Product Manager (UX Specialization), Affordable Housing Navigator
OPEN Technologies (OPEN) seeks a Product Manager (UX Specialization) to guide its new Affordable Housing Navigator project from proof-of-concept to launch. This role will be focused on early product identification and development, with an emphasis on user research and product design.
As a Product Manager on a small but growing team, you will work closely with the CEO, Manager of Custom Software Solutions, and Development Team to ensure that OPEN’s products serve the company’s critical mission and business goals. Your accountability will be centered on ensuring that initial and future versions of the products offer unique value in addressing the business and mission purpose of the software.
This is envisioned as a full-time permanent role, but contract models will be considered for the right candidate. We do not seek consultants for this role.
OPEN’s data and software tools help the people that shape our cities to make pro-climate decisions with confidence. For policy-makers, incentive designers, capital providers, and industry participants, we translate complex datasets into actionable data to achieve energy and carbon savings from buildings.
OPEN’s suite of products and custom solutions informs energy efficiency and carbon reduction decisions across the built environment, from high performance design solutions for new homes to benchmark and retrofit options for existing towers. And everything in between.
We are also a small but ambitious group of people aligned around an outward facing mission and a commitment to building a culture of shared exploration, curiosity, and growth.
We have a hybrid work structure where in-person days are based out of our office in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood.
OPEN Technologies’ Affordable Housing Navigator is one of fourteen projects to receive implementation funding through the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation’s Housing Supply Challenge.
The CMHC Housing Supply Challenge is a five-year initiative that will deploy $300 million to remove or reduce key barriers to housing supply. This first round of the Challenge – called the Data Driven Round – started with 136 full project applications, from which 21 (including OPEN) received proof of concept funding. Upon submission of our concept, full project funding was awarded in January 2022.
OPEN’s Affordable Housing Navigator aims to reduce a critical barrier to new affordable housing supply by giving non-profit housing agencies insights on the design options for a given building site that meet energy performance standards, financial constraints, and mission objectives.
The tool will:
- Identify the best pathways to a given performance standard
- Provide pro-forma level insight on the incremental cost/benefit of building to a high-performance standard, factoring in upfront costs less energy savings and potential incentives, and
- Provide insight and validation on project costs using industry costing datasets and case studies.
By making these analytical insights accessible to decision-makers early in a planning cycle, we aim to help more affordable housing projects get approved, and to ultimately meet their affordability objectives.
Our interviews have demonstrated strong demand for our solution. Our proof of concept has focused on the BC and Ontario contexts, and we look forward to building the Affordable Housing Navigator as a national tool in the coming months.
Every OPEN team member has the same top line item on their role description: to be a part of making OPEN successful, its work impactful, and its work culture collegial, creative, and productive.
As the Product Manager (UX Specialization) for a large, strategically critical initiative, your role will be multifaceted. Some of your core accountabilities and/or responsibilities will include:
- By end Q1:
- Produce a product market fit manifesto to guide the design and development of the tool, capturing the specific market need that the tool will address, the critical gaps in addressing this market need, and the nature of the solution to be developed by OPEN.
- Design modelling and UX for both embodied and operational carbon, to enable full lifecycle assessments of retrofit vs. reposition vs. redevelopment.
- Produce a development roadmap that avoids tech debt and enables cross-utilization of code and/or features to the maximum degree.
- Throughout 2022: ongoing UX research and market validation (interview and prototype driven) to hone and refine the tool’s functional requirements list.
- By end of 2022: solidify Affordable Housing Navigator’s contributions to OPEN’s recurring revenue streams, either through contributing code and functionality to core products or by seeding ongoing revenue or new revenue streams.
- By mid 2023: having shepherded the development process from MVP to launch readiness, prepare and lead a go-to-market plan.
The Affordable Housing Navigator is one of several Special Projects that OPEN is incubating into new, high impact software products. Upon launch, it is expected that you will remain Product Manager for the Affordable Housing Navigator, or transition into a UX and Market Research Specialist – Special Projects if mutually agreed.
As a strong Product Manager candidate you
- have at least three (3) years of experience in an early stage product role, with some leadership experience in bringing new technical products to market – ideally in an enterprise software context – and/or experience in managing an existing product through its early launch and development.
- have grounding in key methodologies and practices in user research, user experience design, and software production; working with the technical and design teams, you will play a key role in understanding market and user insights and helping to translate those into valuable functional offerings
- are an effective and empathetic people person, skilled and insightful in understanding the motivations and challenges of OPEN’s customers and users (in the government, property management, and investment sectors)
In addition, particularly strong candidates will
- have subject matter expertise in the affordable housing, green building, and energy efficiency sectors
- an understanding of the dynamic between stakeholders and a working knowledge of the key market drivers (regulatory, technological, and financial) affecting both that sector and the market potential for OPEN’s product offering
- have conceptual knowledge and industry understanding in key areas of data science and analysis, including database design, machine learning, and visualization.
Compensation and Benefits
The Product Manager (UX Specialization) will receive a base salary of $90,000 to $105,000 (commensurate with experience) and will be eligible to participate in OPEN’s benefits program after a three-month probationary period.
How can you apply?
We will recruit until we find the right candidate. If this is you, at your earliest convenience please send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Last Name, First Name, Product Manager (UX Specialization) – Affordable Housing Navigator”.
- A brief resume showing relevant experience
- A brief cover letter that explains how you meet the requirements and why you are interested in working with OPEN
OPEN strives to build a team that reflects the diversity of the communities we are a part of. We particularly encourage applicants from groups that are underrepresented in tech such as women, visible minorities, Indigenous persons, LGBTQ2 persons, and persons with disabilities.