Head of Project Management

The Head of Project Management is a key managerial role in the Programme and Project Delivery Group (PPDG) within IT Services at the University of Oxford. PPDG comprises c 60 staff and is responsible for the successful delivery of a large capital programme (currently £60 million over three years), working in collaboration with our customers across the University and with third-party suppliers to deliver new and enhanced IT solutions in the delivery of the University’s Strategic Plan. The team is run on matrix managed basis with the project services function providing line management, resource planning, skills development, internal assurance, with Programme Managers overseeing delivery through project teams formed from PPDG and other IT Services and business staff.

The role will be responsible for the development and management of the project management function, including project support.  Project management is a critical service in the delivery of projects, ensuring that business requirements and objectives are clearly understood by technical colleagues, that benefits and strategic fit are well defined, that appropriate cost-effective solutions are implemented and that the impact of the new technology on staff and ways of working are anticipated and managed effectively.

The Head of Project Management will manage and lead of a team of 18 PMs (Grade 9) line managed via three Senior PMs, and a team of currently three Programme Support Officers (Grade 7). In addition, the post holder will need to bring in appropriately skilled contractors to maintain adequate resources for project delivery, working with Programme Managers to determine the skills required and leading on the recruitment.

They will need to possess excellent leadership qualities, to operate a matrix management regime that allows staff to be deployed effectively to projects and programmes and to work closely with colleagues across the department, key stakeholders across the University and external suppliers.

They will have the skills and experience required to liaise and work with senior University officers across key central divisions as well as key stakeholders in academic areas and be seen as an expert in their field. Knowledge of the University’s operating structures is essential as is the ability to influence and manage these external users in respect of the significant change that the programmes will introduce.

Essential selection criteria

  • A high level of general education to degree level or equivalent (which may be in experience)
  • Have had demonstrable experience of programme /project management
  • Ability to construct and manage area / programme budgets in excess of £10 million and define processes to report on the resulting financial plans  
  • Have had experience of working with an enterprise-wide systems delivery methodology in a programme / project role, and be able to mentor project managers and programme managers
  • Have had experience of working with directors and senior staff across business and IT areas
  • Have had responsibility for managing resource allocation across group functions and programme teams
  • Certification in a recognised project management methodology such as PRINCE2, plus certification in either programme management (MSP) or portfolio management (Management of Portfolios)
  • Have excellent influencing and communication skills and the ability to present to, and write reports for, director-level and other senior staff
  • Experience of procurement and supplier management
  • Experience of recruitment and onboarding of both salaried and contract staff
  • Demonstrable leadership skills, and experience of managing  senior staff

Desirable selection criteria

  • Experience of working in a higher education institution
  • PMO / portfolio management experience