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Product Manager | Scrum Master | Agile Analyst

Reporting to: CTO
Contract duration: Permanent
Rate: Mid-to-senior depending on experience
Hours: Full-time
Based: Nairobi, Kenya

Context

The Social Impact Lab (SIMLab) lowers the barriers to social change using mobile technologies. Our main product, FrontlineSMS, has become one of the best-known ‘ICT4D’, or ICT for development initiatives in the world, used in everything from election monitoring, to healthcare, to disaster response, to climate change research, and it continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Within the last year, our software was downloaded as many times as it was in our first six years combined – a testament to the skill of our Kenya-based developer team and the years of user feedback and experience that underpin the design.

FrontlineSMS is free, open-source desktop software that enables users to send, receive and manage SMS over a mobile network. It has now been downloaded over 100,000 times and is in use in over 135 countries. It runs on a laptop connected to a GSM modem, a mobile phone, or an online SMS (or text message) service. It can work without the need for Internet access.

For the last six months, our team has been working to build FrontlineCloud, a web-hosted version of our platform launched in August 2013 – to solve our users’ largest challenges, reach a new type of user, and ensure the sustainability of the Frontline ecosystem for years to come. FrontlineCloud is available for a modest subscription. In order to send messages from this online service, users will be able to choose a web-based SMS service from a list for the best option for them based on their country of operation, or use an Android phone running SMSSync.

We have an ambitious and exciting product roadmap, managed by product owners with input from our clients, \o/ heroes (our faithful volunteers), users and the development team. Our Cloud beta launch marks a shift from chiefly grant-funded Foundation to full-service SAAS firm with a strong product-based revenue stream – with all that means for the pressure on us to deliver consistent software and support.

FrontlineCloud and FrontlineSMS are produced by our dedicated agile development team in Kenya. All but one are Kenyan and many are recent graduates. We are looking to cement and expand the skills base of the team in the coming year and the Chief Engineer will be critical to this for leadership, mentoring and technical expertise.

Our whole development team is colocated in a single office in Nairobi (we can see the same post-it notes that way) and other areas of the company are run currently in Washington DC.

FrontlineCloud and FrontlineSMS are developed by using agile production processes.  This role is a key position within our scrum and kanban technical team in Nairobi, leading the scrum and understanding the vision of the product.  The PM/SM/AA performs various activities in the development team to reflect the vision into the product that they work closely with the product owners to understand.

Responsibilities

  • Uphold and train Agile, Lean, and Continuous Development best practices

  • Collaborate between the Product Owners, CTO, CEO, external consultants and when appropriate clients and projects.

  • Asking ‘why’ so that the whole team understands no matter which source a particular story or suggestion comes from

  • Analyse, design, copy write and wireframe complex and simple features and improvements

  • Set up, administer, scrum master, close down, maintain and generally drive each and every sprint, iteration and Jira ticket

  • Help to coordinate and schedule the developer team, ensuring that the needs of different projects and products are balanced

  • Be part of the team that ensures that the provision of adequate, responsive and timely technical support to users through our user support forum, Zendesk and occasionally direct (in-person, Skype, email etc.)

  • Lead technical scoping & quoting exercises for funding and consulting proposals

  • Build a cohesive and successful developer and support team that are constantly learning and developing in their coding and professional skills

  • Recruit and help to manage volunteers, interns and external sources of input such as the open source community

  • Act as a SIMLab representative in East Africa

  • As all wise people do who care about their team, help to run a creative, productive and generally nice Nairobi office environment

Person Specification

ESSENTIAL

  • Proven agile project management skills, for example an ability to debate the nuances of scrum vs kanban, defend the weighting of a particular story and run budgets for clients with these tools in mind

  • Knowledge of the scrum master and product owner roles

  • It might go without saying but strong administration skills, accuracy, organization and punctuality

  • Understanding of the idea of UX principles, copywriting and digital application terminology

  • With a personal backlog that will extend past each day’s scope, an ability to prioritise all types of task is a day-to-day requirement

  • Ability to work independently whilst in a close knit team, with limited supervision

  • Proven ability to work with colleagues who work remotely, primarily using IM, email, phone and social media.

  • Flexible and open-minded approach with a willingness to get stuck in with whatever needs doing!

DESIRABLE

  • Certified Scrum Master

  • Creative direction experience

  • A passion, interest or experience of mobile technology and social media

  • Negotiation skills / contract management

  • Technical background and an understanding in what it takes to write code

  • Knowing the difference between SSO, USSD, Jira, Git and JIT

  • Helped build or shape a web app in the past

  • Been inside a start-up environment

  • Travelled the digital world

>> Email us at info@frontlinesms.com telling us why you could be our team mate and attach a CV or link to prove it.

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