Portfolio Office Director

2 days left

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire (GB)
£100k - £125k plus competitive benefits
24 Sep 2019
20 Oct 2019
Education, Other
Contract Type


This job exists to head up the new Portfolio Office and team, which is a critical part of the new strategic governance model proposed by the Technology Review. Providing strong and engaging leadership to the team, empowering them to make their own decisions and be accountable.


Portfolio leadership:

  • Owns the development and management of the governance methodology for programmes and projects and investments in them
  • Collaborating with Strategy team, Investment Committee (IC) and Business Design Authority (BDA), lead on the portfolio planning and input into strategic decision making to drive towards the achievement of organisational goals and priorities to gain customer and market focus and financial investment outcomes and alignment across Cambridge Assessment
  • Manage the initiative portfolio with Strategy Department and BDA
  • Work with Finance and Strategy to facilitate the annual business planning cycle
  • Represent Portfolio Office on IC and BDA to guide and support discussions and decision making
  • Link between CA business units and The Press to ensure the portfolio is matching priorities required of the Corporate Board to meet market needs
  • Facilitate and build a cohesive approach to deliver and drive change across Cambridge Assessment to maintain accountability, support transformation and support where blockers are foreseen
  • Supporting and overseeing one or more sub-portfolios, including: projects from demand origination to project closure, managing governance, project escalations, reporting tools, regular reporting and training needs. Creating transparency and identifying key accountable
  • Redirecting activities where needed to react to strategic priorities

Managing APO Team:

  • Ensure portfolio initiative due diligence – e.g. on strategic goals, ROI, funding
  • Lead team to guide consistent development of investment business cases and to undertake quality control so that proposals for Business Design Authority are fit for purpose and drive decision making
  • Lead team in portfolio reviewing and analysis of information for use at BDA and IC

Managing PMO Team:

  • Responsible for ensuring that cross organisation governance allows for reporting on waterfall and agile projects
  • Provide relevant reporting to various stakeholders tracking progress against various criteria
  • Supporting the team in creating and sustaining consistent governance gating practices and collateral, implemented throughout Cambridge Assessment
  • Lead team to provide quality information for decision making use at BDA and IC



  • Graduate
  • MBA desirable
  • Project and Programme management qualifications of working with or managing teams using Agile and Waterfall Programme management methodologies
  • Portfolio or Strategic Decision Making courses or significant experience


  • Adept at presentations and communications to internal audiences at all levels
  • Understanding of operational and tech capabilities planning, process development and roll out
  • Leading and coaching teams
  • Portfolio process management
  • Leading implementation of agile delivery methods
  • Budget management, strategic planning and financial projection management
  • Trade off resolution management


  • Significant experience of building a culture of transparency for portfolio decisions/performance
  • Relevant experience of establishing ways of working focused on outcomes (impact/value over plans/cost)
  • Relevant experience of instilling a bias towards shorter term investment/review/release cycles giving the ability to respond to change quickly
  • Relevant experience of ensuring governance practices add value (by limiting bureaucracy to not inhibit responding to change)
  • Significant experience of project, program and portfolio management
  • Experience of leading and coaching teams through large scale change and ways of working
  • Experience of iterating a portfolio process in collaboration with stakeholders
  • Significant experience of agile delivery
  • Experience in budget management, strategic planning and financial projection management
  • Experience in building business cases supported by market research
  • Experience of making recommendations to develop programmes and projects


  • Collaborative, responsible and innovative
  • Open and transparent communication
  • Low ego pragmatic approach
  • Outcomes and delivery focused
  • Thrives in ambiguous environments
  • Influential, persuasive, and calm
  • Approachable and amiable
  • Clear and strong decision maker
  • Responsible and accountable
  • Proactive and curious

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