Director of Product Management

Boston, MA /
Customer Technology – Product /
At the Customer Technology Department (CTD), our mission is to apply modern principles of research, design, and technology to make our transit system easy for all riders to use. Effective and equitable public transit is essential to the social, economic, and environmental progress of Greater Boston.
 
The MBTA Customer Technology team is working to transform how people get around the Boston area.
 
We are a team of designers, engineers, product and content specialists charged with bringing novel ideas, modern standards and a user-centered approach to technology at the T. As the MBTA works to reinvent itself, we have a rare opportunity to craft the future of transportation for Boston and communities all around Eastern Massachusetts, as well as pioneer innovations for other transit agencies around the country.
 
Do you want to improve the daily transportation experience for 4.7 million people in the Boston region? Ready for the challenge? Then read on.

The MBTA’s Customer Technology Department (CTD) is looking for a skilled Director of Product Management to help us produce the best results for our riders and operations staff.  

Reporting to the Chief Digital Officer (CDO), you will be responsible for how CTD builds—and, occasionally, buys—custom software: Product operations, process, and mindset. As a member of CTD’s leadership team, you will also be responsible for practicing and upholding CTD’s working agreements, which are essential to the department’s success. In this role, you will work alongside other functional leads (Research & Design, Content, Engineering) and program—or, “business area”—leads: Digital Transformation, Fare Transformation, Transit Technology (digital schedules, vehicle locations & arrival predictions), Digital Ride (real-time rider information while on the system), Riders Tools (website technology and content). 

You will articulate a vision for how CTD practices the craft of product development, given its opportunities and constraints. You will establish processes for every stage of the product development lifecycle, coaching product managers to ensure that their products have clear goals, meaningful metrics, up-to-date roadmaps, and helpful frameworks for decision-making & prioritization. You will ensure that product managers are following Agile best practices in working within cross-functional teams. You will coach up (to the CDO), down (to the individual product managers) and across (to Program & Functional Leads) to ensure buy-in of your vision, ideas, frameworks, and processes.You will ultimately be accountable to CTD software achieving our mission to make the MBTA easier for all riders to use. 

As the director of the Product team, you will need to be an honest, experienced, and empathetic people-manager capable of providing guidance, feedback, performance management, and direction to a diverse, talented community of Product Managers at various levels in their careers. You will oversee every member of the Product team: their role, their assignments, development, pay, and performance. Crucially, you will manage hiring, development, assignments, and departures with a focus on bringing in a diverse mix of talented people who practice and embody CTD’s working agreements. 

What we're looking for:

    • Someone who:

    • Has experience being responsible for product teams in more than one setting (bonus: has experience in a setting, like the MBTA, where the digital product is not the core service of the organization as a whole). 
    • Has a humble, personal thesis for how product, as a discipline, should be practiced. 
    • Has had success as an experienced, empathetic manager of people.
    • Has some alignment with CTD’s mission.
    • Can demonstrate how addressing inequity has been either a held-value or a lived experience, personally or professionally.
    • Is a precise, empathetic communicator, able to build trusting relationships within the MBTA on behalf of CTD.

Primary areas of responsibility:

    • People & Product Management  
    • Coach staff in your vision of how product management ought to be practiced at CTD. Manage product managers by removing blockers, performing general administration & management, and resolving questions about the product discipline. Standardize how specific functional tasks (e.g., feature specs, roadmaps, design exploration tickets, etc.) are done across product teams.  

    • People Operations (within the product function) 
    • Hire experienced teams. Ensure that the Program Leads have the right product managers for the job, which means assignments, retention, hiring, and firing. 

    • Align product staff with the right skills, skill levels, and bandwidth to program areas that will meet the program’s vision, timeline, and budget.  
    • Understand which product managers have grown in their craft and advocate for a corresponding, equitable change in pay. 
    • Manage the hiring of CTD product managers (i.e., be the hiring manager for all open roles & continually improve the processes for outreach, interviewing, etc.).  
    • Identify and correct the specific areas where product managers are not meeting their performance expectations and upholding the working agreements; fire staff who cannot meet expectations. 

    • Departmental Objectives & Prioritization  
    • Work with Program Leads to establish cross-program objectives, such as how we measure progress, establish project prioritization criteria, and groom new project ideas/proposals 

    • Product Execution 
    • Hold CTD and its product teams to a very high bar of execution quality. Help teams troubleshoot project, personnel, or stakeholder issues and, where challenges are identified, turn them into opportunities for continuous improvement. 

    • Push CTD to be Better  
    • Be a committed, vocal, collaborative member of CTD Leads and push for CTD to do better in any/all dimensions of its work. 

Work experience guidelines (minimum education):

    • Formal training in product management, design, usability, transportation planning, computer science, engineering, economics, urban planning, data science, public administration, or a related field. (This could be a college degree, a bootcamp, a certificate program, or something else entirely) 
    • 2+ years of experience directly managing at least 5 staff, matrixed responsibility for the outcomes of at least 20 staff. (3x this minimum experience is preferred)

Location:

    • This role is hybrid. While most activities can be accomplished remotely, a component of this role requires an in-person element.   
    • Unfortunately, we are unable to hire candidates who would perform their work in Washington DC, Connecticut, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico.
Compensation:

Pay rate range is $94 - $107 per hour (W-2), up to 1880 hours per year.

This is a full-time hourly position within the Customer Technology Department at the MBTA. We work with payroll vendors that offer benefits such as pre-taxed health insurance, 401k options, and paid sick time.

Vaccination:

It is the policy of the Commonwealth that all executive department employees shall be required to demonstrate they have received COVID-19 vaccination and maintain full COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of continuing employment. Read the executive order and press release.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

CTD is dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive environment—it’s essential to the work we do. In order to effectively partner with MBTA departments and do our best work for riders, our team must reflect the wide variety of people who use the MBTA’s services. We welcome people with different strengths, experiences, and backgrounds who share a passion for improving people's lives. Our team is deeply committed to diversity, inclusion, and continual learning. We strive to foster an environment where each individual is valued, feels a sense of belonging, and is welcomed to bring their best self to work.

Here at CTD, we provide equal opportunity for all employees and applicants. We recruit, hire, train, promote, compensate, and manage all personnel without regard to race, color, national origin, cultural identification or expression, socioeconomic background, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, family status, marital status, learning style, neurodiversity, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other non-merit based or legally protected grounds. 

Research has shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for roles unless they believe they meet all qualifications. We strongly encourage candidates from marginalized groups to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of the job qualifications listed. We’re committed to maximizing the diversity of our team and want to hear from anyone who is passionate about our efforts and interested in supporting our work for riders.