Partially Attended

an irregularly updated blog by Ian Mulvany

I'm hiring a product manager

Thu Jul 20, 2017

898 Words

So, I’m hiring a product manager. We are working on developing new green field products. We have a small, really fun team, and we are using a lot of lean tools to try to get to product-market fit with relativly low risk.

To apply submit a CV using our [hiring portal](].

Here are some more details about the role:

What we are doing

SAGE is innovating around how we might support social science researchers engaging with big data and new technology. We are creating new services and products that can provide value to the research community while at the same offering new business opportunities for SAGE. This is an opportunity to work on stuff that matters in a fast-paced team focused on using lean principles to rapidly understand the needs of researchers, and to use those insights to develop products and services that will best serve their needs.

Our first product will roll out over the summer, and we are now looking to expand the team to allow us to move faster with the testing and creation of further products. You will play a pivotal role in this effort.


How do you move fast in a large organisation? How do you make the right bets to make sure that what you are building is going to be useful to people? We have been experimenting with using a set of tools from lean product development to rapidly iterate on individual products while at the same time balance all of the ideas that crop up across the entire space of opportunities.

We have proven that we can get things done quickly at low risk and we now want to scale this approach out to allow us to look at a wider set of product opportunities.

You will be responsible for creating experiments to test our thinking around an immediate set of three possible products, and beyond that to help us prioritise and test a wide range of other product ideas. Weekly you should be constructing tests that allow us to make decisions around whether to continue to work on a product idea, as well as helping us to refine the ideas that we believe have real potential. You will be working with internal teams as well as partners from some of the world’s most prestigious universities.

We have had success using tools such as the lean product canvas and lean value tree, and supporting our analysis of risks and opportunities by applying pirate metrics to different business models and you will be expected to pick up these tools and be fluent in leading the use of them. We are open to any ideas that bring us rapid insight, and if you find better ways to validate or reject our hypothesis we will be interested in trying out any approach that can help us to get to scale.

The ultimate goal of the role is to help us get to a point where we can bring new products to market.


· Lead on driving experiments around ideas in current development · Help the team make go / no go decisions on these ideas · Coordinate creation of testable prototypes · Run user tests · Be responsible for reporting on outcome of tests, both qualitative and quantitative · Help the team create a strategy for how to build MVPs for successful product ideas · Help the team prioritise further opportunities · Develop business cases for product ideas · Coordinate design sprints where appropriate · Coordinate with other SAGE teams such as marketing, IT and Design


Successful Product Launch Experience – You will have worked on launching products to market from early ideation through to onboarding customers. You will understand how to translate needs of users into product features, and how to prioritise those features. You will have worked across teams on successful product launches and you will have made significant contributions towards the success of those product launches.

Lean Product Development Experience – At the heart of this role is doing lean experimentation. You must have experience of executing the spirit of lean or agile methodologies. We have adopted a specific set of tools, but underpinning all of these tools is a mindset of experimentation, and getting to data driven decisions. We are looking for someone who exemplifies this spirit and who can bring creativity to bear when faced with uncertainty.

Interpersonal Communication Skills – you will be communicating daily with people both inside and outside of SAGE. Being able to hold courteous, persuasive conversations (by email or phone) and respond quickly to queries are key requirements of the role. You should be able and willing to share your thoughts and experience with the team and feel confident to speak your mind and ask questions.

Prioritizing Workloads – you will be managing a varied workload involving many different tasks. You will need to prioritize effectively and allocate appropriate amounts of time to each task.

Research and Analysis Skills – you will be required to conduct desk research as well as expert and user interviews. Knowledge of social science research methods (both qualitative and quantitative) would be an advantage.

Curiosity and enthusiasm – you will be interested in working with social scientists, excited about the opportunities that digital publishing offers, enthused about research methods and eager to learn about SAGE and the markets we serve.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License