4 or 5 days per week, flexible
Anywhere in the UK (remote)
Closing date
April 10, 2023
Apply anytime.
If you are interested in this role but it does not meet your salary expectations, please apply anyway, specifying the salary that you would need. We may consider these applications if we feel that your skills and experience are exceptional.

About the role

“If we don’t dramatically accelerate progress on the digital reform of the state by 2030, it may be too late.” – James Plunkett

The planning system is one of the most important layers of everyday democracy. It shapes our homes, our neighbourhoods, our environment and therefore our lives. Yet the planning system we have today is famous for being slow, opaque, bureaucratic and inaccessible, especially to those who don’t have a lot of money or time.

We are working with a growing group of councils and the Department for Levelling Up, Homes and Communities (DLUHC) to build a planning system fit for the 21st century. To do this, we are building Plan✕, an open source, low-code platform that allows planning authorities to collaboratively build and deploy simple, accessible planning services that use ‘rules-as-code’ to bake knowledge such as legislation, policies and guidance into the services themselves, making the planning process simpler and more transparent for everyone.

As we move into the next phase of the project, preparing the product to scale from a handful of councils to hundreds of councils, we are looking for a capable Product Lead who is as motivated as we are to succeed: to transform the way the state works, making it more effective, more trusted, and simpler for citizens to engage with.

The role of Product Lead encompasses the work typically covered by two roles. First, a Delivery Manager, co-ordinating the weekly cycle of stand-ups, sprint planning, retrospectives, managing the roadmap, and ensuring the team can deliver effectively and make good decisions. With a relatively small and self-organising team, this part of the role is not too difficult.

Second, the role also encompasses some of the roles and responsibilities of a Product Manager. You will develop an understanding of the ecosystem in which the product sits, our strategic priorities, potential barriers to adoption, and customer and stakeholder needs. You will liaise with the user researchers and stakeholders to gather insights, analyse metrics, connect the dots, anticipate problems before they arise, and make sure the team are asking – and coming up with solutions to – the right questions. You will be responsible for ensuring the product roadmap is up to date, and understood by everyone. You will work with the CEO to identify issues, risks and opportunities and with the whole team to develop and hone our strategy and tactics.

We are lucky to be working closely with a group of local planning authorities who together form an active, knowledgable stakeholder group, helping inform and shape development. But there is additional work involved in coordinating with them, coordinating their input, communicating our work and managing their expectations.

You will serve as the spoke at the centre of the product; a bridge between the product team and the stakeholder group as we take Plan✕ from a ‘minimum viable product’ to a fully-deployed platform that is being used by hundreds of councils, and potentially millions of users per week.

What we're looking for

  • Experience or training related to agile delivery of digital products You do not need to have extensive experience of working as a Product Manager (although this will be an advantage), nor do you need a specific formal qualification, but you will need to demonstrate your familiarity with agile delivery of digital products.
  • Clear thinker You must be a natural lucid thinker, the person who can see the wood for the trees, even in an uncertain or confusing environment, and help others to do so. When you don’t know the answer something, you need to have the confidence to say so, and to make judgements as to whether it is something that we need to know or not.
  • Self-led and independent You need to be the sort of person who thinks for themselves, uses common-sense and takes the initiative, motivated by outcomes, not blindly following a standard orthodox process.
  • Servant leader You need to be someone who can show leadership by asking the right questions, supporting the team and stakeholders, reading their emotions and directing questions to the right people. You need to have the humility to learn as you go, but the confidence to respectfully challenge the team, stakeholders and the CEO. You will be protecting the team from noise, scope creep and communication overheads, while also giving them the information, space and freedom they need to be nimble and creative as they navigate complex problems.
  • A good listener and communicator able to draw-out people’s knowledge, grow trust, hear what people are telling you, to read between the lines, understanding where people are coming from but also sometimes politely but firmly re-steering them onto what matters. Able to translate jargon into plain english, and summarise complex issues so people can understand the essentials and why it matters to them.
  • Bias towards decisions Ability to chair meetings and foster a culture of getting to good decisions as quickly as possible. ‘Strong ideas loosely held’.
  • Purpose driven Motivated by working on things that matter, and will have a meaningful impact on society, not just make a few rich people richer.

Nice to haves

  • Experience of working in digital product management especially within the domain of digital transformation involving large organisations, with all the complexities that come with managing multiple stakeholders, legacy technology and entrenched ways of working.
  • Experience of working as a delivery manager Supporting teams using an agile approach to developing digital software.
  • Experience of working with local government Navigating barriers around IT, procurement, finance, legal teams etc.
  • Experience of taking digital products from startup to scale Including securing certifications, demonstrating regulatory compliance.

We are aware that you might not exactly fit the role exactly as we've described it. If you are interested in this role, but are not sure if you exactly fit all of this description, or if you have ideas about reshaping this role, please apply anyway – or get in touch with us.

What's in it for you?

  • Work with a small, but incredibly talented, friendly, and motivated team in a high-expectations, but always kind and inclusive environment.
  • Ridiculously flexible working. Work where you want and when you want (most of the time at least). Read
  • Take a key role in delivering one of the most transformative public digital projects happening anywhere today, with potential to have a hugely positive impact on society and the environment over the coming decades.

If you are a strategic thinker with a passion for innovation and a desire to make a difference, we’d love to hear from you.

Got questions? Not sure if you quite fit this role? Get in touch. Or just apply anyway.


Do not contact us if you represent an agency.