Product Manager

Overview

This position is to fill one of two open roles. 

Product Manager, Co-Development Unit

  • A unit focused on game development projects using a cross-discipline team of designers, artist, engineers, etc.

Product Manager, Art Outsourcing Unit

  • A unit focused on the development of art content from 3D characters, props, vehicles, environment, and Animations and concept art to be used as content for our video game developer clients.

Own the Products being developed in the co-development business unit or art outsourcing business unit and all things related.  Research all suggested features and functionality and liaise with the Program Manager on direction.

Manage expectations of stakeholders. You will need to manage the expectations of the C-level executives, clients and account managers, while keeping close to the Program Management team and realistically assessing the team’s development capacity and ability to meet deadlines. You will need to ensure all groups in the business unit are working toward the same end-goals in a cohesive manner. 

You will work with the Client and Program Manager to define project budgets. 

Assist with the creation of needed departments (ie; support). You are a visionary; you are able to take the raw visions/immature seeds of the client and other stakeholders, and build them into an actionable vision. 

You have excellent attention to detail; while you are adept at seeing the big picture, you don’t lose sight of the small steps needed to reach that vision. You are able and willing to document fully fleshed out user stories & goals that can be developed effectively by the development team. 

You are a person of integrity; honesty, trust and ethical decision-making are at the core of who we are. These are important to you and you model these values in your interactions with colleagues, customers, and stakeholders.

A team player; you inspire others to do their best work and can consistently be counted upon to deliver results. 

You are comfortable with the unknown; able to work in an agile production where product development evolves over time and changes are expected.

Proven record successfully managing products in a fast paced environment, on time, and on budgets

Product Manager Roles

As a Product Manager, you may take on most, if not all the roles defined below depending on your level and experience.

Analyst:

The first role of a product manager is to take in absolutely every piece of information he or she has in order to understand the team, the market, the buyers, the users, and how timing affects all three. This involves everything from user interviews, to usage analytics, to anecdotes from sales, to scouring competitor sites and the media for industry info.

Visionary/Planner:

With as much data in hand as possible Product Managers work with the Client, Studio Director, Marketing, Sales and the CEO, and set the vision for the product. What are the broad areas of improvement needed over the next year? What are the very, very specific features and fixes needed over the next 90 days?

Designer:

Product managers don’t generally design the user interface (UI) for a product but they are in many ways “designers.” They have to own the end to end product and figure out how all the many features work together and how they will work together in sequenced, incremental releases – which is more difficult than it may sound when resources, priorities, and information are constantly changing.

Task Creator & Manager:

Product Managers write user stories for Epic Features and validate goals alongside the program management team and put them into whatever tool is used to manage those stories/goals for development to then work on. This usually involves writing some type of user problem, then explaining exactly what needs to be done with words, mockups (images), and sometimes video, and then adding success criteria for testing purposes.

Communicator:

Product Managers should be perhaps the most professionally multi-lingual people in the company outside of the CEO’s office. They communicate with all of the following:

  • Design: To figure out the look and feel of the features that need to be added.
  • Development: To clarify the above-mentioned stories and add new ones where needed.
  • Legal: To figure out legal barriers to what would be ideal for the user and product and if Terms and Conditions need to be updated accordingly.
  • Sales: To train them on how the product works and help them know how to sell it.
  • Implementation: To train them how to implement and work through setup details.
  • Support: To train on how the product works.

Product management is one of many career paths that branch from the program management job family.  Below is a description of the Program a management Job family.

Program Management Job Family

Similar to the role of Project Manager, a Program Manager is responsible for designing, coordinating and improving the internal and external programs of an organisation. The Program manager role has a strong emphasis stakeholder relations and the ideal candidate must exhibit an outgoing and trusting demeanour as they will be the face of the company for employees and often clients. Program Managers work across a range of industries to deliver programs that align to the organisation’s strategic vision.  A program can include, but is not limited to game development projects, Brand Development, Studio Culture Development, Employee Training, Community Outreach, Marketing, Social Media Planning, Company Service development, and Client Relationship Management.  Note that the program management role is also there to support the team with ramp-up, training, day-to-day management, reviews, and scheduling and coordinate these efforts with project leads, managers, and POC’s (Points of contact). Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and Portuguese is a must..

Program Manager duties and responsibilities:

There are a range of duties and responsibilities that employees in the Program Management family need to master in order to run programs successfully and economically. Here are some duties:

•Expanding program offering and enhancing the quality of existing programs

•Developing and implementing strategy for the program team, including developing a robust risk mitigation plan

•Understanding how different projects/programs interlink and overlap

•Working with the HR team to manage staff and resources for programs

•Liaising with the marketing and communications team to increase awareness of programs

•Managing budgets and reporting on fund allocation

•Participating in new project bid and quote estimations.

•Participate in program content design, submissions and reviews

•Coordinating and running events and workshops

•Gathering feedback and presenting insights through regular team retrospectives.

•Reporting on program performance to executive team and directors

•Identifying opportunities for continual improvement

•Developing industry partnerships

•Ensuring relevant standards, process and regulations are upheld

Program Management job qualifications and requirements:

The most valuable qualifications will vary for the Program Management job family, given that it is an important role that traverses industries and organizations. As such, the role ask for one or more formal qualifications in the subjects below:

•Business or Business Administration

•Management

•Engineering

•Construction

•Marketing

•IT or Computer Science

Five or more years’ experience in a similar role who have worked on successful, large-scale programs.

Expanding the Program Management Career Path

At higher levels of the Program Management Career path, from Manager level and above, the role can redirect towards more specialized focuses such as;

  • Producer / Executive Producer
  • Product Management
  • Business Development
  • Project Management.

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