Director of Relevance & Image Annotation

Job Locations US-CA-San Francisco | US-WA-Kirkland
Posted Date 2 months ago(10/6/2020 6:19 PM)
Data Collection


Appen is a global leader in the development of high-quality, human-annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence. Appen brings over 20 years of experience capturing and enriching a wide variety of data types including speech, text, image and video. With deep expertise in more than 180 languages and access to a global crowd of over 1 million skilled contractors, Appen partners with technology, automotive and eCommerce companies — as well as governments worldwide — to help them develop, enhance and use products that rely on natural languages and machine learning.



Position Summary

 The Director of Relevance & Image Annotation is accountable for the performance of the Relevance Team and its Managers, and the financial and strategic success of the Relevance line of business, providing key leadership and direction to the team.


The Relevance Team provides resources for Client Services projects requiring a high level of specialized knowledge, skill and experience. The Relevance Team advises the Sales and Presales teams on task scope; develops technical solutions; and plans and executes complex specialist tasks to the required service levels, operating in concert with matrix team members in Specialist & PMO and Service Delivery organizations.



Reporting to the VP, Specialist & PMO, the Director, Relevance, is responsible for consistent and effective governance and delivery of the Relevance portfolio of business and change projects. In conjunction with other business leaders, the Director ensures that investments in internal and operational projects deliver the best possible organisational and customer outcomes. This includes working with other business units and project teams to align standards, methods and governance to the portfolio approach and actively positioning projects for success.


The Director is a source of guidance on industry best practice within the area of specialization, drawing on industry and academic sources of knowledge as required to support the practice.


The Director, Relevance, with the support of the Managers, has oversight of all project tasks executed by the Relevance Team. The Chief Scientist / Lead Researcher will provide expert direction and advice as required to ensure that projects in the portfolio are positioned to meet or exceed required SLAs.


Specific duties include to:

       Improve internal operations through better productivity from our crowd and provide input into Appen’s technology builds;

  • Play a key role with Appen’s clients as they think about how to leverage our crowd;
  • Ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the Relevance Team;
  • Maintain oversight of key portfolio financials and project/task performance metrics;
  • Liaise with Sales, Marketing, Recruitment and execution and delivery teams to highlight strategic risks and opportunities, enabling the Relevance Team to respond to both in a timely manner;
  • Support the PMO and Resource Managers in the prioritisation, resourcing and scheduling of specialist tasks, as required to ensure alignment with business strategy and key internal and customer stakeholders;
  • Identify and monitor portfolio level risks, issues, and dependencies, and support appropriate risk mitigation and management methods;
  • Be a key sponsor for work tool and other technical developments required for the efficient and effective execution of specialized tasks;
  • In consultation with Managers, identify and organise training and professional development activities for team members as required to optimize performance;
  • In consultation with Managers, support career development and succession planning within the team;
  • Ensure Relevance methods, practices, techniques, processes, etc. are regularly maintained and updated, in line with best practice;
  • Maintain a strong resourcing pipeline to ensure appropriate staffing levels at all times, including providing internship opportunities as relevant;
  • Provide timely, expert advice to the VP, Specialist & PMO, and Executive, Senior Managers and Managers as required;
  • Manages people who lead projects supporting the company-client relationship, ensuring customer satisfaction;
  • Provides budget analysis, labor planning, and coordination of activities between client and company personnel;
  • Monitors project completion from initiation through delivery to meet revenue and cost projections;
  • Oversees performance of the installation and client acceptance of capitalized equipment, enterprise software systems, or system integration projects or engagements;
  • Serves as mediator to internal issues and conflicting priorities for members of cross-functional teams focused on the delivery of new or existing solutions to ;
  • Selects, develops, and evaluates personnel to ensure the efficient operation of the



Qualifications and Experience


Postgraduate qualifications in crowdsourcing and computer science, or equivalent experience;

  • 10+ years of Management, Project Management or equivalent experience;
  • Knowledge of, and engagement with, industry, academic and research developments relevant to Appen’s current and strategic directions;
  • Demonstrated experience in leading a high-performing team of Specialists and their Managers with openness and transparency;
  • Extensive experience with, and oversight of, Specialist projects executed in a commercial setting to rigorous time, budget and quality requirements;
  • Strong personal accountability, persistence and resilience;
  • Ability to effectively prioritise and execute tasks in a high-pressure and constantly changing environment;
  • Strategic, agile and professional communicator, with a ‘win-win’ orientation and an ability to positively influence outcomes;
  • Ability to work with a variety of personality types and bring together the right people to produce results in both internal and external stakeholder settings.


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