People and Details
This role requires a mixture of two skills: great interpersonal communication with clients and a knack for detail and managing a project meticulously.
Or "charm and the memory of an elephant" as we sometimes put it.
The Game Industry
If you're coming from the console or PC game industry then you'll likely be a fit if you're one of these folks:
1) An External Producer or Developer Relations Manager, who also has experience managing projects at a micro-level and wants to have that kind of ownership and control.
2) An Internal Development Producer, who also has exceptional interpersonal skills and would be comfortable leading meetings with VPs and Directors at Fortune 500 companies.
Our World vs. The Traditional Game Industry
We hire people from the traditional game industry all the time. We're big fans of games and love that people with that experience understand interactivity. The folks we hire from the game industry are usually excited about one or more of the advantages we offer:
Stability - We don't lay off our team at the conclusion of every project. In fact, in our 21 year history we've never laid off anyone other than for poor performance.
If you lead projects and do a great job then that leads to more work and more growth for your studio. Happy Clients + Quality Work = More Opportunities.
More Experience - Because a typical project has a 3-6 month development schedule, and Producers manage multiple projects at a time, you'll lead 8-12 projects from start to finish in a year. That's more at-bats, more practice, more experience and more learning what works and what doesn't. All of which you can apply immediately.
How Things Really Work - We work with every major industry and non-profit sector. Mostly Fortune 500 companies and non-profits with very large training missions. You'll get an inside peek into how things really work.
It can be how 10,000 Chrysler mechanics fix cars, 80,000 police officers handle terrorism or 20,000 park rangers patrol our national parks.
Why do homicide detectives interview suspects the way they do? What challenges do banks face in Asia that are quite different from America? How does a therapoist work with a client who has borderline personality disorder?
The people who really thrive at Allen Interactions love finding out the answers to these questions. Broad intelligence and intellectual curiosity are two of the most important traits we look for.
We create highly interactive eLearning experiences for our clients. Think video games that help people do their job better.
Each project is led by a Producer. They manage the project team and are the day-to-day contact for our clients.
As you can imagine, Producers have to be good at many things: conversant in technology (Flash, LMSs, media, etc.), phenomenal in how they communicate with clients and the team, adept at managing budgets and schedules, and continually learning new businesses and how they work.
What makes a Producer great though, usually boils down to one thing: they're great with people. They listen exceptionally well - to words, to body language. They speak with integrity. They ask good questions. They often have a great sense of humor and generosity. It isn't all about them.
We can teach folks how to think about instructional design in a highly interactive way, smart people can learn a new scheduling system or budgeting software, and LMS requirements can be written down.
But how do you help someone become the right mix of diplomacy and authority, to know when to bargain and when to stop, to be able to have frank conversations with a client who is getting pressure from their boss, to know when a developer needs a break even though the deadline is looming? That's tough.
So we'd love it if you had experience with a bunch of stuff, but if you have great client skills and your co-workers genuinely enjoy working with you, that's what we're really after. The only question then is: "Are you interested in how people learn?"
Producers lead a team of developers, media artists, writers and interactivity designers. The size of the team is dependent on the size of the project; most projects are between 3 and 6 months in length.
Producers are the primary contact for the client during the project. They lead initial prototyping sessions and manage the project throughout its life.
We create eLearning for a broad spectrum of people: police officers, financial analysts, marketers, car mechanics, therapists, cell phone salespeople, brand managers, bank tellers, vacation planners, doctors and many more.
But words don't really convey what we do. Take a look at some examples:
Title - Producer
Status - Full-time position in our Tampa office
Major job responsibilities include:
- Leading an interactive multimedia team (developers, interactivity designers and media artists) through all stages of a project (analysis, prototyping, production and QA)
- Communicating with Fortune 500 clients in a professional manner (verbal, written, and digital)
- Analyzing learning and business needs of clients (in conjunction with the instructional interactivity designer)
- Creating and maintaining a comprehensive project plan
- Passion for the work
- At least 5 years of creative project management experience
- At least 5 years of deadline-driven client relationship experience
- At least 3 years experience with rapid prototyping development methodology (SAM, Agile, Scrum, etc.)
- Exceptional people and communication skills (particularly the art of listening)
- A willingness to experiment with creative solutions
- Ability to:
o set, manage, and meet reasonable budget, schedule, and scope expectations
o be conceptually creative with clients and with the project team
o travel to out-of-town client sites when needed (travel is not a large part of the job, but for project kick-offs and user testing it is often necessary to travel to the client)
- Experience with management of high quality web-based projects, interactive learning applications or game/app development
- Client management experience with Fortune 1000 businesses and large non-profits
- Experience with Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, OpenAir or other budget, schedule and organizing applications
- Prefer 10 years Project Management experience
Bonus Points For
- Sense of Humor (can be odd, dry or even British) (+6)
- Instructional / Interactivity Design experience and aptitude (+4)
- Business Consulting experience (+8)
jzeaman at alleni dot com
Please send a resume, cover letter and work samples. Please send screenshots or links to your very best work.
Some background on the company if you're not familiar with us.
Allen Interactions was founded by Michael Allen in 1993, shortly after he left Macromedia. Michael founded a company called Authorware back in the 80's and that company merged with Macromind/Paracomp to make Macromedia. In other words, our founder and CEO is the co-founder of Macromedia and the creator of Authorware.
We have about 75 people total. We divide the consultants into Studios, which are groups of folks (Producers, Instructional Designers, Developers, Media Artists, etc.) who work together on projects. Each studio is led by a Studio Executive.
We currently have 4 studios: 1 in Tampa, 2 in Minneapolis and 1 in San Francisco. Minneapolis is where our headquarters are, but 80% of our business is outside of the Midwest, that's why we opened the Tampa and San Francisco studios.
We tend to win awards. We're known as one of the high quality eLearning companies. We think page-turners are almost always a negative ROI. We believe people learn by doing and very, very little by reading, being lectured at, or watching a video of someone reading or lecturing.
We recognize that we are in a world that pretends like sitting in a classroom or being lectured at actually imparts learning, so we're pragmatic radicals. We can change the world, slowly. So we're building good things, the best that we can, in the constraints we have to work within.
We welcome a good, gritty Instructional Design debate. When we're prototyping everyone has a voice and we take a developer's idea as seriously as someone with a PhD in ID. It's the merit of the ideas that count.