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Platform Product Manager

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Date: Apr 13, 2018

Location: Ipswich, MA, US, 01938

Company: EBSCO Industries Inc

EBSCO Information Services (EIS) provides a complete and optimized research solution comprised of e-journals, e-books, and research databases — all combined with the most powerful discovery service to support the information needs and maximize the research experience of our end-users. Headquartered in Ipswich, MA, EIS employs more than 3,300 people worldwide. We are the leader in our field due to our cutting-edge technology, forward-thinking philosophy, and top-notch workforce. EIS, a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., based in Birmingham, AL, is ranked in the top 200 of the nation’s largest, privately held corporations according to Forbes magazine. EBSCO is a company that will motivate you, inspire you, and allow you to grow. We are looking for the best. If you are too, we encourage you to explore our unique opportunities.



The Platform Product Manager (PM) plays a pivotal ownership role in driving platform product strategy solutions to live for EIS’s on-prem and AWS cloud based platform. This requires a breadth of knowledge and understanding of system solutions and strategy and the ability to decompose Epics into features that are well understood and digested by the ARTs and teams. The successful Platform PM is a skilled collaborator and communicator, who can masterfully translate business strategy and objectives into tactical work attributes using Agile methodologies that result in ARTs and teams delivering on commitments that meet customer expectations. The Platform PM is considered a feature owner, partnering with Platform leadership, subject matter experts and Program Teams to translate the vision into reality. Specifically, using solutions capabilities to extract appropriate and timely features.  as We are looking for a hands-on leader who enjoys working in a fast-paced, agile environment as part of the newly formed Platform Leadership organization, who possesses a unique blend of business and technical savvy and the drive to make vision a reality.


Primary Responsibilities:


• Creates the Program Vision and near-term Roadmap for the ART

• Collaborates with key business and platform stakeholders to acquire an in-depth knowledge of Product/Technology Strategy and subsequent Product and Platform Long Range Plans 

• Collaborates with key stakeholders in Portfolio and Product Management to acquire an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the product and platform development initiatives (Epics).

• Understands and can implement “Full” SAFe (“Scaled Agile Framework”) creating and disseminating capabilities as culled from Epics:

  1. Decompose Epics into capabilities that are easily understood,
  2. Collaborate with ART Program Team(s) and the Solitons Train  to cull Features from capabilities,
  3. Validate agile development team user story creation from aforementioned features.

• Builds an effective Product Manager / Product Owner Team to support the teams on the ART to deliver on high quality and vision commitments

• Collaborates with members of the Program Team and other stakeholders and the ART Teams to manage the flow, sequencing and prioritization of Features in the Program Backlog

• Demonstrates a focus on quality through acceptance of the Features and works with the team and Program Team to ensure System/Release Definition of Done has been met

• Facilitates constant collaboration with Customers and stakeholders to create and accept Features based on their needs

• Works with Platform Leaders and Analysts in all platform contexts.

• Works with the Solutions Train across capability contexts

• Understands the business need that drives the vision of the architectural runway and how it supports business development

• Collaborates and shepherds the process of seeing strategy to delivery as it relates to platform product solutions. Unifies the work of architects and agile development teams.

• Provide thought leadership, mentorship and guidance for empowering high performing engineering delivery teams.




Role Based Competencies:


• Teamwork: Actively participates in ART ceremonies; be present/available to the teams; addresses conflict directly; demonstrates flexibility; holds priorities of the ART above individual goals.

• Communication: Communicates priority/goals of features to stakeholders & ensures transparency on these; solicits & gives feedback from/to business owners & stakeholders; liaises between teams, ART stakeholders & support groups.

• Consensus Building: Directly addresses & works through disagreements; gains agreement & commitment around working actions; demonstrates empathy; involves Program team, business owners & ART stakeholders and ensures all ideas & opinions are considered.

• Builds and Information Network: Proactively seeks information from stakeholders; establishes relationships with key stakeholders (on-ART & beyond); demonstrates curiosity; uses every opportunity to learn & make a personal connection to a task, tool, or process; participates in Community of Practice; shares information & insight with others.

• Customer Focus: Provide/create market &/or competitor research or intelligence to enhance customer focus; evangelize for customer needs. 

• Market Focus: Creates & shares relevant market-level info to provide context for ART's work; thinks broadly about market & industry impact of ART's work.

• Product Focus: Develops product vision & communicates how ART's work fits into the overall product strategy; effectively presents product information to all audiences as necessary (teams, stakeholders, etc.); shares knowledge regarding product's function and value with end-users.

• Content Authority: Demonstrates confidence and understanding of context to make timely decisions at the feature level to facilitate progress; Constantly evaluates scope to ensure it continues to align with Success criteria/Customer and market needs; Negotiates and makes responsible decisions on scope, sequencing, and timing.

• Requirements Analysis: Exhibits willingness, enthusiasm, and ability to learn quickly about new domains; Uses a variety of proven techniques to elicit context, problems, and requirements concerning the customer and product in order to assist with feature creation; Demonstrates the ability to communicate complex information clearly and appropriately to a range of audiences.

• Prioritization: Uses the SAFe prioritization process when making decisions about emergent work and whether to interrupt current work or wait until next Iteration/PI planning. Demonstrates the courage to say no, and an understanding of trade-offs. Articulates goals for each Program Increment that are tied to making progress against the committed EPIC(s) and stand-alone features/stories, to maximize delivery of business value with strict attention to sequencing of work. Communicates regularly to the ART and to the Business Stakeholders and Release Management Team on the priorities and commitments of the PI to keep teams focused and the business informed.

• Execution: Comes to ceremonies and meetings prepared with a clear understanding of priorities in order to remove blockers and maintain focus on the right things in the right order. Maintains an actionable backlog of well-articulated, prioritized features that have been scoped and refined by the Systems Architect and SME’s, are viable, and that constitute enough work for the upcoming PI. Follows up on questions from the teams in a timely manner and facilitates getting answers for the team. Looks ahead to identify potential gaps (requirements, dependencies, scope) and seeks early resolution, ensures alignment with EO and Business Owner. Maintains a tight feedback loop with the PO with regards to feature acceptance criteria and feature completeness.

• Achieve Commitments: Supports the teams’ commitments to meet their PI Objectives, while ensuring alignment between ART and EO/Business Owner when PI Objectives are at risk. Takes responsibility and ownership of decisions made on requirements and prioritization/ sequencing. Encourages the ART to make reasonable commitments to achieve predictability. Constantly focuses teams, ART, and stakeholders on success criteria, customer/market value, and objectives.

• Focus: Constantly focuses teams, ART, and stakeholders on success criteria, customer/ market value, and objectives.

• Technical Product Management: Works with the ART, EOs, and Business owners to identify innovative product ideas that the ART could execute upon in I6. Makes use of customer feedback loops (e.g. UAT, usage data, UX feedback) to iteratively improve the product and validate the Epic hypothesis. Understands and applies A/B testing where system capability permits and draws actionable insights from those tests.

• EBSCO Systems & SDLC Knowledge: Create and accept Features that reflect technical understanding of the Platform Product Area as it relates to industry trends. Understands and is familiar in collaboration with the technical aspects of the product to decompose Epic Enablers with the Program Team. Understands the business need that drives the vision of the architectural runway and how it supports business development. Demonstrates knowledge of the technology stack to creates new products and capabilities.

• Lean Agile Mastery: Facilitates constant collaboration with Customers and stakeholders to create and accept Features based on their needs. Prioritizes features using WSJF to schedule the work for the ART. Demonstrates a sense of urgency to identify and mitigate Risks and Dependencies. Honors PI Objectives to ensure the ART can focus on the committed work. Participates in each ART ceremony and can describe the purpose for each. Models the Lean-Agile values that support the SAFe process across the organization. 

• Positive Attitude: Demonstrates a positive attitude and embraces change.


Cultural Competencies:


1. Drive: Cares intensely about EBSCO’s success, is tenacious and will not be denied success, finishes and persists until the task is complete, gives 100%, inspires others with thirst for excellence.

2. Positive Attitude: Displays a ‘can do’ attitude, sees ‘bad news’ and problems as opportunities to improve, doesn’t tolerate negativity, doesn’t complain but provides constructive criticism, sees the glass ‘hall full.’

3. Eagerness to Understand: Learns rapidly and eagerly, seeks to understand our strategy, markets, customers and suppliers, is broadly knowledgeable about business and strategy, contributes effectively outside of specialty, contributes effectively outside area of specialty, understands how work relates to company goals to make improvements consistent with these goals, follows facts and draws logical conclusions even if those conclusions differ from the status quo.

4. Sound Judgement: Makes wise decisions despite ambiguity, identifies root causes and gets beyond treating symptoms, separates what must be done well now and what can be improved later, displays solid logic and common sense, focuses on long-term consequences and not just the short-term

5. Collaboration: Collaborates with others to help maximize work accomplished by the group, embraces individual’s different styles and finds time to help colleagues, realizes that seeking and listening to the opinion of others gains insight and builds team accountability, shares information broadly so that everyone benefits, seeks the best ideas for EBSCO regardless of their source and understands that ego is a career killer.

6. Open Communication: Communicates directly with fact-based positions while avoiding unnecessary confrontation, willing to tell people what they need to hear in a respectful way, is concise and articulate in speech and writing, treats people with respect independent of their status or views, says what you think in a professional manner, listens well to better understand.

7. Accountability: Self motivating, self-aware, self-disciplined and self-improving, proactively does what needs to be done, acknowledges problems, takes responsibility, determines what can be done to solve the problem, acts and demonstrates the ‘See It, Own It, Solve It and Do It’ characteristics described in The Oz Principle.

8. Trust & Respect: Assumes the best in people and their intent to do the right thing, communicates professionally always, treats others as though they like to be treated, experiments, takes initiative and learns from mistakes, doesn’t look to blame individuals, but rather seeks fault in the systems and processes that allow problems to occur and fixes them, gives credit to those deserving of it.


Required Qualifications:


• Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Science, Engineer or related field or equivalent experience

• 6+ years of product development and leadership / management experience

• 2+ years working in Agile, Enterprise Agile or SAFe


Preferred Qualifications:


• Experience with Amazon Web Services technologies 

• Strong understanding of industry development, deployment processes and agile development methodologies desired.



EBSCO Industries, an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable federal, state, and local fair employment practices laws.  EBSCO strictly prohibits and does not tolerate discrimination against employees, applicants, or any other covered persons because of race, color, sex (including pregnancy), age, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.  This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, training, promotion, discipline, compensation, benefits, and termination of employment.

EBSCO complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act, and all applicable state or local law.

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