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Vice President, Digital Product Management - Insurance Systems

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

What's the role?

The VP Product Management – Insurance Systems, will play a critical role in defining the vision for the digital tools and systems used by field and the home office to build a holistic customer experience. This role is responsible for owning the tools, processes, and operational aspects of the NM New Business, Risk Servicing, and Benefits systems (“ insurance systems ”). This will include instituting strong product management discipline across the function to support the purchase journey, policy administration and benefits systems to drive experience led and capability enabled outcomes for the enterprise. The successful candidate will have previous expertise in the insurance industry and a proven track record in product management with strong acumen in design concepts and technology. This individual will collaborate with business functions that include sales, marketing, risk products, legal, compliance, technology, and risk management. This role will require significant advisor and executive interaction.

The individual will be responsible for setting the product vision and strategy for the insurance systems and leading all aspects of the prioritization and decision-making framework to make sure the systems are successfully implemented and integrated to drive improved field, servicing, and client experience. They will produce and maintain an implementable roadmap (based on feasibility) and align journey, product, and business teams around releases. VP Product Management will work in a highly collaborative fashion horizontally across home office and field with various teams and partners to ensure alignment with strategy, to gain input on benefits and outcomes, and to assess feasibility, complexity and cost, and partnering on priorities and releases. They will be accountable for ensuring product backlog is constantly groomed by the team.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Defines the vision and strategy for digital products and collaborates with others cross-functionally to ensure the financial and user satisfaction goals are met. Keeps the end user’s experience at the center of their decision making.

  • Accountable for developing multi-year roadmaps for digital products through collaboration with business, technology, and Field (i.e., advisors) partners while balancing our transformation aspirations and run the business needs.

  • Defines release cadence and understands the change management impacts to end users. Guides theme, epic and feature creation, maintains user stories and develops and prioritizes functional requirements for new or revised features or improvements.

  • Works with broader product team to groom, prioritize and sequence feature backlog to deliver predictable and on time outcomes.

  • Drives SDLC implementing agile practices and measuring delivery metrics (velocity, quality, etc.) while applying sound design principles in product architecture and data design.

  • Ensures NM’s CX strategy and goals are supported by the product and that the product goals and strategy do not deviate from that of the business.

  • Understands both the engineering and business side of the product released and is ultimately responsible for representing the end-user’s needs.

  • Responsible for the product and product features from start to finish. Key decision maker on priorities and design decisions and works to ensure that all partners are aligned. Inspects product progress and has complete authority to accept or reject work done.

  • Inspires behavior of “challenging the status quo” to transform through innovation and breaks down barriers so individuals are empowered and held accountable to do their best. Aligns employee passion to business value outcomes.

  • Exhibits the following proficiencies: accountable for high quality, value driven work that drives business outcomes; places the user in the center of decision making, teams up and collaborates for speed, agility, and innovation; embraces continuous learning, is curious, embraces ambiguity, voices opinions; and takes personal accountability.

  • Proactively manages executive expectations.

Bring Your Best! What this role needs:

  • 10+ years’ experience as a leader in digital product management, including experience in B2B and B2C applications, software, or technologies.

  • Proven success with Insurance systems.

  • Deep Risk Product knowledge from sales through service of Life, Annuities and DI.

  • Demonstrated results with planning, defining, and launching successful large-scale digital products and product portfolios.

  • Excellent customer service intuition; demonstrated success in inventing creative and user-friendly digital products.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the financial services industry.

  • Ability to form relationships, gain confidence and work collaboratively with colleagues and leaders at all levels across the company to identify and resolve issues.

  • Experience with and adopts agile methodologies.

  • Enterprise view; skilled at blending subject areas in pursuit of a mission.

  • Key knowledge of the principles and methods of managing organizational change and leading others through change.

  • Metrics and data analysis skills to develop, supervise and make data-driven decisions based on value delivered against strategic outcomes.

  • Strong negotiation and decision-making skills, and ability to execute in ambiguous conditions or circumstances.

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field required, Master’s degree preferred.

#LI-POST

This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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