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Strategic Change & Insight Officer

Executive Support

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Overview

  • Posted on: 20th Dec 2021
  • Salary: £31,406 to £40,927, with potential progression once in post to £43,434.
  • REF: 59777
  • Closes: 17th January 2022
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time

Background

The Strategic Change and Insight Officer is an exciting new role situated with the Executive Support Division at the University of Birmingham. The post will work across the offices of Strategic Change, and Planning and Performance Insight, with a brief to support strategic change and strategic delivery.

You will join the Division at the very start of our new Strategic Framework. Launched in Autumn 2021 Birmingham 2030 sets out our ambition to be one of the world’s leading Universities. With world-class research and outstanding global education as our core mission, we will strive to increase the volume and quality of our research to make an even greater difference to the world around us. We will be the UK’s exemplary civic university, remaining firmly committed to our foundations in the highly diverse communities, people, and economy of the city of Birmingham and the West Midlands.

In this role you will work at the heart of the University, supporting the translation of data and insight into change, to support the delivery of our Birmingham 2030 aims and ambitions. This will be a varied role, and will see you working on a range of initiatives across all six pillars of the Birmingham 2030 Strategic Framework, from improvements to service effectiveness and efficiency in Professional Services to supporting excellence in research and teaching or for our civic and global ambitions. You will provide a link between the project-focused work of the change team and the data and analysis of the Planning office, combining the two to support greater impact and improved, evidence-based decision making.

Drawing on previous experience, you will work collaboratively across the University to produce accessible and effective strategic analysis, and to bring about meaningful change through the delivery of institutional insight and change projects. You will be able to make things happen across a range of initiatives, drawing on your experience of working in a complex, multi-faceted organisation and holding a proven track record of project delivery and / or strategic insight and analysis. You will be confident in working with data, and engaging with data analysts and subject experts, to identify and meaningfully present valuable insight and advice that will be used in strategic decision making and for the initiation and evaluation of change projects. You will be comfortable with discussing your findings with experts across the organisation, using their knowledge to strengthen your analysis and provide robust recommendations. You are a strong team worker with excellent interpersonal skills.

The role sits across two offices:

The Strategic Change team supports change projects across the University, including process reviews and new initiatives in Professional Services and with the academic Colleges and Schools. The team has a diverse portfolio of projects and particularly focuses on initiatives which have an impact on a large service area (or multiple service areas / academic Schools), and which have a significant component of process and / or cultural change. We provide change leadership capacity that can operate flexibly across the institution and work to create change, process review and improvement capability that spreads across the institution.

The Strategic Planning & Performance Insight Office exists to facilitate a rounded and informed narrative to advise on the strategic direction of the University. Working with colleagues across the University, the team connects a range of perspectives to support senior leaders in making well-informed and evidence-led decisions in the best strategic interests of the institution. We partner with colleagues across the University, and externally, to support action by pro-actively providing trusted advice and expertise, insightful analysis, and robust data. Our activity can be categorized into four broad segments: Data governance, capability and reporting, Policy, regulation and compliance, Institutional planning, and Institutional research (performance and strategy management).

We are looking for a highly motivated individual, with outstanding interpersonal, analytical, and communication skills. You will thrive on collaboration and challenge and will be an expert at working in a complex, multi-faceted organisation.

The role is line managed by the Head of Strategic Change and will work across the Strategic Change team and Strategic Planning & Performance Insight office, both located within the Executive Support Division

The University of Birmingham and our Professional Services

At Birmingham, we teach and research across the full breadth of academic disciplines, creating a vibrant community with multi-disciplinary opportunities for research and education. We are a truly international community, comprising more than 8,000 staff, 38,000 students, and over 350,000 alumni. The University is organised into five Colleges: Arts and Law, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences, Social Sciences, and Medical and Dental Sciences.

The University’s Professional Services are led by the Registrar and Secretary. We aim for best-in-class Professional Services in support of the University’s academic mission. Across all of our Professional Services, we recognise that it is our people who are the heart of what we do, and so we are focussed on creating a culture for them to thrive. We support this through our sector-leading staff development programme: the Birmingham Professional.

The Strategic Change & Insight Officer is based in the Executive Support Division, which is led by the Chief of Staff, and brings together the teams that support policy, planning, data analysis, governance, legal advice, and change management, for the University.

Working for the University offers a wide range of benefits, including a generous annual leave entitlement and pension scheme, opportunities to join staff networks, formal and informal learning and development opportunities, and flexibility.

When completing the application form, please note that the shortlisting panel will be particularly interested in your response to the section that says: This section should set out your reasons for applying, skills and experience, and other interests and activities as appropriate to the person specification. You may also attach a CV if you wish, however, shortlisting will be predominantly based on the information in the application form.

Role Summary

The role holder will work across the Strategic Change team and Strategic Planning & Performance Insight office to support the delivery of significant strategic initiatives, from project identification and initiation through to implementation, evaluation and performance insight; ensuring that projects / initiatives are supporting the University’s Strategic Framework and delivering measurable benefits and improvements.

Main Duties

  • Using the Strategic Change team’s methodologies and practices and contributing to the development of the University’s change management capability.
  • Identifying and planning the requirements for change and ensuring that change projects are delivered in accordance with the project charter and plan.
  • Identifying or collating appropriate data sources, interrogating data sets, and producing and presenting analysis and recommendations for action to a variety of stakeholders and decision makers in support of change and other strategic initiatives.
  • Utilising excellent negotiation, communication and intellectual skills to gain agreement across a broad range of stakeholders to initiatives. This will include working with staff groups for whom the proposed programme may represent significant changes, e.g. to ways of working, and gaining commitment.
  • Managing and coordinating the different strands of the initiatives including ensuring effective communication flows to all stakeholders.
  • Implementing process improvement methodologies in support of change initiatives, including key tools such as diagnostic exercises, process mapping, rapid improvement events and ensuring implementation.
  • Preparing and, where appropriate, presenting reports, proposals and papers for stakeholders, project sponsors, College Boards, Registrar’s Leadership Group, and other senior meetings.
  • Identifying and, where appropriate, adopting best practice within and outside HE in change and data management.
  • Promotes equality and values diversity, acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.
  • Any other duties commensurate with the grade.

Person Specification

  • Educated to Degree level (or equivalent qualifications).
  • Relevant professional experience in a complex organisation.
  • Demonstrable experience of managing a range of projects, with an ability to work simultaneously and effectively to progress several different tasks.
  • Experience of developing effective networks and strong relationships with academics, Professional Services and other partners.
  • Outstanding writing skills, with the ability to write/prepare high quality papers, presentations, reports and briefings to Project Board and University Committee level. This includes a clear style of communication and the ability to write for different audiences.
  • Excellent analytical and research skills with proven experience of undertaking thorough and detailed analysis and of using those findings to develop purposeful recommendations, presenting outcomes in a clear and concise manner, with a sound understanding of how to use data to support development of policy and decision making.
  • Excellent IT and data analysis skills, including relevant experience of Microsoft Office packages. Aptitude for learning new packages to support analysis and presentation of information.
  • A high level of numeracy coupled with a proven ability to accurately analyse and interpret complex datasets from multiple electronic sources, synthesising information from various sources to form a comprehensive and concise picture.
  • Excellent oral communication, presentation, and facilitation skills (design and implement sessions, using enabling technology where required), with an ability to use a range of communication skills and strategies to gain commitment to action or change.
  • Strong intellectual ability and the ability to apply this to management tasks.
  • Knowledge of recognised change management or process improvement methodologies
  • A high degree of initiative, personal judgement, resourcefulness, flexibility and a self-motivating approach. The ability to complete tasks based on only broad direction and with minimum supervision.
  • Enthusiasm and willingness to meet challenging and changing demands, working flexibly to different people, deadlines and within budget.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including tact and diplomacy, and an ability to work collaboratively at all levels of the organisation by building impactful stakeholder relationships and working effectively as part of a team.
  • A firm but diplomatic attitude with the ability to prioritise, negotiate and influence, and use one’s own judgement.
  • A commitment to promote and adhere to the agreed values of the University and the Executive Support Division.

For an informal conversation about the role, you are welcome to contact Stuart Harvey, Head of Strategic Change (s.harvey@bham.ac.uk).

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.

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