ETS’s Research & Development division is seeking an innovative and strategic individual to serve as a Senior Product Owner in the Language Learning, Teaching, and Assessment (LLTA) research laboratory, one of three inaugural research laboratories at ETS. The individual will be responsible for galvanizing research & development teams and maximizing the value and utility of the capabilities and product concepts created in the lab.
The Senior Product Owner will help shape and execute the strategy of the LLTA lab by identifying customer needs, aligning them with business opportunities, and leading the agile development of market-responsive capabilities and product concepts that enable interconnected language learning and assessment systems and interactive educator training programs.
The individual will play many roles including business strategist, product designer, market analyst, customer liaison, and project manager. To execute these functions successfully the individual will partner closely with members of units throughout ETS including new product development, information technology, strategy, business development, marketing, and the strategic business units. The individual will also collaborate very closely with the other teams in the ETS Research Laboratories.
The Senior Product Owner will report to the Senior Director of the LLTA lab who leads a talented team of scientists and associates with expertise adaptive and interactive learning systems, natural language processing, automated item generation, as well as product owners and developers.
- Contribute to the strategy of the LLTA lab by offering an innovative vision based on market knowledge in support of ETS’s immediate and long-term personalized learning and assessment capabilities and product concepts.
- Maintain a deep knowledge of the relevant markets by developing and refining market and user segments, conducting regular landscape analyses, and LLTA and competitor SWOT analyses.
- Represent the customer in the development team by collecting ongoing data from the market through focus groups, journey mapping activities, interviews, and surveys.
- Cultivate close partnerships with cross-functional units throughout ETS including the research institutes, new product development, information technology, strategy, business development, marketing, and the strategic business units to identify opportunities for commercialization of capabilities, support go-to-market strategies, and align on continued research and optimization of core capabilities, products, and services.
- Facilitate critical ideation workshops with cross-functional groups that result in clear, concise value propositions, identification of agreed market and user segments, and a hypothesized set of core capabilities that the team expects will resonate with the market based on foundational research.
- Act as a core member of LLTA research & development project teams to guide vision definition and ensure project goals remain aligned to business objectives in the often fast-paced agile development processes.
- Own capability and product roadmaps by strategically prioritizing work, calling out key dependencies, and continually aligning the cross-functional groups like corporate development, marketing, and the strategic business units as well as external partners with a key stake in the outcome.
- Oversee the development lifecycle by participating in sprint reviews, making decisions about refinement or pivots by balancing technical and time constraints with the most critical needs of the customers.
Experience and Skills
Education, Certifications, or Special Licenses:
- A Bachelor’s degree in Business Information, Educational Technology, User Experience, or a closely related field is required.
- A Master’s Degree in Business is preferred
Relevant Years of Experience:
- A minimum of eight years in a combination of project management, business development, marketing, product development, and user experience.
- Agile product management experience preferred
- Passionate about educational opportunities and equity in education
- Excellent communication and collaboration skills that foster team motivation and team culture that is inclusive, collaborative, and productive
- In-depth understanding of lean startup, design thinking, and agile methodology (tools, processes, practices, roles)
- Solid management skills (e.g. ability to manage deadlines, prioritize assignment of tasks, identify issues and mitigate / manage risks)
- Demonstrated experience aligning product goals with customer needs
- Application of user centered design and experience with user centered research
- Experience with educational technology
- Experience in the research and development of assessment and learning solutions in various educational contexts (PK, K-12, HED, Language Learning, Professional training) is preferred