This opportunity has now been filled

Programme Director

About the role

The Student Loans Company (SLC) is one of the UK’s largest retail lenders. It currently has over 6.9 million customers and a loan book of £74bn.

SLC is the first Government Agency to meet the Digital by Default Service Standard. To maintain this momentum, the organisation has embarked upon a major transformation programme to further upgrade infrastructure and fully automate processes. This will ensure the future proof, digital delivery of an effective, efficient and flexible finance service to its customers.

SLC aims to become a digital, customer focussed centre of excellence. Vital to the success of this transformation will be the appointment of the Transformation Programme Director, part of the senior management team reporting into the Chief Digital Officer.

SLC is investing in a multi-million pound infrastructure uplift of the company’s corporate infrastructure – from core systems, through data centres to networks. The intent is, over the next three years to move the company IT and infrastructure from an internally built and maintained environment which currently has some major issues relating to maintenance levels, security and long development lead times, to one that is stable, maintained and flexible. The programme of work will deliver this and then will move to outsource key functions to a delivery partner. The delivery and integration of an industry standard OTS banking platform will be a key milestone on this journey.

Having successfully secured funding and started on the upgrade/uplift journey, SLC has implemented a programme structure to integrate the programmes that comprise the uplift both technically and at programme level in order to ensure that the delivery dates are met and the transition to the operating environment is forensically executed and avoids peak transaction periods.

Reporting to the Chief Digital Officer, there is an opportunity for an experienced technical programme director to manage and direct this uplift and move the SLC from being reliant on complex systems and infrastructure which has grown over 20 yrs to a flexible and current estate which will:

  • Provide a great experience for our customers
  • Provide a flexible and secure environment which can easily adapt to growing demand for policy and product change
  • Manage the delivery and integration of an OTS banking platform and migrate customers from the legacy platform
  • Assist in the procurement of a delivery partner and outsourcing of key functions
  • Drive transactions on-line and away from the call centres

The successful candidate will be well versed in the issues and risks of managing a large technical programme of inter-related projects with key interdependencies between projects and key business programmes.  Additionally the programme director will be expected to:

  • Ensure that key stakeholders are kept informed and the relationship developed. The stakeholder community is significant and complex ranging from the Cabinet Office, Government Departments to the SLC board of directors
  • Be accountable for the delivery management of the individual programmes of work which comprise the transformation – these are technical in the main but encompass both in house and a large third party contract

Summary of Key Accountabilities:

  • Ensure that the programme is delivering to agreed milestones and is on track to meet its objectives
  • Define the management framework for the programme and manage its plans and resources
  • Lead on any internal discussion or debates on priorities or internal direction of the project, ensuring that key risks and issues are effectively managed
  • Overseeing the management of key partners and suppliers, and ensures delivery against agreed outputs and outcomes
  • Leading and developing the team, who are responsible for managing the programme in line with the agreed priorities
  • Delivering regular progress reports on the progress against the overall implementation roadmap and delivery plans, including the overall planning and allocation of resources to the Programme
  • Ensuring the programme is adept in techniques to facilitate an agile methodology where appropriate
  • Take responsibility for the effective identification, management and mitigation of the Programme’s key risks and issues
  • Provide regular programme cost and benefit realisation monitoring reports as part of a comprehensive monitoring and reporting framework, ensuring that these are tracked against budget
  • Cultivate and develop strong relationships with key external stakeholders

Summary of Essential Skills/Experience/Qualifications

  • Managing large complex technical programmes of work with multi million pound budgets and within a high volume, retail business
  • Formal project management methodologies, and experience of lean/agile methods
  • Programme and Systems integration and data migrations
  • Previous experience within the financial sector would be advantageous
  • Graduate in a numerate discipline with a technical background
  • Currently operating in a general management or technical management capacity at a senior level

About Department of Technology Transformation and Systems:

DTTS is responsible and accountable for the SLC IT infrastructure consisting of:

  • 3 data centres hosting IT and telephony equipment
  • a corporate network consisting of MPLS technology
  • a secure network consisting of links to the government PSN network which carries secure traffic between government departments
  • IT capability supporting the companies banking, digital and operational functions
  • test environments for the above

The size of IT operation is partially described by the statistics below and complexity is added by the aging nature and thus ‘out of maintenance’ status of significant parts of the estate;

  • A central set of systems termed CLASS which comprises Oracle applications, IBM hardware and HP processers. There are up to 80 instances of the CLASS database and hundreds of integration points
  • Management and Performance Monitoring of over 900 servers
  • Management of 28 service critical data-links between SLC and third party sites including over 1,100 network devices
  • 88 Telecoms devices spread across all area of the end of end Student Finance Apply to Repay process and including VC
  • Circa 1,000 databases across all environments
  • Circa 3,500 end user devices eg. Laptops, PC’s

DTTS also comprises a programme management practice who are accountable for the delivery of all major programmes of work.

To download the candidate briefing document please click here