Head of Product Category (Business Advisory)

Our client provides infrastructure, technology and application support services to major clients across the public and private sector, allowing them to run smoothly They have set a strategy that aims to significantly increase their share within their current target markets and within their existing customer base. They aim to introduce new digital services and pursue new customers in different sectors and geographies. Creating, managing, and enhancing their product and services portfolio will be a key part of this growth strategy. It will be critical that they have a compelling portfolio aligned to customer demand and market opportunity, that this is well managed and set up to be repeatable and scalable, and that is well understood by our sales teams and customers.

To execute this successfully they are recruiting a Head of Product Category reporting into the Product Management Director and with a high level of exposure to the senior management team. You will lead the development of their Business Advisory services portfolio, building on a number of specific areas of strength they have. It will include IT Strategy, IT Operating Model, Enterprise Architecture, Digital Transformation Services, Programme/ Project Management, Business Analysis and Testing. The role will also provide an engage across the Group so that our client can build a joined-up set of advisory services and leverage their collective strengths. This is an exciting time to join the team to look after and develop the Business Advisory portfolio which is seen as key to their future strategy and will have high visibility within the division and across the group.

 They require a talented individual with a combination of critical skills in Portfolio Management, Product Management, and Product Marketing.  The Head of Product Category is tasked with creating the strategy and roadmap for their category and products within that portfolio, establishing a baseline set of mature products and guiding enhancements and new features from start to finish – defining commercial opportunity, priority and business requirements, successful launch into the market, and driving commercial success and evolution of the portfolio within the Category. As this role is ultimately about supporting the drive to increase revenue and profitability, a high degree of commercial acumen and drive is required.

The Head of Product Category will be recognised as a subject matter expert for the Business Advisory Category. This is a commercially-focused role and will require someone with the drive and commercial acumen to support the commercial success. The role will require sufficient technical knowledge, but our client is not looking for technical experts – this expertise will come from building great relationships across the rest of the matrixed organisation and drawing on that resource to support the successful launch and ongoing ownership of the products/services as specified. The role requires attention to detail and ability to project manage across a wide stakeholder group from development of the business case to attract product approval and investment, ensuring creation and successful launch into the market. You must be able to communicate concisely and confidently, acting as the internal and external evangelist for our client’s  product/service offerings.

The position will be located out of our client’s nearest office; either in London, the Midlands, or Belfast, with some travel to customer and other sites in the UK and ROI, and India required from time to time. 

What you will do:

Strategy:

  • Set out recommended set of investments and bring those to the Product Investment Board, supported by a clear business case to gain approval and support investment prioritisation.
  • Set out the Product Category Strategy and Roadmap. Specify market opportunities and requirements (fact-based) for current and future product/services drawing on market research, engagement with sales teams, customers, partners and other stakeholders.
  • Ensure sufficient insight on competitor offerings and pricing for the Category. Use this, along with a fact base on the value our client delivers to their customers to drive increased yield and improved pricing across the Category.

Portfolio Management:

  • Support and drive the entire product life cycle for the Category from planning to tactical activities across our client’s key products/services, through to retirement where required.
  • Provide leadership in prioritisation of new demand/ opportunities across the Category.
  • Drive a consistent solution set across the Category working with development/delivery, service/support, sales and marketing to ensure a coherent set of repeatable/scalable products that fit together.
  • Provide clarity of market and product requirements, user stories and customer experience, and a consistent approach to launching, managing and maintaining all products as a portfolio
  • Catalogue Management: Ensure that there is a clear, simple, well communicated and well understood catalogue (‘playbook’) of products and services for the Category supported by the required product and service definition, technical, and sales collateral.

Demand and Financial Management:

  • Take ownership of drive the commercial success of the Category and for specific product (s) working with sales, service managers, pre-sales, delivery, and marketing to plan and implement go-to-market campaigns.
  • Work with Finance to report on the commercial performance of the Category.
  • Assist the sales organisation as a subject matter expert for the Category as required. Act as the Category evangelist both internally and externally including: clearly communicating the Category and roadmap, thought leadership, sales presentations and collateral, analyst discussions, public speaking and conferences.
  • Create targeted propositions/offerings to respond to market opportunities, as appropriate combining products/services from within the category or working with other Heads of Product Category and wider across the Group to create targeted, compelling solutions to key business problems our client’s customers will engage with.

Relationships and Delivery:

  • Provide strong leadership and direction in a matrix structure to promote best practices in product management across the organisation to ensure successful delivery. 
  • Ensure product management is properly aligned and integrated across our client’s business and the wider Group, as appropriate in order to positively contribute to the financial performance
  • Work with our client’s delivery teams to establish and document repeatable, best-practice configuration recommendations to help drive scale and profitability of products/services
  • Work collaboratively with suppliers/partners to leverage their innovation and capabilities to bring new product development to market
  • Engage with other Category Heads and Product Managers on joint initiatives, share best practice and create joint propositions. 

About you:

  • 4+ years of product marketing/product management experience, ideally in IT, Managed and Digital Services and ideally working across geographies
  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science/IT, Marketing, Business or other discipline relevant to the role.
  • Able to straddle both product management and product marketing, defining and delivering customer propositions and Products in a Product/ Portfolio Manager role. Clear understanding of IT Product/Services development lifecycle and techniques, and experience in the development of business case, service definition, through to marketing and sales support collateral.
  • Understanding the role of Product Management in an IT Services business and how Product Management fits into the wider organisation.
  • Experience of setting the strategy and roadmap for a Product Category/Portfolio and providing input to organisational business and investment planning
  • Demonstrated ability to translate client requirements into product/service features that will drive valuable outcomes in business terms. Evidence of identifying and delivering on-going improvements to products.
  • Success in owning and driving commercial outcomes for a Product Portfolio/Category – a high degree of commercial acumen is essential, ensuring our client invests in and drives high yield in products supported by smart price/cost models.
  • Knowledgeable in technology and technology trends, as well as the market players for one or more of the Categories above, particularly in a managed IT and digital services environment.
  • Able to provide timely, accurate and relevant reporting that enables better business management
  • Strong analytical skills with ability to simplify the complex and communicate it clearly to different stakeholders
  • Leadership skills and experience of managing a team as well as working successfully in a matrix organisation, including working with partners to leverage innovation and expertise to deliver quick results.

Essential for the role:

  • Proven experience of successfully defining, delivering, managing and driving Products as a Product Portfolio Manager, ideally working across geographies and in a matrix organisation.
  • Experience of setting the strategy and roadmap for a Product Category/Portfolio and providing input to organisational business and investment planning
  • Ability to multitask on diverse requirements, understanding of IT Product/Services Development Lifecycle and techniques, and experience in the development of service definition, marketing, and sales support documentation.
  • Able to evidence positive, ideally financial, benefits delivered/achieved from Products/Services
  • Demonstrable track record of commercial success in driving products/services in the IT, Managed and/or Digital Services markets
  • Right to work in the UK.

Salary

£85,000 + benefits