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Staff Technical Program Mgr, Production Technology (Animation Studio)

Apply Now Apply Later Job ID 641265BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted Mar. 11, 2019

Job Summary:

The Staff Technical Program Manager (Staff TPM) will collaborate with studio stakeholders, with a particular focus on Production, to innovate, build, and maintain tools and techniques that improve the productivity and creative potential of our artists, enabling WDAS to remain a leader in creating world-leading visual content. Reporting to the Director, Production Technology, the Staff Technical Program Manager (Staff TPM) is responsible for a wide scope of production technology development within the Studio, with the aim of shaping current and future approach to animated content production. The Staff TPM leads planning and integration of technical strategy, tools, third party products, and workflows. In this role, the Staff TPM will work in close collaboration with various cross-functional engineering and productions teams, key stakeholders, vendors, and other partner studios.


  • Develop the overall program across related Development Teams defining iterative and ongoing integration milestones that will help teams deliver on high level vision and goals.
  • Definition and agreement on scope, roadmaps, key milestones, metrics, and success criteria.
  • Highlight risks and mitigation plans.
  • Engage with key technology and production leads as well as Studio Leadership in order to define and outline strategy, dependencies, process and staffing needs.
  • Prioritize projects and deliverables based on Studio and Production needs; adjust as necessary; recognize and initiate escalation situations.
  • Oversee transparent status updates to all stakeholders through User Groups, Planning
  • Meetings, Prioritization Meetings, and Studio Updates.
  • Work with assigned Project Managers to facilitate meetings, address next steps, and reach milestones.
  • Partner with Production Technology Crew Managers on casting process, ensuring staffing needs in terms of both timing and skill sets from Leads are clearly communicated and flagged regularly.
  • Ensure engineer interests and career growth paths are key considerations in casting discussions and raise to Director of Production Technology if there are unaligned expectations or competing priorities to help resolve.
  • Work with Director of Production Technology and Finance partners on Software and Project related budgets and forecasts.
  • Work with legal team to assess and advise on intellectual property matters.

In order to be successful, a TPM must:

  • Take the lead in providing clarity and structure in ambiguous situations through a rigorous approach to problem solving, asking the right questions, and applying insights to recommend next steps.
  • Influence the outcomes that are necessary for the programs you manage without formal reporting lines over cross-functional teams that need to contribute.
  • Able to read the room and adapt communication style and content to a the specific audience.
  • Able to consistently frame, articulate and navigate challenging technical discussions with multidisciplinary stakeholders.
  • Understand enough of the overall technical architecture and interdependencies to be able to effectively strategize and prioritize work across multiple projects.
  • Embrace WDAS core values and specifically nurture individual growth, appreciate diversity, encourage initiative, value teamwork and shared success, and rewarding excellence.


  • Architecture/Engineering Leads, Integration Leads, Experience Leads, peer Technical Program Managers, Crew Managers, Project Managers, Key Studio Workflow Partners, Key Show Leadership, Studio Leadership.

Basic Qualifications:

  • 8+ years of experience as an engineer or TD.
  • 3+ years of experience being in a leadership role.
  • Previous experience in providing management of organization-wide software development programs from initiation through delivery.
  • Previous experience in improving departmental, cross-team processes and leading complex change.
  • Proven technical expertise developing and reporting on metrics for engineering development, test development and execution, bugs, issues, risks, and other aspects of project and program management.
  • Facilitation skills in leading planning meetings, reviews, and retrospectives.
  • Excellent communication skills across all levels of stakeholders and ability to clearly translate complex discussions.
  • Experience with conflict resolution, negotiation, and people management.

Required Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree, or 8+ years of related experience working in a technical role as an engineer or TD and 3+ years of experience in a leadership role.

About Walt Disney Animation Studios:

Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. Located in Burbank, WDAS continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, from the first fully-animated feature film, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to 2013's Academy Award®-winning Frozen, the biggest animated film of all time. Among the studio's timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with Walt Disney Pictures, which is part of a business segment we call Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Walt Disney Pictures is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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