Senior Product Manager

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Closing date: 19 Nov 2018

Reference number



Circa £55,000 (London)


Grade 7

Contract type


Business area


Type of role


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time


37 hours per week

Number of posts




About the job

Job description

The opportunity on offer

MHCLG is seeking exceptional product people to help us transform into an agile, user-centred, digital organisation. We’re already doing amazing things. We’re moving away from our large, legacy IT contracts, bringing more capability in house and delivering modern IT and collaboration tools. The Local Digital Declaration, delivered by our Local Digital Collaboration Unit and written in association with Local Authorities and the Government Digital Service (GDS), will be the catalyst for change across the country.

Our ambition is to deliver digital services for our government users that are as good as the government’s best services for citizens. The work that you do will transform the lives of users in Local Authorities, in our internal policy teams, and those in Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who apply for grants worth billions of pounds to support the creation of jobs and housing.

As a Senior Product Manager, you’ll help us to deliver iterative, user-centered improvements to one of our highest priority and most complex services. You’ll take the role of an intelligent customer, ensuring we get the best out of our relationships. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with diverse stakeholders in our policy areas such as the Department of Work and Pensions and our partners in the European Union.

Product management is new to the organisation, so you’ll also need to be a strong advocate for this way of working. You’ll need to help mentor the stakeholders you work with as well as other digital colleagues, and help embed the philosophies of continuous improvement in the department.

Key responsibilities

The successful candidate should be able to demonstrate professionalism, flexibility, leadership, commitment to delivery of outcomes and be user centered. Within this context, you’ll lead one or more multidisciplinary teams and develop other product managers, ensuring that all teams’ outputs support the purpose of the policy in ways that meet user needs. This will require you to:

• Develop an expert understanding of our users’ needs and champion these in the delivery of a high profile, complex MHCLG service;

• Work with a Service Owner from the policy area, develop and prioritise a product backlog, writing good user stories and making decisions based on data to improve the user experience;

• Own the development of processes that can move user stories quickly and smoothly between user research or business need and production;

• Engage with users and stakeholders through a range of channels to encourage take-up and ensure they are clear on the benefits of the product and that their feedback is being used to inform ongoing improvements;

• Define and set measurable KPIs;

• Lead and direct a 3rd party delivery team;

• Take ownership of problems and work with your delivery team to proactively resolve technical problems, ensuring that technical solutions continue to meet our business requirements;

• Collaborate with all other MHCLG services on our platform to share ideas about platform improvements;

• Develop an agile change control system that allows for rapid deployment of software releases but gives the business confidence;

• Define, explain and iterate a product vision that is compelling to your users, team and stakeholders;

• Help the Head of Digital Delivery build a product mindset within the department, helping define how we will continue to deliver and operate services; and

• Assess and deliver new functionality required by the business while protecting the integrity of existing services.

Key criteria

The successful candidate should be able to demonstrate:

• A successful track record as a Product Management professional;

• An expert understanding of the product delivery lifecycle coupled with the experience of managing the operational process of designing and running a product or service throughout its entire life-cycle;

• Experience of creating, maintaining and prioritising product backlogs to direct the work of a support and delivery team;

• Experience of leading agile, multidisciplinary teams in the successful delivery of products and iteratively improving products through multiple delivery cycles;

• Experience of managing and delivering solutions to meet issues and problems that arise from day-to-day operations and through project delivery;

• Experience of writing stories and acceptance criteria that translate user needs into actionable deliverables;

• Extensive experience of establishing relationships and working collaboratively with 3rd parties and outsourced providers to achieve jointly agreed operational and project goals;

• An understanding of users and an ability to identify who they are and what their needs are based on evidence. Able to translate user stories and propose design approaches or services to meet these needs and engage in meaningful interactions and relationships with users. Puts users first and can manage competing priorities; and

• Experience of building and managing relationships with senior stakeholders and diverse groups to share knowledge, skills and deliver shared goals.



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


Transfers across the Civil Service on or after 4 October 2018

• From 4 October 2018 individuals moving across the Civil Service to a new PAYE scheme on any type of move other than TUPE/COSOP will lose the right to continue to claim Childcare Vouchers.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

Please submit your CV and statement of suitability outlining how your skills are suited to the role. Please follow the link to Be Applied to submit your CV and to answer the suitability question. Your CV and suitability question should outline how your skills are suited to the role thinking about the key criteria as listed in the job description.

Your CV and statement of suitability will be assessed on: Agile working, Product Ownership, User Focus, Stakeholder Management.

At interview you will be asked about:

• Problem ownership

• Communications

• Empathy with stakeholders/stakeholder management

• Supplier Management

An initial sift of your CV will be conducted against the key criteria. Longlisted candidates may then be invited to an assessment/preliminary interview. This will typically involve a commitment of up to 2 hours.

Final interviews may also include an additional assessment exercise or presentation exercise. Please note that your CV must demonstrate evidence of the key criteria for you to be progressed to the next stage.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Terms & Conditions

If you are already an MHCLG member of staff; and are interested applying for this role on a level transfer basis (ie at the same grade), please search for ‘apply for an internal vacancy’ on our intranet page for details on how to apply for this role.

Please note that existing MHCLG staff currently within their probation period are required to complete their probation period within their current role before taking up a new appointment if successful.

• The salary for this role is circa £55,000 (London).

• For existing civil servants, the usual policy on level transfer and promotion will apply and is non-negotiable.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

For further information about the role, please contact:

Rebekah Ramsay

Sally-Anne Barber

Sift/interview dates and location

Sifting is envisaged to take place W/C Monday 12th November 2018 with assessment/first stage interviews provisionally scheduled for Thursday 29th November 2018 and Friday 30th November 2018.

Final interviews will take place on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th December 2018.

Further information

In the event that we identify more appointable candidates than we currently have posts available, we will hold applicant details on a reserve list for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made. This may include roles at a lower grade. Candidates placed on a reserve list will be informed of this. Due to the length of time CTC checks can take, our HR Shared Services team will contact reserve list candidates for London based roles to commence CTC checks. Those candidates who do not wish to remain on the reserve list should contact to be removed from the reserve list.

Important note
Successful candidates for roles based in our 2 Marsham Street building must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check and the process can take up to 8 weeks to complete.

You are therefore required to complete the attached Annex A form (PART A ONLY) and either email the signed version directly to Alternatively, you can post the completed form to MHCLG HR, Ground Floor, Rosebrae Court, Woodside Ferry Approach, Birkenhead, CH41 6DU. This will be processed in cases only where the candidate should be successful in applying for the post. The remainder will be securely destroyed.

Please note that successful candidates will need to pass the CTC security checks – this requires you to have been resident in the UK for the past 3 years. Please refer to the attached document “MHCLG Notes on Security Clearance” for further information on Counter Terrorism Clearance (CTC). Thank you.

Candidates should also note that with effect from 1st August 2018 the department will also check all applicants who are successful at interview, against the Internal Fraud Database (IFD) held by the Cabinet Office. In accordance with the Civil Service Internal Fraud Policy, any applicant who is included on the IFD will be refused employment by MHCLG. Please see detail on attached Internal Fraud Database document.

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