Student Administration Refresh and Simplification (StARS) Programme Manager – Innovation and Development – 59865 – Grade 10 – (2100024G)

Fixed-term Full-time University of Birmingham Email Job
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Job Description

Student Administration Refresh and Simplification (StARS) Programme Manager – Innovation and Development – 59865 – Grade 10  (2100024G)



Position Details

Academic Services – Innovation and Development

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Competitive salary for an outstanding candidate

Grade 10

Full Time, Fixed Term Contract up to 30.09.2024

Closing date: 1st December 2021
Job Summary

StARS is a major change programme that will transform many aspects of student administration for the benefit of staff and students alike.  It represents a major step towards improving persistent challenges in the student experience.

The StARS Programme Manager is responsible for leadership, development and delivery of the programme through effective collaboration and management, and driving a comprehensive programme plan.  This will require close working with numerous stakeholders across the University, acting as lead contact with the supplier, Ellucian, and ensuring effective leadership and management of the diverse programme team to deliver the transformational change required.

The StARS Programme Manager will:

  • be responsible for planning, monitoring and delivering the overall programme, to include tracking progress and taking any corrective action to ensure successful delivery, working with, plus holding to account, the supplier, leading the programme team and collaborating with colleagues across the wider-University to ensure that the required resources are available for the programme;
  • effectively manage and resolve any conflicts escalated by the programme team or senior stakeholders;
  • ensure detailed management of programme risks and, using own knowledge and experience, identify potential risks from similar programmes to ensure risk avoidance or early and effective mitigation;
  • be accountable for overall delivery, including effective and ongoing communication and benefits realisation;
  • be responsible for stakeholder management and act as lead for effective engagement with the supplier and senior stakeholders within the University;
  • have direct line management for key programme staff including the Delivery Lead, Benefits Lead, PMO Lead, Programme Architect and other key members of the Programme team, and overall responsibility for the performance and wellbeing of the staff who report in a matrix manner to these leads, as appropriate.

Main Duties

The StARS Programme Manager will take personal responsibility for delivering and driving forward a comprehensive programme plan for the StARS Programme, ensuring that the required resources are available to deliver the programme, resolving any conflicts that may arise and ensuring an effective approach to communication and stakeholder engagement.

This will involve:

  • inspiring confidence in and working closely with StARS programme team members, project sponsors, the wider-University community and other stakeholders as required;
  • understanding the operational and strategic needs of the University and translating these into a programme plan; defining tasks, timelines, goals, deliverables and milestones across all phases of the programme, including procurement, sign off, implementation, training, release and post release.  This will also require close working with the supplier and external consultants as required to fully understand the implementation challenges;
  • working closely with colleagues supporting other business change and/or IT change programmes within the University to ensure that dependencies/inter-dependencies are well understood and that respective project plans are aligned to minimise risk and cost;
  • where operational or strategic requirements cannot be currently met by the supplier’s product set, presenting these to the supplier in order to influence the supplier’s road map;
  • designing and overseeing management of the programme plan so that it reflects the complexity of the programme including data and Business Intelligence, process change, testing, communications, training, implementation and other project imperatives as they arise;
  • receiving and reviewing detailed action plans from the delivery team and the Change and Benefits Manager to support each project phase, identifying interdependencies and working with the programme team to ensure that activity is appropriately co-ordinated;
  • leading and supporting the programme’s management team on associated resource plans to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to deliver each phase of the programme, and that it is within the constraints of the overall budget;
  • developing the programme quality management plan, monitoring activity against it, including tracking and reporting on programme milestones and deliverables and driving activity forward to ensure that all plans are achieved in full and in a timely fashion;
  • constantly evaluating variances from the programme plan, assessing and minimising risk exposure and taking steps to analyse and manage the risk, making mitigation recommendations to the wider programme team, initiating corrective actions and revising the project plan accordingly;
  • leading, managing the performance and supporting the wellbeing of the programme team who support the detailed delivery of the programme and individual project plans;
  • ensuring that the StARS communications strategy is fully reflected within each stage of the programme, and that the communications and engagement approach is embedded and appropriate to all stakeholders;
  • writing high-level project and programme documentation, including non-technical briefings and assurance reports for key committees;
  • establishing strong and effective supplier engagement with any third party organisations involved in the implementation of the programme and ensuring ongoing and effective high-level stakeholder engagement with senior stakeholders within the University;
  • undertaking direct line management of key programme team members.

Person Specification

  • Educated to degree level (or equivalent) with appropriate programme and project management qualifications, as well as substantial previous programme management experience of successful systems implementation at a senior level in a complex organisation, preferably a student records system implementation/re-implementation at a Higher Education Institution (HEI).
  • Detailed knowledge of and significant expertise in:
    • programme management that has successfully delivered similar IT and business system solutions within transformational change programmes in a Higher Education or similarly complex environment;
    • programme management that has involved significant collaboration both with internal IT stakeholders as well as with software vendors and across a diverse range of stakeholders in the implementation of transformation change programmes;
    • managing the successful move of on premises system(s) to cloud hosting;
    • managing and embedding both process and cultural change within a similarly complex/matrix organisation;
    • effectively managing supplier relationships to ensure effective and on budget delivery;
    • applying a significant amount of independent professional judgement;
    • project and programme management techniques and tools;
    • risk management and change management.
  • Excellent communication and inter-personal skills including:
    • ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, including the ability to produce high quality project documentation and well developed presentation skills;
    • establishing and managing collaborative stakeholder relationships and networks with academics, professional services staff and other partners demonstrating credibility and gravitas;
    • interacting with all levels of staff including the ability to motivate and develop people and teams;
    • excellent influencing, negotiating and facilitating skills.
  • Personal characteristics:
    • strong intellectual abilities;
    • eye for detail and strong influencing personality;
    • judgement and resilience;
    • critical thinking and problem-solving;
    • negotiation and conflict management;
    • honesty and integrity;
    • an ability to establish and maintain relationships with both internal and external stakeholders;
    • inspiring and empathetic leadership skills;
    • energy and resilience.


Informal enquires to Mary Lee, email:


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.


Primary Location


Work Locations


Watson Building 
(R15 on Campus Map) University of Birmingham, Edgbaston
 Birmingham B15 2TT




 Academic Services




Job Posting

 04.11.2021, 10:01:47 AM

Grade (for job description) 10 Senior Function Head

Advert Close Date

 01.12.2021, 11:59:00 PM

Fixed Term Contract End Date 30.09.2024

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