Sr. Product Manager
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.
As a Senior Product Manager on Customer Technology’s Digital Rideteam, you will manage an effort to build new backend software or middleware that will route the predictions that MBTA produces to the speakers and LED signs in stations. Some days, you might be building and communicating roadmaps to determine upgrades and features. Other days, you may be helping our engineers investigate approaches and trade-offs.
You will work on:
- The MBTA’s public address & electronic signage system (“PA/ESS” for short but, as an MBTA rider, you might just think of them as our in-station “countdown clocks”). The PA/ESS system is central to riders’ experience of the MBTA—more than 90% of them report using them on their last trip. And it’s also safety-critical: the livePA feature allows our Operations Control Center to send live, emergency audio announcements into any station.
Principal duties and responsibilities:
- Build and execute on a product roadmap. Develop, document, and clarify the problems the product solves for in a roadmap. Ensure work aligns with MBTA and Customer Technology priorities.
- Leverage program priorities and quantitative data to prioritize work. This includes prioritizing work from sprint to sprint and maintaining a backlog of tasks in collaboration with tech and program teams. Effectively communicate priorities across levels and job functions.
- Work with CTD engineers to identify an approach for building new backend software. This will include understanding how the existing system works, defining features to produce server-side applications and in-station applications that will interface with existing LED and audio hardware, and determining whether new APIs are required to facilitate communications between servers, station control equipment, operations control center UI, and/or vendor applications.
- Develop a deep understanding of systems that are involved in getting messages onto our countdown clocks. Become familiar with the needs of your users, server-side data flows and formats, controller message processing, and how to communicate about those things with your product team and with MBTA leadership.
- Put riders first. Prioritize the needs of users throughout the delivery process, in partnership with the program and development teams.
This job requires:
- Systems thinking: The MBTA is a complex, 120-year old transit agency with a huge number of moving parts. Our team needs to understand the complexities of running transit services, the business operations of the MBTA, and how riders use our system to get around Boston in order to successfully deliver meaningful improvements.
- Empathy:You think about our users (whether riders or operations staff) constantly and are always looking for ways to understand their lived experience.
- Communication: Troubleshooting and resolving issues requires clear communication with stakeholders, colleagues in CTD, vendors, and other MBTA departments. Successfully interfacing with all of these groups will require the ability to communicate concisely and effectively.
- Attention to detail: This position will require someone who can dive into technical details and think critically about implementation trade-offs.
What we're looking for:
- Although we're mostly interested in your ability to do the work, here are some guidelines on the capabilities and experience we think might be most suited for this role. Please keep in mind that the experience guidelines are advisory, and not required.
- Approximately 3-5 years of professional experience in product management
- Experience managing products that involve a combination of software, hardware, stakeholder, and/or vendor management
- Experience or interest in audio/visual, hardware, networking or analog/digital interfaces
- Experience achieving buy-in from internal and external stakeholders
- Experience with complex systems and architectures
- Ability to define a hypothesis and approach both quantitative and qualitative data to find your own answers
- Excellent oral and written communication skills, and the ability to translate both for different audiences
- Familiarity with modern task management and comms tools like Asana and Slack
- Formal education in product management, city planning, computer science, construction, engineering, economics, data science, public administration, or a related field (This could be a college degree, a bootcamp, a certificate program, or something else entirely).
This role can be hybrid or 100% remote.
Unfortunately, we are unable to hire candidates who would perform their work in California, Connecticut, Washington DC, Hawaii, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico.
Pay rate range is $80 - $102 per hour (W-2), up to 1880 hours per year.
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.