An introduction to Ian Hughes – our first Product Manager

Ian joined the Coal Authority around eight months ago, and is responsible for the strategy and delivery of products within the Commercial Reports and Advisory Services Team.

His employment background is varied – mainly financial institution based, in account management and product management. But when an opportunity at the Coal Authority arose, Ian couldn’t resist the challenge.

“When I saw the role I knew it was what I wanted to do”, he explains. “It’s a completely new field for me to work in.”

“The role is brand new, and the team had never had a dedicated Product Manager. It is a chance to develop a blank canvas, and use the skills I acquired previously in stakeholder management, project management and product development to create and nurture products for the team and the Coal Authority.”

He says, “The opportunity to make product development the main focus of my role, within a great organisation, was too good not to pursue.”

“I was told before joining the Coal Authority that it was welcoming, progressive and inclusive. Everyone has been so helpful, supportive and knowledgeable.”

“The forward thinking nature of the business is the driver behind the creation of this role, and is something I thrive on”.

“The Coal Authority is not what some people may think. When I told people where my new role was, the majority asked why I was going to work there when the mines had closed down! But there is so much more to what we do – we have grown and evolved immensely, and it’s such an exciting time for us as we move into the new decade as we celebrate our 25th anniversary year”.

Ian’s new role will see him developing existing and new products for the Commercial Reports and Advisory Services team.

“It’s a really exciting time at the moment as the property and conveyancing industry is evolving,” Ian says. “We strive to be ahead of the curve, ensuring our expertise as an organisation is brought to life.”

 “My aim is to maintain the integrity of our products whilst enhancing the information we provide to our customers, ensuring the data we give to them remains informative and relevant. I want our reports to continue to be the definitive statement of assurance.”

“Developing these products gives us exciting opportunities to work with new external clients. I am looking forward to working with these clients to implement these“.

“I feel it is important to listen and act on our customers’ feedback to ensure that we are providing products that make their lives easier”

“It’s not just about creating new reports and products. It’s also about making sure what we currently offer is the best it can be. We are always looking at new ways to further engage with our customers to find out what they want, and speak to them about what they need in our products. This is something that we place great importance on.”

Ian had an unorthodox introduction to the world of product development and management, and freely admits that the path he has taken wasn’t initially a planned one.

He says, “Product management and delivery has always been an aspect of my roles which I have enjoyed most. Early in my career and in my naivety, I didn’t really know that product development and management was a ‘thing’… it was just something I did naturally.”

Ian is ambitious and driven, and his vision for product development at the Coal Authority is one that clearly excites him.

“It’s a really intriguing time at the moment as the property and conveyancing industry is evolving.”

The scope for products offered by the Coal Authority has grown at a phenomenal rate – so much so that there is a renewed commitment to focus on future product development.

With product development a major focus for the team, the team continues to dedicate more time to working with industry to collaborate and seek out new and innovative ideas. The reward comes when we see change and we make new ideas come to life.”

“I’m surrounded by a superb and dedicated team who are full of brilliant ideas. I’m hugely excited to make these ideas a reality – benefitting customers old and new in the process.”

You can contact Ian on groundstability@coal.gov.uk or by calling 0345 762 6848