Senior Product Manager: Community & Collaboration

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make ground-breaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress.

The role of Senior Product Manager of Communities & Collaboration drives a crucial pillar in the change towards the new era of Online Community Publishing that the scientific publishing industry is entering. It has a specific focus on defining and delivering an online communities platform and associated collaborative digital experiences on web, mobile and desktop.

Communities are broadly defined as an environment in which researchers willingly communicate and collaborate with each other on a range of topics and issues. They can also cooperate in a workflow including mining and sharing relevant information, connecting users with domain experts, answering questions or sharing relevant articles/experiments, images or other vetted resources. Communities can also take the opportunity to rally around topics and issues, theories or popular schools of thought in their domain. They can represent particular institutions or societies, highlight awards and grants or run virtual events/webinars around discipline specific issues.

In addition to the above, the communities’ platform will leverage existing and new collaboration tools in innovative ways. This could be reimagining how posts, comments and likes play a role in the dialogue, how conferences and events play out in the digitals space or examining opportunities to re-launch group and co-annotation tools align with co-authoring capabilities as a means of both engaging users and enabling productivity.

Communities should be nurtured to be self-organising and sustaining. However the role will also consider how reputable, trusted researchers, authors, advisors, editors and community managers can make the platform vibrant, content rich and stimulating. It should ideally evolve to personalise content to the user, recommending people, papers, groups, posts, topics and other participation opportunities that could be useful and interesting.

Key responsibilities:

• Work with senior stakeholders across the business to agree strategic goals and objectives, measurable targets and tactical roadmaps that represent the first milestones on this journey
• Collaborate with marketing to define a go-to-market strategy including segments, territories, value proposition and marketing communications & engagement
• Take a user and data centric approach to product prioritisation and planning, presenting priorities and direction in a well argued, evidenced and compelling way
• Communicate product progress and direction across the business via working/steering groups, wiki & email updates, corridor conversations, presentations, learning lunches and more
• Break down the product roadmap & strategy into prioritised, development-ready, testable user story backlogs supported by tech arch/designs
• Using agile methodologies, work across disciplines to deliver a pipeline of priority user features that release iterative value to the end user
• Use ‘build, measure, learn’ or similar methodology to develop, test and iterate product hypotheses for the community and collaboration tools, within a wider waterfall wrapper
• Build connections across the Research Application Platform (RAP) and Publishing businesses – including the Director of ROS Integration – to envision and execute on how we syndicate community/collaboration tools across our platforms

Required Skills & Competencies:

• Honours degree, MSc or PhD in business, technology or scientific discipline
• Experience of defining, designing and ideally launching an online community around serious subject matter with an understanding of how to lay down the foundations and build a roadmap of features over time that maintains and increases adoption and engagement
• Familiar with identifying, engaging and nurturing communities in order to deepen the relationships and sustain growth measure using a basket of meaningful KPIs
• A seasoned Senior Product Manager with an affinity for publishing and research; understands the different researcher needs and how they translate to a community platform
• Able to synthesise vision & strategy, tactical roadmaps and sprint goals; analytical and able to break down big features into incremental deliverables, adept at working with agile teams using a range of tools and techniques
• Data driven, pro-active communicator, driven and purposeful while maintaining a collaborative and inclusive approach
• Demonstrable experience within product or senior product management
• Evidence of providing product leadership and direction to one or more agile delivery teams
• Experience interacting with senior executives, explaining to them business & technical choice points and facilitating decisions
• Strong analytical skills and ability for conceptual & strategic thinking
• Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, and the presence to interact with and present to senior executives
• Extensive experience with and knowledge of scientific publishing, infrastructure development and complex databases systems
• Self-motivated and able to work unsupervised, accepting responsibility for own actions
• Eager to learn quickly from experience and others
• Excellent interpersonal skills with an ability to build effective working relationships
• Ability to anticipate and manage potential points of conflict, balancing the interests of different groups against strategic objectives
• Broad overall end-to-end operations knowledge: processes, tools, suppliers and systems
• Good understanding of overall business drivers and product development drivers
• Good understanding and experience of the full project life-cycle, management and structured development processes
• Knows what it takes to drive early adoption of products and services, build a community of influencers that can go on to drive mass adoption

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries, that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress.