Application lead - fixed term

Position summary

Working in the Application Support team, you’ll be the product manager for a set of applications, and will be responsible for the provision of application support, management and development services, either directly to users of the systems or to service delivery functions. 


You will lead a small team of Application Analysts and work with 3rd parties and suppliers, building effective partnerships. We are particularly keen to hear from people who have experience supporting and managing housing systems, especially Civica Universal Housing amd Northgate Housing.

This role is offered on a fixed term basis for 12 months in order to backfill resources working on projects.

Salary: £37,842 - £48,492

Closing date: 5th January 2020

Role purpose

The Application Lead role reports directly to the Application Manager and its main purpose is to:

  • Develop an expert understanding of our users’ needs and champion these in the continuous delivery of one or more digital services

  • Working with a Service Owner, you will develop and prioritise a product backlog, writing good user stories and making decisions based on data to improve the user experience

  • Engage our end user community and stakeholders through a range of
    channels to encourage feedback and open dialogue about usage and functionality of the platform

  • Own the development of processes that can move user stories quickly and smoothly between user research or business need and production

  • Define and then set measurable KPIs for your service, which can be reported against to demonstrate progress against stated benefits

  • Review releases, upgrades and fixes available from software suppliers and implement as appropriate. 

  • Maintain awareness of existing and emerging software and hardware solutions and develop upgrade plans

  • Tailor software to ensure that the functionality of the application is fully exploited

  • Coordinate application upgrades and prepare software implementation procedures with fall back contingency plans

  • Analyse test requirements, design and build test case suites, test scripts, and test procedures, with expected results

  • Investigate, diagnose and resolve application and database problems in accordance with service level agreements, communicating progress and escalating as necessary

  • Investigate available information sources to establish what information is available

  • Assesses the integrity of data from identified sources

  • Assist users or act on their behalf to extract and manipulate data from applications and databases on an ad hoc basis

  • Apply a variety of analytical and presentational techniques, in consultation with experts if appropriate and with sensitivity to the limitations of the techniques

  • Ensure that all documentation is written, maintained and executed to the highest standards and act as a champion of the Quality Management System (QMS)

  • Contribute to the Change Advisory Board

  • Make the best use of resources and time to deliver business benefit to the councils including flexibility in the resourcing approach that allows for variation in demand 

  • Empower the team by creating a supportive environment for team members to excel at their roles and develop their careers within the department and the wider councils

  • Ensure that requests for support are properly logged, assigned and responded to in a timely manner and according to agreed standards and procedures

  • Investigate potential and actual service problems and recommend solutions

  • Develop and use formal procedures to plan and test proposed solutions

  • Work within and act as a champion of the council’s ITIL Framework.


Main duties of the job for appointment at or progression to Grade J:

  • Design and develop user code to enhance or customise applications to satisfy business objectives and tailor applications to ensure maximum efficiency

  • Gather performance statistics from the IT platforms to enable recommendations for the tuning of applications. Tailor application parameters to maximise throughput and efficiency

  • Initiate action by systems development staff or software suppliers for system enhancements to overcome known problems or further fulfil user requirements

  • Take responsibility for investigative work to determine business opportunities, and specify effective business processes. Specifies their implementation through improvements in information systems, data management, practices, organisation and equipment

  • In liaison with colleagues in information governance and information security, contribute to the development and maintenance of corporate data standards

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the data management policy within the organisation.

The person

In order to successfully deliver the responsibilities of the role, you will need to: 

  • Have strong leadership skills, modelling a performance culture and constructively building achievement, confidence and skills in others

  • Champion user needs in the continuous delivery of digital products

  • Question and challenge conventional thinking, with a continual eye on the bigger picture in terms of the corporate context and external environment  

  • Role model agility and adaptability in mindset and ways of working

  • Demonstrate an understanding of Product Management and a commitment to embedding this function within Application Support 

  • Work successfully with key stakeholders including Members, residents, businesses, communities, partner organisations and other public services 

  • Demonstrate commitment to own personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the role 

  • Demonstrate a high level of innovation and creativity.



  • Experience of working in digital transformation across an organisation

  • Experience or good understanding of Product Management

  • Experience of digital product delivery and working with Agile tools and techniques

  • Experience in the management of the processes, systems and functions in complex IT and cloud environments

  • Experience of complex application support environments

  • Management of 3rd party contracts to ensure delivery of products and services to the agreed standard and timeline

  • Budget management of environments and staff to minimise costs and ensure cost-effectiveness

  • Experience in automated systems supporting specific business functions or processes. Examples: social care, housing management, libraries, customer services, finance

  • Familiar with applications/processes which enable selective access to information held within some form of database or "data warehouse". Examples: Exporting data to a spreadsheet via ODBC, writing SQL statements, using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services or Business Objects

  • Proficient in Business Process Improvement Techniques for streamlining business processes which have been modelled and understood. Examples: error-proofing, value added assessment, process cycle time reduction, future-proofing, resilience, reliability, cost effectiveness.

  • Principles, methods, techniques and tools for the effective allocation of resources to development projects and business as usual activity

  • An understanding of ITIL practices and an appreciation of service hand over.

Lead and Manager positions

There are a number of roles across the department at Grade I, J or K that are designated as Lead or Manager. These roles have a dual purpose in that they are expected to have specialist knowledge and skill within their own area and also play an active part in the operational management of their team. They will do this by:

  • Understanding and supporting the Digital Strategy 

  • Working with their line manager and other leads/managers within the team to manage the team workload

  • Directly managing a small number of reports and/or managing a virtual team working on a specific task or project

  • Managing other resources such as physical or logical technology/software and vendor services 

  • Providing appropriate analysis and reporting within their area of expertise

  • Coaching less senior members of the team both professionally and technically

  • Acting as a lead across the department and the wider customer base in promoting, communicating and developing their area of expertise

  • Seeking opportunities for innovation and collaboration

  • Demonstrating the culture and values on a day-to-day basis.


All Lead and Manager postholders (at grades I, J and K) are expected to be able to deputise for their line manager (typically an L or M grade).

Full details of the Application Lead position

Apply for the role of Application Lead (fixed term)

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