Release Train Engineer / Program Manager
Company: National Student Clearinghouse
Posted on: January 26, 2023
Are you looking for more than just a jobandwantto make
difference?If so, then join theNational StudentClearinghouse talent
communityand discover your impact today!
We are a nonprofit,nongovernmental organization and the leading
provider of educational reporting, data exchange, verification, and
research services.Serving the education, workforce and learner
communities has been at the heart of our mission for over 25
years.Our work - performed in a trusted, secure, and private
environment - provides numerous time- and cost-saving benefits to
students, schools, administrators, and requestors.
About the Role:
The Technical Specialist, (A.K.A. Release Train Engineer (RTE)
/Program Manager) role works in the Project Management Office on an
Agile Release Train (ART) to organize teams around a common cadence
and ensure execution of the program increment and sprint goals,
while maintaining overall process governance. The position is
responsible for stakeholder communication, clearing/escalating
impediments, helping manage risk, and driving relentless
improvement. This position will require an advanced level of
understanding in the areas of Agile/Scrum/SAFe Methodologies and
Program Management. The RTE/Program Manager will work with multiple
internal stakeholders (including executive, senior and mid-level
management) as well as external parties and foundations to ensure
all ART components come together in accordance with Clearinghouse
Enterprise Strategy and goals as well as grant documents.
Currently, this position is 100% telework, however, as our company
starts to return to our new normal, a hybrid work pattern, this
position may be required to periodically work on-site at our
office, and the frequency would depend on the department/division's
requirements. Therefore, candidates must either reside within a
reasonable distance to commute to our office, or be willing to
travel to our office in Herndon and/or Pittsburgh, when
How You Contribute:
- Demonstrate the Clearinghouse's competencies, which align with
our corporate value Manager will provide more detail to candidates
- Core Competencies include: Customer Focus, Optimizes Work
Processes, Collaborates, Communicates Effectively, and Be Open and
- Provide guidance and support to Product Teams to deliver
regular program increments (PI) that provide customer
- Work with Product Management to update Roadmaps to ensure
greatest customer value is delivered.
- Manage and track funding for value streams, working closely
- Develop strong knowledge of company products and services and
how customers use them, as well as how Clearinghouse offerings
complement each other and work together.
- Ensure delivery of status and foundation grant reports,
including written documentation, budget actuals and forecasts.
Optimizes Work Processes:
- Support team onAgile/SAFe and Program Management principles and
practicesto improve effectiveness.
- Be a change evangelist for the organization wide Agile process
- Identify and facilitate continuous improvement and reduction of
waste in the ART (Inspect & Adapt).
- Ensure ART is properly resourced and identify role/skill
- Conduct release train ceremonies, including:
- ART Sync and Scrum of Scrums
- System Demo
- Quarterly PI Planning
- Outline process and expectations
- Communicate and establish the annual calendars for PIs and
- Communicate PI Commitments and any variances from it during
- Conduct Retrospective of PI Planning event and implement
- Serve as an escalation path for Scrum Masters and Scrum
- Assist in contract management and communication with external
vendors and contractors.
- Ensure ART members are aligned on roles and
- Lead Program Level sync-ups to keep stakeholders aligned on
progress, risks, and issues.
- Participates in Clearinghouse hiring interviews.
- Trains/Mentors other RTEs as needed.
- Leverage dashboards and tools (Rally/Clarity/Other) to ensure a
high transparency of status, risk, and issues throughout the
- ART and team dashboards to track progress, blockers, and other
- Review Agile metrics regularly with stakeholders.
- Measure and monitor PI progress, identify risks and issues,
employ mitigation tactics, resolve issues with minimal oversight,
and present options and recommendations to management for
escalations as appropriate.
- Track program dependencies to resolution.Communicate risks
associated with dependencies etc. in ART synch.
Be Open and Authentic:
- Facilitate communication, visibility and collaboration within
the ART and organization, particularly with Scrum Masters and
- Provide steady, servant leadership, exemplifying assertiveness,
influence, and decisiveness while supporting teams that need to be
able to adapt quickly to market demands and customer
- Consensus building across ART and various stakeholders as
Position may be required to perform other duties as required. These
essential functions are representative of those that must be met by
an employee to successfully perform the job. Reasonable
accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities
to perform these essential functions.
What You Bring to the Table:
- Bachelor's degree in Business or Information Technology. A
combination of education and experience, including through military
service will also be considered.
- 10+ years of combined experience in roles such as Scrum
Master/Release Train Engineer and/or Project/Program
- 2+ years of experience, leading Agile Release Trains in a SAFe
- Certification preferred: Certified SAFe Release Train Engineer
- Experience with budgeting, cost, and grant management.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively and efficiently influence
peers to come to consensus on decisions to drive program forward,
managing diverse personalities.
- Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal skills with the
proven ability to successfully work across organizational
boundaries, with effective presentation skills.
- Proficient use of Microsoft Office Suite, Rally, Clarity, and
other collaboration tools.
- Positive and professional attitude with the demonstrated
ability to adapt to a dynamic, fast paced industry and
- Demonstrates Clearinghouse's core competencies: customer focus,
optimizes work processes, communicates effectively, collaborates,
and is open and authentic.
- Live within a commutable distance of Herndon, VA or may be
performed remotely from any of the following states:AL, CA, CO, DC,
FL, GA, IL, KY, ME, MD, NV, NJ, NM, NC, NY, OH, PA, TN, TX, VA, WV,
- Are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a good faith
basis for seeking an exemption from this requirement.
Additional Desired Requirements:
- Masters or other advanced degree.
- Certifications: Certified ScrumMaster (CSM -) certification,
Certified SAFe Program Consultants (SPC), PMI Agile Certified
Practitioner (PMI-ACP), PMP - certification
- In the Higher Education vertical related to Institutional
Research or data.
- Leveraging best practices in program management for Agile SDLCs
and SAFe Scrum methodologies.
- Has strong technological understanding / Proficiency.
- Use of a computer for 8 or more hours a day.
- Use of a copy machine, and telephone.
- Frequently required to sit for 7 or more hours per day; when in
the office may work in close proximity to others in an open office
- Occasionally required to use hands and fingers to operate,
handle, and reach.
- Vision abilities include close vision and the ability to adjust
- Travel via car, train, and airplane when needed.
Compliance with Executive Order 14042
The health and safety of our employees and their families are top
priorities of the National Student Clearinghouse. With the
continuing impacts of COVID-19 in our nation and around the world,
we are doing our part to protect the health and well-being of our
workforce and the communities where we operate. The Clearinghouse
is a federal contractor, rendering us subject to Executive Order
14042 and associated guidance requiring employees to be fully
vaccinated for COVID-19. Therefore, all Clearinghouse employees and
new hires must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination
as a condition of employment, or have an approved reasonable
accommodation (based on a disability or medical condition, or a
sincerely held religious belief) exempting them from the
By applying for this position, you are stating that you are already
fully vaccinated or will be fully vaccinated by your start date, or
you have a good faith basis for seeking an exemption from the
vaccination requirement.Individuals requesting a reasonable
accommodation should do so during the post-offer process, and any
requested accommodations must be reviewed and approved (if
applicable) before your start date.
Benefits and Related Information
The National Student Clearinghouse provides a robust benefit
program designed to help meet the needs of each employee and their
family, both now and in the future. We offer comprehensive medical,
dental, and vision insurance, as well as life and disability
insurance benefits, for employees and their qualified dependents.
Health care, dependent care, and limited purpose flexible spending
accounts, as well as a health savings account, are options
available for employees to set aside pre-taxed dollars for certain
qualifying expenses. We offer a very generous 401k matching
contribution program with the opportunity to defer pre-tax and Roth
contributions, as well as catch-up contributions for those who are
eligible! We are proud to offer a competitive paid leave program
consisting of vacation, sick, and personal time, as well as paid
holidays. Vacation time will accrue based on length of service, and
new full-time hires can accrue up to 13 days of vacation and up to
10 days of sick time per year. On an annual basis, new employees
may use up to 32 hours of accrued sick time as personal time.
Additionally, the Clearinghouse observes at least 11 paid holidays
Another perk is that employees have the option to get reimbursed
for basic wholesale company and roadside assistance memberships
(e.g., Costco and AAA) and to request a buy back on portions of
unused accrued vacation based on tenure and certain other
qualifications. Employees can further their education and
professional development by using our Employee Education Assistance
Program, which establishes reimbursement for qualified education
expenses upon successful completion of the program, and leveraging
the enterprise-wide LinkedIn Learning subscription. There are
additional employee benefits, to find out more, please request a
copy of our complete benefit package!
We reasonably believe that the salary range for this position is
between $131,100 and $165,000 annually.
Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with
The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner
discriminate against employees or applicants because they have
inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of
another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access
to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as
a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of
other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise
have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is
(a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance
of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an
investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the
contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR
Keywords: National Student Clearinghouse, Germantown , Release Train Engineer / Program Manager, Executive , Herndon, Maryland
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