Manager, Project Operations
Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact - the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits.
For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved - and is committed to continuing to improve - economies, societies and most importantly, people's lives.
Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.
Project Overview and Role
Purpose of Position
For assigned projects, the Manager, Project Operations serves as part of a project management team. This team is responsible under the leadership of the Project Director, and management of the Senior Practice Manager, Project Operations for the management and delivery of assigned international development projects in a variety of technical areas in Spanish-language countries. The specific purpose of the position is to manage implementation of effective and efficient operational, financial and compliance activities that deliver projects in accordance with contractual obligations, company policies, Group Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Guidelines and client rules and regulations. The position periodically contributes to the development of policies, processes and procedures that align with best practices in project management. This position typically supervises one or more team members at the Associate, Project Operations or Senior Associate, Project Operations level. The ability to work fluently in English is required. U.S. citizenship or authorization to legally work in the United States is required.
The primary responsibilities of the Manager, Project Operations, are to:
Project Management (Operations)
- Plan and manage the operational aspects of project start-up and closeout;
- Support corporate registration in-country and ensure all legal and financial requirements are met and maintained for the entity and project;
- Prepare and maintain the project operations manual;
- In collaboration with corporate services, provide training and guidance to project staff on and ensure compliance with company and client policies and regulations;
- Review and operationalize project work plans;
- Conduct development and presentation of internal and external reporting;
- Ensure project issues and risks are logged, monitored, reported on, managed and mitigated; escalate risks and issues to corporate/project leadership, as required;
- Conduct periodic compliance checks on processes and internal controls.
Head Contract and Client Relationship Management
- Monitor and maintain compliance with head/prime contracts;
- Monitor and report on overall progress against agreed targets, milestones, outputs and activities;
- Develop, manage and support contract amendments as required;
- Liaise with and respond to requests from clients;
- Support project advocacy with internal and external stakeholders.
- Ensure company policies, SOPs and Guidelines for financial management are implemented and are compliant with the client's rules and regulations;
- Establish project levels of delegated authority in accordance with Company policy and manage the process for higher-level approvals as required;
- In collaboration with Finance establish project account codes, ensuring they are fit for purpose and meet client's and project's requirements for cost allocation, monitoring and evaluation;
- In collaboration with Treasury, set-up project bank accounts with appropriate company and project signatories;
- Ensure the project financial calendar is adhered to;
- Monitor expenditure against budgets and forecasts, including staff costs, operating expenses and procurements;
- Manage project financial / cash-flow planning;
- Review cashbooks / field vouchers and ensure supporting documentation is complete;
- Serve as a coordinator for service providers and approve (or obtain approval for) work orders and invoices;
- Ensure the accuracy of client invoices;
- Manage and review contract approval requests;
- Manage the external audit process and ensure retention of project records is compliant with company policy.
Human Resource Management and Recruitment
- Oversee project human resource planning, recruitment and contracting.
- In collaboration with Security, ensure safety and security procedures, including Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) requirements, are in place and adhered to;
- In collaboration with HR, ensure staff performance management systems are in place and adhered to;
- Maintain accurate project data on relevant HR systems for short-term and long-term staff and consultants;
- Lead the mobilisation and demobilisation of all international staff including contracting, travel management, payments and induction.
Staff Development and Supervision
- Serve as primary supervisor to one or more Associate(s), Project Operations, or Senior Associate(s), Project Operations;
- In conjunction with the project management team, and the Senior Practice Manager, Project Operations, actively engage in employee onboard and training, educating new staff on policies, procedures, tools, and Palladium's culture;
- Actively monitor, review, correct, and provide feedback on all supervisee's work products, providing additional training and support where necessary;
- Provide coaching and mentoring on project management best practices, office work environment skills and behaviors, and the relevant level of core competencies;
- Take a proactive role in staff development, including working with assigned reports to identify and execute professional development opportunities;
- Provide regular performance feedback including holding monthly coaching meetings, and documenting these in Palladium's performance management systems.
Procurement, Sub-Contractor and Grant Management
- Serve as a point of contact with service providers and address agreement matters as required;
- Lead the development of project subcontractor / grant management procedures compliant with the company's SOPs and Guidelines and client's rules and regulations;
- Monitor and ensure quality of field procurement; ensuring compliance with company anti-corruption and due diligence processes;
- Ensure asset management procedures are undertaken and conduct spot checks.
Business Development / Other
- Participate in capture planning, providing inputs on operational requirements;
- Provide input and support business development of the company as required;
- Other duties as assigned.
- The role reports to the Senior Manager Practice Area, Project Operations. For projects, the role has dual reporting requirements to the Senior Manager Practice Area, Project Operations and the relevant Project Director. Reporting requirements include:
- Attendance at all weekly and/or management team meetings;
- Provision of regular updates to the line manager;
- Monthly submission of operations financials and forecasts;
- Other reporting as requested by the line manager.
- The role is part of the Americas Operations Team,
- This role works closely, and in cooperation, with the Project Director, other Project Manager(s), Project Associate(s), and Chief of Party/field-based project team leader;
- The role liaises with clients, technical area specialists, corporate services, professional service providers, and other stakeholders as required.
- The role carries a degree of autonomy on operations management with appropriate consultation. The role is required to analyze and make sound recommendations to the line manager;
- Oversee and manage Senior Associates, Project Operations and Associates, Project Operations as assigned;
- Contribute to process improvement through innovative and cost effective proposals/ideas/suggestions.
Minimum education and experience required
- The ability to work fluently in English is required.
- U.S. citizenship or authorization to legally work in the United States is required.
- A relevant Bachelors degree and Masters degree are required;
- A minimum of 7 years relevant work experience;
- A minimum of 3 years project management experience with DFID, DFAT, USAID or other donor client(s);
- Experience managing large and complex projects with a high risk profile;
- A minimum of 2 years of people management experience, including setting performance objectives, managing for results, giving and receiving feedback, performance evaluation and mentoring and coaching;
- A minimum of 2 years of work experience in a developing country or similar environment.
- Key competencies and professional expertise required
- Project Management expertise;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
- Financial acumen and the ability to interpret and analyze financial reports;
- Sound problem solving and decision making skills;
- Strong management skills with ability to mentor, coach, lead, develop and evaluate staff;
- Ability to travel and work in developing countries for extended periods of time if needed;
- Ability to work with a low level of supervision and as a part of a team when required;
- Demonstrated critical thinking, attention to detail, and organizational skills;
- Demonstrated leadership skills including a high level of professional maturity is required.