Portfolio Manager

The post holder is responsible for the definition and delivery of a sub portfolio of programmes and projects within the overall IT Development Plan, a rolling three year £60m IT enabled change plan, part of the University’s Capital Plan. This may be a collection of major projects, and/or projects defined within specific topic related areas as one or more programmes.

The portfolio manager will oversee project and programme teams of varying sizes of up to 50-100 in total. Teams will comprise a mix of IT Services staff, third party suppliers, freelance contract staff and seconded business staff. Budgets for existing portfolios are currently of the order of £5 – £15m.

They must guide the projects and programmes through the complete life-cycle, including: the evaluation of high level needs and portfolio and programme design, requirements specification, options analysis, evaluation and procurement of software or infrastructure solutions, through all phases of the implementation and into ongoing support. They will also be expected to work with business change experts to plan business change activities, communications and stakeholder engagement. S/he will need to possess excellent leadership qualities, to manage staff working directly on the programme as well as working closely with key stakeholders and external suppliers.

They will represent the initiatives within their portfolio at the relevant IT Board(s) and at other governance bodies when required – particularly Portfolio Scrutiny Group and IT Committee.  The post holder will be responsible for ensuring that the projects and programmes within their portfolio delivers the objectives set by the University and managed by their IT board.  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. 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 programme will introduce.

Essential selection criteria

  • A high level of general education to at least degree level or equivalent
  • Experience of both shaping and delivery of complex, large scale IT portfolio and programmes (with total budgets of c£10-£15m for approved programmes and projects), delivering a range of applications, preferably within a Higher Education organisation. 
  • Previous experience of managing and motivating a large team, including both business and technical staff, and of working effectively as part of a wider, multi-disciplinary team
  • Proven track record of managing a number of full project life cycle implementations including those of a large complex nature
  • Experience of working in a complex environment where there is a wide range of parallel and mutually dependent activities
  • High level of skills and experience in project planning, estimating, risk management and issue management
  • Demonstrable ability of financial management, in particular, substantial programme or project budget oversight, contract negotiation and developing supplier relationships
  • Proven ability to shape a range of diverse requirements into coherent and understandable change programmes which can be justified at a strategic level
  • Detailed knowledge and experience of preparing business cases for funding
  • Proven understanding of project management methodologies, tools and techniques such as PRINCE2
  • Good knowledge of programme approaches such as Managing Successful Programmes (MSP)
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, with the ability to interact with staff at all levels of the collegiate University, recognising the demands of an academic environment and the specific challenges that these present
  • Proven ability to manage, plan and take responsibility for a range of tasks involving interaction with, and the co-operation of, business and IT people, including the agreement of technical solutions

Desirable selection criteria

  • Experience of successful delivery of one or more programmes with a significant IT infrastructure component
  • Familiarity with IT service management methodologies, such as ITIL
  • Experience of formal Agile methodologies such as DSDM, SCRUM