Business Product Owner- Learner Profile

Western Governors University
February 17, 2021
Atlanta, GA
Job Type


Current WGU Employees must have their application submitted by January 19th to be considered for this role.

Position Summary - 

The Business Product Owner (BPO) for Learner Profile is responsible for bringing the learners experience product vision to life and delivering business value through the articulation of the requirements and prioritization of the Learner Profile roadmap.  The BPO obsesses over the learners’ experience and realizes the opportunity that the digital experience offers to supporting student success for a wide variety of learner profiles.  They work collaboratively with operational stakeholders, advanced analytics, the technical product team, design, engineering, and learners to deliver iterative value through releases that impact the learners’ experience. They closely monitor product health and outcome metrics to drive prioritization decisions and passionately evangelize the benefits and value their products provide. 


This role will work closely with executive leadership across the university on the Next Generation Platform that will advance the transformation of the learner lifecycle experience to meet the needs of a variety of learner profiles. The nature of the work includes excellent collaboration and communication skills, active in design sessions and ideation, thoughtful (but quick) decision-making, ability to think flexibly and move forward with ambiguity.  The ideal BPO is someone who can participate/lead “blue sky” visioning sessions and dig into the details at the most minute details to operationalize the vision. The BPO brings thought leadership, industry experience, and leverages research to drive system capabilities to ensure equitable attainment and to personalize the experience for every learner.   


Essential Functions and Responsibilities 

  • Responsible for articulating, translating product features into epics, themes and stories, and aligning the overall vision into strategy and tactics for all stakeholders in accordance with the North Star Steering Committee.   

  • Accountable for working interdependently to create and deliver scalable processes by securing commitments, responding with urgency to customer and organizational needs and exhibits excellent judgment to deliver results.  

  • Responsible for identifying and documenting the overall business requirements and ensuring they are articulated to all stakeholders and added to the domain backlog according to business value or ROI and to achieve key results. Responsible for setting goals, KPIs, budgets, assess risk and aligns timelines with university-level initiatives and projects and provides reporting and analyses to further drive decision making related to the prioritization of actions and assignment of resources.  

  • Accountable for owning, refining, and delivering against domain backlog 

  • Leverages a systems-thinking approach by scrutinizing and interpreting highly complex data from multiple sources utilizing a comprehensive knowledge of the university, higher education and research on learner segments in order to craft inventive solutions and make decisions.  

  • Responsible for establishing and maintaining professional working relations and communication with stakeholders, project team members, departments, and outside contacts relevant to the project.  Ability to present and report regularly to WGU’s C-Suite and primary key stakeholders to in to influence decision making, gain buy-in and support systemic change by identifying opportunities for new initiatives aligned with strategic priorities and propose solutions aligned to business problems identified, that support and champion the student experience.  

  • Communicates with customers to gather input and address upcoming changes, and correlates data with market research for responsible domains.  Demonstrates the WGU leadership principles in all aspects of service to students, employees and partners of WGU to help plan, coordinate, and deliver multiple business transformation projects/programs across WGU.  

  • Communicates the business product strategy effectively to key stakeholders and team members. Incorporates stakeholder input into product roadmap while effectively negotiating tradeoffs of conflicting priorities based on value to the business and customer 

  • Responsible for the digital student experience, the nudges and methods of the platform and its alignment to Key Results 

  • Ensure that user and market research is conducted as needed for responsible domains 

  • Acts as the ‘voice of the customer’ 

  • Acts as the ‘voice of the market’ 

  • Acts with Subject matter/domain expertise in learner profile and learner lifecycle including the technology used and dependencies. Knowledgeable of the market and industry and understand the latest relevant technologies, vendors, innovations, and forward-thinking trends 


Knowledge, Skill and Abilities  

  • Subject matter expertise in product management and product domain (Learner Profile) 

  • Demonstrated experience working in the Agile Scrum framework and with project management methodologies 

  • Comfortable with ambiguity and prepared to act with incomplete information 

  • Excellent communication and people skills  

  • Thrives working collaboratively as part of a team in a fast-paced environment 

  • Strong attention to detail while not losing site of the larger goal 

  • Leadership skills with the ability to effectively influence, persuade and negotiate with multiple levels 

  • Understanding of technical concepts and ability to communicate them to non-technical audiences 

  • Analytical and quantitative skills to use data and metrics to back up assumptions, surface recommendations and drive decisions. Ability to clearly communicate these data insights to others. 



Minimum Requirements:

  • BS or MS (preferred) in education psychology, instructional psychology, media psychology, human development, instructional systems, or a similar field 

  • Experience working in an Agile environment as a Product Owner to build enterprise software technology 

  • Ability to collaborate with UI/UX designers and be advised by others to create new experiences for students and staff 

  • Demonstrated knowledge of software development lifecycle project management concepts (preferably Agile/SCRUM) 

  • Familiar with and contributor to market forces/current trends impacting online education and student success in digital environments 

  • Familiarity with Student lifecycle experiences, SIS, CRMs, and communication tools 

  • Ability to deftly communicate technology concepts effectively with technically proficient and non- technically proficient individuals  

  • Demonstrated experience collaborating with a variety of stakeholder groups and determining the appropriate needs. 

  • Excellent presentation and communication skills to a broad audience across multiple departments and stakeholders with a technical writing emphasis. 


Preferred Qualifications 

  • MS or PhD in psychology, education, or human development domains 

  • Experience in Education Technology, Higher Education Operations 

  • Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Agile or other equivalent certification  

  • Certified in change management (i.e. ProSci ADKAR) 

  • Public and/or customer relations and communication experience a plus 


Special Requirements Travel requirements, ability to work nights/weekends, etc. 

  • Light travel required, approximately 15-25%  



Competencies Required Communication, Teamwork, problem solving, etc. 

  • Demonstrated strong technical writing and communication skills. 

  • Demonstrated ability to use and interpret data to make decisions, and communicate results effectively to various stakeholders 

  • Systems thinker who can identify systemic structures contributing to outcomes, identify high leverage activities to impact outcomes, and articulate the implications of business decisions 

  • Key competencies include: systems-thinking approach, project management, change management, data analytics 

  • Ability to develop a business case and models 

  • Highly organized and detail orientated 

  • Proven ability to take initiative and be both innovative and flexible 

  • Works well in a team environment. 

  • Ability to build consensus and motivate others. 

  • Strong oral communications abilities. 

  • Strong technical and problem-solving skills. 

  • Ability to plan and meet schedules for both individual and collaborative projects. 

  • Ability to create concise, informative reports on projects and initiatives 

  • Ability to clearly document and catalog information and progress on assigned projects 

  • Proficiency with Office 365 applications, live event tools, CRM software, Tableau or PowerBi, SmartSheet 

  • Critical thinking and problem solving. 

  • Excellent decision-making and leadership capabilities. 

  • Conflict resolution experience. 

  • Adaptability and propensity to embrace ambiguity that accompanies transformative projects. 

  • Strong organizational and relationship management skills with excellent verbal and written ability. 

  • Exceptional analytical, conceptual, and problem-solving skills required, including an understanding of how to interpret business and user needs and translated them into an optimized business process. 

  • The ability to work with system and software experts to express optimized process designs into technical requirements. 

  • Be a self-starter with bias for action versus extensive deliberation 

  • Exhibits excellent judgment with strong results orientation 

  • Has relentlessly high standards for process improvement (is never satisfied with the status quo) 

  • Is enthusiastic about WGU’s Mission and our students 

  • Maintains and builds relationships with business owners, stakeholders, team members and key vendors 

  • Exceptional communicator with the ability to provide verbal and written status updates to all levels of employees. 

  • Ability to work well under pressure and with dynamic deadlines 



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