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Head of User Research

Closing date
15 Sep 2021

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Technology & New Media
Contract Type
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Job Title: Head of User Research

Division: Digital

Direct reports: Senior URs

Reporting to: Digital director

At Methods we believe that true digital transformation can only be delivered when organisations have empathy for their users and build their services around them.

We are looking for an Head of User Research to work closely with the Digital management team to:
  • shape and run the Methods User Research community of practice;
  • line manage our permanent researchers in the User Research team within GDS Lifecycle Portfolio supported by senior content designers
  • support on recruitment of both permanent and contract User Researchers
  • overseeing the user research practice to ensure quality and consistency across GDS Lifecycles entire portfolio - particularly with reference to the Service Standard

You will ensure that all team members have a valued voice, and you will be a point of escalation for the resolution of user research queries when needed. It will be important to create an environment which facilitates knowledge sharing, the sharing of best practice and embraces continuous improvement.

You will have experience in the application of user research in the public sector, particularly of GDS design principles and standards, and will be comfortable explaining the benefits of a user-centred approach to stakeholders at all levels in an organisation.

You will be responsible for building the capability and talent within your team, with a particular focus on identifying how team members need to develop. As such you will be a key contributor to performance reviews. You will respond to the recruitment needs of the regional teams by helping to identify candidates and by interviewing. You will also be a key contributor to resourcing decisions, working closely with the management team to place the right people into the right roles.

Methods has developed a strong reputation for high quality delivery and innovation within a fiercely competitive marketplace. An important part of this role will be to identify and develop opportunities to promote our research approach and to continue to develop the Methods' brand.

In addition we expect the Head of User Research to spend approximately 60% of their time on billable work.

  1. Contribute to the development and implementation of transformation strategies helping delivery teams to provide high quality outcomes, within target project margins and ensuring customer satisfaction at all times.
  2. Manage, coach, support, motivate and develop team members to enable them to deliver to the best of their ability.
  3. Line management responsibility for some team members
  4. Maintain the User Research community of practice to promote knowledge sharing, continuous evolution of the practice and continuous improvement. Implement and maintain a process of peer support and review for ongoing work.
  5. Experienced at building on existing insight and analytics
  6. Contribute to the qualification, creation and management of bids
  7. Provide regular and consistent management reporting against a range of metrics
  8. Act as an advocate and spokesperson for Methods. Identify opportunities to promote a user-centred approach and to develop the Methods' brand.
  9. Provide experienced leadership in developing and implementing a culture of service excellence, working to embed the standards, behaviours and strategies needed to bring about lasting improvements in service delivery.
  10. Identify, nurture and coach talent across the team and play an active role in people development initiatives.
  11. Identify development pathways to help team members understand what is necessary for their development.

In addition to these responsibilities, you will be required to carry out such other duties as may reasonably be required.

Person specification

You will meet the following specification:

  1. Degree or equivalent professional experience relevant to the role

  1. 3+ years experience working on large scale Digital transformation programmes in the public sector
  2. Track record of building teams and developing talent
  3. Knowledge and experience of the GDS Digital by Default Service Standards and Service Design approach
  4. Experience of working in ambiguous environments with complex stakeholder requirements

  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills

2. Excellent execution and operational skills with high levels of accuracy and due diligence
  1. Strong rapport and relationship building skills
  2. Ability to work effectively within a diverse management team
  3. Proven leadership skills
  4. Self-motivated
  5. Strong digital skills and a general awareness of current trends and approaches
  6. Effective time management of tasks and workload
  7. Great persuasive communicator able to influence decision making
  8. Able to work with clients to win work and build relationships
  9. Knowledge of traditional and agile project management methodologies

Other requirements
  1. Flexible approach to work
  2. Ability to travel and stay away from home during the week
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