Product Owner

Job description

Location: Sparx Head Office in Exeter 

Term: Full time, Permanent
Salary: £highly competitive, dependent on experience (plus generous benefits including relocation package)
 
About Sparx

 

Sparx is a scientifically driven and research based educational technology company. We are using technology, data and real-world classroom observations to scientifically investigate the way young people learn. Using technology to dive deep into the learning process, we explore and analyse what works and what doesn’t, and deliver more personalised, evidence-driven lessons and homework that produces results.


Job description

The Product Owner plays a pivotal role in the delivery of the Product roadmap. As a Product Owner, you will champion a specific area of the product such as the teacher experience, student experience, or our internal tools; identifying, prioritising, documenting and communicating the work that needs to be delivered in that area. 


You will work collaboratively with colleagues in the Product Team and cross-functionally with colleagues in the Development, Content Science, Data Science and School teams to deliver new products and evolve existing products, with the latest user experience best practice and education technology market intelligence in mind. 


The role will involve rigorous project management through the various phases of the product life cycle. You will also support measurement of product success post-launch, to ensure product efficiency, customer adoption and satisfaction.


Key responsibilities


  • Liaising directly with users in school and with internal stakeholders to determine product needs
  • Developing an in-depth knowledge of your users and their needs through observation, communication and analysis of their behaviours
  • Developing strong relationships with your Stakeholders; ensuring regular communication
  • Acting as a primary point of contact and domain expert for your product
  • Supporting development of product strategy and the Product Roadmap; developing an awareness of and presenting the likely long-term requirements for your product
  • Identifying and articulating user needs in the form of user stories, wireframes and functional specifications
  • Founding and leading cross-functional working groups (for example, working with designers, content experts, data scientists, developers and testers) to arrive at well-considered solutions that meet your users’ needs 
  • Creating, maintaining and prioritising your product backlog in line with the wider Product Roadmap
  • Supporting the product planning process by contributing to sprint planning, review and retrospective meetings
  • Attending and representing your product at Product Team stand-ups
  • Proactively contributing to ongoing process and efficiency improvement
  • Researching and tracking the latest trends in education technology, user experience, and instructional design; making recommendations thereon to the wider Product team

Requirements

About you 


We want someone who is passionate about being part of something special and ready for a
challenge; someone who loves dealing with customers and finding out what they really want.


You are a whirlwind of activity: proactive, dynamic and enthusiastic with the ability to multi-task and
focus on the detail, without losing sight of the bigger picture. You will thrive under pressure and are
used to fast-paced environments where deadlines are tight. In addition, you can adapt in the face of
changing priorities and fluctuating workload.


In terms of specifics, the list below gives an overview of the skills and experiences we are looking for:


Essential:

  • Passionate about being part of something special and ready for a challenge; someone who loves dealing with customers and finding out what they really want.
  • Minimum 2:1 in Maths, Science, Engineering or any technical-based degree.
  • Solid understanding of the product lifecycle.
  • An understanding of Agile methodologies and up-to-date on industry standards and best practices. An ability to converse effectively with technical colleagues.
  • Experience documenting software product requirements and solutions (user story authoring, wireframing, functional specification authoring).
  • Proficient computer skills, Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Excel); working knowledge of software development.
  • Comfortable working with multiple teams, in-house and remote.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Accurate and precise attention to detail.
  • Ability to demonstrate high levels of empathy with our product users. 
  • Able to build strong interpersonal relationships with all teams including senior management, and internal and external stakeholders.
  • An interest in the future of education.
  • A strong sense of urgency and ownership. 

Desirable:


  • Exposure to educational digital products or Ed-Tech. 
  • Experience of working in a fast-growing start-up. 

 
Additional background 


Every year, around 40% of UK students who sit GCSE Maths fail to obtain a grade 4 or higher (previously grade C). This is an alarming statistic and is one of the fundamental issues motivating Sparx. We want everyone to fulfil their learning potential, and be excited and motivated about learning.

Founded by Mark Dixon and Glenn Woodcock in 2011, Sparx employs over 70 people, all of whom are working to create a learning platform that can be rolled out across schools in the UK. The platform includes ‘big data’, granular content and gaming, all of which are carefully brought together and fashioned into a system capable of significantly improving the pace and quality of learning. Data captured from the lessons is truly remarkable, allowing real-time feedback which enables the re-positioning of certain concepts, to better the students’ understanding of the material. The impact of this work is potentially transformational. It is a major initiative and a tremendous opportunity. 

Our team

We’re about living life, not putting it on hold. Our generous benefits include substantial holiday leave and the chance to join our company pension. We have a range of on-site facilities for all employees to use free of charge. On site we have a netball court, a five-a-side football pitch, a running track, a pool table, an Olympic table tennis table, as well as an on-site gym with classes throughout the day. Our café serves delicious, local, and organic food. Did we mention it’s all free? On top of this you’ll have great views from your office window of the foothills of Dartmoor and boats out at sea on the horizon – with the beach just 20 minutes away. Plus, we’re constantly organising events and activities to support our charities, and to socialise. Our work is serious but we’re all about having fun while we do it!