Director, Product Development
Choice Hotels International - Phoenix, AZ

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Director, Product Development




As a member of the Product Development and Infrastructure leadership team, the Director, Product Development plays an essential role in setting strategy for the organization to ensure long-term alignment between IT and other business units.

The Director, Product Development provides technical leadership and directs the Product Development functions in alignment with Choices vision and strategy with a service-oriented, solutions-focused, and agile software development approach.

Reports to the Sr. Director, Product Development and Infrastructure. Directs the day-to-day operations of the Product Development department. Is responsible for the work of 40 non-supervisory associates and contractors. Interacts regularly with various leaders and other business stakeholders. Has budget responsibility.

Working in partnership with leadership, develops the strategic direction and implementation plan for the Product Development department to align with corporate objectives and to drive business value.

With a focus on leadership, vision, strategy, culture, best practices and continuous improvement, performs the following personally and through subordinate associates:

*Leads and directs the planning, design, scoping, functional analysis, technical analysis, coding, implementation, and support of the departments software development projects, in accordance with agile software development principles.
*Ensures that technical and quality standards are enforced throughout the software development lifecycle. Ensures compliance with audit or other applicable compliance guidelines.
*Leads and directs the departments efforts to optimize system availability, performance, and the elimination of technical debt.

Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with Choices cultural values and performance principles, Company policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include:
*Actively participating in the interviewing and hiring processes and ensuring successful functional on-boarding of new associates;
*Planning, assigning and directing work for direct reports;
*Setting reasonable stretch performance goals, providing constructive, balanced, regular performance feedback, and conducting bi-annual performance appraisals;
*Recognizing and rewarding performance excellence;
*Communicating and enforcing company policies and programs;
*Applying corrective discipline, addresses complaints and resolving problems in a timely fashion, involving and collaborating with leadership and Human Resources as appropriate.
In collaboration with leadership and Human Resources, develops and executes a plan for retaining and developing talent to meet current and future business objectives to include:
*Engaging in talent review evaluations;
*Collaborating with direct reports on their professional development and growth; and,
*Assisting with developing leadership succession plans for the department.
Directs the risk assessment and corresponding risk mitigation of enhancements, releases and operations of systems to maximize application uptime and performance and to ensure business continuity.
In collaboration with other leaders, identifies and implements improvements to the agile software development practices, while ensuring consistency with agile principles.
Develops and maintains departmental budgets as directed and within company policy.
Education, Experience and Knowledge
*Masters degree (MA, MBA) or four to ten years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
*A minimum of six years experience in the development of highly transactional, mission critical applications in heterogeneous environments/architectures for multi-user systems.
*A minimum of three years of technical leadership experience. Experienced in mentoring associates with significant technical knowledge, development of professional management and leadership skills.
*Proven success in leading and managing software development teams across multiple functions and projects.
*Knowledge of software development best practices, including coding standards, code reviews, source control management, build processes, testing, and operations.
*Knowledge of a broad range of modern programming languages, platforms and open-source technologies.
*Knowledge of a broad spectrum of infrastructure technologies and secure computing environments: network, hardware and operating systems, servers and storage.
*Knowledge of relational data bases and web technologies.
*Knowledge of enterprise application integration and messaging technologies.
*Knowledge of the Scrum software development methodology, and the agile principles of software development
*Knowledge of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).
*Excellent verbal, written and listening communication skills.
*Excellent presentation skills.
*Excellent interpersonal skills and demeanor.
*Strong analytical skills.
*Highly proficient in the use of MS Office applications such as Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
*Ability to lead and motivate others and hold others accountable.
*Ability to drive results in a team-oriented environment.
*Ability to work independently and collaboratively.
*Ability to travel less than 10% of the time.
*Ability to model Choices Values & Performance Principles of collaboration, performance excellence, sense of urgency, openness to new ideas, inclusion & diversity, integrity, customer focus, and respect.

Demonstrated advanced ability in the following competencies:

Dealing with ambiguity
Can effectively cope with change. Can shift gears comfortably. Can decide and act without having the total picture. Isnt upset when things are up in the air. Doesnt have to finish things before moving on. Can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty.
Decision quality
Makes good decisions (without considering how much time it takes) based upon a mixture of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment. Most of his/her solutions and suggestions turn out to be correct and accurate when judged over time. Sought out by others for advice and solutions.

Clearly and comfortably delegates both routine and important tasks and decisions. Broadly shares both responsibility and accountability. Tends to trust people to perform. Lets direct reports and others finish their own work.
Developing direct reports and others
Provides challenging and stretching tasks and assignments. Holds frequent development discussions. Is aware of each persons career goals. Constructs compelling development plans and executes them. Pushes people to accept developmental moves. Will take on those who need help and further development. Cooperates with the developmental system in the organization. Is a people builder.
Accurately scopes out length and difficulty of tasks and projects. Sets objectives and goals. Breaks down work into the process steps. Develops schedules and tasks/people assignments. Anticipates and adjusts for problems and roadblocks. Measures performance against goals. Evaluates results.
Priority setting
Spends his/her time and the time of others on whats important. Quickly zeros in on the critical few and puts the trivial many aside. Can quickly sense what will help or hinder accomplishing a goal. Eliminates roadblocks. Creates focus.

Conflict management
Steps up to conflicts, seeing them as opportunities. Reads situations quickly. Good at focused listening. Can hammer out tough agreements and settle disputes equitably. Can find common ground and get cooperation with minimum noise.

Drive for results
Can be counted on to exceed goals successfully. Is constantly and consistently one of the top performers. Very bottom-line oriented. Steadfastly pushes self and others for results.

Organizational agility
Knowledgeable about how organizations work. Knows how to get things done both through formal channels and the informal network. Understands the origin and reasoning behind key policies, practices, and procedures. Understands the cultures of organizations.
Presentation skills
Is effective in a variety of formal presentation settings: one-on-one, small and large groups, with peers, direct reports, and bosses. Is effective both inside and outside the organization, on both cool data and hot and controversial topics. Commands attention and can manage group process during the presentation. Can change tactics midstream when something isnt working.

Customer focus
Is dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers. Gets first-hand customer information and uses it for improvements in products and services. Acts with customers in mind. Establishes and maintains effective relationships with customers and gains their trust and respect.
Managing diversity
Manages all kinds and classes of people equitably. Deals effectively with all races, nationalities, cultures, disabilities, ages and both sexes. Hires variety and diversity without regard to class. Supports equal and fair treatment and opportunity for all.
Integrity and trust
Is widely trusted. Is seen as a direct, truthful individual. Can present the unvarnished truth in an appropriate and helpful manner. Keeps confidences. Admits mistakes. Doesnt misrepresent him/herself for personal gain.
Peer Relationships
Can quickly find common ground and solve problems for the good of all. Can represent his/her own interests and yet be fair to other groups. Can solve problems with peers with a minimum of noise. Is seen as a team player and is cooperative. Easily gains trust and support of peers. Encourages collaboration. Can be candid with peers.
Is personally committed to and actively works to continuously improve him/herself. Understands that different situations and levels may call for different skills and approaches. Works to deploy strengths. Works on compensating for weaknesses and limitations.

Building effective teams
Blends people into teams when needed. Creates strong morale and spirit in his/her team. Shares wins and successes. Fosters open dialogue. Lets people finish and be responsible for their own work. Defines success in terms of the whole team. Creates a feeling of belonging in the team.
Demonstrates capability in the following competencies:

Command skills
Relishes leading. Takes unpopular stands if necessary. Encourages direct and tough debate but isnt afraid to end it and move on. Is looked to for direction in a crisis. Faces adversity head on. Energized by tough challenges.
Strategic agility
Sees ahead clearly. Can anticipate future consequences and trends accurately. Has broad knowledge and perspective. Is future oriented. Can articulately paint credible pictures and visions of possibilities and likelihoods. Can create competitive and breakthrough strategies and plans.

Comfort around higher management
Can deal comfortably with more senior managers. Can present to more senior managers without undue tension and nervousness. Understands how senior managers think and work. Can determine the best ways to get things done with them by talking their language and responding to their needs. Can craft approaches likely to be seen as appropriate and positive.

About this company
53 reviews
Choice Hotels International is one of the largest and most successful lodging franchisors in the world. Built on the foundation of the...