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Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
Job reference: R-043540
Posted date: Mar. 13, 2019

Our Science and Enabling Units IT vision is to deliver the best science IT capabilities in biopharma, which we define as agile, responsive and fit-for-future. Our goal is to engage with our stakeholders as a strategic partner in delivering life-changing medicines to our patients. In the role of Release Manager you will take accountability for delivering a ‘Best in Class’ IT capability within the Science and Enabling Units function.

We currently have an exciting opportunity for a Release Manager to join us either out of our Cambridge office or Gaithersburg base.

The role of the Release Manager is to partner with the Business Teams in Global Medical Affairs (GMA) to deliver quality software Releases across a portfolio of applications. You will be operating in a Matrix Structure to enable the Business to meet and exceed their goals.

The position requires strong leadership skills and Release Management domain expertise. You will be expected to orchestrate a high performing team from IT and the Business, whilst utilizing a strong set of Release principles to maintain excellent standards. You will have a strong applied understanding of Agile (SAFe) methodologies, and previous experience in running Agile Teams.

Your role will be to apply Release Strategy and capability standard methodology, which will be tailored to the needs of the Platform or system. You will coordinate work across Projects and BAU (Business as Usual) Change, and establish yourself as a key component of the Core Capability Team.

The Release Management Team is critical to deliver new solutions and continuous change to our partners, and ultimately benefit our patients. They hold diverse skills and experiences, and work multi-functionally with the business, IT delivery teams and our vendors to successfully deliver continuous innovation and value to the Medical business area. In doing so you will ensure alignment to Platform governance, set and lead the Release Schedule, and coordinate backlog management.


You will operate within the Solution Delivery Centre, who work with business units across Science and Enabling Units to deliver quality solutions to meet business and IT needs. You will collaborate with these Business functions, Solution Delivery, and other IT Organizations across a global IT matrix spanning US, UK, Sweden, China, Japan, Poland, Mexico, and India.

You will join the team at an exciting time, in a period of growth, which will provide an opportunity to craft the direction of the platform, whilst maintaining delivery excellence. The role will report to the Solution Delivery Release Management Lead in a talented and dynamic team.

The core accountabilities of the role include:

  • Sprint Planning and Release Scheduling for a set of applications
  • Capacity management and forecasting for the delivery team
  • Backlog refinement and management to balance priority with effort
  • You will develop, improve and lead the Release Process
  • Take the lead with Coordination of Delivery and Business Teams in order to complete the Sprint goals
  • Partnering with the Business to understand their expectations, and coordinate Business Change activity
  • Initially there will be a need to form the Release process and strategy for incumbent and new applications
  • Input into and apply capability best-practice and an underpinning learning curriculum
  • Implement continuous Improvement mechanisms such as retrospectives and lean
  • Management of risks and issues that affect agreed release scope, schedule, and quality
  • Release dependency management between upstream and downstream systems

Works collaboratively with:

  • The Release Management Lead and Team to develop and improve best practice
  • IT Strategy, Portfolio Management and Project/Programme Management to deliver Projects onto the Platforms you support
  • AD/AM, Test, Business Analysis and Service Management to translate business requirements and needs into technical solutions
  • Portfolio Managers and solution delivery leads to understand Project Scope and the requirements of Release Management
  • Business Analysts to refine requirements and maintain tracability to them across the lifecycle
  • The GMA Business Team and Product Owner to understand and meet their needs through IT and Business change
  • Service Management teams to ensure handover is completed, and that the system and process changes can be supported.
  • Vendor partners to ensure their services provided are led and released according to the agreed plan
  • The Business Relationship Managers to understand and plan for Capability and Product Roadmaps and priorities

Qualifications, Skills & Experience


  • Deep knowledge and understanding of Release Management practices and principles
  • Experience within a Release Management or similar role
  • Significant experience in agile delivery of business applications to a globally-distributed user base.
  • Experience in managing and delivering business change through IT projects
  • Demonstrable ability to operate across multiple verticals and geographies
  • Ability to interpret and communicate technical information into business language.
  • Experience in handling and sustaining diverse partner relationships.


  • Experience in and knowledge of bio-pharma industry
  • Direct experience manging the deployment of IT solutions based on the and Veeva platforms.
  • Degree level education in business information systems, computer science, engineering, or similar.
  • The ability to travel both domestically and internationally

Skills & Capabilities


  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong influencing, networking and team working skills
  • Meaningful leadership and people management skills
  • Proficiency in planning, change management and problem solving and able to resolve issues of a highly complex and strategic nature
  • Confirmed ability to relate and respond to business needs in an IT environment
  • Ability to lead negotiations, expectations and solutions across complex groups
  • Ability to excel in and across diverse global teams
  • A dedicated, results-oriented and customer-focused approach is critical.


  • Ability to partner and work in a matrix organisation
  • Able to process and analyse information

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, gender or gender orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.

Release Manager
Information Technology

AstraZeneca in the UK

Our 6,700-strong UK workforce is based across seven sites in the UK, including our new research facilities and global corporate headquarters in Cambridge. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) is globally renowned as a leading centre of research, education and patient care. For AstraZeneca, the campus is the perfect environment in which to foster a vibrant culture of open innovation and collaboration.

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