“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.
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.
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.