Purpose of Position For assigned projects, the Senior Associate, Project Operations serves as part of the corporate management team. This team is responsible under the leadership of Project Director and the management of the Director, Project Operations for the management and delivery of projects. The specific purpose of the position is to manage and support implementation of effective and efficient operational, financial and compliance activities to deliver projects in accordance with contractual obligations, company policies, Group Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and 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.
- Plan and manage the operational aspects of project start-up and closeout and ensure delivery of required inputs to these processes from corporate services, service providers and stakeholders
- Serve as the primary liaison between corporate services and the project
- Support corporate registration in-country and ensure all legal and financial requirements are met and maintained for the entity and project
- Contribute to the preparation and maintenance of project specific components of the project operations manual
- In collaboration with corporate services, provide training and guidance to project staff on and ensure compliance with company policies, SOPs and Guidelines and client rules and regulations (covering as required security, occupational health and safety, risk management, planning, human resource management, monitoring, reporting, finance, procurement, logistics, IT, communications, audit support and all other operational matters)
- Establish project offices and office infrastructure
- Participate in the development and maintenance of project work plans
- Support the development and presentation of internal and external reporting (for example: Monthly Management Reports (MMRs), quarterly Internal Project Reviews (IPRs), project risk assessments, annual reviews, and client deliverables) and ensure these outputs are fit for purpose
- Ensure project issues and risks are logged, monitored, reported on, managed and mitigated, and escalate risks and issues to corporate/project leadership, as required
- In collaboration with Internal Audit/Systems Review, conduct periodic compliance checks on processes and internal controls
- Support the monitoring and maintenance of compliance with head/prime contracts
- Manage and support contract amendments as required
- 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 the project account codes, ensuring they are fit for purpose and meet client’s and project’s requirements for cost allocation, monitoring and evaluation, and value for money (VFM) reporting
- In collaboration with Treasury, support the set-up of project bank accounts with appropriate company and project signatories
- Manage project financial / cash-flow planning, review and obtain approval for funding requests from the field, and review and obtain approval for monthly Funds Transfer Requests (FTRs)
- Review cashbooks / field vouchers and ensure supporting documentation is complete
- Serve as a coordinator for service providers and obtain approval for work orders and invoices
- Ensure the accuracy of client invoices (including monthly, milestone and performance based invoices) and where required prepare same
- Manage and obtain approval for contract action requests (for example travel, personnel additions/changes, partner, grant, budget realignment, etc.)
- Support the planning and coordination of inputs from the company’s Security, Risk and Internal Audit/System Review teams
- Support project human resource planning and recruitment and contracting and coordinate inputs and support from the company’s HR and Recruitment teams
- Serve as a main point of contact with service providers and address contractual matters as required
- Support development of project subcontractor / grant management procedures
Minimum education and experience required
- A relevant Bachelor’s degree (with a Master’s degree preferred).
- A minimum of 5+ years relevant work experience.
- A minimum of 3+ years project management experience with DFID, DFAT, USAID or other donor client(s).
- Experience supporting or managing large and complex projects with a high risk profile.
- 2+ years of people management experience, including setting performance objectives, managing for results, giving and receiving feedback, performance evaluation and mentoring and coaching (preferred)
- Work experience in a developing country or similar environment.
Key competencies and professional expertise required
- Formal Project Management training and expertise.
- Financial acumen and the ability to interpret and analyse financial reports.
- Sound problem solving and decision making skills.
- Strong management skills with ability to train and develop staff.
- Willingness to travel and work abroad a minimum of eight weeks per year in developing countries and elsewhere.
- Ability to work with a low level of supervision and as a part of a team when required.