Further Particulars HRG158

Further Particulars
This document includes information about the role for which you are applying and the
information you will need to provide with the application.
1. Role details
Vacancy reference:
Job title:
Portfolio Support Manager,
Strategic Projects Support, Strategy Office
Reports to:
Head of Portfolio
£30, 424 – £36,298 salary scale per annum,
depending on qualifications and experience
Terms and conditions:
Academic Related
Grade 7
Duration of post:
12 months maternity cover
Working hours:
37 hours Monday – Friday
The Open University at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes
Closing date:
noon 13th February 2013
Type of application form accepted:
Short Application Form, Covering Letter and CV
Number of referees required:
Unit recruitment contact:
Human Resources HRG158 Issue 2
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2. Summary of duties
Role Summary
The post holder will support the Head of Portfolio in a range of activities relating to the
management and reporting of the OU Strategic Plan Priorities. S/he will also flexibly support
the Senior Project Managers within the Strategic Projects Support (SPS) team in managing
the programmes and projects for which they are responsible, and will manage the
communication and dissemination of information relating to the work of SPS to stakeholders
and the wider OU Community.
Main duties may include:
To provide flexible support under the direction of the Head of Portfolio, Strategic Priorities
activities, including:
1. the documentation of good practice and promotion of consistency in the management of
Strategic Priority programmes and projects, in accordance with MSP and the approved
OU Project Management Methodology (OUPM)
2. the reporting of Priorities’ progress to VCE
3. liaising with staff across a wide range of units within the University, regarding project and
programme activities, events and reporting processes
4. dissemination of information to the wider OU community, in particular through online
media and appropriate OU news channels
To assist the SPS Senior Project Managers, as time permits, in:
5. activities related to the management and administration of projects and programmes
including documentation, project planning, workshops, change control, issue and risk
management, taking responsibility where requested for monitoring and reporting on
resolution of issues
6. promoting the use of good practice and professional standards in project processes
across all OU projects and programmes, according to approved OU Project Management
7. arranging formal meetings and workshops, using judgment to co-ordinate dates and
activities, managing room bookings, special needs, equipment and catering. Greeting and
looking after external visitors attending such meetings
Generic duties may include:
8. creating and managing electronic libraries or other storage areas to hold products and
documents (configuration management), observing document control protocols and
version control
9. providing support and guidance to enquirers on a range of project management tools and
10. using a range of ICT packages and software, particularly SharePoint and Documentum,
to manage and co-ordinate information, and communicate within the team and with the
wider OU community
11. supporting and servicing working groups and meetings, as necessary, with agendas,
papers, minutes and progressing business between meetings
12. maintaining and developing materials in support of the OUPM framework
13. other tasks as specified from time to time by the Head of Portfolio
All members of the Strategy Office are expected to:
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Contribute to the development of the Strategy Office Team by supporting and
working positively with team members, sharing skills and expertise, promoting good
practice and contributing to specific projects elsewhere in the Strategy Office
3. Person specification
Essential Knowledge/Experience/Skills
The person appointed will have:
1. Relevant administrative experience with demonstrable understanding of good practice,
excellent organisational skills, the ability to organise information and records, and to plan
and organise meetings and workshops.
2. Good numeracy and analytical skills, experience of identifying appropriate sources of
online information and an ability to work with data used for reporting progress towards
targets and milestones.
3. Excellent ICT skills and a commitment to developing a high level of proficiency in the use
of new ICT tools, communication methods and online working practices. In particular:
 current Microsoft Office systems, especially Word, Outlook calendar and email
functionality, Excel and Powerpoint;
 online storage areas and databases, such as SharePoint and Documentum, as well as
email, conferencing, blogs, wikis, intranet sites and other online communication tools.
4. Excellent inter-personal skills, demonstrating discretion, confidentiality and the ability to
provide information and advice to project managers and senior officers of the University.
Effective communication skills will include:
 clear oral communication skills in meetings and in telephone conversations;
 a clear, succinct and professional style in drafting paper-based documents;
 the ability to disseminate online information in appropriate formats.
5. A flexible and constructive approach to working on a range of different types of project and
the ability to adapt and respond to changing duties and work practices. This will include the
ability to work effectively both independently and as a member of a team, prioritising tasks,
meeting deadlines and managing the demands of a high volume of work;
6. Experience of project or programme management.
Desirable Knowledge/Experience/Skills
The person appointed will ideally also have:
1. a first degree or equivalent;
2. a qualification related to project management, or the desire and aptitude to gain such a
3. experience of drafting project documentation for governance bodies;
4. experience servicing working groups and/or other bodies and recording/progressing
decisions taken;
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Essential elements are those, without which, a candidate would not be able to do the job. Applicants who have not clearly
demonstrated in their application that they possess the essential elements will normally be rejected at the shortlisting stage.
Desirable elements are those which it would be useful for the post holder to possess.
4. Role specific requirements e.g. Shift working
5. About the unit/department
About the Strategic Projects Support team
Strategic Projects Support (SPS) is a team within the Strategy Office. Our primary focus is to
support the OU Strategic Plan Priority activities, providing project and programme management
resource to Strategic Priorities and ensuring consistency in management and reporting..
We also act as a centre of expertise in Programme and Project Management for the university,
maintaining and developing the framework used to manage projects across the OU.
TBA, Head of Portfolio (role currently
covered by the Director of Strategy)
J. Jayes (maternity leave)
Project Support Administrator
N Pigott,
Deputy Head, SPS
C. Coldbeck,
Sen Project Manager
R Lobban,
Sen Project Manager
A Russell,
Sen Project Manager
About the Strategy Office
The Strategy Office is led by the Director, Strategy who reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor
and has overall responsibility for leading the development of strategy across the University and
for overseeing the successful execution of strategic plans. We provide advice and analysis to
the Vice-Chancellor and his Executive team on issues of strategy, organisation, operations and
partnerships. We also provide creative leadership and act as a pivotal link between the strategy
and the day to day operations of the University.
Our principal tasks are to provide:
 strategic insights into key external issues and opportunities to inform the University’s
strategy and plans;
 strategic analysis for the University to enable it to identify development opportunities;
 expertise to inform the University Executive on how to deal with specific challenges
including identifying issues, forming hypotheses, synthesising conclusions and helping
implement change to achieve measurable impact.
And to drive strategy through:
developing and maintaining the OU Strategic Plan;
progressing the activities within the Strategic Priorities;
creating and operating an effective reporting system;
developing vision and priorities into clear and meaningful strategies and plans;
monitoring and supporting the Executive in the execution of the University’s strategic
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providing creative leadership and insight to the future direction of the University.
6. How to obtain more information about the role or application process
If you would like to discuss the particulars of this role before making an application please
contact Jan.Jayes@open.ac.uk Tel No. 01908 332270.
If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact Univ-SecRecruitment@open.ac.uk.
7. Where to send completed applications
Please ensure that your application reaches the University by: noon 13th February 2013
E-mail your application to: Univ-Sec-Recruitment@open.ac.uk or post it to
Mrs Diana Griffiths
Recruitment Co-ordinator
Strategy Unit
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
Applications received after the closing data will not be accepted.
8. Selection process and date of interview
The interview date will be 18th February 2013.
We will let you know as soon as possible after the closing date whether you have been
shortlisted for interview. Further details on the selection process will also be sent to
shortlisted candidates.
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