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Product Strategy Manager

ZEARN

ZEARN

Product, Operations
New York, NY, USA
Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2024

The purpose of Zearn

Zearn is the nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to inspire all kids to love learning math. Everything we do is driven by our belief that every kid is a math kid.

Our top-rated learning platform is designed to catch kids up and move them forward in grade-level math. And it works. Large-scale efficacy research shows students who use Zearn make significant gains in math proficiency, including the students who start multiple grade levels behind.

As a nonprofit, all of our work is driven by what is best for kids. At the same time, we operate as an intense and fast-moving technology company, inclusively solving hard problems that will impact current and future generations. The problems we solve require expertise in teaching, learning science, software development, design, video production, and countless other disciplines. As an organization that is always stretching to get to the next level of impact, every single person owns mission critical work.

If you’re ready to join our Team of problem solvers, and own work that will drive us to achieve impact at scale, we are looking for you.

Learn more about us at https://about.zearn.org/.

The purpose of the Product Strategy Manager at Zearn is to strengthen the product team’s strategic decision-making and operations to help Zearn sustainably grow its impact for students and educators.

You will be the right-hand to the Product Director with visibility across all product development, from the student experience to educator reporting, and will lead a wide range of strategic projects to shape emerging product direction. A successful candidate will help to proactively identify growth opportunities, translate opportunities into reality, working cross-functionally across Zearn teams in product, engineering, communications, partnerships, and more, and interface with philanthropic funders who support Zearn's mission-aligned expansion. You will be deeply embedded in all aspects of product operations and strategy, including:

  • Strategic planning and decision-making: Helping the product team make clear and efficient decisions
    • Assist the Product Director in strategic planning and resource allocation to align with Zearn’s mission and goals
    • Manage the development and evolution of product OKRs/KPIs including monitoring & reporting within the Product org and to external stakeholders
    • Ensure priorities, key decisions, and reasoning are transparent to foster collaboration and alignment across the organization
    • Conduct market research, analyze user data, and research new technologies to identify opportunities to improve student outcomes and inform roadmap planning
    • Serve as a thought partner to PMs as they consider new product initiatives
  • Operational efficiency: Creating, managing, and optimizing systems, tools, and ways of working to improve the quality and productivity of product development
    • Work cross-functionally to understand workflows and dependencies across the product roadmap
    • Develop high level project plans for complex cross-product initiatives, and ensure execution of these initiatives by tracking progress, anticipating, and clearing execution risks
    • Operationalize and scale Zearn’s nascent A/B testing system, partnering with product and data teams to ensure every release is followed by quick, data-driven iteration
    • Manage primary research operations, including user testing, school visits, eductor interviews, and surveys, to ensure the product team can easily gather user feedback
    • Develop and grow Zearn’s insights platform and processes so that any Zearner can easily access new and historical product insights
  • Communication: Facilitating communication with internal stakeholders across different functions and levels of the organization and interfacing with philanthropic funders who support Zearn's mission-aligned expansion.
    • Build and maintain relationships with key internal and external stakeholders
    • Structure materials for key meetings to ensure alignment and support for product initiatives, sharing new learnings and open questions, early ideas, evolving product strategy, and initiative progress
    • Collaborate with the Zearn Strategy team to refine product-driven grant proposals
  • Strategic initiatives: Leading a broad range of special projects and taking ownership of emerging initiatives to inform Zearn’s approach to and prioritization of continuous improvement and new product expansion.

Problems someone in this role can be expected to tackle:

  • How can new technologies, such as generative AI, enable Zearn to drive impact at scale?
  • How might partnering with a district support product experimentation and learning and how should we operationalize that partnership?
  • What can we learn from how educators are using Zearn in Spanish and the resulting impact to students to inform our next phase of rollout?
  • How do we create a workflow to improve lesson content, engaging product, engineering, data, content, production, and translation teams to efficiently create, test, and learn while minimizing risk?

SKILLS: Below are the skills we believe would be impactful for this role. A strong candidate will demonstrate strengths in communication, collaborative problem solving, strategic thinking, and project management. But more importantly, we are looking for candidates who are excited to develop and improve these skills through continuous coaching and on-the-job apprenticeship.

Leading Individuals:

  • Aligning a team through vision, strategy, goals, and priorities

Written and Verbal Communication:

  • Sharing your perspective productively
  • Communicating with structure

Generating Insight:

  • Gathering customer or expert feedback to create insightful ideas
  • Conducting qualitative customer research to create insightful ideas
  • Using competitive or academic research to create insightful ideas
  • Using data and conducting numerical analysis to generate insight

Organizational strategy:

  • Building a strategy focused on technological innovation and customer insight

Solving Problems:

  • Structuring problems so others can solve them
  • Building internal networks to solve problems
  • Participating in team problem solving

Project Management:

  • Organizing and leading meetings
  • Managing projects for a group
  • Deadline-oriented execution

Process Management:

  • Organizing your team’s knowledge and ideas
  • Continuously improving your team’s workflow and processes
  • Proactively learning and using team processes
  • Designing team-based processes

POTENTIAL MARKERS OF THESE SKILLS:

  • BA or BS with 8+ years of related experience (product, project management, consulting, education tech, or similar discipline)
  • Ability to take ownership of projects from planning through execution
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize to manage multiple projects on tight timelines

This is an Individual Contributor role

  • Title: Product Strategy Manager
  • Reports to: Product Director

HOW WE WORK:

  • We aim to create a numeracy movement. This is no easy feat, and no one of us can solve this on our own. Given that, Zearn is a transparent, collaborative, and open-to-feedback culture.
  • Our daily work on the product team is dynamic and fast-paced. We aim to maximize our velocity, but we put quality first. This requires dedicated time for independent research and deep thinking to understand each problem space and build a hypothesis, as well as frequent team and stakeholder syncs to enable fast feedback from functional experts.
  • We meet regularly as a product team to share context, discuss new learnings across different areas of the product, and brainstorm opportunities to improve as a team.
  • We seek ways to create and improve systems and processes and work with each other to contribute thinking in both asynchronous and synchronous discussions.


LOCATION:

This role is remote, however you may be required to travel for business and team building meetings.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:

The compensation range for this role is $130,000 - $150,000 per year.

We offer a competitive benefits package, including comprehensive medical, dental and vision plans, short- and long-term disability, life insurance, 401K matching, parental leave, and a flexible PTO policy. We also offer a collegial and passionate culture and the potential to positively impact the lives of millions of children.

To Apply: https://apply.workable.com/j/AFCB579757

Zearn is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.