Harris Computer Systems

Vice President, Research and Development

4 months ago(10/4/2017 12:51 PM)
Job ID
NorthStar Enterprise
Supervisory Role
Percent of Travel Required

Position Overview



This is a hybrid business / technical position and requires a strong blend of management and project management skills, product vision, financial savvy, superior communication skills, and understanding of the agile process. The Vice President of Research & Development is responsible for a continuous flow of product research and innovation leading to the improvement of existing products, incorporation of newly acquired product sets into the current list of corporate assets, and integration of third party solutions with Harris’ product sets. As the VP of R&D, the ideal candidate will be responsible for inspiring a diverse team of developers located throughout the US and Canada and across multiple products.


The Vice President, Research and Development is a highly motivated self-starter and team player; with a focus on team and client success, and business operations efficiency. The candidate will manage and inspire a team of approximately 25 people and holds P&L responsibility and forecasting for their team.

Primary Functions

  • Set vision for current and future products, manage product initiatives
  • Modernize the current product suite
  • Manage the product management and architecture functions
  • Financial responsibility for the R&D department
  • Set, meet and monitor departmental goals to drive optimal performance within R&D
  • Regular process review to improve efficiencies wherever possible
  • Resolve customer service related issues
  • Contribute towards improving overall customer service through coordination with customer support and professional services departments.
  • HR responsibility for the R&D department
  • Travel required up to 25% of time, primarily customer site visits, user group meetings and relevant conferences.
  • Operational performance improvements; reduce defects, improve product quality and performance
  • Act as senior point of escalation for all R&D issues 


  • Be truthful and direct; be able to present the truth in an appropriate and helpful manner
  • Accountability, respect, integrity and discipline are core values
  • Able to create a climate in which people want to do their best; understand the differences between team members and able to motivate them appropriately
  • Create and develop strong morale within a team
  • Able to focus time and the time of others on what’s important
  • Comfortable with delegating routine and important tasks and decisions, able to delegate clearly
  • Design practices, processes and procedures which allow you to manage from a distance
  • Doesn’t allow problems to fester, regularly reviews staff performance and holds timely discussions
  • Able to quickly grasp concepts and deal with complexity
  • Can anticipate future consequences and trends accurately and can create strategies to ensure success
  • Able to be the dissenter in the group, open to healthy conflict within the management team
  • Willingness to seek feedback and understands the need to change behavior according to the situation
  • Inherent need to push others for results
  • Curious, need to understand why
  • Logical, employs common sense to complex situations
  • Dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers
  • Business acumen – Able to relate the technical aspects of the job to the broader business context, can make business decisions about technical issues
  • Hiring and staffing – able to quickly identify talent and add it to our team. Not afraid to hire strong people.
  • Available to travel within Canada and US on an as needed basis, to meet with customers and to drive consulting business (5-15% travel)
  • Good understanding of the Software Development Life Cycle
  • Experience managing a software R&D organization or team
  • Utility industry experience strongly preferred

Company Overview

NorthStar Utilities Solutions (www.northstarutilities.com) is a unique company that has served the utility community in North America and the Caribbean for more than 35 years. We create brilliant products that make every day in our clients' lives more efficient, productive and cost-effective. We pride ourselves on delivering impressive customer service and standing apart as an industry leader. We are always on the lookout for people who crave challenges, embrace technology and grasp complex ideas.

Harris Computer Systems (www.harriscomputer.com) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Constellation and is a leading provider of financial management and Customer Information Systems (CIS) software solutions. Since 1976, Harris has focused on providing feature-rich and robust turnkey solutions to all levels of local government, public power and water entities as well as school districts throughout North America. Harris' focus is on creating long term relationships with our customers and ensuring that we meet the changing needs of our customers over time.

Harris is an EEO/AA/Disability/Vets employer.



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