I joined MoJ Digital & Technology at the beginning of October 2020, as a Product Manager on the Analytical Platform. Before joining, I worked in retail, building technology products for contact centres. I’d primarily worked on SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) products and Apps, so joining a Platform team in a government department was new and exciting, to say the least.
Despite starting a new role in the middle of a global pandemic everyone in the team and from the wider Product community was very welcoming, friendly, and supportive. I was given all the information and tools I needed, which made joining remotely so much easier.
The Analytical Platform is a data analysis environment, providing modern analyst coding tools such as R and Python. The platform is used by the analysts (including data scientists) who are producing stats, complex modeling for policy and data science.
I thought that I would have to go through a steep learning curve because I didn’t have a highly technical background, but my experience has been the complete opposite and I have learned so much, so easily from the team and the wider user community.
Although I worked on tech products before and had taken a product through a whole lifecycle, the main challenge I found when I joined was trying to apply everything I had learned in building software products to a Platform. I quickly learned some things are different, like your stakeholders are more technical and prioritising is a complex exercise and has multiple levels. I had to think creatively about how to change and adapt certain methods and frameworks to drive the most value for our users, as well as for the team - It has been a brilliant experience so far.
I have always believed as a Product Manager, part of your role is to keep the team focused on the why - why are we building this product or feature and what impact it will have on the users, so doing this in the data & analytics space is probably the best part of my role. This made me realise that there is something really motivating about working on a product that makes a positive difference to people’s lives.
Community of Practice
One of the things I love about working as Product Manager at MoJ is that we have a brilliant community of practice and you can always discuss and bounce ideas from other strong product professionals. Outside of the community of practice, there are various Slack channels where you can meet people
As a Product Manager, I think you always learn and you always have to know the latest industry trends and frameworks. The great news is there is no shortage of learning at MoJ - we get 10% of our time to spend on learning and personal development. I’m currently on a data science fellowship, but there are a lot of resources and a lot of learning support.
The last 6 months and working in the Platform space, have been so inspiring and I’ve loved every moment of it.