Sparks Grove
Senior Consultant - Product
London, UK
 
JO-1804-9049

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Senior Consultant, Product Strategist

In the face of heightened customer expectations and constantly changing marketplace, it is hard to engage people with realistic design that is easily bought into. 

Sparks Grove is an experience design firm and a division of management consulting firm North Highland. We help businesses with their challenges, by creating experiences that matter and building things people love to use. We could be working anywhere from a huge corporate IT department to the head of marketing at a startup, doing anything from designing a new customer journey to building a new website.
We believe in making boring things fun, and complex things simple, and everyone deserves a great experience.  We’re not a traditional agency, nor a standard consulting firm either, rather something in-between. We answer the why before the what; we create alongside their clients, and value implementation over novelty.

This delivers bespoke, creative answers to big problems, with solutions that stick in the reality of business by building capability, not dependency.

Which, in turn, results in building things that people love to use and experiences that matter.

Sparks Grove is well established in the US, and we’ve recently opened our first office in the UK. Our home in Holborn Circus is open, energetic and fast growing. Our bright, capable people bring their whole selves to work and have a passion for building our business as well as helping our clients. Our firm is staffed with an intentional diversity – of people, experiences, and roles. We collaborate and iterate against big problems with creative thinking, planning, and execution. We work with our clients, not for them. We are here for their long-term benefit.
 
Role Objective: 

To shape and build best practice, customer-centric, data-driven, continuously improved digital product propositions. To build the bridge between the traditional consulting business and the benefits to a product-mindset when approaching consulting projects. To work closely with a development team (either our partner firms, network of trusted affiliates or our new in-house development team) including UX/UI to create end-to-end experiences that meet our target persona’s needs and generate benefit for the proposition in question; either Sparks Grove incubated or on behalf of clients.

You are the type of person who gets excited about technology, building great product businesses, great teams and the impact they have for our clients. This is an opportunity to be one of the founding team members of a new and fast-growing team that is helping to create new ways of working within Sparks Grove; transforming clients from a project to product mindset and building differentiating products along the way.

What will you be doing? 

You will lead by example and champion new ways of working at Sparks Grove and our Clients
• Be our product evangelist and champion for our suite of in-house products (two live with a third in development) and corresponding roadmaps.
• Coach colleagues in the rest of the business to tackle consulting projects with clients that are adjusting to deliver in a digital environment; leading with a project to product mindset and what it takes to deliver in this way.
• Influence and champion a best practice approach to digital product development utilising common methodologies (evidence, data, UX, customer centricity).
• Help our clients think about how they should harness technology to solve problems or grow their businesses.
 
You will have a Business Development mindset and either a strong pre-existing network or ability to build one working with our account teams
• Identify new opportunities to build products on behalf of clients or to commercialise our product suite.
• Comfortable in a day to day product build role and a more strategic product strategy/advisory role (i.e. advising other clients on what products to build, with what features)
•  Capable of working alongside our account teams to identify opportunities for product consulting work.
•  Prepare and deliver pitches based on an understanding of a client’s problem, our capability and wider industry trends.

Digital Delivery
• Solid and practical understanding of agile development.
• Create detailed prioritised product feature descriptions and delivery plans for internal/client products, and feed this into appropriate planning, budgeting and governance approaches.
• Ensuring roadmaps are prioritised in line with delivering organisational objectives and proposition priorities, constantly looking for synergies between the different products and key dependencies.
• Working with the client, the development team (either our trusted partner of network of affiliates) and UX capability to evaluate user testing and validate a prototype / beta / deployed solutions and ensuring the build outputs match the design inputs.
• Managing stakeholder input into the product roadmap – ensuring all key stakeholder groups have been consulted on any proposed changes and communicating the product roadmap to the business.
• Supervising product deployments and acting as Product sign-off.
• Communicating to the business on success or issues encountered.

Manage and work closely with design/UX function
• Utilising appropriate capabilities and resources to help define and communicate the digital product. These may include user journeys, prototypes, wireframes, personas.
• Interpreting user research in conjunction with UX to identify needs in order to make recommendations that alter design to better meet them.
• Engaging with our creative communications team to ensure that developed apps have high level of engagement and adoption in the run up to launch.
• Be the conduit from the customer to our design and development teams to act on product feedback and analytics data, through making functional or visual changes.

Continuous improvement / Data centric mindset
• Working with stakeholders and reporting to senior management to keep them appraised of product performance (based on data and metrics) and on-going development opportunities.
• Establishing the key success criteria to form a product dashboard that monitors product feature performance in business and user engagement terms.
• Forensically analysing and interpreting the performance data against key competitors and monitoring progress against relevant KPIs to identify product improvements across the product suite.


Desirable Skills/Experience
 
• Management consulting, product strategy, professional services and/or consulting experience.
• Experience of working in a start-up environment (doesn’t matter if you’re been in one and its failed).
• Thought leadership space whether formal or informal (personal or professional blog focussing on design/product/innovation, influencer on social media).

Must haves
 
• Experience working as a product owner or manager in an agile environment.
• Experience working alongside app/website builds.
• Digital Consultancy (Deloitte Digital, Accenture Interactive), Digital agency (DigitasLBi, Sapient, AKQA etc.), Management Consultancy experience working on digital projects, or project based product strategy.
• A passion for building products and leaving a legacy, not a creator of PowerPoints or shelf-ware.
• Experience of partnering effectively with in house or 3rd part development teams or digital resource (UX/Design etc.).

Nice to have
 
• Technically savvy; i.e. able to work alongside development teams to support and keep them honest.
• Knowledge of latest mobile and web technologies (HTML5 / CSS / Javascript / iOS / Android / Hybrid apps via something like Cordova / modern frameworks such as ionic / NodeJS etc).  


Like the sound of this? Let’s talk!

Sparks Grove is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and welcomes all qualified applicants. Applicants will receive fair and impartial consideration without regard to race, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, genetic data, or other legally protected status.

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