Senior Product Manager - Working for Essex
Salary: Up to £62,858 per annum
Type: Fixed Term
Closing date: 20 Jan 2021
Location: Chelmsford
Hours: Full-time
Req ID: 532
Role: Human Resources
About the role

Senior Product Manager

Fixed Term, 12 months

Full Time, flexible working will be considered

Up to £62,858 per annum

Location: Chelmsford (remote initially*)

Closing Date: 17th January 2021

*This position will initially, in line with current government guidance be based from home, with an expectation of being home based for the foreseeable future. However, if / when government guidelines change the role may then revert to being office based, whilst retaining some flexible working options.


Who we are

Essex County Council (ECC) continue to make Essex a thriving county to live, work and visit. ECC is one of the county’s largest employers, with over 7,500 staff. We provide many services including social, environmental, transport, education, planning and benefits.The Service Transformation team is a new multi-disciplinary team. We’re problem solvers. We find simple solutions to complex problems by:

  • understanding users
  • designing processes and ways of working
  • building digital solutions
  • building skills and knowledge

We never assume what a solution will be, but we work with teams to help them find it.You’ll find an inclusive culture and a place where your opinion is valued. We’re also a sociable bunch. We love to celebrate our successes and support each other in many ways.

Our office is just 25 minutes by train from Stratford. And, of course, there is the opportunity to work remotely part of the week. For the time being, this role is a remote-working one, and this status will be reviewed once the Covid restrictions are lifted.Find out more about us on our Service Transformation blog

Who you are

You are a skilled and experienced Product Manager leading a multidisciplinary team, supporting and continuously improving products of significant scale and complexity. You will be helping us greatly if you worked on a project where you and the team you worked with were responsible for moving a product to an open-source platform.

What you’ll do

You will:

  • work on as the product manager
  • lead on the discovery, alpha and beta work on the replacement of with the new open-source solution, in collaboration with the supplier to be procured
  • lead discussions across the organisation to make sure the right products are built/procured in the right way
  • devise and iterate the product vision, roadmap and backlog, be a champion for user needs, document product knowledge, and
  • communicate plans and progress through various channels including the blog, stakeholder meetings and demos
  • plan and manage different phases of the product delivery lifecycle
  • work closely with user research, design, service design, content design, and development to build fit-for-purpose products
  • build and maintain stakeholder relationships to ensure investment decisions are taken with a product thinking view
  • set high standards to make sure products meet user needs, consider future changes in technology and can operate at scale (including the Government Service Standard, accessibility regulations and Information governance principles)
  • work closely with Technology Services to understand technical constraints and the existing IT estate

Your skills

Agile working (relevant skill level: expert)

You know how to:

  • coach and lead teams in Agile and Lean practices, determining the right approach for the team to take and evaluating this through the life of a project
  • use new and innovative ways of working to achieve the right outcomes
  • act as a recognised expert and advocate for the approaches, continuously reflecting and challenging the team

DDaT perspective (relevant skill level: practitioner)

You can:

  • demonstrate an advanced understanding of design, technology and data principles
  • identify and implement solutions for assisted digital
  • work with open-source technologies and different CMS
  • apply knowledge to work with other job families

Experience of working within constraints (relevant skill level: practitioner)

You can:

  • work with and challenge senior stakeholders
  • prioritise and mitigate constraints and turn them into an advantage
  • adapt the approach depending on the constraints

Financial ownership (relevant skill level: practitioner)

You understand:

  • the marketplace, realising the benefit and persuading others that a product is the right one to use
  • how to integrate a product with other services. You can make sure that products get used
  • the benefits by linking work in progress back to the business case
  • how to build business cases based on user needs

Life-cycle perspective (relevant skill level: expert)

You know how to:

  • successfully lead teams through the full product life cycle. You can identify which tools and techniques should be used at each stage
  • develop sustainable support models. You can identify and deal with potential risks across or between all stages of the product life cycle
  • coach others. You can contribute to the assessment of other teams, providing guidance and support as they move through stages of the product life cycle

Problem ownership (relevant skill level: expert)

You know how to:

  • anticipate problems and how to defend against them at the right time
  • understand how problems fits into the larger picture, explain the problem and help others to do it
  • build problem-solving capabilities in others

Product ownership (relevant skill level: expert)

You can:

  • start to define and create approaches
  • coach others
  • implement new ways of working by staying aware of what other sectors are doing
  • understand what is most important and applicable

Strategic ownership (relevant skill level: practitioner)

You know how to:

  • get buy-in from the organisation
  • work with small amounts of information and explain it in abstract terms
  • develop a strategy

User focus (relevant skill level: expert)

You know how to:

  • give direction on which tools or methods to use
  • meet the needs of users across a variety of channels. You can bring insight and expertise in how user needs have changed over time to make sure these are met by the business
  • apply strategic thinking in how to provide the best service for the end user


What’s in it for you?

 This is a unique opportunity to join an exceptional, high-performing team. You’ll be working for an ambitious organisation seeking to improve experience by delivering first-class services.You will help the organisation to build modern digital services so that we can help improve thousands of people’s lives for years to come. You will also make great connections in public sector digital circles, including local and central government.

Next steps

For more information, please email

To apply, please submit your CV and a cover letter via the Working for Essex website or by emailing directly to  . Your cover letter should present demonstrable experience of all the competencies listed under “Your Skills”. Please try to use real life examples, mostly drawing from your professional life.

We are planning to hold interviews on 27-28 January.

As part of employment with Essex County Council should your role require a DBS check you will be required to register with the DBS update service. The DBS update service ensures all registered DBS certificates are kept up to date and allows authorised parties to view the status of your certificate. This is an annual subscription and you will be responsible for ensuring this is maintained. For further information on the DBS update service please visit:

Essex County Council is proud to offer an excellent benefits package to all its employees. For more information please use the following link: Essex County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment. We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people as diversity is key to our success. If you have any queries regarding this role, or require anything further, please email or call us on 0333 013 5888. Lines are open Monday to Friday 08:30 - 16.30.