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Centers of Excellence - Customer Experience Specialist

Centers of Excellence is hiring for GS-15 Centers of Excellence - Customer Experience Specialist. This page contains information related to the role as well as a link to submit your application. Check out Join TTS Hiring Process to learn more about the application process.

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Role Summary:

Centers of Excellence - Customer Experience Specialist - GS-15

As a Customer Experience Specialist with the IT Modernization Centers of Excellence (COE), you’ll lead the effort to help our agency partners develop a deep understanding of their users and the real problem they’re trying to solve.

You will drive research activities, derive insights, generate concepts, communicate those concepts visually, and work with developers and product managers to build and test them. You will foster best practices in user-centered design within the CoEs and across the federal government through advocacy and coaching.

Your work will include aligning stakeholders, talking to end users, turning vague ideas into concrete priorities, and minimizing risk by using techniques like contextual inquiry, journey mapping and design studios. And you’ll do all this in a spirit of partnership, with a sense of humility and empathy for our partners and the people who use their systems.

To be successful you’ll need consulting experience along with a background in a user-centered design or strategy discipline such as digital strategy, service design, user experience design, content design/strategy, user research or product management.

Key Objectives

Key objective #1: You will lead cross-functional teams to help federal agencies define problems and create the vision for solutions that will drive innovation through all aspects of their customer experience.

  • Conduct research, usability or user testing including co-design workshops, contextual inquiry, diary studies and stakeholder interviews to support the team’s development of digital products or services
  • Navigate complex organizational relationships to bring stakeholders together around common goals and priorities
  • Coach project teams and agency stakeholders through the adoption of agile, lean or other iterative product development approaches
  • Lead service design using tools and techniques like journey mapping, experience prototyping, service blueprints and developing service quality metrics
  • Organize and structure complex information by creating artifacts such as wireframes, sitemaps and process flows

Key objective #2: You will promote the adoption of modern technology practices through teaching, coaching, and knowledge sharing.

  • Practice and enthusiastically share agile methodologies throughout all stages of the project lifecycle
  • Deliver educational workshops to accelerate learning and adoption of agile principles and practices
  • Inspire honesty and integrity through open communication and liberal knowledge sharing across a multi-disciplinary teams
  • Create compelling case studies on how users are benefiting from the program, providing a special focus on lessons learned
  • Capture specific capabilities (e.g. strategies, roadmaps, playbooks) to document good practices across government

Key objective #3: Practice an exceptional level of customer service with all partners, providing a unique, tailored experience.

  • Explain product or services to people who have varying levels of technical knowledge — always meet the agency partner where they are
  • Empathetically guide our agency partners through the bureaucracy of the sometimes long and arduous compliance and security processes
  • Skillfully map specific inquiries to product capabilities, identifying the product that best meets the agency partner’s needs
  • Serve as a liaison between the stakeholders and the project teams, delivering feedback to the team, enabling them to make necessary changes to product performance or presentation
  • Support a safe, inclusive workplace and a positive team culture where all team members value diversity and individual differences

Basic Information

Job announcement number: 1900161JCOTR

Opening and closing period for this job application: TBD to TBD

Job Title: Innovation Specialist

Series & Grade: 0301 - 15

Promotion Potential: GS-15

Salary Range: $134,789 to $164,200

For specific details on locality pay, please visit OPM’s Salaries & Wages page or for a salary calculator OPM’s 2018 General Schedule (GS) Salary Calculator. If you are a new federal employee, your starting salary will likely be set at the Step 1 of the grade for which you applied to.

Location: Washington, DC

Number of vacancies: 2 (Additional vacancies may be filled from this announcement as needed)

Supervisory status: NO

Travel requirement: Occasional travel may be required up to 10%-20% per year

Who May Apply: All United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands) and non-GSA employees/contractors are eligible to apply.

Security clearance: Public trust. Background investigation required.

Work Schedule: Full time

Appointment Type: Excepted Service: Not to exceed 24 months (2 years); may be extended for an additional 2 years for a maximum of 4 years total.

Job Summary

This is a Schedule A position under 5 CFR 213.3102(r) to hire unique technical skills to develop innovative digital tools and services in the Excepted Service. TTS is charged with developing innovative digital tools and services. TTS uses lean start­up and agile development principles to make easy things easy and hard things possible.

As an Innovation Specialist the incumbent serves the government and makes an impact on a truly massive scale. The position requires that fellows perform work of an exceptional degree of difficulty across a wide range of topics at the convergence of technology, policy, and delivery. The incumbent leverages his/her experience deploying high quality, user centric platforms and services to lead major initiatives, consult on systems and policy proposals, and provide technical, policy, and programmatic guidance to government. The position involves access to PII data.

This position is located within the General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), Technology Transformation Service (TTS), Office of COE.

GSA has been repeatedly named as one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ in the federal government. You will have access to many benefits including:

  • Health insurance (choose from a wide range of plans)
  • Life insurance coverage with several options
  • Sick leave and vacation time, including 10 paid holidays per year
  • Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k) plan)
  • Flexible work schedules and telework
  • Transit and child care subsidies
  • Training and development
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Training and development

Key Requirements

  1. You must be a U.S. Citizen or National (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands)
  2. Suitable for federal employment, determined by a background investigation.
  3. You may be required to serve a trial period.
  4. Direct Deposit of salary check to financial organization required.
  5. Register with Selective Service, if you are required by https://www.sss.gov/Registration-Info/Who-Registration

Employment Requirements

  • Serve a one year trial period, if required.
  • Undergo and pass a background investigation. You must be granted this clearance before you can start the job.
  • Have your identity and work status eligibility verified if you are not a GSA employee. We will use the Department of Homeland Security’s e-Verify system for this.
  • Any discrepancies must be resolved as a condition of continued employment.
  • Complete a financial disclosure report to verify that no conflict, or an appearance of conflict, exists between your financial interest and this position.

Duties

Typical duties include but are not limited to: Conceiving/recommending projects/studies to advance the state of the art in the specialty area; applying forward thinking design and development principles to product or services development, delivery and program management, such as lean startup, user centered design, and agile development; Analyzing and scoping the technical and policy requirements needed to implement complex digital solutions; Assessing the state of digital services provided by the Federal Government, and working to align strategies and practice; conferring with key government/private officials and top experts in the field, representing the agency at technical symposia and/or conferences; Developing authoritative papers/reports; developing and leading adoption of government wide standards for digital services, leading to their adoption across citizen and business facing government Services; Demonstrating thought leadership and contributing best practices in a variety of technologies and principles; Contributing to a talent strategy that includes recruiting innovators and entrepreneurs to participate in solving complex and esoteric challenges.

Evaluations

We will use a method called Category Rating to assess your application.

Here’s how it will work:

You will be scored based on a review of your application materials, measuring your possession of each of the following competencies

  • Human-Centered Research and Design Methods: The knowledge and ability to understand and apply human-centered design tools and methodologies.
  • Leadership: Ability to effectively inspire and lead cross-functional teams to meet the project vision and shared objectives of agency partner organizations, while simultaneously providing support and guidance to all members of the partner agency.
  • Agile Orientation: Ability to apply agile and open source philosophies to deliver work in a frequent and iterative fashion to address user needs.
  • Communication: Communicate effectively with a variety of audiences, particularly in consulting scenarios, to establish a shared vision and understanding of a project’s technical implementation, objectives and goals.
  • TTS Core Values Alignment: Working with integrity, transparency and resiliency in civic minded or high impact environment.

Qualifications

All applications will be reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts against a scoring rubric created for this role. In order to properly be able to evaluate your previous experience, we recommend being as detailed as possible in your resume and following our general guidance on creating federal style resume.

To qualify for this role, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is:

  1. Experience leading user experience design and research to iteratively develop digital products or services within large or complex environments. This experience must include THREE of the following:
    • Conducting user-centered research, usability or user testing
    • Using user-centered planning tools to organize or present information to stakeholders
    • Developing customer experience quality metrics
    • Leading research or design using agile, lean or other iterative product development approaches
  2. Experience navigating highly ambiguous or uncertain situations to deliver results for clients. This experience must include ALL of the following:
    • Coaching clients or stakeholders through the adoption of human centered design
    • Communicating technical information to people with varying levels of technical knowledge
    • Building and maintaining strategic relationships with stakeholders or potential partners across all levels of an organization.
    • Serving as a liaison between stakeholders or clients and project teams
  3. Experience leading a team to deliver digital products or services. This experience must include THREE of the following:
    • Leading client-facing consulting projects or initiatives
    • Collaborating with cross-functional teams to achieve organizational or project objectives and deliverables
    • Leading teams in the user research of digital products or services
    • Providing mentorship, corrections, or feedback on user research, customer experience strategy or UX design methods to team members
    • Using agile, lean or other iterative product development methodologies

If found to be eligible and at least minimally qualified for the position, your score will be used to place you in a category (Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified).

If your resume does not support your possession of the competencies listed above, we may lower your score, which could place you in a lower category.

Within each category, veterans will receive selection priority over non-veterans if supported by appropriate documentation.

How To Apply

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