Head Of Product Delivery

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Full time

Manchester, UK

Jan 21

Reporting to the Global CDTO, the Head of Product Delivery is a global role that sits on the Global Technology and Innovation Leadership Team (GT&I LT). The Head of Product Delivery will be tasked with delivering the Client Product Portfolio in support of the firm’s client relationships and which will generate revenue for the firm. The role entails managing complex product development and operational run responsibilities.

The Head of Product Delivery:

  • contributes to the operationalisation of the delivery of digital client products through providing technical expertise to the Product Portfolio Steering Group (PPSG) discussions on products in the Product Delivery Life Cycle (PDLC) and their design, execution and prioritisation, then working at the direction of the PPSG in delivering the prioritised products
  • builds and maintains strong relationships across technical and business domains to understand key opportunities, dependencies and risks to the successful design, development and delivery of the Client Product Portfolio, including working with GT&I Service & Operations teams, MBD and other Business Services functions
  • ensures the application of best practice and governance to the technical delivery and management of the Client Product Portfolio, driving digital product convergence/ simplification through developing reusable elements and through detailed portfolio analysis
  • takes a leading role in developing the skillset and capability required of successful technical design, delivery and operational run of client-facing products
  • with the GT&I LT, helps drive a culture of respect, of support and collaboration, of openness and inclusivity and of taking responsibility in the way we work across GT&I and the firm

Working closely with the CDTO and the PPSG, the Head of Product Delivery will engage in the conversation across the firm on how digital client products can best impact the firm’s client relationships and revenue generating capabilities, by delighting clients with exceptional service and differentiating the firm in the market.

Key responsibilities and deliverables

  • Design, implement and continuously assure the quality of the Client Product Portfolio delivery and maintenance, delivering reusable scalable digital products driven by client needs, that drive profitability or otherwise improve the client experience in a way that differentiates us from the competition
  • Manage the lifecycle of products in the Client Product Portfolio in accordance with best practice, including providing 24/7 product operational capability for products in live service, and decommissioning those no longer in use
  • Manage a mixed delivery team of internal and external resources (of up to 40 people) that collectively deliver and support the Client Product Portfolio
  • Embed data and product analytics capabilities in product delivery that support the evaluation of the Client Product Portfolio, driving insights and innovation, improved profitability and/or improved client experience
  • Contribute technical expertise to PPSG discussions on PDLC ideas and items in process, driving digital product convergence/ simplification through identifying reusable elements, influencing the prioritisation, design and do-ability of product delivery, and informing the Client Product Portfolio roadmap
  • Report to the PPSG and discuss performance based on metrics and real-time project reporting, including tracking and accounting for the holistic view of the delivery status of the Client Product Portfolio, and delivering regular dashboards/stakeholder communications on latest status and progress
  • Develop strong productive relationships with the GT&I LT, key business stakeholders and their management teams, working with others in the firm to operationalise the delivery of the Client Product Portfolio
  • Develop strong and productive relationships with strategic partners and vendors contributing to the development and delivery of the Client Product Portfolio, and manage and evaluate their performance

People and functional management

  • Establish and manage the ‘Client Product Delivery Community of Practice’ to shape, build and maintain a high-calibre pool of product delivery talent in the organisation, and ensure the successful delivery of all the Client Product Portfolio
  • Manage a mixed team of internal and external resources (of up to 40 people), comprising:
  • defining and establishing career frameworks for digital product development and lifecycle management
  • leading, managing and developing the internal client-facing product delivery team, ensuring regular 1-to-1s with direct reports and regular whole team meeting
  • managing the delivery of strategic partners in accordance with required standards and timescales
  • promoting a productive working culture of respect, support and collaboration, openness and inclusivity and the taking of responsibility to drive the team’s success
  • Work collaboratively and effectively with a global dispersed group of peers
  • Maintain adherence to firm governance processes, policies and procedures
  • Set and manage own function’s budget with regular review and forecasting

Key requirements

  • Has a proven track record of delivering several large scale digital products (>£3m) through Agile teams in parallel;
  • Is an accomplished Agile practitioner with relevant certifications and a pragmatic view of Agile working at scale, distributed teams and complex stakeholder environments;
  • Has a strong background in Software Development management at a senior level and a clear understanding of SDLC best practice;
  • Can demonstrate effective stakeholder management and influencing skills at the executive and external client-facing level;
  • Can showcase examples of leading delivery process design, development and adoption as well as building new teams;
  • Is an experienced people manager with a passion for developing and coaching talent and career paths for their team.


  • Strong Project Management/Delivery experience
  • Excellent decision making/problem solving skills
  • Demonstrated business and commercial experience 
  • Ability to see the bigger picture over the detail
  • Ability to build strong relationships
  • Excellent influencing and negotiation skills
  • Ability to explain technology to a non-technical audience is critical
  • The application of governance frameworks and standards and implementation of best practice methodologies
  • Excellent team leadership skills
  • Strong people management skills – interpersonal skills, appraisal skills, interviewing skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Adaptability/flexible to changing demands
  • Ability to build and use an external professional network


  • Experience of a “partnership” environment and the associated dynamics
  • Legal Sector experience
  • Experience of Enterprise Architecture
  • Strong interest in technology and digital trends


  • Analytical, proactive, curious, pragmatic, process and results orientated
  • An abundance of common sense and flexibility to deliver and prioritise in a high change environment
  • Exceptional soft and interpersonal skills, including teamwork, collaboration, facilitation and negotiation
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Excellent analytical and technical skills, ability to differentiate strategic and tactical solutions and deploy appropriately
  • Excellent written, verbal, communication and presentation skills, with the ability to listen effectively and clarify and share information easily
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills
  • Able to build strong working relationships and to be able to persuade and influence a range of people at all levels and across cultural and global boundaries
  • Able to lead in an environment with a focus on continuous improvement
  • A diplomatic and adaptable team working style and works collaboratively with colleagues
  • Dedicated to meeting and exceeding customer expectations
  • Flexible in approach and able to manage effectively through change
  • Resilient and able to remain calm and positive under pressure and when dealing with ambiguity
  • Delivery focussed and drives forward quality of service
  • Decisive and mature in judgement
  • Committed to the highest level of integrity
  • Able to resolve complex problems taking a proactive approach to analyse the issues and generate solutions
  • Is delivery focussed and drives forward quality of service
  • Able to resolve complex problems taking a proactive approach to analyse the issues and generate solutions
  • Actively manages personal learning and development and that of others

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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