9976 Senior Product Manager

San Francisco Digital Services

Recruitment #PEX-9976-093092


APPOINTMENT TYPE: Permanent Exempt (PEX), this position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive Civil Service examination process and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.


We are looking for an experienced Product Manager (PM) to shape the way residents apply for permits with the City and County of San Francisco.

You will lead a multi-disciplinary team of designers, developers, and PMs to build the user experience of applying for a permit. With more than 600 permits, this is a huge undertaking and will have a significant impact on the way residents experience their city government.

The City issues permits for everything from building new housing, to starting new businesses, to events big and small. Permits help the City ensure that things are happening safely and that we are upholding the values of our communities.

We have a unique opportunity to improve the permit experience with a new Permit Center being built at 49 South Van Ness Ave. This physical space will bring together 11 different departments that are currently spread through out the city, making an easy one-stop location for all in-person permit transactions. Our goal is to have much of the work done online as possible before residents show up in person, this will allow our staff to spent their time in quality interactions, rather than in repetitive administrative work.

There are several digital products that will make an exceptional permitting customer experience, including:

  • Smart online application forms
  • Tools that help people check the city’s rules and fees
  • Integrations with many back-office systems used by city staff
  • Notifications and status tracking tools

There are three main types of permits that the city issues – permits for construction (e.g. new buildings, affordable housing, extensions to people’s homes); permits for businesses (e.g. restaurants, stores, food trucks, Cannabis cultivation, tattoo shops); and permits for special events (e.g. SF Pride, conferences, block parties, markets, festivals). Each permit type has a different and complex business process behind it. Our main focus is to demystifying the process for a better customer experience and to improve the business process where possible.

Not only is this a chance to dramatically improve the permit experience online, but it’s also an opportunity to show what world class government digital services can look like.


As the 9976 Principal Product Manager, you’ll own the vision and strategy for digital permitting and oversee products that give an excellent customer experience. As the top technical authority, you will work with a multi-disciplinary team of 10 or more designers, developers and other PMs, and decide priorities for development across the board.

You will engage with permitting departments and customers to understand where there is the greatest need and opportunity, and you will own the overall product roadmap for digital permitting. You will get into the detail and complexity of permitting processes, but be able to switch into the high-level view as needed, to ensure that the overall vision stays true.

Where vendors are involved you will help manage those relationships, and where our team is building products you will ensure this happens in an Agile way. You will define performance measures and reporting, and ensure that all permitting efforts are coordinated and communicated. Successful candidates will have leadership experience on agile product teams.

You will be a champion for user needs, using data and user research to back up your product roadmap. You will manage complexity and stay calm under pressure, balancing competing priorities and backlogs for the best impact on users.


  • Works with the Chief Digital Services Officer, Permit Center Manager, Service Designer, and other stakeholders to own and implement a compelling vision for digital permitting.
  • Coordinates product teams to ensure that they are working in harmony toward your vision.
  • Be creative and resourceful; use your expertise to solve complex problems that span multiple departments and various types of users.
  • Manages complex stakeholder relationships and implementations across multiple departments.
  • Coach and lead other PMs in best practice, particularly Agile and product management.
  • Coordinates a multi-disciplinary agile software development team to deliver complex products.
  • Research and evaluate new technologies, software, and hardware products; consults with vendors about product functions and features; recommends software and hardware purchases.
  • Oversees roadmap planning, resource management, procurement, and vendor management.
  • Flags potential risks early and works with the team and stakeholders to mitigate risks.
  • Prepares product budgetary cost estimates; develops implementation proposals, documentation and roadmaps; writes technical specifications and requests for proposals.
  • Participates in planning and conducting thoughtful and ethical user research that effectively captures and utilizes insights from user research to propose improvements to policy, service design, and delivery.
  • Defines and obtains stakeholder buy-in for product definition and delivery approach. Gathers and uses evidence to assess the costs, benefits, and risks of a wide range of delivery options. Implements a product vision developed in collaboration with department leadership.
  • Creates effective, prioritized product descriptions, user stories, and delivery plans to meet user needs in a cost-effective way. In some cases, serve as scrum master or delivery manager.
  • Multi-channel delivery: Works with the designer and department partners on a strategy for paper and analog channels to complement digital service delivery.
  • Works comfortably in an agile environment with rapidly changing deadlines, workloads, and goals.
  • Leads data-based continuous delivery and improvement, ensuring that services are regularly analyzed, maintained and improved to better user experience. Design service processes to include continuous feedback loops between customers and the service team.
  • Provides counseling and mediation; persuade, convince and train others, including the ability to act in a lead worker capacity.
  • Recommends a variety of personnel actions in such areas as performance evaluation, training, selection, and disciplinary measures.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

1. Possession of an Associate's degree from an accredited college or university OR its equivalent in terms of total course credits/units [i.e., at least sixty (60) semester or ninety (90) quarter credits/units]; AND

2. Five (5) year of product management experience.

Additional experience as described above may be substituted for the required degree on a year-for-year basis (up to a maximum of two (2) years). One (1) year is equivalent to thirty (30) semester units or forty-five (45) quarter units.


  • Five (5) or more years of experience designing outstanding web-based products for a consumer-oriented website. Experience re-designing complex products, services, or transactions to be more simple, beautiful, and easy to use.
  • Product team experience including experience leading user research and user testing process; writing user stories; managing roadmaps, leading agile scrum methodology, and managing stakeholder relationships.
  • Strong technical understanding of modern web product development.
  • Strong working knowledge of Lean and Agile practices. Experience working within Agile teams and incorporating user testing and feedback into agile processes.
  • Exceptional verbal communication skills with the ability to effectively influence and communicate cross-functionally.
  • A personal interest in public service or civic technology.
  • Experience creating user journey maps and/or service blueprints.
  • Demonstrable and practical experience in public or private sector, of transformational change to business processes and systems to deliver improved user experience and cost savings.
  • Design experience that includes the ability to create sketches, wireframes, and mockups to communicate features to clients, designers, and developers.
  • Development experience, including the knowledge to interface with developers about coding practices, delivery and acceptance processes, testing, etc.
  • Experience with metrics and analytics, defining KPI’s, tracking conversion funnels, and extracting insight from data.

VERIFICATION: Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point in the application and/or departmental selection process. Written verification (proof) of qualifying experience must verify that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications stated on the announcement. Written verification must be submitted on employer’s official letterhead, specifying name of employee, dates of employment, types of employment (part-time/full-time), job title(s), description of duties performed, and the verification must be signed by the employer. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which they are appointed. Credit for experience obtained outside of the employee’s class will be allowed only if recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Commission Rules. Experience claimed in self-employment must be supported by documents verifying income, earnings, business license and experience comparable to the minimum qualifications of the position. Copies of income tax papers or other documents listing occupations and total earnings must be submitted. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at http://sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=456.

NOTE: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously”
  • Follow instructions on the screen

A resume and a cover letter highlighting how you meet the desirable qualifications is REQUIRED at the time of filing and must be attached to the online application.  Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered. Mailed, hand delivered or faxed documents/applications will not be accepted.

1. To submit a RESUME using the online application:

  • Select the “Resume” tab in the online application
  • Follow instructions given on screen

2. To submit a COVER LETTER using the online application:

  • Select the “Other” tab in the online application
  • Follow instructions given on screen

Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Dept. of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date. Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter. To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org).

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file. Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline. Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores. If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the analyst at (415) 554-6000.

Selection Procedures

Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience. Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in order to determine candidates’ qualifications. Only those applicants who most closely meet the needs of the Agency will be invited to participate in the selection process. Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement to the interview. The application procedure is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need assistance to participate in this recruitment, please contact the analyst at (415) 554-6000. Notification in advance will enable the department and County to evaluate arrangements to reasonably accommodate your need.


Conviction History

As a finalist for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a finalist. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates applying for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates applying for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are selected as a finalist, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures: Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20 or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Copies of Application Documents: Applicants should keep copies of all documents submitted, as these will not be returned.

Right to Work: All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.


All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.

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