Technical Product Owner-Manager

Job description

Description: Are you a change maker, excited about data and technology, who wants to play a pivotal role in restoring vision for millions of people in low-income settings?

Vision Spring, an international social enterprise, seeks a Product Owner-Manager for its internal product development, who will be accountable for maximizing the value of products to the organization.

As the Technical Product Owner-Manager, you will be responsible for representing the interests of all internal stakeholders, defining and prioritizing the product backlog, and defining engagement structures that minimize handoffs between the business objectives and the development effort. You will play a leading role in understanding user needs, translating them into clear requirements, and driving the development process to meet business objectives.

As a Technical Product Owner-Manager, you will be at the forefront of our products development cycle, ensuring that our technical solutions meet the highest standards and align with our business goals and customer needs. You will act as a bridge between the technical team and stakeholders, translating business requirements into technical specifications, and overseeing the development, deployment, training, and continuous improvement of our products.

Customers for Vision Spring products are mostly internal, i.e., not commercial, although some users are customers outside the organization.

In collaboration with the software development team, which includes the Global Director of IT, two internal IT professionals and external developers,  the Product Owner-Manager will define the product Vision and Strategy, develop the Roadmaps, creating and clearly communicating product backlog items and prioritize, release planning and deployment and develops and organizes training.

The Technical Product Owner-Manager is a member of the Information Technology team and will report to the Global Director, IT.

About You

  • Mission-driven, entrepreneurial experimenter.  You build the system to adhere to the mission to support the delivery of the organization’s long-term outcomes.
  • Customer centric. You center around defined value propositions, customer experience, and feedback, from stakeholders.
  • Decision maker. You foster ideation, iteration, and learning, but you do not shy away from taking decisions on prioritization in line with the mission.
  • Scaling champion. You are motivated to let your data, evidence and learning on small scale reach millions of people based on their unit economics, repeatability, customer demand, and market opportunity. However, you are flexible and open to adapt the system to the various contexts.
  • Collaborator. You collaborate with diverse teams and mentor people. In a diverse, growth-stage organization you create opportunities for participation and increased responsibility. You model vulnerability and accountability, and roll-up your sleeves to deliver when needed.

About Us

  • VisionSpring is creating access to affordable eyewear, everywhere. Clear vision creates opportunities for increased learning, work, safety, civic participation, and quality of life.
  • As a social enterprise, social change motivates us first. Our focus on sales and revenue targets serves and advances our mission objective - to increase functioning, productivity, and income earning potential for our low-income consumers by correcting refractive error with eyeglasses.
  • We are working to transform the systemic dysfunction of an optical market that has failed to deliver eyeglasses - a 700-year-old technology - to 1.1 billion consumers in need of vision correction, most of whom live on less than $4 a day.
  • We serve low-income consumers, not as beneficiaries but as customers. Our customers expect a high-quality and affordable product, and they will spend limited discretionary income for the immediate and tangible benefits of vision correction.
  • By selling eyeglasses, we awaken new demand and seed a viable market. By selling new eyeglasses we are able to serve four times as many people per dollar input than the alternative of donating recycled ones. To efficiently scale, we must deliver each new unit with lower cost.
  • We run our business on both sales metrics and social impact measures. We use a range of organizational forms and practices to get the job done.
  • We believe in scaling our impact, not our organization. We are a lean team of doers.

Example Product: DigitEYES

Vision Spring conducts eye-screening in the field, which is miles away from our lens lab where custom prescription glasses are made. We used to capture screening data in the Customer Examination Sheet (CES-paper form) and courier these sheets to the lab for production. We needed to move to a digital platform to reduce the delivery time of prescription glasses to our customers, to improve real-time and error-free data requirements.

Our digital replacement of the paper-based CES has been designed to work with off-the-shelf low-end computers and tablets, and in environments with no electricity and spotty or no internet access can accommodate the movement of customers in a vision screening camp from station to station, without giving the customer a tablet to hold and can be operated by staff with basic reading and writing skills.

DigitEYES digitally captures the beneficiary’s demographic and eye examination information at vision camps. The platform is designed to function without internet access or electricity and low-end off-the-shelf hardware. Vision Camps are set up in the DigitEYES Cloud Server. A laptop configured as the DigitEYES Camp Server reads the Cloud Server for the camp configuration data.

What You'll Do

Define Product Vision and Strategy

  • You will collaborate with stakeholders to understand business goals and user needs.
  • You will develop and communicate a compelling product vision and strategy for products.

Roadmap Development and Prioritization

  • You will create and manage the products’ roadmaps based on business priorities and user feedback.
  • You will prioritize features and enhancements, balancing short-term goals with long-term vision and the competing priorities of different business units.
  • Work closely with the development team to provide direction on the technical aspects of the product.
  • Ensure the technical feasibility of proposed solutions and make trade-off decisions when necessary.

Requirement Gathering and Documentation

  • You will work closely with stakeholders, including end-users, to gather and document detailed requirements.
  • You will collect feedback from users and incorporate insights into future product iterations.
  • You will clearly articulate user stories, acceptance criteria, and specifications for development teams.

Quality Assurance and Testing

  • You will work with the development team to define and execute test plans, ensuring the quality of the systems.
  • You will address and prioritize issues identified during the testing phases.

Release Planning and Deployment

  • You will plan and coordinate product releases, considering business priorities and dependencies.
  • You will coordinate alpha and beta testing.
  • You will work closely with customers to ensure smooth deployment and minimal downtime.

Agile Practices

  • Champion agile methodologies within the team, facilitating sprint/iteration planning, reviews, and retrospectives.
  • Create and manage the product backlog, prioritizing based on value to the customer and alignment with product strategy.
  • You will be responsible for defining the product releases and the sprints/iterations.

User Training and Support

  • Coordinate the development of training materials and ensure customers receive training and support during product rollout.

Required profile for job ad : Technical Product Owner-Manager Requirements

  • Bachelor's or Master’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, or a related field.
  • Proven experience as a Product Owner-Manager or similar role in IT, with a focus on electronic data systems.
  • Strong understanding of software development processes and methodologies.
  • Experience as a Product Owner in at least 1 product rollout/launch, ideally in an international development context.
  • Software programming experience, with at least one completed project.
  • Excellent stakeholder management, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to analyze data, make data-driven decisions and solve complex problems.
  • Experience working with Agile/Scrum methodologies.
  • Experience of working in Sub Saharan Africa, India, Bangladesh, or Vietnam is a plus.


  • Salary based on experience and education and location.
  • Annual performance-based bonus.
  • VisionSpring offers competitive benefits, including health insurance, gratuity funds, and generous vacation/personal time.

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