Full or part time, flexible
Anywhere (ideally UK or mainland Europe)
Closing date
September 30, 2022

About the role

We are working to transform the UK planning system. Planning is one of the most fundamental layers of democracy, and yet our planning system is famous for being slow, opaque and inaccessible, especially to those who don’t have money or time. 

Open Systems Lab is working with local planning authorities and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) to build the first fully digital planning services. That means services that are simpler, more transparent, and more accessible, allowing users to submit information as structured, machine-readable data, instead of as long, impenetrable PDF documents.

They are also some of the first ‘Rules as code’ services in the world: that means they can pre-check schemes against the relevant planning legislation and policy. 

To make that possible, we are building Plan✕, a platform that allows planning authorities to write, operate and collaborate on shared ‘rules as code’ planning services as flowcharts. A kind of GitHub for public services and policies. 

As we grow our team and really focus on delivery, we’re looking for a technical project manager – someone with sufficient technical skills to understand and spot problems early but also the communication and project management skills to spot issues or misunderstandings early, and work with the product manager, other stakeholders and the development team to discuss solutions, avoid black holes, and coordinate delivery. 

You don’t need to know all the technical answers yourself, but you need to have a good understanding of the technical and operational aspects of running Software as a Service. 

Since in a relatively small team this may not take up all of your time, we’d also love you to be able to also get involved in development tickets when you have capacity, and when you see a way to help make sure we deliver.


  • Experience of working in a complex agile development environment, and acting in some project management capacity (although this does not need to have been your job title)
  • A good listener, but also someone who will keep things moving forwards.
  • A natural doer-deliverer, who can work in an agile way, weigh up priorities and make good judgements, balancing short-term delivery against long-term vision and future-proofing.
  • Excellent problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills with both technical and semi-technical team members. 
  • An understanding of all aspects of the technical architecture and operational requirements behind running a modern Software as a Service application.
  • Able to thrive in an iterative and sometimes ambiguous agile R&D environment, which requires trade-offs.
  • A love for clean, standards-compliant, well-patterned, well-documented code.
  • Comfortable and effective working collaboratively and remotely (mostly using GitHub, Slack, Trello, and Google Teams)

Nice to have

  • Experience of working on digital projects for public sector organisations and their systems.
  • Experience of / comfort with working with Typescript, JavaScript, and React.
  • Proficiency working with GraphQL and / or REST APIs.
  • Experience of working with GIS data.
  • Experience of working with Docker and AWS.

What's in it for you?

  • Work with a small, but incredibly talented, friendly, and motivated team of people 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).
  • Take a key role in a transformative public digital project, with potential to have a hugely positive impact on a key layer of everyday democracy.

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.