Founded in 1768 by a group of artists, the Royal Academy of Arts is an independent charity: we’re still led by great living artists and architects today, and our mission is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. To celebrate our 250th anniversary, we have unveiled a newly expanded campus, with more galleries, a new lecture theatre and learning centre, more places to eat and drink and improved visitor facilities.
About the Position
Recently we have also been investing in digital, delivering a range of products and services to help deliver our mission, improve our visitor experience and increase our revenue. These include designing, building and maintaining the award-winning RA website; creating new ways to explore our collection online; and selling the world-famous Summer Exhibition online; all the way through to digital signage systems and maps or internal tools for our exhibitions team to manage artwork loans. Digital is increasingly important to the RA, and we are now looking for a Product Manager to help optimise and build on our current product base and deliver a diverse range of new projects.
You’ll be joining a friendly, skilled and respected team who are passionate about the opportunities that digital media offers to our visitors, both on and off site. As a senior member of the Product Management team you will work closely with our team of internal developers, team up with a range of stakeholders from across the RA, and manage and partner with external agencies.
As well as rewarding challenges and a supportive and creative atmosphere, you’ll enjoy a range of staff benefits including: a generous pension scheme and annual leave; free art history and life drawing classes; a staff choir, running and craft clubs; and free entry with your RA staff pass to many leading museums and art galleries in London and New York.
The benefits we offer
A very generous pension, contributing up to 10% of your salary into a defined contribution scheme
In addition to 25 days’ holiday and 8 days’ bank holiday each year, we close between Christmas Eve and New Year, allowing staff additional paid leave
Staff are encouraged to attend free History of Art and life drawing classes on site
We also have a staff choir, running club and craft club
Best of all, we have reciprocal agreements with many leading museums and art galleries in London and New York that enable you to enter for free with your staff pass.
Closing date for applications: 28 October 2018 (Midnight)
Interviews to be held: Week commencing 5th November 2018
Lead, roadmap and help plan and deliver digital products. Use data to make informed choices and plan out digital strategy. Communicate with and manage stakeholders across the RA to understand requirements and deliver products which deliver for the RA and our users.
This is a broad role requiring a range of skills and abilities. We welcome a diversity of skills and experience in the team, and the right candidate will have the opportunity to ‘make the role their own’. The RA is in an exciting period of change, both in our activities and our technology, so the role will likely develop rapidly and we’re looking for someone ready to shape that change.
As with any job description, we don’t expect you to be able to cover all of these points, but we’ll be keen to see how you have responded in similar situation. We’ll work with the right candidate to expand on their current skillset.
Optimise our digital products to help achieve the RA’s artistic and business goals, identifying and meeting user needs to maximise the return on our investment. Reliable data and research is vital to our digital strategy; this role will require working with analytics and presenting compelling arguments based on informed research.
Work with stakeholders across the RA (for example: eCommerce Manager, Head of Collections, Visitor and Friends Experience Team, Summer Exhibition Manager) to understand their users, needs and requirements and then prioritise, plan and deliver digital products based around those findings.
Help to set and deliver a vision for the RA’s digital products and ongoing feature updates along with the Digital Director, Head of Digital Content, Strategy Team and Tech Lead.
Work alongside the Technical Lead to manage the week to week workflow for the internal dev team (currently we work in weekly sprints and use Jira). Typical products and projects might include:
Complete rebuild and redesign of the RA Collection online, inviting new audiences to explore while maintaining ‘gold standard’ services for experts
Redesigning and rebuilding our online ticketing and membership pathways
Putting artwork for sale online in the Summer Exhibition for the first time
Building a system for managing the thousands of relationships we have with artwork lenders and artists, that help to create our incredibly popular exhibitions
Conduct research into our market, wider trends affecting our users and the user needs that the RA can solve. Liaise and share with other cultural organisations the way we address digital solutions.
Product communication and evangelisation – making sure that everyone involved (from curators to developers) understands the vision behind our digital products and their role in creating something which works beautifully
Assimilate significant amounts of information – feedback from visitors or customers, quantitative data from our web analytics, research reports, market trends and statistics – and digesting/translating for different audiences.
Understand and optimise customer flow – all the way from landing on the website, learning about opening and access through to purchasing tickets and cross selling.
Work with external agencies and consultants for specific, usually externally funded projects. Help them understand the RA vision and requirements.
Other duties as set out by the Digital Director. You’ll need to be flexible for this role; from conducting training or user research, to mocking up UX diagrams, to organising relevant signage or digital interpretation screens with IT, marketing and production colleagues.
PERSON SPECIFICATION: DESIRABLE QUALITIES AND SKILLS
Experience working in digital product development, from strategic planning and discovery to product launch and ongoing management, including iterative improvement
Experience of Scrum and Agile methodologies and working closely with cross-functional teams in sprints
Requirement gathering from external and internal users, using interviews, questionnaires, workshops and other tools
Dealing with data – ideally with experience of Google Analytics along with other tools such as Hotjar and Qualaroo. Some understanding of BI tools like Google Data Studio would be helpful.
Managing external providers, from UX, product development and design agencies through to freelance developers
Experience of working in cross-functional teams, from subject matter experts and content creators to designers and developers
Experience working in a cultural/media/arts environment would be a plus, but is far from essential
Understanding or experience in ecommerce/online ticketing, loyalty or membership schemes would be a plus. (We are currently implementing Tessitura, and we also use Magento but experience of any similar systems is useful)
A focus on delivering workable and relevant digital solutions
Fluency with technology and how it can be used to solve complex user and business problems
A good understanding of digital design and UX, and how principles can be applied to create great products
Ability to negotiate complex stakeholder environments skilfully and tactfully
Excellent horizon-scanner, with highly-developed project- and risk-management skills
Ability to interact confidently and effectively as an intelligent and highly credible partner/customer with technical and subject-matter experts both in-house and externally
A focus on evidence-based decision-making, especially using customer insight to guide product owners in the direction that best serves the RA’s users.
Effective management of team dynamics when working across organisational boundaries.
Affinity with the brand and charitable objectives of the Royal Academy
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