Share this Job

Director Product Ownership

Date: Apr 7, 2021

Location: Portsmouth, NH, US, 03801

Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Job Requisition ID: 16501

Additional Locations: 

Director – Product Ownership: Remote



Overall Objective and description:  Managing multiple product owners, you will be involved in a variety of digital product development activities. You will help instill Agile product management best practices into an organization that will need coaching and mentoring. The person in this role will need to be a strategic thinker and have a strong understanding of the competitive landscape and have the ability to do market analysis to make the case on why the product approach adds value. You will be charged with leading ideation sessions with various team members that span across authors, sales, marketing and creative services. Utilizing your expertise, you will have empowerment and have ownership to set a product roadmap to ensure it meets customer needs. 


Position Responsibilities:  

  • Lead a team of Product Owners 

  • Develop product roadmaps that have inter-dependency on other product delivery  

  • Work closely with print product owners to ensure the delivery of multi-channel product delivery 

  • Mentor team on Agile Product Owner best practices  

  • Implement product strategy and vision in order to integrate with overall program initiatives and deliver on schedule high quality products that meet customer needs 

  • Articulate the product vision, roadmap and growth opportunities 

  • Take the lead of multiple scrum teams as the product owner 

  • Provide vision and direction for the agile development teams and stakeholders throughout the projects 

  • Create Themes, Sagas, Epics and User Stories from multiple sources of input across multiple lines of business 

  • Prioritize the backlog for multiple scrum teams 

  • Participate in grooming and sizing of stories as well as acceptance of stories and features 

  • Monitor milestone and release dates, and consider stakeholder interests 

  • Partner with Engineering to manage trade-offs for quality product release 

  • Partner with internal and external stakeholders to and provide transparency and clarity on product requirements, design, and functionality. 

  • Report status and escalate as appropriate on product development, issues, product scope or prioritization changes or anything that impacts product delivery 

  • Participate in research activities that validate product development efforts 

  • Practice effective risk mitigation: Prioritize and make trade-offs to ensure delivery of product on time and within budget, while maintaining educational integrity of products 

  • Effectively lead and manage change within the organization by building consensus and open communication among all stakeholders 

  • Maintain consistency across products by collaborating with other team leaders 

  • Research and analyze market, users, and competition 

  • Understands the engineer perspective, values user centered design and is diplomatic in gaining consensus  





  • 10+ years managing, and leading software development projects and teams required, preferably in the education technology industry 

  • Previous work with content management systems 

  • Solid understanding of and prior experience leading teams with Agile methodologies and project management tools (e.g. JIRA, Confluence) 

  • Agile Product Owner Certification preferred 

  • Experience delivering enterprise level products that have long development lifecycles 

  • Demonstrated success leading cross-functional technology project teams (PMI Certification a plus) 

  • Knowledge of education technology (K-12) industry trends, user experience (educators, 

students, and administrators), and classroom needs 


Education: Bachelor’s degree in business or technical discipline preferred (Master’s degree a plus) 


Physical Requirements

  • Might be in a stationary position for a considerable time (sitting and/or standing).
  • The person in this position needs to move about inside the office to access file cabinets, office machinery, etc.
  • Constantly operates a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a calculator, copy machine, and computer printer.
  • Must be able to collaborate with colleagues via face to face, conference calls, and online meetings.


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company dedicated to changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. As a leading provider of pre-K–12 education content, services, and cutting-edge technology solutions across a variety of media, HMH enables learning in a changing landscape. HMH is uniquely positioned to create engaging and effective educational content and experiences from early childhood to beyond the classroom.  HMH serves more than 50 million students in over 150 countries worldwide, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world.

For more information, visit http://careers.hmhco.com  

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is an equal employment opportunity employer and participates in E-Verify. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, disability, or other protected group status.

Nearest Major Market: Portsmouth
Nearest Secondary Market: Boston

Job Segment: Manager, Management, Marketing, Publishing, Education