Watford Borough Council (WBC) and Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) have an established Shared Services arrangement which includes HR and Payroll. WBC, the lead authority under this arrangement, provides payroll and HR services to WBC, TRDC (including Elections staff for both authorities) and West Herts Crematorium. The HR team also currently provide HR support to four Parish Councils, with a view to extending this in the future. The delivery of this function is outsourced - a fully managed payroll service with an integrated HR system is provided by the current provider, Zellis, up until March 2021.
In early 2020 WBC formally went out to tender for the re-provision of the service. Following a competitive and robust procurement process, the contract for the provision of the service was awarded to a new provider, MHR. The proposed solution, i-Trent, is a cloud based system with capabilities that are in line with the council's requirements and with the potential to deliver the expected benefits as stated in the project PID.
The implementation phase, which includes data cleanse, migration, UATs and parallel runs, formally commenced in August 2020 and go-live must be achieved by April 2021. The new provider has allocated a dedicated project manager to work with WBC to see through the implementation and WBC have released an HR Adviser to work full time on the implementation. The HR Adviser has a critical role to play in the delivery of this project and to date significant progress has been made. However it must be noted that the project timeline is very tight and resourcing is a significant issue.
A Project Board has been established and is meeting monthly to oversee progress, manage risks and issues, make key decisions and approve key gateways.
Project management is provided by the new supplier. However the council is looking for a part-time project coordinator, working within our Enterprise Programme Management Office team for 2 days a week (or the equivalent of) to provide project support on behalf of WBC for the implementation of the HR payroll solution. The role will include:
- Providing project support for the implementation of the solution, including liaising with the Project Sponsor, managing Project Board and Project Team meetings, agendas and minutes, monitoring risks and issues and updating the relevant logs, highlight reporting and project planning
- Liaising with HR, Finance and IT services across the council, including the Project Sponsor, to monitor the progress of the project in line with the agreed implementation plan, whilst allowing internal staff and the service to 'own' the changes in their service areas.
- Supporting the project team in delivering the project deliverables. This may include arranging and participating in User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and the coordination of transition and training plans.
- Co-ordinating the end-to-end Change Management / Communications (Business Readiness) element of the project
- Supporting the closure of the project through the completion of the project closure report.
The ideal candidate will:
- Have experience of coordinating similar projects
- Have 'hands-on' experience of technical project coordination in a local authority environment, including good working knowledge of governance, , detailed project planning, risk and issue management and mitigation and regular highlight reporting
- Have some experience of implementing a similar technical solution and an understanding of the 'build, test, implement' methodology and approval gateways.
- Have experience of working with third party IT contractors, including understanding contracts, identifying key deliverables and accurately conveying and monitoring timelines to ensure the successful delivery of an implementation project
- Have the ability to present accurate and concise updates to the Project Sponsor, ensuring that significant risks and issues are escalated as appropriate
- Have transformation and change management experience, used to working collaboratively and sensitively with individuals impacted by any changes, including ensuring that new solutions meet the needs of customers
- Be able to work individually, as well as functioning within a dynamic team of internal staff and third party consultants, including working alongside technical experts in each field
- Good written and verbal communication skills
Knowledge of HR Payroll systems, and in particularly the i-Trent system, will be an advantage.
Disclaimer: This vacancy is based in the United Kingdom. Barker Ross Recruitment only operates in the UK and can only process applications from candidates who are currently a resident and eligible to work in the UK.
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