The Head of Production holds the ultimate responsibility for our new websites being on time, on budget, and to spec. They decide how to staff each project and what kinds of guidance the team may need. They act as lead client contact on intricate and challenging projects but also manage other project managers who have their own slate of work. They are regularly in touch with the client via visible and private means to ensure their satisfaction.
While the Head of Production does not need to be a designer or developer, they need to know the web and be passionate about it. This is an ideal role for an experienced designer or developer who wants to shift into leadership. The Head of Production is integral in establishing the creative and technical roadmap for projects, so while they don’t need to know the intricacies of the code, they should know general web architecture and understand how website projects ought to go. When confronted with a challenging client problem, the Head of Production should be eager and enthusiastic about coming up with a solution.
Like all Cantilever staff, the Head of Production must be passionate about our mission: to use “Digital Hospitality” to provide an incredible experience for the users who use our sites, and to meet our clients’ business requirements.
The Head of Production is also a pivotal team leader. They serve as manager to the leading members of the Production team. This means they are responsible for facilitating the growth and development of the team. They participate in sales conversations and are visible representatives of the company at networking events and conferences.
As the company grows, we expect the Head of Production to be less and less involved with day-to-day project management and more of a pure manager. For now, we need them to be the point person on several projects especially our most advanced and challenging ones.
This person fully understands our capabilities and preferences in both design and development. They are an expert in our field (even if not a deep technical or design expert) and can think quickly to solve client roadblocks.
Cantilever uses a project onboarding methodology called a Diagnostic. This is a paid mini-project in which we seek to absorb the project requirements fully and to craft a detailed, rock-solid plan.
- Work with Sales team to shape solutions to client problems. Integrate creative and technical staff as needed.
- Estimate projects with internal staff to provide Sales team firm numbers and projections
- Maintain an appropriate staffing plan for the project, taking into account other existing commitments and potential new work. Coordinate schedules between various projects to ensure there are no gaps or overloads in the new build team’s schedules.
- Manage critical and intense projects according to our methodology. Help set direction and make sure the team has everything they need. Regularly review and absorb our status relative to expectations. Keep the client updated with regular email outreach and meetings. Intervene when the schedule is not on track. Document the project process and ensure that key decisions are logged publicly in writing for the record. Be an unbelievable, super PM.
- When not acting as the Directly Responsible Individual for a project, stay in close communication with the DRI to stay fully abreast of how the project is being executed and any challenges the team is are facing. Provide guidance to the DRI and act as a secondary point of contact for clients when there is a problem to solve. Provide the final word on issues or key questions when the junior Organizer needs a decision made. Be a great boss and ally for the rest of the team.
- Act as manager for project managers and other staff in the Production team
- Recruit new team members as needed, working with our People Ops team
- Solicit reviews from satisfied clients
- Work with Sales team to promote project launches and create case studies for our website
- Network, write, or speak on behalf of the company as one of our key leaders.
- At least five years experience specifically running website or web application projects (Not just general PM experience)
- Prior experience as a web designer, dev, or other artisanal role (or substantial off-the-job training in these fields)
- Inherent passion for the web. Strong opinions about what makes for a good user experience. Deep knowledge of web technologies.
- Incredible level of personal organization. Fantastic deadline and commitment management.
- Collaborative, team-first attitude
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills (for both internal and external communication).
- Comfort with digital project management tools like Basecamp
- Experience successfully working full-time remote.
Career Ladder Notes
Specific Interview Questions
- Why are you passionate about delivering amazing websites?
- Please provide design & messaging feedback on our current Website (don’t spend too much time but we’d love to hear your thoughts!)
- Our website is built with Jekyll. Imagine we wanted to move it to a CMS. Which CMS would you recommend, or how would you go about making that determination?
- Please estimate how much time and money it would take someone to make Spaghetti Bolognese. Imagine that they are a decent cook but not a pro.
- What is the number one reason projects succeed? What is the number one reason they fail?