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Mobile Solutions – Vice-President, Engineering Software

About the Company

More than 3 billion people around the world cannot access the internet. This means that around half of the world’s population lacks a vital communication channel for information, updates, education and access to resources. Without access to communication platforms, underserved communities around the world miss out on access to healthcare information, education, and even a voice in determining government policy and direction. At the same time, organizations from local governments and community institutions through to international NGOs struggle to engage meaningfully with essential audiences.

Our client provides powerful mobile solutions that improve lives around the world. A proud social enterprise, the Canadian firm’s solutions connect businesses, governments, social institutions and NGOs with rural communities and are used to educate, inform, assist, and seek feedback from people with otherwise little access to that information. Their platform instantly reaches across distance, language and literacy barriers to deliver vital information and give under-served communities a voice. A web-based, ready-to-run mass message delivery service and application suite which can be instantly accessed by any organization with internet access and individual with a mobile phone.

Applications are endless — a mother can receive maternal health information from a local clinic; farmers can learn about crop diseases and how to improve yields; a policy-maker can study the supply chain and efficacy of vaccinations; urban planners can monitor water usage and distribution to better map service delivery throughout a community. As a testament to their social impact, in some countries our client’s technologies reach more unique users than Facebook.

With hundreds of passionate employees around the world, our client remains steadfast in its mission to improve ever more lives through enhanced capabilities. The technology aspects of this collective task, along with managing an expanding development organization, will be the responsibility of the new Vice-President Engineering.

Scope of Position

Broadly, the objective of the role of the Vice-President of Engineering is to cultivate an environment that attracts, deploys, develops and retains the human and other resources required to effectively develop, deliver, scale and support products/services that will provide value to the company’s customers, while meeting the business strategy and goals for growth.

Reporting to the CTO, the Vice-President of Engineering is responsible for providing leadership in all activities related to the delivery of the company’s technologies from design, release, enhancement, quality assurance, implementation and support.

The successful candidate will assume responsibility for a growing, distributed team of approximately 40 highly capable individuals who are characterized by their loyalty, creativity and commitment to the company’s purpose, innovative products and the satisfaction of their customers.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage direct reports, along with their goal setting, performance measurement and development feedback. Provide for similar initiatives across entire engineering organization
  • Develop reliable, robust software on-time, within cost targets, using accepted, state of the art methodologies balancing the demands of release content, quality and desired release dates.
  • Manage the engineering budget
  • Audit existing and establish new scalable development platforms and processes which meet current organizational requirements, anticipates future growth and complexity and balance the need for predictability and creative license
  • Foster an environment that enables highly technical staff to consistently perform with excellence, to set and meet personal and team goals, and to develop and be recognized for world-class competence in their field(s) within the context of the company’s software development programs
  • Establish and maintain succession plans and programs for all positions within the engineering organization to ensure the smooth transition and minimize vacancies for critical roles
  • Establish key indicators for competitive performance in completion of development projects and for rapid, realistic decisions on strategies, plans and projects
  • Maintain an awareness of all applicable public support for development activities and for human resource development
  • Align the product development organization’s activities with the company goals and strategic direction, as well as with the company’s corporate values in areas such as people, integrity, passion and innovation
  • Build and facilitate the development of strong relationships and synergy with all other areas of the company, with key suppliers and with the company’s technical partners in order to achieve the corporate goals and objectives while executing product and technology development plans
  • Protect proprietary products and technology information to ensure the documentation and retention of information on products and their design, within the company, and the protection of the company’s investments throughout patents, copyrights, NDAs and any other protective vehicles
  • Maintain keen awareness of the trends and conditions in technology, products and development tools relative to the needs of the company’s customers and business
  • Work with the senior management team to deliver and support the company’s product roadmap consistent with and reflecting the company’s overall strategic plans for corporate growth
  • Develop and document corporate plans and systems for product development

Key Performance Deliverables

In light of the identified responsibilities, the following illustrate the type of deliverables that the position is designed to achieve.

  • Cycle time excellence and on-time product delivery to market
  • Quality and customer satisfaction in both custom and packaged development initiatives
  • Retention and recruiting
  • Employee satisfaction and motivation
  • Development of staff eg. Goals completed, performance reviews completed etc
  • Functionality and performance
  • Budget management as well as product cost
  • Defects per design
  • Product reliability
  • Productivity eg. Developers/revenue ratio
  • Responsiveness eg. to market changes, customers
  • Achievement of overall corporate goals

Competency Profile

Planning & Objective Setting
Systematic in approach to work. Produces action plans in which objectives are defined and steps for achieving them are clearly specified. Plans by breaking down large task into subtasks. Develops plans that anticipate obstacles. Is realistic about time-frames and builds in appropriate checkpoints, milestones and controls in order to ensure that desired results are realized.

Results Orientation
Focuses strongly on achieving agreed upon outcomes and ensures that key objectives are met. Conveys a sense of urgency and drives issues to closure. Aims to improve upon past performance. Establishes aggressive personal targets and strives to achieve them.

Team Skills
Helps to create a sense of team spirit and harmonious relations through cooperation and support. Balances personal goals with those of the team. Fosters collaboration among team members.

Role Expertise
Demonstrates critical technical or professional knowledge/skills related to the role. Has thorough knowledge of relevant products, services and methods. Expands technical knowledge/skills and keeps up-to-date in own area of expertise.

People Management
Establishes and communicates clear priorities and sense of direction. Clarifies roles and responsibilities. Adapts management style to achieve optimum results.

Influence
Articulates the key points of an argument persuasively. Negotiates skillfully and convinces others to own point of view. Directly and indirectly impacts the decisions/opinions of others. Mobilizes people into action.

Commercial Acumen
Applies appropriate commercial and financial principles. Understands situations in terms of costs, profits, added value and return on investment. Appreciates the commercial impact of own work on the organization’s total expenses and revenues.

Boundary-Spanning
Incorporates information about the organization’s structure and protocol into decisions. Attentive to the internal politics and alert to shifting interpersonal dynamics. Establishes the necessary support networks and cross-functional relationships through rapport building. Recognizes, maintains and effectively balances the interests and needs of one’s own group with those of the broader organization.

Preferred Experience / Education

  • Experience in managing engineering teams of 50+ with multiple product lines
  • Varied experience with productivity and quality enhancing engineering methodologies including Agile
  • Proven experience in having scaled engineering organizations through the judicious implementation of tighter process/methodology while preserving the positive elements of the core entrepreneurial and creative culture.
  • Experience in both large complex and more entrepreneurial environments
  • Outstanding people skills to be applied within the engineering organization as well as across the executive team. Proven experience in developing and mentoring.
  • Proven experience in managing development organizations addressing both ‘off the shelf’ and custom product development initiatives
  • Experience developing a variety of front-end web applications.
  • A highly collaborative, team-oriented leadership style.

Compensation

  • A competitive compensation package will be offered and structured around the successful candidate

If interested, please contact:

Leigh Walsh
StoneWood Group
Bus: 416-365-9494 Ext. 555
lwalsh@stonewoodgroup.com
Robert Hebert
StoneWood Group
Bus: 416-365-9494 Ext. 777
rhebert@stonewoodgroup.com
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