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Delivery Principal - public sector

Locations: London

Salary: £88,500 to £99,700 with profit share £21,000 and £29,000

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About Softwire

Softwire is one of the UK’s leading digital technology consultancies, offering services in software engineering, design, innovation, cloud, mobile and data. We deliver high-profile and cutting-edge digital projects for household names across the public and private sectors.

Softwire was founded on one simple idea: if we can create the best possible culture and working environment then everything else will fall into place. And it seems to be working – We were recently voted number 1 company to work for in the UK at the Best Company awards, and we have a loyal and growing client base who trust us with their hardest problems and their mission critical projects.

We focus on creating a great culture and working environment and we are looking for people who share our core beliefs about what makes a great place to work:

  • That if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.
  • That work should be fulfilling but can also be fun.
  • That kindness matters and should be extended to employees and clients alike.
  • That by being trusting and trustworthy as an organisation and as individuals we can dispense with tedious bureaucracy and rules.

When you work with Softwire, you’re not only becoming part of a team with in-depth technical skills and delivery expertise – you’ll be working in a high-trust environment alongside skilled, kind, fun people who are passionate about creating amazing services and experiences that solve real problems.

In brief 

We’re looking for people who have a track record of successfully delivering bespoke software development projects in an agency setting; people who can own all aspects of that delivery: commercial, team, project vision, project delivery, and client management. 

We are looking for team-players who are experienced people managers, and who have strong client empathy and client management skills. We also value exposure to pre-sales, and provide opportunities to make use of, or grow, pre-sales and account experience.

In return, we can offer interesting projects with brilliant clients, high levels of autonomy and ownership, and strong – and stretching – management support. You’ll have the opportunity to try new things – whether they be skills you’re developing, or new initiatives that improve our processes or company culture. And you’ll receive a competitive package and profit share whilst you do so.

The role

We are looking for experienced Delivery Principals to lead a portfolio of projects and engagements for our Public Sector clients. Delivery Principals are accountable for the commercial, delivery and team performance of our projects and programmes of work. Delivery Principals report to (and work closely with) Delivery Directors, who are responsible for portfolio performance and account management of the clients. 

Principals are part of Softwire’s Senior Management Team and work together to support the Exec board in shaping the company’s operation and its relationship with employees and clients.

The key responsibilities of the role are: 

Delivering high value services to our clients 

As a Delivery Principal, you are accountable for the success of projects. You’ll lead delivery – either directly, or more often through managing delivery, technical and design leads. You’ll be responsible for ensuring client satisfaction, while also meeting Softwire’s commercial goals, and ensuring a happy team.

To do so, you’ll be empowered to guide clients through the delivery process, shaping the engagement for success from the first meetings, and resourcing the team. You’ll inspire trust with senior stakeholders, acting as the most senior line of project escalation for any issues, and have broad discretion on how to solve them.

You may do this on a programme of work spanning thousands of days of effort, or on a portfolio of smaller projects with independent delivery leads. In each case, the majority of your time will be value-adding, and chargeable to the projects.

Accelerating the careers of others 

Delivery Principals are highly experienced people managers. They bring experience in forming and leading multi-disciplinary teams. They bring out the best in the people they’re responsible for, both through strong line management of Delivery Leads, and by supporting the resourcing and progression of others on their projects.

You are expected to take responsibility for the “performance contract” of multiple employees – setting expectations and challenges, providing support and feedback, and ensuring appropriate reward upon delivery. You will also help your Delivery Leads mentor and manage more junior colleagues of their own. 

You may also choose to be involved in providing career mentoring for more junior colleagues, or providing or commissioning knowledge-sharing or other training initiatives. 

Generating additional business for Softwire 

As Softwire’s most senior delivery staff, Delivery Principals are very capable in front of both existing and prospective clients. You should inspire confidence and impress not only through your expertise, but through seeing the bigger picture. You will look for opportunities to build and expand existing accounts.

For example, this will include: 

  • Ensuring clients receive – and, crucially, feel that they have received – an excellent service from Softwire, so they are motivated to bring repeat business and/or recommend our services to others.
  • Meeting prospective clients, devising project plans and technical approaches, preparing written proposals and in-person pitches.
  • Thinking beyond your immediate remit on a project to understand how Softwire can make it a success and where else we might be able to provide value to a client. 

It may also include:

  • Taking the lead on key sales bids, understanding clients’ problems and shaping our response to them
  • Attracting business to Softwire through your personal reputation in the industry – e.g. thought leadership, speaking at conferences, and personal networks. 

Your skills & experience 

You bring extensive experience of successfully delivering large software development projects within the public sector directly or via agency experience and a broad skillset that lets you understand and spot risks, and address issues in whatever areas a project demands.

You have prior agency experience and are familiar with reconciling commercial and quality drivers in a client-focused environment. You have excellent client management and relationship building skills. You are used to getting things done to external timetables and can balance competing demands to progress both the strategic and the tactical. 

You possess strong expertise in the public sector, particularly in the discovery, alpha and beta phases. You have comprehensive knowledge of government standards and the user-centered design (UCD) approach and have participated in assessments by Government Digital Service (GDS) and/or the central digital and data office (CDDO). You also have experience in supporting others through these processes.  

You appreciate working autonomously within a supportive environment. We value the balance between life and work and want to provide the right conditions to enable you to be the best you can be. You are collaborative and want to create something enduring while having fun doing so.

You are familiar with how software is created. You don’t need to be able to write it yourself, but you can have informed conversations with technical team members, and understand the technical context and repercussions of project or scope decisions. Ideally, you can also help explain these concepts to less-technical clients in a way that keeps them empowered.

Experience and qualifications 

  • A demonstrable track record of successfully delivering challenging projects / programmes. 
  • Experience working in a delivery leadership role within an agency, consultancy environment or direct government department
  • Experience managing teams, with accountability for the work of 10+ onshore staff
  • Strong knowledge of modern software engineering practice (SDLC) and an awareness of technical approaches and trends.
  • An interest in technology and how things are created

Communication and consultancy skills 

You can: 

  • Lead meetings with senior (e.g. C-level) external stakeholders. 
  • Understand and give context to complex situations, drawing out the key points and driving shared clarity
  • Identify and trouble-shoot issues that may range from relationships to process, and lead the team in solving them
  • Communicate and present, creating strong narratives to inform and empower the audience in support of decision making
  • Develop strong working relationships with both client stakeholders and Softwire staff. 

Delivery skills 

You can: 

  • Drive the kick-off of a project, helping clients clarify their requirements, uncovering their underlying needs, desires, and constraints, and leading them to appropriate solutions
  • Design an appropriate programme of work to meet those needs within the constraints of timeline, team and budget
  • Directly manage Delivery and Technical Leads, ensuring effective workflows, reporting and governance arrangements are in place to support successful delivery of the project
  • Demonstrate an ability to turn analytical insights and data points into action, leading interventions when projects require them.

You are aware of:

  • Relevant tools and processes that support the SDLC (covering task management, user research, design, quality assurance, development, deployment)
  • Agile methodology and process
  • Commercial models and consideration (T&M, FP, etc) as applicable to agencies

The package 

Softwire operates transparent pay scales and a profit share scheme based on role and overall company performance. 

  • Base salary is based on experience in role and ranges from £88,500 to £99,700
  • You can expect to receive an average of between £21,000 and £29,000 in profit share depending on your experience and company performance. Over the last three years, this ranged between £16,000 and £30,000.
  • Pension: Additional 5% of salary 

Additional Benefits:

  • 25 days annual leave (with the option to buy 10 and sell 5)
  • 3.5 days additional days off for company-wide morale activities
  • AIG income protection
  • Travel card loan scheme
  • Zero emission car scheme
  • Cycle to work scheme 
  • Enhanced maternity/paternity pay
  • Time off for charitable activities
  • Sabbatical available on request
  • Payroll charity donations
  • Headspace plus
  • Free annual eye test
  • Long service awards
  • (Hybrid Working: Generally able to work at least 2dpw from home)