Software - Vice-President Research and Development - Montreal

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About the Client

Our client is a profitable, publicly traded Canadian software company which provides powerful business solutions to enterprise clients around the world. The company’s mission is to deliver the highest value to its clients, with unparalleled industry solutions that are based on their advanced proven technologies and feature-rich enterprise suite of applications, professionally delivered with the breadth and depth of expertise harnessed by their employees.

The firm's solutions can be deployed as an integrated suite or as stand-alone best-of-breed components. The company's customers feature about hundreds of mid-size and Fortune 1000 corporations across a range of vertical markets.

Though the firm continues to grow organically it has also completed several key acquisitions. Managing and leveraging these technologies across the organization continues to present significant opportunities for the firm. The technology aspects of this collective task will be the responsibility of the new Vice-President Research and Development


Scope of Position

Broadly, the objective of the role of the VP Research and Development is to cultivate an environment that attracts, deploys and retains the human and other resources required to effectively develop, deliver and support products that will provide value to the company’s customers, while meeting the business strategy and goals for profitable growth.

Reporting to the President and CEO, the VP Research and Development is responsible for providing leadership in all activities related to the development and delivery of the company's diverse products from definition and specification through design, release, enhancement, quality assurance, implementation and support.

The specific functional departments reporting to the Vice-President Research and Development include engineering and product management. The successful candidate will assume responsibility for the total team of approximately 100 experienced and highly capable individuals who are characterized by their loyalty, creativity and commitment to the company's innovative products and the satisfaction of their customers.


Functional Tasks

  • Manage direct reports, along with their goal setting, performance measurement and development feedback. Provide for similar initiatives across entire engineering organization
  • Work with the senior management team to deliver and support the company’s product roadmap consistent with and reflecting the company’s overall strategic plans for corporate growth
  • Develop and document corporate plans and systems for product development
  • Develop reliable, robust software on-time, within cost targets, using accepted, state of the art methodologies balancing the demands of release content, quality and desired release dates.
  • Manage the overall engineering budget
  • Audit existing and establish new scalable development platforms and processes which meet current organizational requirements, anticipates future growth and complexity and balance the need for predictability and creative license
  • Protect proprietary products and technology information to ensure the documentation and retention of information on products and their design, within the company, and the protection of the company’s investments throughout patents, copyrights, NDAs and any other protective vehicles
  • Maintain keen awareness of the trends and conditions in technology, products and development tools relative to the needs of the company’s customers and business
  • Establish key indicators for competitive performance in completion of development projects and for rapid, realistic decisions on strategies, plans and projects
  • Maintain an awareness of all applicable public support for development activities and for human resource development
  • Align the product development organization’s activities with the company goals and strategic direction, as well as with the company’s corporate values in areas such as people, integrity, passion and innovation
  • Build and facilitate the development of strong relationships and synergy with all other areas of the company, with key suppliers and with the company’s technical partners in order to achieve the corporate goals and objectives while executing product and technology development plans
  • Foster an environment that enables highly technical staff to consistently perform with excellence, to set and meet personal and team goals, and to develop and be recognized for world-class competence in their field(s) within the context of the company's software development programs
  • Establish and maintain succession plans and programs for all positions within the engineering organization to ensure the smooth transition and minimize vacancies for critical roles.

Key Performance Deliverables

In light of the identified responsibilities, the following are specific deliverables that the position is designed to achieve.

  • Cycle time excellence and on-time product delivery to market
  • Quality and customer satisfaction in both custom and packaged development initiatives
  • Retention and recruiting
  • Employee satisfaction and motivation
  • Development of staff eg. Goals completed, performance reviews completed etc
  • Functionality and performance
  • Budget management as well as product cost
  • Defects per design
  • Product reliability
  • Innovation as measured by benchmarking against competitive products.
  • Productivity eg. Developers/revenue ratio
  • Responsiveness eg. to market changes, customers
  • Achievement of overall corporate goals

Competency Profile

The following competencies listed below define the role of Vice-President Research and Development  

Planning & Objective Setting
Systematic in approach to work. Produces action plans in which objectives are defined and steps for achieving them are clearly specified. Plans by breaking down large task into subtasks. Develops plans that anticipate obstacles. Is realistic about time-scales and builds in appropriate checkpoints, milestones and controls in order to ensure that desired results are realized.

Results Orientation
Focuses strongly on achieving agreed upon outcomes and ensures that key objectives are met. Conveys a sense of urgency and drives issues to closure. Aims to improve upon past performance. Establishes aggressive personal targets and strives to achieve them.

Team Skills
Helps to create a sense of team spirit and harmonious relations through cooperation and support. Balances personal goals with those of the team. Fosters collaboration among team members.

Role Expertise
Demonstrates critical technical or professional knowledge/skills related to the role. Has thorough knowledge of relevant products, services and methods. Expands technical knowledge/skills and keeps up-to-date in own area of expertise.

People Management
Establishes and communicates clear priorities and sense of direction. Clarifies roles and responsibilities. Adapts management style to achieve optimum results.

Influence
Articulates the key points of an argument persuasively. Negotiates skillfully and convinces others to own point of view. Directly and indirectly impacts the decisions/opinions of others. Mobilizes people into action. 

Commercial Acumen
Applies appropriate commercial and financial principles. Understands situations in terms of costs, profits, added-value and return on investment. Appreciates the commercial impact of own work on the organization's total expenses and revenues.

Boundary-Spanning
Incorporates information about the organization's structure and protocol into decisions. Attentive to the internal politics and alert to shifting interpersonal dynamics. Establishes the necessary support networks and cross-functional relationships through rapport building. Recognizes, maintains and effectively balances the interests and needs of one's own group with those of the broader organization.


Preferred Experience / Education

The following indicates specific industry, academic and functional experience/qualifications that are important to the successful achievement of the identified responsibilities and performance deliverables.

  • Experience in managing engineering teams of 50+ with multiple product lines
  • Varied experience with productivity and quality enhancing engineering methodologies including Agile
  • Proven experience in having scaled engineering organizations through the judicious implementation of tighter process/methodology while preserving the positive elements of the core entrepreneurial and creative culture.
  • Experience in both large complex and more entrepreneurial environments
  • Outstanding people skills to be applied within the engineering organization as well as across the executive team.
  • Proven experience in managing development organizations addressing both ‘off the shelf’ and custom product development initiatives
  • Proven ability to manage both revenues and cost
  • Management experience within an enterprise software environment of similar size or larger

Remuneration & Benefits

  • A competitive base compensation package will be offered which shall include base salary, variable bonus, stock options, profit sharing and benefits package.