Continuing to build and improve the Indaba fieldwork platform is a major focus for Global Integrity in the coming years. We feel that Indaba has the potential to transform the government transparency and accountability space, as well as the broader social sector, by providing tools through which individuals and organizations can field more experimental and ambitious research projects at lower cost and at greater scale. Coupled with some sexy new publishing features coming in 2013 -- including tighter integration with Mapbox to easily publish Indaba data on beautiful maps and customizeable widgets that will make web publication easier -- we're incredibly excited about what the future holds. So excited, in fact, that we want to recruit an experienced product manager to lead Indaba moving forward.
We're looking for a half-nerd, half-strategist with a track record of building successful software tools and products. Maybe you come from a commercial software company, maybe you're leading a product or digital strategy at a social sector organization. Regardless, you love building tools that help people solve problems. You get that software isn't the end but the means for achieving more important ends. And you outgrew cliches about "clean code" a few years ago; you know that building successful software is actually a very messy process that involves failure, frustration, and some plain old good luck.
If that sounds a little like you, let's talk.
JOB DESCRIPTION: PRODUCT MANAGER
(INDABA FIELDWORK PLATFORM: HTTP: //GETINDABA.ORG)
Global Integrity (http://www.globalintegrity.org) is an innovation lab that produces high-quality research and creates cutting-edge technology to advance the work of a global network of civic, public, and private reformers pursuing increased transparency and accountability in governments. In addition to our core team, we collaborate with a global network of more than 1,500 in-country contributors and partners who take our technologies, tools, and information to where they are most useful – the local level.
The organization has won an Ashoka "Changemakers" award and an “Every Human Has Rights” award from The Elders and Internews; its methodology for assessing the existence and effectiveness of anti-corruption mechanisms is described by the World Bank as "best practice."
Context and Need
To carry out its fieldwork and research around the world, Global Integrity has developed three generations of software-as-a-service. The latest version of the software – Indaba – is a web-based SaaS used by both Global Integrity and third-party organizations to more efficiently manage and publish large-scale data gathering and reporting generated by geographically distributed teams. For a full description of Indaba, please visit http://getindaba.org.
Moving forward, Global Integrity is placing significant emphasis on rolling out Indaba to a much larger user base in the social sector. We want to grow usage beyond government transparency and accountability practitioners to organizations and individuals working on environmental issues, human rights, and the broader development agenda. We see major potential for Indaba helping that broader community of users and organizations but only if we make the right strategic decisions in the coming years around software development priorities and improving ease of use of the platform.
This new position at Global Integrity – a dedicated, senior Indaba product manager – will oversee Indaba’s software development strategy moving forward and help Global Integrity achieve penetration of the platform into a much larger user base. We have what we feel is a solid piece of software; we are hiring a new colleague to help us transform it from an effective hobby horse into a viable product embraced by a much larger user base. In particular, we want to invest in Indaba in such a way that lay users can fully take control of the design, testing, launching, and publishing of their projects from Indaba without requiring technical assistance from Indaba/Global Integrity staff.
Indaba was conceived of by Global Integrity and designed and built by OpenConcept Systems (OCS), our software development partner. Core system design and strategy work takes place in the Washington, DC area collaboratively between key Global Integrity and OCS staff, including a lead technical and system architect at OCS who designed Indaba’s data model, system architecture, and key system tools. Software development work is carried out by OCS’ development team in China and is overseen by the lead OCS system architect based out of the Washington, DC area. OCS also performs routine system maintenance and troubleshooting of the platform on behalf of Global Integrity.
This position is a unique opportunity to direct platform strategy and product development work towards social good. The ultimate objective of Indaba is to motivate the social sector to embrace more ambitious and disruptive fieldwork through tools that alleviate the pain and suffering typically encountered during the design and execution of large-scale research projects. We think that’s a motivating reason to come to work.
In collaboration with the Global Integrity Executive Director and Indaba Community Manager, leads strategic decision-making around software development priorities for the Indaba fieldwork platform. Designs and is accountable for implementation of a new Indaba product strategy, with a particular focus on moving Indaba away from a consulting-plus-software model to an off-the-shelf, user-controlled, and user-managed platform.
Develops and is accountable for the implementation of a new, uniform end user system documentation strategy for Indaba.
Works closely with the Indaba Community Manager and end users to translate user needs into software development and technical requirements, including user interface mock-ups.
In close collaboration with the Indaba Community Manager and third-party Indaba software development partners, oversees all software development processes for Indaba. Is accountable for defining, overseeing and enforcing product goals, including on-time delivery and deployment of high-quality code that meets defined technical requirements. Serves as the primary day-to-day liaison with Indaba’s software development partners. Is accountable for all testing and debugging of new system features and upgrades.
Washington, DC (at the OpenGov Hub)
Ideal Skill Set
Global Integrity attracts employees from the most distinctive professional and academic backgrounds. There is no cookie cutter ideal candidate for any position at Global Integrity. We are instead more interested in an individual’s drive, professionalism, and entrepreneurial energy. For this particular position, the following factors will strengthen an applicant’s candidacy:
Five (5) to fifteen (15) years of relevant work experience in product development, with experience in designing and managing the strategy behind a successful software product or web application. Familiarity with both agile and waterfall development lifecycles is a plus.
Experience in Internet application development, requirements gathering, and testing.
Experience overseeing software development teams (e.g. programmers and engineers) to ensure timely delivery of high-quality code.
Experience translating user needs into technical requirements.
Familiarity with Java-based Internet applications and architecture, in particular LAMP stacks.
Familiarity and/or experience with designing and implementing software marketing and sales strategies a plus.
Strong writing skills: this means the ability to write a press release, blog post, and system documents with little guidance or copy editing support and the ability to speak comfortably to an expert audience or on camera.
Hyper organized. Worrisomely so.
Precision, organization, and the ability to execute at a consistently high level with little to no micromanagement.
Comfort in a perpetual start-up environment requiring extensive “self-starter” skills with minimal bureaucratic safety nets or backstopping.
Familiarity with an international non-profit environment is helpful but not required. Experience working on collaborative ventures and/or multi-organization initiatives is a plus.
Fluency in English is required.
Our office environment (now spread between Washington, New York, and Cape Town, including two unique “hub” environments in Washington and Cape Town) requires openness, collaboration and flexibility. Our staff has an uncommon diversity of responsibilities: from high-level strategy to online messaging to logistics issues (we book our own travel and fix our own computers), everyone contributes. You will develop new skills in this job; expect to learn and adapt constantly. We are very much a learning organization.
We have a “no jerks” policy; you will be supported by results-oriented yet frequently cheerful coworkers whose primary mode of social engagement is based on trust and respect.
International literacy and cross-cultural sensitivity are considered core competencies.
The position is a director-level or managing director-level position at Global Integrity depending on the successful candidate’s experience (pay band: US$60,000 – US$90,000).
Global Integrity provides full health and disability benefits, as well as a modest life insurance policy, to all full-time employees and currently pays 100% of the premiums associated with those benefits. Holiday and sick time are also provided.
How to Apply
We will only be accepting applications for this position online via the following web form:
After reviewing submitted applications, we anticipate calling back a small number of potential candidates for individual interviews via phone or in-person. We are happy to answer additional questions directly (see Contact Information below), but all interested applicants must use the online form to apply for the position.
Deadline for Application: February 8, 2013
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need to be a proficient programmer to apply for this position?
A: No. Global Integrity currently outsources all software development to a third-party partner. But the successful candidate will be extremely comfortable with web applications and programming languages and will have sufficient command of the technical aspects of LAMP-based software development so as to be able to provide effective guidance to and oversight of our third-party software development partner.
Q: Do I need to be an “open government” or “transparency” specialist to apply for this position?
A: Not necessarily, though familiarity with issues of governance, civic participation, government transparency, and anti-corruption are welcomed.
Q: I am not an American citizen, nor do I have a green card or work visa, but I’m interested in applying for this position. Will you sponsor a work visa for me?
A: Possibly. We do not want immigration issues to stand in the way of a great match for this position. Apply and let’s see where the discussion goes.
Q: Will I need to wear a badge every day if I work at Global Integrity?
A: The OpenGov Hub’s location does in fact require a badge to clear security. But otherwise we try to go light on the formal trappings typical of larger institutions. “Perpetual startup” is a good way to think about what the office environment is like.
Nathaniel Heller, Global Integrity Executive Director
Washington, DC, US
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