Business Unit Description
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world's largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.
Information Technology Solutions (ITS) is AARP's technology leader in positive social change and member value, enabling a more effective workforce and globally connecting employees, members, volunteers, partners and advocates to maximize engagement. Summary
The Platform Manager - Prototyping Services (IT Labs Director) is the servant leader on a platform team responsible for the creation and socialization of the vision, strategy, outcomes, metrics, and alignment of prototyping services with organizational needs. This role will lead student contractors in the development of technical prototypes for business units across the organization; solicit and propose innovative and scalable solutions to AARP's business problems or opportunities; track, evaluate, and measure solutions; collaborate with the ITS leadership team and other stakeholders to establish goals, define strategies and achieve objectives
This position is accountable for creating and socializing the platform strategy and associated outcomes within the enterprise and will be expected to deliver incremental business value in an agile environment. The Platform Manager - Prototyping Services must be a multi-faceted technologist able to create a meaningful platform vision, orchestrate a variety of stakeholders to define shared priorities, manage a full platform lifecycle that balances short-term achievements with long-term goals, and build a sense of ownership within the team. Responsibilities Platform Strategy Creation and Alignment
- Define, lead, and communicate a strategy and vision for the platform team that aligns with broader enterprise goals around digital transformation, innovation, rapid delivery, and cloud enablement with a focus on disruptive technologies.
- Create a platform strategy that describes the target capability areas and the method for achieving business goals that reflects a deep understanding of the platform, capability team focus areas, enterprise goals, and technology.
- Propose innovative and scalable solutions to AARP defined problems and opportunities.
- Develop platform strategy and positioning based on platform maturity.
- Determine user needs and desires by leveraging customer/employee journeys and specifying the research needed to obtain additional user information.
- Work with business units to evaluate specific business problems where prototyped solutions will add value.
- Evaluate, update and implement frameworks for prototype proposals including intake, criteria, approvals and expected outcomes.
- Lead teams of students through prototype development on approved product proposals.
- Develop and execute a methodology to move from prototype to production.
- Lead the research on technologies and trends by leveraging UIUC Research Park and AARP assets.
- Participate in information technology strategic planning, operational planning and serve as an advisor to all ITS groups.
- Become well versed in AARP's business offerings, advocacy work, etc.
- Lead platform management prototype lifecycle from concept to roadmap. Bridging the transition to implementation of prototype development and delivery of solutions.
- Promote a focus on improving the value of AARP's technology investments by delivering rapid prototypes for business units across the organization, ultimately determining if the solution warrants additional investment.
- Define, track and communicate key platform performance indicators to inform success criteria and track business results.
- Manage office operations, supplies, budget and vendors at The Tech Nest.
- Determine, schedule, organize on site events, campus events, and product showcases.
- Creates return on investment (ROI) for investment proposals to obtain funding for new initiatives and significant enhancements.
- Create business-value based objectives and user stories for upcoming sprints.
- Evaluate business needs against platform functionality to determine platform applicability.
- Advise capability teams on platform best practices around design, toolsets and integrations.
- Follows Information Technology Services (ITS) Disaster Recovery Policy and Standards.
- Creates DR Plan for identified technology solution.
- Devises testing strategy and/or test plan for the technology solution.
- Provides artifacts to Information Technology Risk Management (ITRM) to validate compliance with ITS DR Policy and Standards.
- Lead, manage, and mentor the platform team to design, deliver, measure, and improve business outcomes using an agile approach.
- Adhere to baseline competencies in customer relationship management, strategy development, roadmap creation, rapid delivery, and operational support defined for all platform teams.
- Adhere to and incorporate information security requirements in accordance with AARP policies and standards.
- Incorporates security requirements into ongoing sprints and operations.
- Addresses and remediates security risks as identified by the Security Team.
- Ensure the team focuses on work that aligns with the platform strategy and enterprise needs as defined by customer and/or employee journeys.
- Build the right mix of skills on the team and grow talent by recruiting, selecting, orienting, and training student contractors.
- Collaborate with the team during complex discussions with business stakeholders, vendors, or technology, particularly when determining the technical capabilities needed to meet business goals.
- Recruit, identify, interview, hire, and onboard talent.
- Provide direct oversight for student teams located at The Tech Nest.
- Share knowledge and develop student team member capabilities to strengthen understanding of IT, Enterprise, industry and business issues and best practices.
- Inspire and motivate student team members, address concerns and help navigate obstacles to achieve results.
- Build organizational talent by creating a learning environment that ensures student team members realize their highest potential.
- Strive to achieve a high retention rate of student talent.
Technical Leadership / Active Practitioner
- Communicate platform vision, strategy and roadmap to business, ITS, vendor, and other relevant AARP stakeholders.
- Negotiate reprioritization of the platform roadmap and backlog with key stakeholders and leadership.
- Manage platform vendor relationships, including both professional services and licensing contracting.
- Promote platform capabilities to former, current, and potential stakeholders across the enterprise.
- Work in partnership with ITS Management Team on strategic initiatives for the development of innovative solutions.
- Continuously improve policies, standards and procedures by anticipating issues, providing advice and sharing knowledge and best practices.
- Develop strategic relationships with business partners across the organization.
- Establish and maintain key working relationships with UIUC Research Park principles.
- Leverage relationships at the UIUC Research Park and AARP to scan for innovation-based opportunities.
Requirements Desired Education and Certifications
- Participate in a Community of Interest for platform managers across all capability (platform) teams to share information and strengthen understanding of business needs and technology-based business solutions.
- Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications, establishing personal networks, and participating in professional societies.
- Identify opportunity areas for AARP to utilize emerging tech and advance our mission.
- Provide critical input to other capability and platform teams as needed to ensure alignment with broader enterprise architecture and strategic objectives.
- Serve as the face of AARP at UIUC and promote the AARP brand.
- Participate in pertinent University and Research Park events.
- Communicate regularly with functional and IT leaders to ensure enterprise alignment and support.
- Serve as technical mentor for staff, ensuring optimization of skill set enhancement.
- Hire and develop student team members as they rotate on and off AARP projects.
- Seek opportunities to share and publish applicable research and findings.
- Bachelor's degree or equivalent in Information Technology, Computer Science, Engineering, or related field
- 5+ years of management experience; ideally, one year of product management experience
- A demonstrated ability to work within a team and build consensus towards a strategic direction
- Strong technical expertise in executing proofs of concept, prototype development and experimentation with development teams
- An understanding of external cloud hosting providers including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure Solution Architecture experience with projects using Agile and Iterative approach
- Broad understanding of disruptive/emerging technologies and how to apply them to business opportunities.
- Excellence in talent recruitment, evaluation and retention.
- Proven ability to acquire and retain a high degree of business acumen.
- Excellent presentation skills including an ability to modulate content/presentation for executive consumption.
- Entrepreneurial and self-driven.
- Thrives in unstructured environments but can provide structure for subordinates.
- Ability to write, edit and present difficult technical concepts in simple visual terms to business users.
- Ability to create a clear plan of action, priorities, objectives, schedules, milestones, and evaluation criteria after analyzing opportunities.
- Travel up to 20% to Washington DC HQ.
AARP offers competitive benefits with a 401K, 100% company funded pension plan, health, dental, vision and life insurance, STD/LTD, paid vacation and sick, and other benefits. Equal Employment Opportunity
AARP is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture. AARP does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.
At AARP, the health and well-being of our candidates, employees, and members is a top priority. As a result of the COVID pandemic, all non- essential employees will continue to work remotely through the end of 2020. AARP has established social distancing policies to ensure the safety of our essential employees.