Senior 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

We are looking for a talented Senior Product Owner to join our growing team and help us take a product to market in the next 12 months. This person will report to the Product Director and will work closely with the whole Sparx team including other technical product managers, designers, developers, data scientists, content scientists and the school partnership team.
The role will involve significant project management through the various phases of a product life cycle, from discovery and planning, through to delivery and continued improvement.


Key responsibilities

  • Helping shape the overall product by gathering and sharing insights from competitor analysis, user research and qualitative analysis.
  • Gathering requirements - visiting schools and liaising with internal stakeholders to determine product needs and prioritise the feedback.
  • Creating detailed product specifications, project plans and delivering progress updates.
  • Writing customer requirement documents and product backlog items/feature tickets.
  • Managing the product backlogs.
  • Packaging features into product releases and scheduling the release of new functionality to customers/schools.
  • Liaising with our design, development, data, content and school partner teams to help deliver a beautiful product that delights the customer.
  • Supporting the Product Director to manage and maintain the product roadmap.
  • Stakeholder management, report writing and maintaining status dashboards for Sparx portfolio products.
  • Conducting technology assessments.
  • Monitoring and incorporating new industry innovations where appropriate.
  • Contributing to the go-to-market plan and working with all departments to execute. 

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:

  • Degree educated with a 2.1 or higher in a relevant technical subject.
  • Demonstrable experience of working as a Product Owner / Manager with a record of successful product launches or evolution.
  • Great verbal and written communication skills and an enthusiastic team player.
  • Project management experience.
  • Broad understanding and experience in delivering best practice product development
  • Experience of working in an Agile development environment.
  • Ability to demonstrate high levels of empathy with customers and have a strong customer focus
  • Strong understanding of the importance of user experience.
  • Strong customer focus
  • Hands-on experience of working with cross-functional teams.
  • A strong sense of urgency and ownership.
  • An exceptional eye for detail.

Desirable:

  • Exposure to educational digital products or Ed-Tech.
  • Experience of working in a fast growing start-up
  • Good academic background in a technical/numerate subject area
  • An interest in the future of education
  • At least a grade A at A level Maths

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!