Operations Programme Manager - London

Location: United Kingdom
Job Type: Contract/Temp
Job Title   Operations Programme Manager
Location   London

About Ashurst:

Ashurst is a leading global law firm with a history spanning almost 200 years, and clear strategy for our future growth. Our in-depth understanding of our clients and commitment to providing exceptional standards of service have seen us become a trusted adviser to local and global corporates, financial institutions and governments in all areas of commercial law. To find out more please visit here

In order to comply with regulatory and client requirements, Ashurst will undertake appropriate vetting of staff. When applicants accept a job offer, Ashurst, alongside a specialist provider, will undertake professional verification and background checks.  These checks are only undertaken with consent, and in accordance with our legal and regulatory obligations

Business Area - Central Management and Operations

Role: Operations Programme Manager (12-24 months - Fixed Term)

Location: Based at Ashurst’s London offices. Some international travel may be required from time to time

Reporting to: Senior Executive Officer / Programme Business Lead

Hours of work - Monday to Friday, 09:30 - 17:30.  You may be required to work additional hours to facilitate project implementations or support call resolution

Department/ Role Overview:

Programme manage a significant operations transformation from detailed design to benefit realisation.

This programme is a core part of the firm's business plan to help drive performance to 2020, and will enable the firm to build and provide market leading business services.  This includes making organisation changes (including processes and changes to service delivery) which allows the firm to be able to respond to the changing demands of clients, evolving technology and market efficiency drives, and embrace different ways of working.  High level design has been completed on most of the future target operating model (together with some detailed design) and the programme is transitioning to implementation mode.

Main responsibilities:

  • Engaging effectively with Core Sponsors, Heads of Functions and workstream business leads to ensure that the programme is in step with the business approach
  • Actively manages and co-ordinates the programme plan/roadmap with a laser focus on driving forward the critical path, handling changes as they arise and keeping stakeholders focused on the agreed outcomes and benefits
  • Plans effectively around delivery constraints and optimises the plan to maximise benefits and minimise risk.
  • Engages with stakeholders to create buy-in for the plan.
  • Baselines the plan requirements, designs, budget and scope during Programme Definition. Manages changes through the change control process. Challenges and intervenes where there is scope creep, budget overrun and plan slippage.
  • Proactively determine, analyse and identify process performance metrics and measurements and dictates improvement plans to track and drive on time delivery and adherence to budget.
  • Plans and analyse costs, tracking operating and capital spend against business case commitments
  • Influence and collaborates with stakeholders and business partners, building strong relationships to ensure consensus and influence change outcomes. Fosters open and honest communication which anticipates stakeholder expectations.
  • Obtains sponsor and stakeholder buy-in for programme plans, commitments and changes
  • Anticipates and identifies existing or emerging risks/issues. Oversees the tracking of strategic programme risks/issues/dependencies, assesses the impact on the benefit realization for the programme and takes action to minimize impact
  • Plans and manages the implementation and communication of the change, to ensure business benefits are realized and that the transition from current state to target state is smooth. Ensuring that the organization and other change audiences are ready, willing and able to function in the new business environment
  • Works closely with third-party delivery partners and internal IT staff to shape the programme, ensuring there are clear goals, benefits, scope, governance and delivery structure with planning, design and estimating, bringing together delivery and business partner teams; actively managing dependencies between these teams and other projects and programmes
  • Acts as a change leader with the business leadership and business sponsor – a visible and clear leader for the programme and the delivery of its outcomes and benefits
  • Sets the pace and operating rhythm, driving a culture of achievement and ensures pace by identifying and removing barriers to project success
  • Managing Project Managers, Business Analysts and other specialists in the delivery of the programme


Risk and Control: Ensure that all activities and duties are carried out in full compliance with our regulatory requires and internal policies.


Measurement and Review:

  • Ensure delivery of programme strategic objectives
  • Deliver the Business benefits as identified and agreed (including agreed timescales)
  • Effective liaison with and support of operational teams and other stakeholders
  • Implement the Programme and Projects within agreed timescales, budget and quality measures
  • Provide effective leadership and management of teams


Essential skills and experience:

  • In-depth experience as a Programme Manager with a proven track record of successfully managing and leading global programmes and projects through the full project life cycle through to realisation of full benefits in a professional services company
  • Ability to formulate specific projects from a large programme or areas of work, defining project briefs
  • Proven track record of managing a programme of complex, interdependent transformation work (including people, processes, systems, behaviour) and delivery of a target operating model
  • Strong planner and with ability to identify links and dependencies
  • Working within a structured project framework
  • Good understanding of soft skills involved in successful management of projects and team motivation
  • Able to manage teams remotely in a global context.
  • Team leadership or supervisory/management skills
  • A good eye for detail; ability to work accurately and effectively even when under pressure
  • Able to learn and understand current business processes and help to model new processes/procedures
  • Excellent analytical skills but also commercially minded to delivery practical solutions
  • Excellent knowledge of all elements of the project lifecycle
  • Able to listen and understand customer requirements
  • Liaise and influence at a senior level within the firm
  • Able to challenge and motivate others
  • Able to mentor individuals within the team
  • Assist with research and evaluation of software solutions from 3rd party suppliers and production of necessary deliverables such as tender documents, liaising with suppliers
  • Experience of managing and developing productive working relationships with vendors
  • Tactful and diplomatic when in pressured situations
  • Excellent presentation, written and communication skills
  • Uses initiative – 'can do' approach
  • Organised and able to prioritise diverse workload and meet deadlines
  • Client focused


Desired skills and experience


  • Preferred, but not required - familiarity with some or all of the following:
  • Accounting/billing and/or time recording systems
  • Workflow applications
  • Client Relationship Management systems (CRM)
  • Practice Management systems (PMS)
  • Document Management systems (DMS)


Our Culture is shaped by our core values of Collaboration, Excellence, Innovation, Integrity and Accountability.  They guide how we relate with each other, our clients, our behaviour.


Additional Documents
Programme Manager Job Description