Example person specification
- Experience of managing strategic inter-agency programmes/projects for, and including, Executive Directors or Heads of Service
- Ability to engage with stakeholders and build effective relationships that will influence the key objectives of the project
- Strategic and lateral thinking to reach innovative solutions, then advising, challenging, influencing and negotiating at a senior level to influence long-term courses of action
- Experience of planning and delivering training programmes within either a change management programme or the implementation of a project/programme
- Experience in applying change management principles in a major change programme and demonstrable understanding of the principles of change management
1. Experience of managing strategic programmes/projects for, and including, Executive Directors or Heads of Service
I have successful programme/project management experience. As a Project Manager in my last role, I successfully implemented the ISO 9000 Quality standards throughout the organisation, at the request of the Chairman. I was responsible for delivering this project from researching the standards, agreeing with the management team how to approach the project, working with managers across the organisation to identify and draft procedures, consulting with staff on these and then implementing, embedding and auditing the procedures and process.
The ISO standards were to be embedded throughout the whole organisation, so I needed to work effectively with the directors of each division to ensure that all of the processes were included and the documentation across the whole organisation was standardised. This required the ability to appreciate differences in the culture of different departments, in order to bring the staff on board and engage with the process. Part of the process is to be audited by an independent auditor, with an initial visit to provide advice on areas of potential weakness. I developed a good relationship with the auditor to ensure we were given adequate feedback that helped ensure success at the official audit.
The organisation achieved certification first time around and for each year following, showing how well the ISO process was embedded as a result of thorough staff engagement throughout.
2. Ability to engage with stakeholders and build effective relationships that will influence the key objectives of the project
One of my strongest attributes is my interpersonal skills. I am able to develop strong relationships with people across an organisation and the community. In my previous role as a Change and Project Assurance Advisor, I was required to ensure the corporate project management methodology was used across the organisation, to well defined standards. This role required the ability to influence the attitudes and opinions of others to gain their agreement on proposals and courses of action. I was often advising more experienced and qualified project managers than myself and thus needed to be skilled in my ability to influence others, by using sound judgement and reasoning and by developing strong relationships across the organisation.
My success in this role relied on my ability to build effective relationships between project managers and heads of business and to work collaboratively with finance, HR and ICT to ensure the project objectives were delivered whilst adhering to the methodology of the organisation.
As a project manager a key skill is the ability to work across disciplines with people from a range of professions and to bring them together to work on a single piece of work.
3. Strategic and lateral thinking to reach innovative solutions, then advising, challenging, influencing and negotiating at a senior level to influence long-term courses of action
During my time as a Project Manager, I undertook a piece of work regarding the Occupational Health service – with the aim of making recommendations on whether to have an in-house service or to contract out.
I undertook nationwide research by telephone and email to establish practice elsewhere and to understand the issues faced by comparable organisations who were operating on different models. I also undertook desk-based research and analysis of our own Occupational Health service to understand the demand and the level of service we were receiving.
The subsequent report I wrote on my findings and recommendations was taken through the management boards and influenced subsequent decisions on how to take the service forward. The report challenged existing thinking and raised far reaching issues, but was well accepted as a strong piece of work with clear evidence behind the recommendations.
4. Experience of planning and delivering training programmes within either a change management programme or the implementation of a project/programme
When I worked in the programme management office, part of the role was to design and deliver Project Management training to managers and staff across the organisation. This training was based on the PRINCE 2 methodology, and I extracted the main features of PRINCE 2 and incorporated them into training that was at a relevant level for managers that fitted the organisational culture. I was responsible for all training materials, making sure they were up to date, keeping up with best practice examples. I delivered the training to cohorts of between 8-12 people at a time, each course ran for two days. I ensured I collected feedback to enable continuous improvement. I was given excellent feedback for the training I delivered and this was one of the most rewarding parts of the job.
5. Experience in applying change management principles in a major change programme and demonstrable understanding of the principles of change management
During my time as Project Manager I undertook a major change programme of office moves as one of our main sites was closed. This project involved moving more than 150 staff over a period of 4 months. I led on all aspects of the project, which required working closely with managers from the teams affected as well as property, IT and HR. It also involved a lot of work on continuity of service, and I adopted a structured approach to moving teams to ensure the service was always available to customers.
This change management work included consideration and implementation of a communications strategy, managing and escalating risks where appropriate and by fully understanding the needs and concerns of staff impacted by the move.
I organised a series of focus groups with staff to understand the issues that would impact them and their work the most, and to talk through ways to mitigate any issues. I also instigated a series of regular project newsletters and attended team briefings.
The move was deemed a success and a follow up survey after six months showed that staff were satisfied with the way the move as managed.