Global Product Owner Talent:Sasol-Gauteng

Short Description / Purpose of Job

The Product Owner is one of the most critical roles in Sasol’s agile ways of work. The role’s main focus is on business value, business needs, and has accountability for system and/or feature implementation of their product. The role delivers business value and alignment to strategic drivers as well as to tactical needs through leading and removing blockers from their Product Team(s), with dedicated capacity to work on the items prioritised by the Product Owner.

The successful execution of the role requires strong mastery of the business function, understanding the enabling technology, and the making of decisions after consulting with product stakeholders. In a global highly integrated energy and chemicals company like Sasol, the ability to understand, navigate, align and prioritise sometimes conflicting priorities of different stakeholders is the most challenging part – and one of the main purposes of the Product Owner role.

The Product Owner is responsible for various areas within the 1HR system and should have a working knowledge and understanding of cloud-based software for Human Capital Management (preferably the SuccessFactors suite including Employee Central, Onboarding, Recruiting Marketing, Recruiting Management, Learning, Performance and Goal Management, Succession and Development, Compensation, Workforce Analytics), Employee Central Payroll, Concur Travel and Expense, Time and Attendance (preferably WorkForce Software), as well as project management, policy development, and agile (e.g. sprint) methodology.

Recruitment Description / Key Accountabilities

  • Co-define (with the Portfolio Lead) and, thereafter, manage Product vision and roadmap
    • Communicate with product stakeholders to understand business objectives.
    • Maintain Product alignment with business goals, polices and addendums, portfolio strategy and the overall Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) programme.
    • Create and maintain a Product Roadmap.
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  • AMS
    • Deliver clear instructions to the Product Team.
    • Obtain buy-in for the direction and priorities from the stakeholders.
    • Manage Product stakeholders through negotiating over dependencies with other Product Owners and business counterparts (e.g. if we need to change a platform that multiple teams rely on).
  • Anticipate and prioritise stakeholders needs
    • Work with product stakeholders, Information Management (IM) product delivery team, and Product Owner team(s) to adjust priorities and expectations in order to maximise economies of scale and business value delivered.
    • Ensure decisions and designs are made with customer, end user and business needs at the centre (e.g. understanding and translating business needs through leveraging customer journey maps, writing and prioritising epic and user stories, etc).
    • Understand and translate business needs through customer journey maps, writing and prioritising epic and user stories, identifying key user experience drivers and touch points.
    • Maintain deep knowledge of the market and the business and/or function.
    • Manage the development process.
    • Drive and benchmark best practices with global partners, and leverage data and analytics to optimise end-user experience and reduce costs.
    • Prioritise the backlog for each Product Increment.
    • Participate in forums and governance bodies that aim to align on cross-Product dependencies, representing the needs and priorities (such as deadlines) of their product stakeholders.

  • Oversee the implementation of changes to Digital HR products
    • Define, set up, and manage projects needed to execute changes.
    • Consults HR Process Leads & Functional roles, and other business Functions regarding requirements.
    • Ensure major change decisions (governance) is considered from a holistic perspective, maximising economies of scale and ensuring any benefits or negative impacts are considered.
    • Manage up-to-date release pipeline, time and costs.
    • Execute projects within the scope, budget, and time constraints and prioritise capabilities and projects, in balance with transactional support / service delivery.
    • Plan release updates (patches, refreshes, releases) from the SaaS providers, and work with leadership to determine enablement plan.
    • Review and assess release summary and detail and decide on feature set for preview / testing activities.
    • Control the timing and communications of system enhancement release, including testing and deploying the enhancements.
    • Assess, plan, schedule SaaS vendor’s monthly updates (patches, refreshes, releases) – Mandatory ones (assess impacts, plan mitigation and communications) and opt-in (assess need and impacts, decide on opt-in, plan communications)
    • Contribute to and sign off release management plan.
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  • Change Management and Communications
    • Ensure system readiness for business events / mass uploads (e.g. performance cycle, big data loads, high utilisation/peak periods)
    • Define and execute the change management plan (based on impact assessment) across the organization (communications, training) to gain the desired level of adoption
    • Communicate updates (e.g. patches, refreshes, releases) to the end user community.

Accountabilities following the cadence of the agile sprints:

  • Manage Product Backlog
    • Create a list of backlog items.
    • Prioritise items based on overall strategy and stakeholder input.
    • Ahead of every Sprint, prepare the work of your team in the form of Product Features with clearly articulated Benefit Hypotheses and Acceptance Criteria.
    • Map out key dependencies between features.
  • Overseeing development stages:
    • Decide on the appropriate meeting cadence (e.g. 2 weeks) and ensure you and your delivery team follows it strictly.
    • Contribute to the planning, execution, and review of each sprint.
    • Prioritise the work of your Delivery Team based on business value, balancing between Project type of work like new features (e.g. 60%) and Transactions (40%) – daily if needed.
    • Remove blockers preventing the Delivery Team from implementing their User Stories.
    • Work with team to refine and improve the development process.
    • Escalate and collaborate with the IM Product Portfolio Lead regarding any issues with the delivery of Transactional work items or Projects.
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  • Evaluating Product Progress:
    • Accountable for the delivery team completing each stage of the development process and final process according to Sasol standards.
    • Setting the short-term delivery target based on priorities, inspecting/evaluating product progress, updating the Product Roadmap, and reaching target.
    • Determine when a product increment is acceptable to release.

Formal Education

University Bachelor’s Degree

Minimum Experience

9 years relevant experience

Certification & Professional Membership

Certified SAFe® Product Owner/Product Manager


  • FC1680: Stakeholder Relationship Management
  • LC1632: Customer focus
  • FC1107: Reduce and Manage Conflict
  • FC2716: Social Intelligence and networking
  • FC1079: Encourage Innovation
  • FC2458: Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Enterprise and Business Architecture
  • FC2712: Business acumen – contextual
  • FC2718: Digital Leadership
  • FC1808: Strategy Planning
  • IT Product Management
  • IT Product Planning

Sasol is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.  Inspired by our Purpose of “Innovating for a better world”, Sasol acknowledges that diversity is intrinsic to the fabric of our organisation and is the key to our growth and success.  Sasol is committed to the full inclusion of all suitably qualified individuals.  Preference will be given to applicants from designated groups and people with disabilities according to Sasol’s Employment Equity Plan.  This includes reasonable accommodation to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

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