Head of Platforms and Products

Full-Time Anywhere Closes: 2022-11-24

Farringdon, London (This position can be based outside the UK provided it is in a country with an SC office from which you would be able to work)

£46,750 – £55,000

The Humanitarian Leadership Academy (HLA) is on a mission is to enable people around the world to prepare for and respond to crises in their own countries, by providing quality learning opportunities. As the leading training platform in the humanitarian sector, the HLA is at the forefront of how high-quality humanitarian learning can be scaled through networks and digital technologies.

• Do you have experience in leading effective, cross-functional and multidisciplinary product teams?
• Are you experienced in building, launching and scaling highly successful digital products with a strong user experience and high-quality design, and overseeing the full product lifecycle?
• Do you have proven knowledge in using agile delivery methodologies/frameworks with a solid technical background and understanding of software development and web/platform-based technologies?
• Are you motivated by our vision of creating a world where every child doesn’t just survive, but thrives, and can go on to change the world?

If the answers to these questions are yes, we would love to hear from you!

Job Purpose

The HLA’s platforms have been established and as of 2022 reach over 500k individual learners, with over 50 partners utilising an existing product. Individual learners benefit from hundreds of free, online and blended courses, while the existing products provide a low-cost but highly flexible and adaptable learning management system (LMS) to partner organisations. The next step in this journey will be for this new function to further scale the platforms and products, as well as launch new, commercially viable platform products for existing and expanded audiences.

The HLA’s Product Development function will be responsible for developing, managing and supporting the HLA’s flagship digital platforms, Kaya and HPass, and the portfolio of paid-for products that they enable. It will consist of a team of technical specialists whose responsibilities span UX/UI development, feature delivery, the set-up and maintenance of the platform infrastructure and hosting arrangements, and individual user support; as well as end-to-end management of the platform products throughout their lifecycle, from ideation, through build and launch, to growth and ongoing technical support to the partners that utilise them in fulfilment of Service Level Agreements (SLA).
The Head of Platforms and Products will be central to achieving this. The purpose of the role will be to set-up and optimise the new Product Development function, and to then provide strategic leadership and oversight of all platform and product development and management activities in the HLA. You will be ultimately accountable for the effective functioning and scaling of the existing platforms, the management of the existing product portfolio, and the scoping, testing and launching of new products that will help to realise the HLA-E’s ambitious growth plans and ultimately the HLA’s charitable mission.

Main Accountabilities
As line manager overseeing platforms and products:
• Accountable for the continued growth and innovation of the Kaya and HPass platforms, the establishment of a global learning marketplace, and the iterative development of the existing and emerging business model and associated product portfolio through strategic engagement and scoping across global community, income generation and content functions.
• Strategic lead on understanding and capitalising on the products and opportunities provided by the HLA’s platforms, providing expert guidance and technical input into the HLA-E’s social enterprise offer.
• Co-lead with Income generation function to establish product pricing/positioning and market expansion strategies for product financial sustainability.
• Establish, create buy-in for and execute the platform/product vision and strategy, ensuring linkage/alignment to organisational vision and strategy.
• Establish and lead a high-performing Product Development function, creating and continuously improving end-to-end product/agile development processes, and fostering collaborative ways of working between team members and external designers, developers, system engineers and QA testers.
• Optimise feature delivery by owning, defining and prioritising the overarching functional roadmap and backlog, and its linkage to the product roadmaps and backlogs owned by the Product Development Lead and the Platforms & Product Management Lead.
• Accountable for the development and launch of new, commercially viable platform products for existing and expanded audiences. Work closely with the Product Development Lead to translate strategy into detailed requirements and prototypes, and establish methods to evaluate their iterative development and success.
• Accountable for the stability, security and scalability of the platforms, as well as the governance and data protection mechanisms, and the overall user and partner experience. Work closely with the Platforms & Product Management Lead to establish BAU management and methods for continuous optimisation and improvement of these areas.
• Accountable for ensuring that product support services and maintenance, user training and support and product quality assurance processes are effective, consistent and streamlined.
• Accountable for relevant strategic projects that are a priority for the HLA, leveraging resource from across the entire unit to deliver on HLA’s goals and priorities
• Responsible for team budget management

As a member of the HLA’s Senior Management Team
• Represent the Academy in public forums and contribute through wider thought leadership on strategic areas of this body of work, to include but not limited to advocating for the professionalisation of learning in the sector.
• Lead and manage a team of people, ensuring the development of an inclusive and supportive environment, strong and effective ways of working which motivates and encourages innovation and creativity across the team
• Develop and build strong relationships with a cross section of stakeholders, including decision makers’ influencers and partners, within the Save the Children movement and internal and external to the wider humanitarian sector.
• As a member of the Senior Management Team within the Academy, and alongside the other Heads of Teams, ensure that there is a sense of collective responsibility to draw upon the resources and expertise across all teams to drive forward sustainable, yet ambitious growth across the unit and that supports the localisation agenda

Person Profile
The ideal candidate will be someone who has experience in leading effective, cross-functional and multidisciplinary product teams; building, launching and scaling highly successful digital products with a strong user experience and high-quality design, and overseeing the full product lifecycle.

You will be entrepreneurial and familiar with product-led growth, particularly in a start-up environment and preferably relating to platform marketplaces and/or B2B SaaS learning products. You will be highly strategic and analytical in their thinking, using data and insights to inform decisions, but also comfortable dealing with ambiguity. You will be keen to actively listen to, empathise with and ultimately develop a deep understanding of the HLA’s users and partners, and they will lead an empowered team of product specialists who they trust to deliver complex technical solutions to meet these stakeholders’ needs.

• Proven product management/leadership experience, leading cross-functional teams and managing all aspects of successful products throughout their lifecycle.
• Experience in using product discovery methods and design thinking to develop and launch new, commercially viable products, ideally within a platform/marketplace environment.
• Experience with prototyping and the development of MVP/MLPs.
• Experience in thinking and planning strategically, with a hands-on, initiative-led approach and the confidence and intellect to challenge conventional thinking.
• Proven knowledge, and preferably a formal certification, in using agile delivery methodologies/frameworks (eg. Scrum, Kanban, Lean, DSDM).
• Solid technical background with an understanding of software development and web/platform-based technologies and accessibility standards.
• Strong analytical and technical skills in data collection and analysis (both qual and quant), particularly in setting product success metrics which are frequently monitored and features iterated/improved in response to insights.
• Very high digital literacy skills, with the ability to rapidly adopt new technological tools and approaches
• Excellent communication skills, with the ability to act as business liaison between technical and business leads, conveying complex concepts and solutions to a variety of audiences, including senior stakeholders
• Exceptional inter-personal, collaboration and relationship building skills, with experience influencing and improving ways of working and behaviours across distributed teams.

• Passion and energy to work in pursuit of transforming humanitarian response globally
• A demonstrable commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion and their practical application and integration in the work environment
• A commitment to Save the Children UK’s aims and core values of accountability, ambition, collaboration, creativity, and integrity

Please note we will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and interviews will be scheduled as applications are received.
Please apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Ways of Working:
Remote First – The majority of our roles can be performed remotely, however you may work from the office as often as you wish. Whilst you will be predominantly working from home, we may at times require you to come to your contracted office (up to 2-4 days per month or 6-8 days per quarter). Note: This will be agreed with your Line Manager and team. This is intended to be time spent on collaborating with colleagues and relationship building.

On-site – There are certain roles that cannot be performed remotely and so your role will be based in an office location and you may occasionally be able to work from home.

Flexible Working – We are happy to discuss flexible working options at interview.

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion:
Save the Children UK believes in a world that is fair, inclusive and equitable where all children have the opportunity to change their world. We apply this to our workforce and we are committed to developing and supporting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organisation where all employees have a sense of belonging and feel that they can be “Free to Be Me”. We are mot looking for just one type of person – we want to recruit people who can add fresh perspectives, innovative ideas or challenge that disrupts the risk of group think.

We are especially interested in people whose childhood experiences – of life on a low income, of migration, of being in a racialised community, of the care system, of being LGBT+ or in an LGBT+ family or living with (or with someone with) a disability – help us to see things we might otherwise miss. Whatever your story is we want to hear it because we know that different voices, ideas, perspectives and knowledge, working together will enable us to better the lives of children around the world. This is the reason why we are all here.

Tagged as: Flexible hours