responsible for managing the IDEA software development product development from the concept stage to the production stage. Additionally, the Product Manager works to maximize product by foreseeing stakeholder and end-user demands based on their business needs and serves as a liaison between stakeholders and the development/implementation teams. This role is responsible for ensuring that best practices are followed, goals are met, and projects and related operations are conducted effectively during development. The Product Manager is often in charge of coordinating product-implementation strategies to ensure that operations are properly conducted with a primary focus on improving instructional and operational processes and efficiencies so that IDEA educators can focus on what matters -- student success.

Often, software product managers facilitate the optimization of the development process. They gather user input to prioritize software requirements for current and future versions, constantly review correct implementation, help with training tasks for the support team, and create innovative strategies to adapt to newer technologies. During testing and deployment, this role must also be able to accurately and effectively present software features to audiences with varying degrees of technical and policy understanding. Overall, this job requires the ability and desire to work and communicate well in a dynamic team environment as well as dependability and self-sufficiency.


  • 100% of all Software Development agile development will be tracked, monitored and reported to achieve specific trends in the areas of planned-to-done ratios (positive trend). Support for this departmental goal includes the following activities:

    • Management of central product management system (AHA!).
    • In collaboration with end-users, stakeholders and the Data Steering Committee, develop user stories, capturing needs and requirements.
    • When appropriate, facilitate focus groups during the requirements phase(s).
    • In collaboration with primary stakeholders and the Data Steering Committee, confirm and facilitate prioritized monthly sprints across products.

  • 100% of all Software Development agile development will be tracked, monitored and reported to achieve specific trends in the areas of cycle time (negative trend). Cycle time is highly correlated to fluid communications. Support for this departmental goal includes the following activities:

    • Design, develop, implement and document deployment best practices and protocols, administration processes, emergency protocols for all core projects.
    • Develop areas of needed clarity with stakeholders/end-users and communicate needed changes organized within sprints to the development team in a timely manner.
    • Organize work streams based on story points and recommend priorities based on available resources.

  • 100% of all Software Development agile development will be tracked, monitored and reported to achieve specific trends in the areas of escaped defects (negative trend).

    • Provide regular, relevant feedback to iterative work/ testing support of beta products to lessen the possibility of defects.
    • As a part of the feedback process, capture and document issues for review by the development team.
    • Perform end-user/stakeholder usability testing prior to deployment

  • Ensure quality, relevancy, reliability, and impact of developed solutions as measured by Net Promoter Score growth of 10 across maturing products (VP/Principal Dashboards, APO Dashboards, Teacher Dashboards)

    • Survey core product end-users at regular intervals.
    • Evaluate survey results and develop recommendations for next steps based on the results
    • Convey survey results to the Data Steering Committee for further consideration.

  • We look for Team and Family who embody the followingvaluesand characteristics:
    • Believes and is committed to our missionand being an agent of change: that all students are capable of getting to and through college
    • Has demonstrated effectiveoutcomes and results, and wants to be held accountable for them
    • Has a propensity for action, willing to make mistakes by doing in order to learn and improve quickly
    • Works with urgency and purpose to drive student outcomes
    • Thrives in an entrepreneurial, high-growth environment; is comfortable with ambiguity and change
    • Seeks and responds well to feedback, which is shared often and freely across all levels of the organization
    • Works through silos and forges strong cross-departmental relationshipsin order toachieve outcomes
    • We believe in education asa professionand hold ourselves to high level of conduct, professionalism and behaviors as models for our colleagues and students.

    Supervisory Responsibilities
    • This role leads and oversees the work of others in a project capacity as a product subject matter expert:
    • Gathers business requirements in collaboration with upper management
    • Participates in developing the best strategy based on identified risks and available resources
    • Provides basis for creating estimates for the time necessary to complete work
    • Ensures product documentation is kept up to date
    • Closely collaborates with development team to ensure that deadlines are met and/or slippage is proactively communicated

    • Record of results
    • Achievement oriented
    • Analytical thinking for data driven decision making
    • Customer service
    • Managing others to achieve results
    • Planning and organization with strong attention to detail
    • Strong verbal and written communication skills


    • Bachelor's degree from four-year college or university in Information Technology/Computer Science

    • Minimum of 5 years of product/project management experience in the software industry. Enterprise applications software, and other software experience a plus
    • Minimum 3 years of experience managing products focused on Reporting, Analytics, Business Intelligence, or Artificial Intelligence.
    • Balance of business and technical understanding of software, systems and Cloud products
    • Demonstrated ability to collect and analyze input from multiple sources (clients, sales, engineering, competitors, marketing and management)
    • Superior written and verbal communications skills, including the ability to listen carefully and to communicate effectively within a diverse environment
    • Resourceful, results-oriented in an ambiguous and fast-paced environment
    • Self-starter and proven team player

    Licenses or Certifications:
    • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) preferred
    • Agile/Scrum

    Knowledge and Skills:
    • Vision Communication and Dissemination
    • Strategic Thinking
    • Analytical Skills for data driven decision making
    • Agile/Scrum
    • IT Project Management and IT Support Troubleshooting
    • System Design

    • Salaries for this role typically fall between $48,600 and $60,800 , commensurate with relevant experience and qualifications. This role is also eligible for a performance bonus based on individual and organizational performance and goal attainment.

    IDEA Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability, in admission or access to, or treatment of employment in its programs and activities. Any person having inquiries concerning the organization's compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), or Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), may contact IDEA Human Resources at (956) 377-8000.

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