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Release Train Engineer / Program Manager

Company: National Student Clearinghouse
Location: Herndon
Posted on: January 26, 2023

Job Description:

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 required.

How You Contribute:

  • Demonstrate the Clearinghouse's competencies, which align with our corporate value Manager will provide more detail to candidates as needed.
    • Core Competencies include: Customer Focus, Optimizes Work Processes, Collaborates, Communicates Effectively, and Be Open and Authentic.

      Customer Focus:

      • Provide guidance and support to Product Teams to deliver regular program increments (PI) that provide customer value.
      • Work with Product Management to update Roadmaps to ensure greatest customer value is delivered.
      • Manage and track funding for value streams, working closely with finance.
      • 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 evolution.
        • Identify and facilitate continuous improvement and reduction of waste in the ART (Inspect & Adapt).
        • Ensure ART is properly resourced and identify role/skill gaps.


          • 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 sprints
              • Communicate PI Commitments and any variances from it during aPI
              • Conduct Retrospective of PI Planning event and implement improvements
              • Serve as an escalation path for Scrum Masters and Scrum Teams.
              • Assist in contract management and communication with external vendors and contractors.
              • Ensure ART members are aligned on roles and responsibilities.
              • 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.

                Communicates Effectively:

                • Leverage dashboards and tools (Rally/Clarity/Other) to ensure a high transparency of status, risk, and issues throughout the Clearinghouse.
                • ART and team dashboards to track progress, blockers, and other relevant metrics.
                • 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 Product Management.
                  • 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 needs.
                  • Consensus building across ART and various stakeholders as needed.

                    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 Manager.
                    • 2+ years of experience, leading Agile Release Trains in a SAFe environment.
                    • Certification preferred: Certified SAFe Release Train Engineer or equivalent.
                    • 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 environment.
                    • 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, WY.
                    • 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
                      • Experience:
                        • 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.
                          Physical Demands:

                          • 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 environment.
                          • Occasionally required to use hands and fingers to operate, handle, and reach.
                          • Vision abilities include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.
                          • 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 vaccination requirement.

                            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 per year.

                            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 Disabilities

                            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 60-1.35(c)

Keywords: National Student Clearinghouse, Germantown , Release Train Engineer / Program Manager, Executive , Herndon, Maryland

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