Pearson Specialist Product Management in Barcelona, Spain

Specialist Product Management


Educating 100 million people worldwide and with offices in over 30 countries, Pearson is the global leader in educational publishing and qualifications, providing high quality qualifications and print and digital resource programmes to help students of all ages learn at their own pace, in their own way.

Pearson English is the world’s largest provider of English language learning, covering everything from basics for beginners to boardroom-level business English. More than 1.5 million teachers and 35 million students use our English language learning resources and tools each year. Through engagement and encouragement we’re transforming the process of learning English from a frustrating experience to one of life's highlights, breaking language barriers around the world.

In 2010, Wall Street English was acquired by Pearson and is now part of the Pearson English group. At Wall Street English, we help people change their futures. We teach English as second language to adults. We have been learning partners to over 2 million people, and have been passionate about teaching English for over 45 years. Our method is proven and aligned to the Pearson Global Scale of English, a standard for language acquisition and education. We have a current enrolment of 190,000 students. We have over 450 learning centres in 27 different countries across the globe. Our centres offer a near immersion experience and a unique Blended Learning Method to help each student reach their fullest potential. Wall Street English has corporate offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Barcelona. We operate primarily through franchising but also own and operate our own centres in China and Italy.

Reporting to the Director of Product Management, the Product Owner owns and manages the development of assigned products in the Wall Street English product portfolio. The focus of this role is on the deliverables and timescales to meet customer needs, ensuring that a pragmatic approach is taken to achieve the delivery of the product Roadmap.

Key Accountabilities:

  • Research and Analysis

  • Develop a deep understanding of the adult learner market

  • Articulate market requirements and opportunities

  • Determine problem hypotheses to test with end consumer

  • Coordinate & facilitate testing of problem hypotheses with end consumer to [in]validate assumptions

  • Analyze data & identify opportunities for product innovation and product enhancements

  • Product Planning and Management

  • Define the short & long term strategy of the product and/or product component, and create product or product component roadmap and backlog of features & functions

  • Continuously refine the product roadmap and backlog in response to validated learning from the consumer and early adopter testing

  • Determine product specifications and articulate in personas and user stories

  • Represent the consumer (learner & staff) in product development teams

  • Use market feedback to inform product refinements and ongoing development

  • Managing the backlog– With input from key stakeholders and the Director of Product Management, the Product Owner has the primary responsibility to prioritise, build, prune, and maintain the backlog, including:

  • User stories

  • Defects

  • Refactoring, optimising and management of the technical debt

  • Input into the assessment of pre-backlog initiatives

  • Driving the iterations– Including, but not limited to:

  • Participate, contribute and add value to the sprint planning meeting

  • Participate, contribute and add value in Triage meetings

  • Participate, contribute and add value to Release planning meetings

  • Elaborating stories on a just-in-time basis with the team

  • Ensuring that Acceptance Criteria are defined for each story

  • Accepting stories into thebacklog

  • Accepting the sprint

  • Co-planning the release–Working with the Technical Project Manager, Project Manager, other Product Owners, and the Director of Product Development, the Product Owner is accountable for frequent, reliable, and continuous release of value-added product to the customer.

  • Scope and acceptance criteria definition and management of the sprint deliverables– Responsible for ensuring that the delivery team has all the information required to successfully deliver the sprint backlog.

  • Overall quality of the Product.

Key interfaces/stakeholders:

  • Development Teams

  • QA managers

  • Architecture Owner

  • Project Manager

  • Director Product Management

  • Content, Technology and UX and teams

  • China and Franchising businessteams

  • Customers

  • Suppliers

Key Challenges:

  • Prioritizing product backlog to ensure delivery on quality, time and budget while satisfying the needs of a variety of stakeholders.

  • Working within an international, cross-team matrix structure and (as appropriate), across different Pearson operating companies, to ensure good communication and effective decision-making.

  • Understanding of the educational digital marketplace, competing digital products, and how to build competitive digital products and services for the Retail market.

  • Communication. Ability to articulate clearly and effectively technical and functional issues to a range of colleagues and third parties with a wide range of technical understanding.

  • Collaboration and teamwork. Ability to work effectively and flexibly with a variety of internal project team members and other stakeholders

  • Influencing: challenge assumptions. Effective in managing change and ambiguity


Education and Experience:

  • Essential

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent

  • Previous product management or related experience

  • Quantitative and business analysis skills

  • Experience working with enterprise systems and platforms for online learning and assessment

  • Experience working in dynamic Agile environments

  • Desirable

  • Advanced degree

  • Project management skills

  • Proficient in relevant software applications

  • Experience in retail ELT industry


  • Excellent technical understanding of online technologies, and learning management systems. Effective scope triage requires the constant evaluation of technical, functional, performance, and user-value trade-offs for effective decision making.

  • Understanding of Service Oriented Architecture.

  • Fluent in Programme, Portfolio and Project Management methodologies.

  • Fluent in Agile methods, preferably SCRUM or Scaled Agile Framework.

  • Stakeholder management.

  • Outstanding communications skills at all levels of the organization.

Personal Style and Behavior:

  • Trustworthy:Since the primary responsibility for prioritising and managing the backlog falls to this role, the most essential attribute of the product owner is trustworthiness. The teams have to trust the Product Owner, Retail to make the hard calls on scope triage and to defend their interest in quality and functionality; the Director of Product Development has to trust the product owner to faithfully represent their feature priorities to the teams. The keys to building trust in this role include:

  • Transparency

  • Honesty

  • Meeting commitments

  • Communication, networking and influencing skills– work effectively with colleagues in business units across Pearson and to manage effectively in a matrix structure. The Product Owner, Retail is the “glue” that binds the product management function and all the other project stakeholders to the development team. Doing so requires good communication skills as the Product Manager, Retail translates user and business objectives into the level of detail suitable for implementation.

  • Relationship building– build effective relationships with internal colleagues and external partners

  • Decision-making skills– ability to work independently in driving and making key strategic and practical decisions. The Product Owner, Retail must be able to make decisions, every day, in the presence of far-from-perfect knowledge. This requires empowerment, courage, and the ability to admit when one is wrong.

  • Managing ambiguity– ability to work confidently and effectively in complex, changing and ambiguous situations.

  • Commitment to Excellence –This includes excellence in both the work you do and the deliverables you produce (reports, presentations, demos, etc.) as well as the details of the product itself.

Primary Location: ES-ES-Barcelona

Work Locations: ES-Barcelona-Tuset 20 - 24 Carrer de Tuset 20 - 24 5th Floor Barcelona 8006

Job: Product Management

Organization: Global Product

Employee Status: Regular Employee

Job Type: Standard

Shift: Day Job

Job Posting: Jun 26, 2017

Req ID: 1710435