Head of Product – Westminster City Council – Salary: c.£90,000, Location: Flexible, HQ: Westminster, London

THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF 809 CONNECTED BUSINESSES

Digital and Innovation in Westminster City Council is a world of extraordinary stories, where creative and enterprising people put local residents and businesses first.

Today, Westminster is the most connected borough in London. But, when David Wilkins (Head of Digital Place) joined us in the mid-2010s, small businesses were still struggling to get connected to fibre. Without gigabit-capable broadband, some companies even resorted to biking memory sticks around the city, simply to share files with clients.

Although still in a junior role, David took the initiative and successfully made the business case for £2.8 million of European funding to support connectivity for small businesses across Westminster. Feedback from businesses has been overwhelmingly positive as the project has enhanced their communications with clients, the new connectivity allows them to make video calls and work remotely. As the pandemic hit and many more people needed to work from home, it became clear just how vital this investment had been.

Fast-forward a few years. Westminster is leading the way for connectivity, as a result of the project businesses are thriving and David is heading up a service of his own: Digital Place. Businesses and careers move quickly in Westminster.

THE ROLE

As our Head of Product, you can make your own powerful contribution to improving lives by helping to create one of the best connected, most technologically advanced cities on the planet. Joining our growing Digital and Innovation leadership team, you will champion an agile way of working to deliver our vision of a ‘Smart City’. Together we’ll ensure we’re ready to meet the future needs of our residents, businesses and communities.

Specifically, you will design, grow, lead and develop an innovative internal product function that draws together product management, business analysis, research, user experience, service design and software development. As well as identifying and introducing new ideas, technologies and capabilities, you’ll promote product thinking across the council, and coach senior leadership in its applications.

ABOUT YOU

This influential role would suit a digital leader with deep understanding of product principles, practices and methods. While direct local authority experience is not essential, an understanding of the public sector culture and context would be helpful. You will need:

  • Proven leadership skills, including the ability to balance a complex range of priorities
  • Experience of leading large, complex delivery teams and working with a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders
  • Applied experience of agile working and delivery, including an understanding of cloud technology, architecture and software practices, and how these can be used to meet user needs
  • The ability to lead, delegate and work with a wide range of team members across the council.

WHAT WE OFFER

Westminster is an amazing place. There are 250,000 diverse residents, over 50,000 vibrant and vital businesses and three-quarters-of-a-million people working here every day. Our mission is to create a world class city for all. We’re an organisation that wants the very best for our residents: a supportive and safe environment, the chance to grow and learn throughout their lives, to build fantastic careers in world-leading industries, to have access to high-quality, affordable housing and to retire into the community with dignity and pride.

We want Westminster to be a place you can make the most of your talents and thrive as an individual. That’s why we’re proud to have won Best Health & Wellbeing Initiative in the 2020/21 Business Culture Awards. By being the best you can be, you’ll help us adapt to the changing needs of our organisation and communities. 

At Westminster City Council, we are passionate about our aim to be an inclusive workplace for all that reflects the communities we serve, and we believe everyone is valued. We particularly welcome applicants from underrepresented backgrounds, including BAME, LGBTQ+ and those with hidden or visible disabilities. We’re committed to ensuring all our staff – regardless of gender, age, religion, sexuality, ethnicity or disability – can succeed. We value diversity and appreciate that people work in different ways. So, as a Timewise employer we work to provide flexible working arrangements and an empowering environment that enables you to be your best, that is the Westminster Way.

The Council and its partners are committed to achieving diverse shortlists for all vacancies at Band 4 or above to support our desire to increase the number of staff from underrepresented groups in our workforce. As part of this ambition, if you are from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background (BAME) you can self-declare this to the hiring manager as part of our positive action commitments.

Click here to hear more from Stuart Love, CEO, alongside Aruj Haider; CDIO, and Sarah Williams Head of Customer experience explain the Council's vision to meet the challenges of the future.

For full details, including our job applicant privacy notice, please download our recruitment pack.

For an informal and confidential discussion, please contact our advisors at Berwick Partners:

Emily Hudson, Emily.Hudson@berwickpartners.co.uk , 0161 498 3428

Patricia Sebastian, Patricia.Sebastian@berwickpartners.co.uk, 0121 654 5932

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