SaaS Software – Vice-President Engineering – Toronto


About the Company

Our client is one of the largest and fastest growing SaaS-based technology firms in Canada.  Their offering streamlines and connects administration processes to end users improving operational efficiencies, increasing staff productivity and reducing operational risk. Our client is expected to expand at a phenomenal rate of 30-35% per year in its core markets while moving rapidly into adjacent high growth segments.
Known for its efforts in employee satisfaction, our client works hard to ensure the well-being of its almost 400 employees with an inclusive culture, in-house health club, catered lunches, massage services and even a spiritual centre.

Scope of Position

Broadly, the objective of the role of the VP Engineering is to cultivate an environment that attracts, deploys and retains the human and other resources required to effectively develop, deliver and support the firm’s platform and applications providing value to the company’s customers, while meeting the business strategy and goals for profitable growth.
Reporting to the Co-Founder/CTO, the VP Engineering is responsible for providing leadership in all activities related to the development and delivery of the company’s offerings. The specific functional departments reporting to the Vice-President Engineering include development, QA, and BA. The successful candidate will assume responsibility for a total team of approximately 100 highly capable individuals who are characterized by their loyalty, creativity and commitment to the company’s innovative products and the satisfaction of their customers.

Functional Tasks

  • Contribute to overall company vision and strategies. Work with senior team, especially product management, to deliver and support the company’s product roadmap consistent with and reflecting the company’s overall strategic plans for corporate growth.
  • Hire, train and manage direct reports, along with their goal setting, performance management and development feedback. Provide for similar initiatives across entire engineering organization.
  • Develop and document corporate plans and systems for product development.
  • Develop reliable, robust software on-time, within cost targets, using accepted state-of-the-art Agile methodologies balancing the demands of release content, quality and desired release dates.
  • Manage the overall engineering budget
  • Audit existing and establish new scalable development platforms and processes which meet current organizational requirements, anticipates future growth and complexity and balances the need for predictability and creative license.
  • Maintain keen awareness of the trends and conditions in technology, products and development tools relative to the needs of the company’s customers and businesses
  • Establish key indicators for competitive performance in completion of development projects and for rapid, realistic decisions on strategies, plans and projects
  • Maintain awareness of applicable public support for development activities and for human resource development
  • 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
  • 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
  • Evaluate third party technologies and participate in due diligence process to help accelerate the speed of adding quality, breadth and depth in our client’s product portfolio.

Key Performance Deliverables
In light of the identified responsibilities, the following are specific deliverables that the position is designed to achieve.

  • Development of staff eg. Goals completed, performance reviews completed etc
  • Cycle time excellence and on-time product delivery to market
  • Quality of Service and customer satisfaction
  • Retention and recruiting
  • Employee satisfaction and motivation
  • Functionality and performance
  • Budget management as well as product cost
  • Defects per design
  • Product reliability
  • Innovation as measured by benchmarking against competitive products.
  • Productivity eg. Developers/revenue ratio
  • Responsiveness eg. to market changes, customers
  • Achievement of overall corporate goals

Competency Profile

The following competencies listed below define the role of Vice-President Engineering

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.
Quality Orientation
Strives for excellence in products, processes and/or services through continued evaluation, enhancement and redefinition of quality standards.
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-scales and builds in appropriate checkpoints, milestones and controls in order to ensure that desired results are realized.
People Management
Establishes and communicates clear priorities and sense of direction. Clarifies roles and responsibilities. Adapts management style to achieve optimum results.
Developing & Coaching Others
Accurately assesses strengths and development needs of employees. Challenges others to improve their abilities and actively supports their development. Continually provides timely and constructive feedback, coaching and challenging learning opportunities. Adjusts coaching style based on each employee’s ability and motivation level.
Leading Change
Recognizes when change is necessary. Challenges the status quo and champions new initiatives. Acts as a catalyst to change and stimulates others to change. Develops an effective action plan to implement change and monitors results.
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.
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.
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.

Preferred Experience / Education

The following indicates specific industry, academic and functional experience/qualifications that are important to the successful achievement of the identified responsibilities and performance deliverables.

  • The successful candidate will be a leader and a team player with excellent management, technical and communication skills.
  • The successful candidate will be an expert in agile development and have a long resume of successfully developing quality software products, using the agile methodology.
  • The successful candidate will have a technical degree with at least 15 years of commercial software development experience, as a developer, a first line manager and then as leader of a large development organization
  • Enterprise software experience required while experience in SaaS development is preferred, but not required. Likewise experience in healthcare is preferred , but not required
  • The successful candidate will have worked outside of large, bureaucratic, process-heavy organizations. This is not a job for a politician who does not get things done.
  • The successful candidate will have been successful scaling development organizations.
  • The successful candidate will be hands-in, detail oriented and be able to anticipate problems and head off projects that are headed astray and have the ability to get products back on track.
  • The successful will be straight-forward, highly ethical, and self-effacing.

Remuneration & Benefits

  • Highly competitive base salary, variable and stock option package for the successful candidate.

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