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Ford & Stanley Executive

Head of Programme Delivery: Opportunity Brief

Ford & Stanley Executive Search (Part of the Ford & Stanley Group) are specialists in Executive Interim and Permanent appointments to the UK, European & North American Engineering, General Manufacturing, Transport & Digital Industries.

We have been exclusively entrusted and appointed by our client on a retained search for a Head of Programme Delivery.

Below you will find an ‘opportunity brief’ developed from notes taken during the scoping meetings (Situational Discovery) held between the F&S Business Manager, Research Manager and our client. This brief is designed to give candidates deeper insight into the opportunity inherent within the role, the challenges the role presents and provide access to the detail that sits behind the job specification.

Client Opportunity Statement:

“Our client is a specialist engineering business with an impressive track record of exciting engineering projects. They are now presented with the opportunity to utilise investment to take the business from ‘good’ to ‘great’.”

“A key part of the strategy and growth plan is the building of a ‘Head of Programme Delivery’ team. Two professionals who can each take ownership of separate work ‘streams’ within the business and ensure profitable and timely delivery of projects – a key deliverable for both roles and something they have found challenging in the past”.

“What the business really needs is two ambitious programme delivery professionals who aren’t afraid to ‘roll their sleeves up’ and get stuck in. You will be managing teams of project managers with an additional ‘dotted line’ into engineering with the expectation that you can both direct at a strategic level and stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the team. You’ll be expected to negotiate with clients on bespoke, high-profile contracts, take the lead on any required contractual changes and ultimately ensure that all contracts are successfully delivered.” 

The Opportunity

Main Challenges the role presents:

  • Some of the contracts that have been secured by our client are extremely bespoke and at times a ‘first in kind’. Essentially meaning that the cost and timescales associated are constantly evolving. This coupled with some initial negotiations that didn’t account for that, has in some instances stretched relationships. It will be the responsibility of the Head of Programme Delivery to nurture these relationships and ensure the successful delivery of all projects.   
  • You will be tasked with successfully identifying aspects of projects that need to be adapted to ensure successful delivery. This will include delivery timescales and costs and it’s imperative that there is significant focus on relationships that come with this.
  • Manage commercial opportunities – you will need to ‘stay one step ahead’ of group clients, ensuring that as projects are delivered, they remain commercially viable.
  • Our Client is a well-established business who have always been extremely successful and at times this has meant that the business hasn’t felt a need to update processes or procedures. As the business continues to grow and develop, you will need to have a focus on upskilling those around you to understand the importance of commercial focus within the projects.

Top three deliverables in 1st year:

  • Being accountable for the On-time delivery of a portfolio of projects within an assigned business ‘stream’.
  • Accountable and targeted for the Delivery of projects to desirable revenue and profit.
  • Having a complete ownership of customer relations and ensuring the development of relationships to benefit both parties.

Candidate Essentials:

  • A proven Programme/Project Management professional with proven experience working in a defence/nuclear or civil/infrastructure environment or similar.
  • The successful candidate will have experience leading large commercial projects with experience of the design and build phase, having had ownership of the process from ‘cradle to grave’. 
  • Experience achieving financial performance of projects (revenue, profit, cash flow and organic growth).
  • An ability to manage different contract types including NEC.
  • A proven track record leading multi-disciplinary teams including project managers and engineers.
  • We are looking for someone who can bring some ambition and ‘energy’ to the business, someone who has ‘been there and done that’ but is still ‘on the up’ and looking for a director position in the next 2-4 years.
  • The incoming candidate will need to be experienced in stakeholder management, able to ‘strike up’ relationships, be comfortable with stakeholder mapping and understand when to push a client.
  • Hands on project management experience. The Head of Programme Delivery will need to have experience delivering projects from ‘cradle to grave’ – due to project demands at times will need to ‘roll their sleeves up’ and deliver.
  • Need to be Security Cleared or have the ability to gain this.

Good to know:

  • Our Client is £28m t/o Business
  • The role reports into one of the Directors and will have 8-10 direct reports with dotted line responsibility into the Engineering and Test teams.
  • This role will see the candidate move across the different sectors to gain a fuller understanding of the project offering of our client.
  • We are looking to add ‘layers’ into the organisation. Essentially setting a more formalised structure into the business allowing for a more professional approach to dealing with clients.
  • The business is looking to grow to deliver new work, upscale the company and professionalise the processes in order to increase profitability.
  • There is significant appetite within the business for change and improvement, however at times the team’s lack direction and an understanding of how to implement positive change.
  • There is work to be done on how data is collected within the business and then utilised to aid commercial decision making.
  • There is currently no dedicated resource in this position – an opportunity for the right candidate to implement ‘best-in-practice’ processes and procedures.


  • Base Salary Banding: Low of £60k, Mid of £65k and top end of £70k
  • Annual Salary Reviews
  • Car Allowance of £6,000 P.A
  • Bonus
  • Westfield Health Cash Plan Level 3
  • 2 x salary life insurance
  • 25 days Holiday + 8 Statutory
  • Holiday purchase scheme
  • 5% Pension matched contributions – Salary Sacrifice Scheme

Likely Job Titles:

Lead Project Manager, Head of Project Manager, Programme Manager, Business Manager, Senior Programme Manager, Senior Project Manager.

Executive Search Delivery Team:

  • Oliver Nunn – Research Manager
  • Tom Norton – Business Manager
  • Cat Lane – Executive Assistant

About Ford & Stanley Executive Search:

At Ford & Stanley Executive Search we go beyond a recruiting transaction with our core mission being that of every interaction we have with clients and candidates is best in class. We are select in the opportunities we represent, as such, work under strict exclusivity or retained agreements with forward thinking and proactive companies that place their trust in our ability to deliver a winning shortlist at the first time of asking.

Our Search Directors (who are themselves members of the F&S Group Board) and Search Consultants supported by an in-house research team invest time at the front end of process with our client’s leadership team or stakeholders to consult, understand the opportunity inherent within the role, business need, map and agree timescales with supporting delivery plan well in advance of conducting the search.

All candidates both active and passive (head-hunted) can expect full and professional engagement from the Executive Search team in addition a timely, thorough and engaging recruitment process from a committed employer that seeks to secure ‘cream of the crop’ from a busy and noisy Global Rail candidate market.

Ford & Stanley Group Ltd is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all opportunity seekers and approach all opportunity with a mindset of who is right for the job irrespective sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief or political beliefs and we place an obligation upon all staff to respect and act in accordance with the policy. We shall adhere to such a policy at all times and will review on an on-going basis all aspects of recruitment to avoid unlawful or undesirable discrimination.

    • Job type: Permanent
    • Location: Sheffield
    • Date posted:
    • Salary:£60000 - £70000