Director, Product Management
Blackboard - Washington, DC

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Blackboard Analytics (formerly iStrategy) is the industry leader in developing analytics applications for higher education. Our products deliver self service analytics reporting capabilities to enable our customers to improve institutional performance. The products are comprised of dimensional data warehouses, pre-built integration (ETL) with leading higher education systems (e.g., Oracle PeopleSoft, SunGard Banner and Datatel Colleague), the market-leading Blackboard course management suite, OLAP cubes and analytic reporting capabilities via dashboards, guided data exploration and enterprise reporting capabilities. We are looking for a highly motivated, self-starter to join our Product Management team to support one of our exciting new product initiatives.


This critical product management leader within Blackboard Analytics will be an integral member of the senior product team which is responsible for overall Blackboard Analytics product planning, product roadmap and requirements, and product release planning and go-to-market activities supporting sales and current clients. You will have personal responsibility for product planning and policy, requirements, contract value/sales targets, and roadmap associated with Blackboard’s Analytics suite of Administrative Modules, with particular focus on Student Management and Financial Aid. Secondary level of focus would include the Finance, Advancement and HR modules.

You will function as an internal advocate for the market- and product-specific revenue, responsible for communicating product direction with all areas of the company. Key partners will exist within Product Development, Product Marketing, Sales, and Client Services. With an outstanding understanding of your technologies, market requirements, product adoption trends and implementation successes/challenges, you will cultivate a variety of channels to qualify market insight, and requirements, and work cross-departmentally and cross-company to drive future product versions in support of business strategy and revenue targets.

Key Responsibilities
  • Manage your product line life cycle from strategic planning to tactical activities
  • Specify market requirements for current and future products by conducting market research supported by on-going visits to customers and non-customers. Gather and analyze data from multiple internal and external channels including product strategy, product marketing, sales, and support, direct client interaction, and market sizing to develop revenue-based product plans and associated Market Requirements Documents
  • Model the product implementation planning and execution; periodically lead client implementations of your specified product to advocate for and enhance implementation and adoption methodology
  • Develop relationships with customers and client thought leaders in our market to help inform decision making. Represent Blackboard in key internal, client, and industry forums to convey product strategy and roadmap, and solicit client and market feedback
  • Work with clients and across Blackboard internal departments to develop go-to-market plans and ensure operational readiness at critical product release periods (release notes, marketing materials, client case studies, and formal client input-to-field trial programs)
  • Assist throughout the product development lifecycle by reviewing and guiding product design specifications, user interface specifications, and test plans to ensure critical business requirements are met
  • Assist in ownership of other key Blackboard Analytics product management responsibilities including but not limited to business intelligence tools, reporting, process improvement, cross-department leadership, market-facing support, and strategy.
  • At least 5 years experience as a Product Manager in an educational software, administrative software, or related technology or enterprise software discipline. Experience and success managing both small teams and cross-functional project assignments across the software development lifecycle
  • Strong working knowledge of at least one of the leading higher education ERP platforms, including Oracle PeopleSoft, Ellucian Banner (formerly SunGard) and Ellucian Colleague (formerly Datatel). Multiple platform experience ideal
  • Significant experience in the key higher education management processes including Strategic Enrollment Management, Retention Initiatives, Financial Aid Leverage, Academic Resource Utilization (Building Space and Faculty)
  • Experience with and understanding of software development, data exchange, OLAP / MS Analysis Services, dimensional data modeling, and related technologies
  • Project Management Experience a plus
  • Ability to create functional specifications and communicate requirements to technical consultants
  • Experience with generating reporting or business intelligence requirements derived from ERP data, possibly including experience with one or more BI/Reporting Tools
  • Proven ability to rapidly master and become fluent in newly experienced end-user software
  • Experience with key higher education analytics trends, impact, and relevant competitors or industry standards
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Comfortable and effective in small group and large group presentations. Compelling and accurate writing ability
  • Collaborative. Proven ability to work cross functionally and informally to achieve overall business objective and product sales and go-to-market results
  • Flexible and adaptive. Up to 25% travel including occasional international travel including client implementation travel required
  • Bachelor's degree required; Masters Degree preferred
  • Project Management Experience; associated professional or PMI certifications a plus
  • Ability to create functional specifications and communicate requirements to technical consultants
  • Experience with one or more BI/Reporting Tools and proven ability to master new end-user software
  • Ability to write or experience documenting basic SQL queries from enterprise databases
  • Familiarity with dimensional modeling methodology for data warehousing

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Chalk up Blackboard's success to the Internet. Blackboard develops software that lets schools create Internet-based learning programs...