Job Description

We’d all like amazing work to do, and real work-life balance. That’s waiting for you at Sainsbury’s. Think about the scale it takes for us to feed the nation. The level of data, transactions and variety it involves. Then you’ll realise that ours is a modern software engineering environment because it has to be. We’ve made serious investment into a Tech Academy and into setting standards and principles. We iterate, learn, experiment and push ways of working such as Agile, Scrum and XP. So you can look forward to awesome opportunities in everything from AI to reusable tech.

Sainsburys Tech - Design Systems Product Manager

In a nutshell

We are a multi-channel, multi-brand business that serves millions of customers daily. Our core belief is that the customer should be at the heart of everything we do, and therefore our vision is to create seamless and enjoyable experiences that cater to our customers’ ever-changing needs. Across various services, products, touchpoints, and tools, we strive to deliver distinctive, integrated, and consistent experiences for both customers and colleagues within Sainsbury’s Group - including Sainsbury’s Food, Argos, Nectar, Tu, and Habitat.

The Merchandising Tools Product Team is at the forefront of driving innovation and efficiency within Sainsbury’s group, collaborating to build scalable, high performing solutions that integrate seamlessly with existing systems and processes, benefiting the entire organisation and driving better outcomes for both customers and colleagues. In an inclusive and agile environment, you’ll have the opportunity to be curious, experiment, and tackle real-world challenges. Plus, you’ll witness your creations in the hands of colleagues and millions of customers across the UK.

The Product Manager for Design Systems plays a pivotal role in shaping the organisation’s digital experiences and ensuring consistency, efficiency, and alignment with strategic goals. You will be responsible for strategising, developing and deploying a robust design system across all Sainsbury’s Group platforms (web, app, and in-store). This system serves as a foundational capability for product development and experience design teams, ensuring consistent representation of our brand identities while streamlining development efforts through reuse and standards, enhancing performance, accessibility, and supporting new experiences.

What I need to do

  • Collaborate with your Design and Engineering counterparts to define the strategy and roadmap for the Design System to enable our organisation to design and build consistent, usable and accessible experiences more efficiently.
  • Work with Product teams to understand their priorities and roadmaps, identifying opportunities to drive design system adoption across products and channels.
  • Track usage, effort and value delivery to identify opportunities for cost reduction, using this insight to inform prioritisation of opportunities for the design system.
  • Facilitate change and drive adoption of Design Systems across the Sainsbury’s Group through effective communication and feedback loops.
  • Supporting end-to-end delivery by maintaining a 90-day product roadmap, as well as a prioritised and estimated backlog, including regularly communicating progress and proactively managing risks.
  • Coordinate and report post-launch evaluation to validate that releases work for customers or colleagues as designed and value is delivered, measured by appropriate metrics and through post investment reviews as needed
  • Collaborate with other product teams and 3rd parties to launch new product features.
  • Help identify necessary and/or desirable third-party technology to evaluate and select vendors Together with technology teams evaluate potential partner relationships to evolve the Design System.
  • Monitor relevant retail and design systems industry trends and engage both internal and external teams as appropriate to build shared insight.
  • Support the product team’s continual improvement by iterating processes and ways of working based on feedback from inside and outside the team

How I will succeed

  • Approach design systems holistically, considering their impact on Sainsbury’s Group as a whole.
  • Apply insight, data and research to ensure your team are focused on making the biggest difference for customers and the business as defined by agreed product metrics (OKRs).
  • Prioritise, coordinate and communicate the resolution of live product issues as required.
  • Build a highly collaborative relationship with engineering and design, working together at all levels to work together to solve problems for our customers and the business.
  • Consistently engaging and motivating people with a variety of perspectives around the roadmap for your product; facing into difficult conversations and giving others licence to challenge your perspective.
  • Creating a positive impact with internal and external audiences, ensuring senior stakeholder advocacy for the product.
  • Creative problem solving, enthusiasm for supporting delivery of change through people and technology.

What I need to know

  • A deep technical understanding of Design Systems (preferably at large scale) that bridges both Design and Engineering.
  • An understanding of digital accessibility and experience of embedding best practice in product teams.
  • Knowledge and understanding of a retail business and the technology landscape, and how to maximise the value that products can and will add.
  • Understanding of Agile delivery and modern engineering team practices.
  • Knowledge of technical product development principles and methodologies.

What I need to show

  • Excellent verbal communication skills to promote collaboration across a broad group of teams including CX, Engineering, Product, Branding and Digital commerce.
  • Ability to translate business goals, technology strategy and market knowledge into a product roadmap that prioritises delivery of value and enables future business agility.
  • A solid technical grounding, comfortable having technical discussions with the teams.
  • Accountability for the delivery of the roadmaps for the product.
  • Anticipating risks and opportunities, responding to escalations at pace and coaching others to find solutions based on your expertise
  • Enable the creation of better solutions and is able to decipher business value in technical tasks.
  • Ability to switch between strategic visioning and getting into the detail, being the authority in all aspects of your product.
  • Strong influencing skills, adapting to different levels of ambiguity and urgency.
  • A high level of team contribution, seek opportunities to provide input and support across the team and outside core areas of focus.
  • Awareness of existing and future stacks/interfaces for the product and how to develop these so they work seamlessly for customers and colleagues.

Resources available to me

  • Line manager, peers and wider team
  • Product competency framework and community of practice
  • Learning and development opportunities

What decisions I can make

  • All decisions related to delivering the roadmap for the product
  • Prioritisation and value return across the product