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Senior Product Managers and Product Managers

Cabinet Office Government Digital Service -

Full-time (Permanent)
£53,400 - £70,192
Published on
20 September 2023
10 October 2023

Job description

We’re looking for someone who has a track-record of leading successful product delivery teams in an agile environment. You’ll be guided by the fundamental principles of putting user needs first, focusing on delivery and outcomes over process, and being open and collaborative.You’ll be someone who wants to make a difference, by delivering simpler, clearer and faster public services and being part of this critical publishing platform.

You'll be an experienced product person who can lead teams through the product lifecycle as they develop, run, support and continuously improve products of significant scale and complexity. 

As a Product Manager you’ll:

  • work with a multidisciplinary team to deliver the product and iteratively improve it through several cycles
  • develop an expert understanding of the users’ needs and behaviours, championing these in the delivery of your product
  • define, explain and iterate an evidence-based product vision that is compelling to your users, team and stakeholders
  • maintain a roadmap and product strategy that show your plans at different horizons and granularities
  • develop and prioritise a product backlog, writing good user stories and making decisions based on evidence and value for money
  • identify assumptions and risks behind possible approaches and include these in your product planning
  • collaborate with team members to create prototypes or other cheap ways to test these assumptions or approaches - at both a strategic and usability level
  • safely use ‘test and learn’ approaches where the cost and risks of being wrong about a particular technology choice are low
  • set measurable goals for your product and report against these to demonstrate progress against stated benefits
  • share insight with leadership at an appropriate time to ensure the programme strategy can adapt and have the best chance of success
  • support the vision, roadmaps and delivery of other products in your programme and GDS
  • consider opportunities to use data to create personalised and curated digital experiences
  • engage with users and stakeholders through a range of channels to encourage take-up and use of your product
  • build services following the principles in the service manual
  • change your approach according to the lifecycle phase of your work
  • understand, communicate, and where necessary challenge the validity of constraints
  • create, curate and iterate documentation for your product
  • play an active role in the government product manager community, sharing your learning and celebrating progress made by other people and teams

To learn more about the skills expected of Product Managers in government you can read the guidance on GOV.UK.

Additionally as a Senior Product Manager you will

  • work across multiple teams, managing a suite of products in a complex delivery environment
  • identify the right stakeholders to work with at the right time, and communicate with them successfully
  • lead teams working a higher degree of uncertainty and more nuanced assumptions to test, working out the most important research and insight needed to inform your plans
  • create long-term plans that address dependencies and other risks, but also respond to change
  • coordinate product development with other product teams to anticipate problems, minimise risks and and manage dependencies
  • strike a balance in your team between developing new features and upgrading existing systems
  • motivate and inspire your team to deliver high quality work; demonstrate a passion, enthusiasm and deep understanding of how to set a common vision and help an organisation align.
  • advocate for the right agile delivery and planning processes based on your context, and adapt them as needed to ensure success
  • have an advanced knowledge of the value other professions can bring to a multidisciplinary team’s work, and ensure successful collaboration
  • ensure your service is suitably supported
  • identify and develop product principles, practices and processes to allow teams to collaboratively build the right thing, the right way
  • line manage, coach and mentor product managers
  • champion best practice and the latest in product management tools/techniques

To learn more about the skills expected of Senior Product Managers in government you can read the guidance on GOV.UK.

Person specification

  • experience of successfully developing and releasing digital products with proficiency in agile product management techniques, such as: roadmaps; prioritisation; creation of user stories; MVP definition; using research, analytics and insight to inform decisions; planning at different horizons;
  • understanding of the variety of disciplines involved in digital delivery, including engineering, service design, performance analysis and user research, developed through working in multidisciplinary teams
  • successfully engaged with users to improve their products, commissioning research and turning qualitative and quantitative insight into product improvements
  • successfully handled a range of stakeholder relationships to successfully deliver products that meet user needs and deliver business outcomes
  • reconciled strong differing opinions using evidence or user research
  • evaluate return on investment/value for money on different approaches
  • are familiar with setting, monitoring and reporting measurable performance objectives
  • can use data and analytics to spot problems with, and evaluate success of, new features or any experiments
  • can devise communication strategies and engagement plans that drive adoption at the right pace for current confidence levels

    Senior Product Managers would also be expected to demonstrate:

  • exemplary communication skills that can be used to influence, or reconcile differences between, senior stakeholders and teams
  • experience in a range of delivery teams, lifecycle phases and products, and an ability to adapt their delivery approach accordingly
  • the ability to identify the most important assumptions or risks to a successful outcome, and collaboratively devise ways to test them with end users and gather the evidence needed to succeed
  • the ability to create roadmaps and plans that cater for uncertainty but still show progress and inspire confidence with leadership

If you meet a few of those criteria but think that you might not meet every last one then don’t let that stop you from submitting an application.


  • The benefits of working at GDS
  • There are many benefits of working at GDS, including:
  • flexible hybrid working with flexi-time and the option to work part-time or condensed hours
  • a Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • 25 days of annual leave, increasing by a day each year up to a maximum of 30 days
  • an extra day off for The King’s birthday
  • an in-year bonus scheme to recognise high performance
  • career progression and coaching, including a training budget for personal development
  • paid volunteering leave
  • a focus on wellbeing with access to an employee assistance programme
  • job satisfaction from making government services easier to use and more inclusive for people across the UK
  • advances on pay, including for travel season tickets
  • death in service benefits
  • cycle to work scheme and facilities
  • access to children's holiday play schemes across different locations in central London
  • access to an employee discounts scheme
  • 10 learning days per year
  • volunteering opportunities (5 special leave days per year)
  • access to a suite of learning activities through Civil Service learning
  • GDS offers hybrid working for all employees. This means that everyone does some working from home and also spends some time in their local office. You’ll agree to your hybrid working arrangement with your line manager in line with your preferences and business needs.

Any move to Government Digital Service from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

Things you need to know

The standard selection process for roles at GDS consists of:

  • a simple application screening process - We only ask for a CV and cover letter of up to 750 words. Important tip - please ensure that your cover letter includes how you meet the skills and experience listed in the “person specification” section above
  • a 60 minute video interview. This will include giving your response to a typical Product Management scenario, to help us understand and ask about your product thinking. We will assess your experience of the priority DDaT skills and the three Behaviours set out below.
  • for successful candidates at the first round, there will then be a 90 minute in-depth interview of all DDaT skills. This will also enable us to better determine the salary we can offer, which roles might be suitable to you, as well as starting to plan your career development.
  • The scenario for the first interview, and instructions on how to prepare a response, will normally be sent approximately three days in advance. No presentation will be necessary, although candidates may choose to create one. Candidates can also refer to notes.

Information about how to prepare for the DDaT skills assessment will be sent five days in advance, and referring to your notes is expected at this stage.

Depending on how many applications we get, there might also be an extra stage before the video interview, for example a phone interview or a technical exercise.

In the Civil Service, we use Success Profiles to evaluate your skills and ability. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, increases performance and improves diversity and inclusivity. We’ll be assessing your technical abilities, skills, experience and behaviours that are relevant to this role.

For this role we’ll be assessing you against the following Civil Service Behaviours:

  • changing and improving
  • making effective decisions
  • delivering at pace

We’ll also be assessing your experience and specialist technical skills against the following skills defined in the Digital, Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework for the Product Manager role:

  • product ownership
  • agile working
  • user focus
  • strategic ownership
  • financial ownership
  • life cycle perspective
  • operational management
  • problem management
  • working within constraints
  • DDaT perspective

Candidates should expect questions on the initial 3-4 skills during the first interview.

Candidates that do not pass the interview but have demonstrated an acceptable standard may be considered for similar roles at a lower grade.

A reserve list will be held for a period of 12 months, from which further appointments can be made.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

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