Product Owner

Helm Operations

October 07, 2014

Original postings on the Viatec site are removed after the position is closed, but the posting will be archived here. The original posting was at

Job Category: 
Job Specialization: 
Software Development
Company Overview: 

Helm. Love where you work. Helm offers complete enterprise information management solutions for the marine commercial transportation industry. Beyond providing innovative software to global clients, our people and culture matter the most. We value trust, accountability, performance, recognition, community, laughter, collaborative ideas and employee growth.

We are growing, and we are searching for an exceptional individual with combined strengths of technical, empathy, drive, and leadership to fill the role of Product Owner. This person must be stubborn for details and deadlines, and is passionate about leading a team to build and deliver great products (a sense of humor is an added bonus!).

Why Work At Helm?

  • Employer of the Year. In 2013 Helm won Viatec's coveted Employer of the Year award.
  • A stable financial base. We are a fully-owned subsidiary of ClassNK, one of the world’s largest ship classification societies. Founded in Tokyo in 1899, ClassNK classifies 20 percent of the world's merchant fleet—that’s one out of every five commercial boats on the planet. In other words, we are incredibly well funded, and we are in it for the long haul.
  • Location. The huge windows of our waterfront offices in downtown Victoria face right onto our city’s beautiful inner harbor.
  • Monthly team budgets. Each development team manages their own budget to do with what they want. Some teams pay for lunches, pool games, volleyball, birthday cakes, and well-stocked snack cupboards. Others save their budgets for team toys like remote control helicopters and air hockey tables.
  • Fun. Our monthly team events are unique and memorable. We’ve built our own silly boats, played rooftop volleyball in eighties-themed costumes, tested our courage in the treetops at WildPlay, raced around town on a photo-scavenger hunt, battled in huge Sumo-wrestling costumes, and enjoyed a private Star Wars screening with our families at a local theatre.
  • Coffee. Endless free coffee. It's fair trade to boot.
  • Beer. Every second Friday is beer Friday.
  • Learning. We hold regular Lunch and Learn seminars on topics ranging from ‘Scrum 101’ to ‘Savings Strategies’ to ‘Public Speaking’. Growth. We invest in our employees’ long-term growth, and have clear career roadmaps, with customized development plans.
  • Community Involvement. We are proud to partner with Kiva Microfunds, helping provide small, interest-free loans to low-income people around the world who wouldn’t normally have access to traditional banking systems. Every December, we focus our team event on raising money for the Mustard Seed.
Job Summary: 

The Challenge? (Primary Responsibilities):

  • Participate in all Scrum meetings: story-writing workshops, daily scrums, backlog grooming, sprint planning, bug triage, test days, sprint reviews, sprint retrospectives; come fully prepared to all meetings (e.g. backlog groomed and prioritized for planning meetings).
  • Coordinate the design process and creation of required artifacts: take the product from concept to concrete expression in design artifacts; coordinate the production of design artifacts: UX / UI design, visual designs; verify artifacts against development needs – iterate as needed. Create and maintain the Product Backlog: create the initial product backlog of user stories; facilitate story writing workshops as needed, with help from development resources; oversee the creation of, and enforces, the acceptance criteria on each user story; maintain the product and sprint backlogs at all times.
  • Prioritize and sequence the Backlog: keep the backlog prioritized as ongoing changes occur.
  • Inspect and monitor progress: accept and reject stories – test every story marked as completed; continuously monitors the team velocity; remain permanently alert and vigilant to slippage and adapts as needed – continuously manages scope based on team velocity; react to slippage as fast as possible – groom sprint backlogs on the fly; Continuously triage bugs – assess and assign priorities.

Key Success Factors? (Competencies & Qualifications):

  • Must be technical enough to engage with the Scrum team when technical issues arise that impact delivery of business requirements.
  • Strong team leadership and interpersonal skills.
  • Commitment to all aspects of Scrum development process.
  • A successful product owner must be fully engaged and able to make decisions, constantly monitoring changes, managing stories and defects on demand.
  • A successful product owner is always available, to continuously manage the backlog, answer questions, provide feedback, test completed stories and sign off on completed work.
  • Intensely proactive: as keeper of the vision for product, represent the customer / stakeholders and proactively champions sprint and release goals.
  • Technical aptitude to gather and synthesize requirements and create user stories from those requirements in a way that is acceptable to the development team.
  • Work to keep schedules and project milestones while maintaining product quality.
  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Software Development, Business, Project Management, or domain-specific qualifications.
  • 5 or more years of development, QA, customer service or other domain-specific experience, preferably in a senior or lead role.

Want to come on board? Please send a resume with cover letter to us immediately. We provide employee relocation assistance within Canada and the U.S.

How To Apply: 

Please send your resume with a cover letter to:  Helm’s Career Consultant | Email: