About the job
We are looking for an experienced candidate to join the senior leadership team of the High Speed & Major Rail Projects Group, bringing top-class project experience, commercial and financial skills, along with the leadership to motivate teams and represent the Department’s interests in relationships with partners and delivery bodies at the highest levels. You will lead a team of c.75, accountable for the successful integration of the complex portfolio currently being delivered and planned, as well as working with senior internal stakeholders to support change and improvement across the Directorate.
To fulfil this high-profile and highly challenging requirement, we require an experienced leader who is capable of inspiring, empowering and developing diverse, multi-disciplinary teams.
You will be a proven programme leader, ideally with experience gained within an infrastructure environment, able to demonstrate a track record in providing technical and commercial governance across broad and complex portfolios of major projects.
The successful candidate will also high standards of communication and engagement, with an ability to build engagement across organisational boundaries and with senior stakeholders across Whitehall and industry.
Key activities will include:
• Holding our delivery partner, HS2 Ltd, to account for the performance of its obligations under the Development Agreement. This role includes management of change, working with Project Sponsors as appropriate;
• Advising the SRO and Ministers on overall programme integration, benefits, schedule and budget issues, working closely with Project Sponsors. This is likely to become even more critical as the responsibilities for delivery of the construction and other works for HS2 becomes more fragmented across different delivery bodies;
• Managing the Group’s Programme Management Office which covers risk, planning, governance and assurance and supporting the establishment of a fully functioning integrated PMO based in HS2 Ltd. Over time and as appropriate, extending the reach of the Group’s PMO first to cover activities not undertaken by HS2 Ltd but critical to the programme and then to cover other projects within the Group;
• Leading much of the Group’s governance and oversight arrangements, including the Ministerial Task Force on Phases 1 and 2a of HS2.
• Maintaining effective, professional relationships with the leaders and senior teams of our delivery partners.
• Programme strategy, including responsibility within the Group for developing the strategy for integration with the conventional rail network as well as integration across the Group’s own projects;
• Monitoring the programme against its Spending Review outcome and other financial settlements, including provisions for inflation, flexibilities, contingency and delegations, and preparing for a successful future Spending Review;
• Owning general policy in relation to the safeguarding of land and landowner compensation schemes;
• Overseeing the significant Land & Property budget (£3bn plus) for all phases of the programme;
• Providing financial controls within the Group and, in close liaison with Group Finance, ensuring that the Department’s financial position is protected, alongside the Sponsor Directors’ responsibilities;
• Leading, managing and contributing to a set of cross-Group functions, including analysis, communications and technical advice, as well as project management and strategy;
• Close liaison with HM Treasury, the Infrastructure & Projects Authority, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the NAO;
• Being a role model and champion for effective project delivery within the Group and, as appropriate, the wider Department.
• Supporting the Director-General with a wide-ranging project to lift the Group’s capability and capacity for sponsoring major projects to be best in class;
• Directly leading a team of up to about 65 as well as contributing to the wider leadership of the Group of about 175 people.
ResponsibilitiesThe successful candidate must be able to demonstrate skills and/or success in the following essential criteria:
• Strong and proven programme and project leadership and management skills, ideally in relation to development and delivery of major infrastructure projects;
• Proven experience in leadership roles which have required being inspiring about the organisation’s work and its future, confident in engagement, and empowering teams to deliver, including experience of leading change in organisations;
• Commercial skills, with experience of concluding deals, holding a delivery agent to account through sophisticated contractual mechanisms, and managing consultants;
• Solid communication skills with an ability to collaborate at a senior level, support Ministers and influence others;
• Strong and proven financial skills, with an understanding of government accounting and project financing;
• Evidence of successfully delivering at pace and under sustained pressure.