Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) is a fast-growing, innovative technology company, providing Smart Grid products and services to the power industry, with offices in New York and Glasgow.
SGS has spent over a decade developing, deploying and proving our approach to managing the Smart Grid. We are recognised as thought leaders in this domain and have worked with and learned from electricity distribution companies, regulatory authorities, university research teams, DER developers, SCADA/DMS suppliers, grid edge device manufacturers and many others. Our Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) products are used in cities, rural areas and on islands, and we work with customers in the UK, Europe and North America. No other company in the world has been on quite the same journey.
The role of the senior product owner (SPO) within SGS’s product management function is a key role in the delivery of SGS’s product strategy.
The remit of the senior product owner to be the individual within the product development team responsible for the prioritisation of the product backlog and the definition of user stories/requirements and acceptance criteria. Working with the product board, the senior product owner will serve the product development team as the customer proxy and will review and contribute to the product vision and roadmap maintained by the wider product management team.
Responsibilities and Objectives
Owning the Product Vision
- As a member of the SGS product board, which includes members of the executive team, the senior product owner will play a key role in helping define the product vision for their relevant product verticals; working with the product board in defining a delivering the roadmap that fulfils that vision; reviewing the market and near-term opportunities to align our development with our customers’ requirements.
- The senior product owner will own the roadmap for specific products within our product verticals, maintaining roadmaps in our product management software, AHA. They will report on progress against that roadmap and keep the roadmap relevant with respect to SGS business goals.
Supporting the bid process
- Along with other members of the product management team, the senior product owner will review bids and tenders from a product perspective, identifying requirements met by our existing products, requirements that will need further product development and their fit with SGS’s product goals.
- The SPO will maintain a defined list of existing and planned product features used by the wider bid team in bid/no bid decisions.
- As the interface between customers and product development, the SPO will engage with the wider sales and business development process, talking to potential and existing customers about the application to meet their business needs.
Maintaining the Product Backlog
- With input from stakeholders, the Senior Product Owner is responsible for building, maintaining and prioritizing the product backlog. This will consist mostly of user stories for new features but will include defects and enhancements of existing features. Backlog items are prioritised based on user value, time and other dependencies
- The SPO reviews and reprioritises the product backlog in preparation for planning meetings, including co-ordination of dependencies with other POs. During the sprint planning meeting the SPO is primary source of detail and priorities and has responsibility for accepting the final plan
- Elaboration of backlog items into user stories may happen prior to planning meetings, during planning meetings or during the development timeframe itself. While any team member can write user stories and acceptance criteria, the SPO will ensure there is enough content prepared to avoid delays. Typically, this will require multiple development periods worth of content being available at any given time
- The SPO is not expected to drive technology decisions, they are expected to understand the scope of upcoming work and its relevance to overall product strategy. The SPO will assist with decision-making and sequencing of key technology developments used for prototyping, architectural evolution and enhancement or development of test environments
Demonstration and Acceptance
- As an integral member of the team, and a quality gate, the SPO participates in team demonstrations. Team demonstrations are used to measure the team’s progress by demonstrating the completed user stories to the SPO and other stakeholders for feedback at the end of each development cycle
- The SPO is the only team member who can accept stories as complete. This includes validation that the story has met the acceptance criteria and that it fulfils any other criteria specified in its definition of “complete”
- The SPO contributes to development retrospectives where the team analyse what went well and what didn’t go well in the previous development cycle in an effort to continually improve planning and execution of development
Skills and Experience
- Strong academic track record in Computer Science, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, or similar, relevant course
- Previous energy industry experience within the Energy Sector.
- Experience as a Product Owner, working with Agile Delivery Teams, utilizing Agile / Scrum / Kanban
- At least 5 years in a product development environment, including 2-3 years as a Product Owner or Business Analyst with state-of-the-art software systems or equivalent energy sector consulting experience in a products company.
- An Understanding of Systems Development and Project Management Lifecycles
- Experience with Product Roadmap development and influencing key stakeholders for buy-in on business priorities
- Outstanding leadership and motivational skills - possessing a willingness to empower as well as inspire commitment and positive attitude in the team
- Candidates with electric utility, particularly power systems, domain experience
- Experience working with Aha and JIRA, product roadmap and software development software
- Experience working as part of a geographically diverse cross-functional development team, e.g. New York and Glasgow, Scotland
Full-time (ask us about flexible working)
Compensation and Benefits
Competitive basic salary + annual company performance bonus
UK Benefits include: 33 days holiday, 7.5% company matched pension contributions and life assurance coverage
If you’re interested in applying for this position or have any questions about the role or life at Smarter Grid solutions we’d love to hear from you! Please email a cv/resume (or your questions) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can!