Product Owner

Permanent position

Wellington, New Zealand

Optimal Workshop is building discovery tools for crafting better human experiences. Our software is used by experience designers, information architects and user researchers in over 100 countries and in over 70 languages worldwide.


Role Purpose

Product Owners lead an outcome-oriented approach that ensures deliverables are linked to – and realise – the company strategy. They are responsible for product planning, delivery and adoption throughout the entire product lifecycle.

What success looks like
  • You have a clear understanding of Optimal Workshop’s strategic priorities, business objectives and how your squad’s products and services align to them. You have articulated a compelling product vision that the squad pursues with zeal. ​They know what’s important, how they are contributing, and why what they’re working on is the most important thing for them and Optimal Workshop. You create certainty for the squad amongst the uncertainty that comes with building software in a dynamic environment.
  • You lead on building a strong, trusting team. Product, design and engineering needs are considered side-by-side. Your skill in modern product discovery practices enables the squad to understand and use many experimental techniques.
  • You lead with strong strategic thinking and evidence-based decision-making. You synthesise a vast range of qualitative and quantitative inputs, as well as others’ expertise across domains (including Engineering, Design, Insights, Marketing, Sales, senior leadership) to make decisions to best position our product and Optimal Workshop for enduring success.
  • You have brought your customers and squad closer together: the squad obsesses over customers. They engage directly with them.
  • You lead the squad on prioritising the most important challenges and opportunities for the team to tackle to contribute to achieve business objectives.
  • You are a leading proponent within the team of self-improvement for how the team works — that the team can self-identify and self-organise to continually be more effective and efficient.
  • You lead and drive an integrated Engineering-Product focus where technology excellence is at the heart of your decision-making. Effort is made to understand technical challenges and evolutions of Engineering practices; technical initiatives are weaved into roadmaps.
  • You have built healthy relationships with your stakeholders. Key stakeholders are involved in product discovery activities; and all stakeholders are updated appropriately on product vision, strategy, releases and roadmaps to their satisfaction. You exemplify diplomacy and can disagree and commit.
  • You and the squad have built a compelling portfolio of products and services that your customers love to use.
  • You will apply a commercial mindset to your thinking and decisions.
  • You champion the Optimal Workshop culture and live and breathe our values.
Critical Competencies
  • Great communication skills.​ Is a great listener. Speaks and writes clearly and articulately without being overly verbose or talkative, and relying on jargon. Appropriately and successfully communicates with a variety of diverse audiences.
  • High EQ.​ Is self-aware, self-regulated, motivated, and empathetic with great interpersonal skills.
  • Product ownership. K​nowledgeable in product ownership. Has a toolkit of modern product discovery, delivery, and team-building practices to draw upon.
  • Communicate the vision & strategy.​ Keeps Optimal Workshop’s vision and strategy at the forefront of decision-making and actions. Communicates and helps others understand the importance of the vision and strategy.
  • Growth mindset.​ Has a strong growth mindset — understands that competency is not fixed but is enhanced through dedication and hard work. Demonstrates a love of learning and resilience to adversity that is essential for great accomplishment.
Skills and Experience
  • Proven experience championing strategic priorities and helping others relate to and align with it.
  • Proven Product leadership experience — with a broad toolkit of modern product discovery and delivery practices to draw upon.
  • Proven ability to apply commercial considerations and frameworks to product-related decisions.
  • Proven experience using a range of metrics to monitor the success and health of products and services. Proven experience of making evidence-based decisions.
  • A solid track record of addressing customer needs. Ideally, proven experience connecting teams closer with customers (and not just be a proxy for them).
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills. Proven experience building meaningful, collaborative relationships across all levels of the business.
  • Proven experience leading a team via influence and persuasion, without formal authority; and communicating meaningful direction.
  • Proven ability to create clarity for a team — with an organised work style that is structured, rigorous and consistent.
  • Proven experience using a robust toolkit of team-building practices to build an open and collaborative environment.
  • Experience applying structured prioritisation methods to competing courses of work.
  • Ideally, proven experience working with innovative software development projects at scale.
  • You bring enthusiasm, drive, and communicate positively.
People and Culture
  • Demonstrates a growth mindset and is committed to continual self-improvement, with a focus on growth and performance.
  • Engages as needed in the scoping, recruitment and onboarding of new team members. 
  • Demonstrates commitment to cross squad and team communication, collaboration and connectivity.
  • Upholds the principles of and models the behaviours of The Optimal Way championing the Optimal Workshop culture and living and breathing our values: 
    • Approachable – We’re here when you need us and love a silly question. We give people the tools and knowledge they need to get stuff done and grow. We’re exclusively inclusive because we care!
    • Bold – We’re not afraid to do things differently and make a few mistakes along the way. We take ownership of opportunities and find the courage to forge a better path.
    • Curious – We’re insatiably curious, just like our customers. We prove hunches with data and follow our instincts. We put people at the heart of everything we do.
  • Actively works to encourage and support employee diversity across Optimal Workshop.

Note: This is not a remote opportunity. Due to Covid 19 border restrictions, candidates are required to be based in, and legal to work in New Zealand. 

We like to do things differently at Optimal Workshop – Do you?