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Senior Product Manager

We are looking for an experienced product manager to shape the way residents apply for permits with the City and County of San Francisco.

About the product

You will lead a multi-disciplinary team of designers, developers and PMs to build the user experience of applying for a permit. With more than 600 permits, this is a huge undertaking and will have a significant impact on the way residents experience their city government.

The city gives permits for everything from building new housing, to starting new businesses, to events big and small. Permits help the City make sure that things are happening safely and that we are upholding the values of our communities.

We have a unique opportunity to improve the permit experience for residents, because a new Permit Center is being built at 49 South Van Ness. This physical space will bring together 11 different departments that are currently spread out all over the city, making an easy one-stop location for all in-person permit transactions. We want to make sure that as much as possible can be done online, before residents show up in person, so that the time of our staff is spent in quality interactions, rather than in repetitive administration work.

There are several digital products that will make an exceptional Permitting customer experience, including:

  • Smart online application forms
  • Tools that help people check the city’s rules and fees
  • Integrations with many back-office systems used by city staff
  • Notifications and status tracking tool

About the role

As the Senior PM for Permitting, you’ll own the vision and strategy for digital permitting and oversee products that give an excellent customer experience. As the top technical authority, you will work with a multi-disciplinary team of 10 or more designers, developers and other PMs, and decide priorities for development across the board.

You will engage with permitting departments and customers to understand where there is greatest need and opportunity, and you will own the overall product roadmap for digital permitting. You will get into the detail and complexity of permitting processes, but be able to switch into the high-level view as needed, to make sure the overall vision stays true.

Where vendors are involved you will help manage those relationships, and where our team is building products you will ensure this happens in an Agile way. You will define performance measures and reporting, and make sure all permitting efforts are coordinated and communicated. Successful candidates will have leadership experience on agile product teams.

You will be a champion for user needs, using data and user research to back up your product roadmap. You will manage complexity and stay calm under pressure, balancing competing priorities and backlogs for the best impact on users.

Salary range: $105,794 - $143,364


  • Work with the CDSO, Permit Center Manager, Service Designer, and other stakeholders, to own and implement a compelling vision for digital permitting
  • Coordinate product teams and ensure they are working in harmony toward your vision
  • Be creative and resourceful and use your expertise to solve complex problems that span multiple departments and types of user.
  • Manage complex stakeholder relationships and implementations across multiple departments
  • Coach and lead other PMs in best practice, particularly Agile and product management.
  • Coordinate a multi-disciplinary agile software development team to deliver complex products
  • Research and evaluate new technologies, software and hardware products; consult with vendors about product functions & features; recommend software & hardware purchases.
  • Oversee roadmap planning, resource management, procurement, and vendor management.
  • Flag potential risks early and work with the team and stakeholders to mitigate risks
  • Prepare product budgetary cost estimates; develop implementation proposals, documentation and roadmaps; write technical specifications and request for proposals.
  • Participate in planning and conducting thoughtful and ethical user research. Effectively capture and use insights from user research to propose improvements to policy, service design, and delivery.
  • Define and get stakeholder buy-in for product definition and delivery approach. Gather and use evidence to assess the costs, benefits and risks of a wide range of delivery options. Implement a product vision developed in collaboration with department leadership.
  • Create effective, prioritized product descriptions, user stories, and delivery plans to meet user needs in a cost-effective way. In some cases, serve as scrum master or delivery manager.
  • Multi-channel delivery: Work with the designer and department partners on the strategy for paper and analog channels to complement digital service delivery.
  • Work comfortably in an agile environment with rapidly changing deadlines, workloads, and goals.
  • Lead data-based continuous delivery and improvement, ensuring that services are regularly analyzed, maintained and improved to better user experience. Design service processes to include continuous feedback loops between customers and the service team.
  • Provide counseling and mediation; persuade, convince and train others, including the ability to act in a lead worker capacity.
  • Recommend a variety of personnel actions in such areas as performance evaluation, training, selection and disciplinary measures.
  • Related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Associates Degree in any discipline and five years of experience in product management Additional experience can be substituted for a degree on a year-for-year basis.

Desired Qualifications

  • At least 5 years of hands-on experience designing outstanding web-based products for a consumer-oriented website. Experience re-designing complex products, services, or transactions to be more simple, beautiful, and easy to use.
  • Product team experience including: Experience leading the user research and user testing process; writing user stories; managing roadmaps, leading agile scrum methodology, and managing stakeholder relationships.
  • Strong technical understanding of modern web product development.
  • Strong working knowledge of Lean and Agile practices. Experience working within Agile teams and incorporating user testing & feedback into agile processes.
  • Exceptional verbal communication skills with the ability to effectively influence and communicate cross-functionally.
  • A personal interest in public service or civic technology.
  • Experience with creating user journey maps and/or service blueprints.
  • Demonstrable and practical experience, in public or private sector, of transformational change to business processes and systems to deliver improved user experience and cost savings.
  • Design experience, including the ability to create sketches, wireframes and mockups to communicate features to clients, designers and developers.
  • Development experience, including the knowledge to interface with developers about coding practices, delivery and acceptance processes, testing, etc.
  • Experience with metrics and analytics that inform the success of products, defining KPI’s, tracking conversion funnels, and extracting insight from data.

Please fill out the form below to apply for a role. We'll also keep you in the loop about more opportunities in the future.

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