What is government project delivery?

Thousands of projects are carried out each year across government to improve the UK’s infrastructure, transform public services, safeguard national security, and boost international trade. Almost all government policy is delivered through projects or programmes of one form or another.

Working across the government to deliver these projects is a thriving community of around 14,000 project delivery professionals. Our professionals work as project, programme, and portfolio managers or in specialist roles such as risk and issues managers and project planners.

A career in government project delivery enables you to make a difference, improving our public services while building and developing your professional skills. Your pathway through government project roles could take you from climate change projects to building new hospitals or schools, to equipping our armed forces.

What does the PPM team do and how do they fit into DVLA Digital?

The PPM team are the project delivery area of DVLA Digital. They deliver technical or business change. These can be seamless changes to IT systems behind the scenes with little impact or changes to customer-facing systems that are used by millions of people every month. PPM act as the driving force of change, planning work, removing blockers, and agreeing on what is needed before building a team to deliver it. The team act as the link between the operational areas of the business and the technical teams, making sure that changes are planned and prioritised, have the appropriate approvals in place, and that any outputs are in line with the desired outcomes. They utilise the skills of DVLA Digital employees to achieve the best possible result for the business, its staff, and most importantly its customers.

What are the benefits of having a PPM capability area?

PPM brings a level of focus, control, and understanding to change. They are able to get to the root of the problem, be it business change requirements or problem-solving, and then work towards finding the best possible solution. No other area works across DVLA Digital or the whole business in the way that PPM does. Also, as PPM is predominantly assignment based, they are unique in that they can move between roles and subject matters, bringing their methodologies, skills, and experience to change initiatives no matter where they are required.

Having a dedicated area makes it much easier to be able to engage with colleagues on anything new or interesting that crops up, meaning you have access to a project professional hive-mind! It’s much easier to be able to share lessons or pick up helpful tips from colleagues, forming relationships and sharing experiences in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.

What personal traits or skills should a project delivery specialist have?

Project delivery is all about people. You cannot deliver successful change without people and the ability to lead and create an efficient and effective team is everything. Team working, effective leadership, open and honest communication, and self-awareness make for the most rewarding change experience for you, your team, and the customer.

Project delivery specialists need to be well-rounded with a wide range of transferrable skills. The ability to keep a calm, level, and measured approach in difficult situations is crucial, and effective communication with stakeholders at all levels is critical.

We are looking for someone who:

  • is self-motivated and self-starting
  • is passionate about making a difference
  • has strong leadership, motivational, and negotiation skills
  • is inclusive, collaborative, and people focused
  • is able to tailor communications to different audiences (for example, being able to translate complex technical concepts and issues to non-technical people)
  • is organised and able to plan effectively, but adapt to changing requirements or prioritisation
  • is emotionally intelligent
  • is resilient
  • has problem-solving and critical thinking skills – being able to effectively discriminate information and focus on relevant evidence
  • has risk identification and management skills – being able to spot potential threats early and look for opportunities at all stages
  • has good financial and commercial knowledge

What profession-specific skills might I need to work in PPM?

The profession-specific skills needed are:

  • change control
  • governance
  • planning
  • resource management
  • requirements management
  • risk and issue management
  • stakeholder management
  • business case development
  • commercial and procurement Skills
  • budgeting and cost management

What would a Project Manager do during a typical day at DVLA?

“Anything and everything. Project Managers can go from holding stakeholder sessions with large areas of the business to undertaking detailed planning workshops or updating the risk register and checkpoint reports as part of the standard reporting cycle. No day is typically the same and problem-solving is key to what we do”.

John Clifford, Senior Project Manager

Eliott Brown, PPM Lead, shares what type of person would succeed in PPM:

“A lot of people might look at roles within PPM and focus on skills such as planning, risk management or understanding change methods and technical delivery processes. However, at the heart of it, this profession is all about people. Change affects people in different ways, whether it’s our customers, stakeholders, staff or even the people working on the changes themselves. The type of people who enjoy working in PPM and thrive in a change environment are those that care about the impact that change has on others, and those that enjoy working with other people to make those changes happen. 

The main criteria we look for within PPM is a genuine desire and ability to engage with other people, whether that’s within a team environment, with the wider business, at a senior level, or with our external partners. Listening, understanding, appreciating the views of others and speaking enthusiastically about change to move it forward are the cornerstones of a good project manager.

We also look for problem solvers who can identify an issue and respond to it in a flexible way. As people who work in an ever-changing environment, our role is to help others through difficult and complex change issues. We often need to find a way to move forwards and maintain momentum, giving others both comfort and clarity in doing so. The PPM profession is well-matched to people who can adapt to problems and bring others with them as they do so. 

Within the PPM community, we try hard to promote a spirit of togetherness. I’m very proud of the way that our team support each other, both in celebrating success and pulling together to help each other when things get tricky. Your skills and experience get you so far, but a strong team ethos really comes from caring about and being interested in other people.”

Does the Project & Portfolio Management role sound like it’s right for you? Apply now!

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