Design Council’s purpose is to create a world where design, as a force for change, makes lives better for all.
We are an independent charity and the government’s advisor on design. Our mission is to make life better by design, working with people to create better places, better products and better processes, all of which lead to better performance.
We are ambitious, agile and not afraid to take risks.
How does this role fit into the bigger picture?
Design Council has a rich heritage of advising private and public sector organisations, communities and voluntary organisations on good design within the built environment. This is achieved through a series of co-ordinated services, Design Advice, Design Review, Support and Training, which are being delivered to governments, local authorities, infrastructure providers, trusts, institutions and foundations and developers.
This role will work with expert professionals in the built environment sector to enable public sector clients, developers and others to create and deliver better places. The Lead Programme Manager
will demonstrate a self-starting and entrepreneurial approach to the delivery of our built environment work, based on a collaborative, commercial and ethical spirit of partnership.
This role will require someone with a passion for improving the built environment, combined with strong client management, team management and programme management skills, along with a proven ability to develop and maintain high profile relationships. They will have the skills to promote Design Council’s values and principles, and enable others to do the same.
What is expected from a Lead Programme Manager?
Client focus & business development:
As part of Design Council’s business development team, contribute to achieving the annual income targets and strategic impact goals by:
Market scoping and developing programme propositions o Reach out and respond to all relevant enquiries
Leading creative input to bids, tenders, presentations and proposals
Ensuring income pipeline is kept up to date
Identifying potential funded opportunities for our pilot programmes to test the market, developing relationships with partners and developing tailored proposition
Presenting to potential clients, partners and key stakeholders about our work, in presentations and pitches
Ensuring that existing clients have outstanding experiences, and that our work represents the leading-edge of Design for Business
Developing long term partnerships with a wide range of organisations
Communication and Expertise
Tell the story of the power of place-based design skills, using Design Council case studies.
Communicate architectural, planning and urban design concepts, demonstrating capability in these area’s when working with Design Council’s Experts, developers, design and construction professionals, property owners, staff of the client’s department, elected Members, community, amenity societies, other agencies and the general public.
Lead on the liaison with clients and design teams exchanging information and supervising the content for our programmes
Oversee the production and delivery of written reports ensuring these represent the views and constructive criticism of the Design Advice Panels
Delivery Quality & Monitoring
On programmes that the role manages, ensure delivery is on time, within budget and that strategic goals are achieved by:
Using agile project management to make sure the multidisciplinary team (including our expert network) know what they need to achieve, within what resources and to which timescales, and review and iterate to reach programme goals and budget. o Monitoring and evaluate to ensure that projects are on track, that new insight and stories are captured, and used to inform new design methods and also thought leadership against our strategic goalsProviding design leadership on work, facilitate workshops and engage stakeholders o Managing the contractual relationships with suppliers and third-party organisations and groups
Working with our partners to oversee the recruitment of participants onto programmes
Tracking progress of programme work against the targets in the business plan and client contracts, in order to ensure that they are being met.
Managing the gathering of service data, evidence and resulting insight to support the effective delivery of Delivery team’s services and their continuous improvement and development.
Proactively co-ordinating the Delivery team’s risk management and record maintenance in line with procedures, policies and protocols across the areas of responsibility
To lead and manage Delivery Team staff by example, enthusing and mentoring them in the delivery of exceptional standards of service and content delivery, through effective performance management and appraisals that develops and supports staff in delivering their own and the organisations potential.
Efficiently and effectively prepare and manage programme/project budgets, resources and oversee the preparation of contracts and necessary outcome reports to the agreed quality and timescale
Lead on the governance and performance of Design Council Design Experts. Ensuring panel and individual Expert selection is inclusive and diverse in outlook, including dealing with conflict of interest and performance issues
Contribute to the dissemination of best practice
Support the Head of Place as necessary
Undertake any other reasonable tasks/duties as required
Ensure you comply with Design Council operational policies and procedures including financial and risk management, data management, Quality Assurance, project management and evaluation processes, brand guidelines, internal health and safety policy and safeguarding policy.
Does this sound like you?
Good knowledge of the strategic role of design for business
Strong commercial acumen and track record of developing commercial products that have proven success in the market place
A degree qualification (or similar) or demonstrable experience in a relevant Built Environment discipline
Significant experience successfully leading, developing and managing complex multiple programmes which generate income
Proven business development skills with a track record of bringing in and developing new business and working to income targets.
Strong client relationship management skills
Experience in working and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, including businesses that may not have previous experience of strategic design
Excellent experience of budget management, forecasting and risk management
Open and clear communication skills (interpersonal and written)
Proven experience and ability to use Agile project management methodologies and tools, as well as reporting and presentation tools (ie Microsoft Office, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook, miro)
Proficient user of reporting and presentation tools (ie Microsoft Office, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook - PLUS digital collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Miro
Understanding of the social design landscape, including the third sector, and how the system works in practice
An existing network in the business support sector (public and private sector)
Knowledge of the challenges and opportunities for SMEs
Experience of public speaking and presenting
Agile with the ability to flex and spot problems before they happen
Creative, curious and experimental
Entrepreneurial - scans the horizon and is open to commercial opportunities and change
Independent and proactive
Collaborative and inclusive - able to work with others across teams and learn from others
Daring and provocative – willing to try new ideas
Focuses on impact and results for citizens
Confident communicator with a client focused approach to confidently manage client expectations and project work and its outcomes
Excellent personal organisation and interpersonal co-ordination skills
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Design Council is committed to providing equal opportunities for all. Applications are welcomed from all sections of the community. Appointments are made on merit with independent assessments, openness and transparency of process.