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Pearson Senior Project Manager in Harlow, United Kingdom

Senior Project Manager


At Pearson, we’re committed to a world that’s always learning and to our talented team who makes it all possible. From bringing lectures vividly to life to turning textbooks into laptop lessons, we are always re-examining the way people learn best, whether it’s one child in our own backyard or an education community across the globe. We are bold thinkers and standout innovators who motivate each other to explore new frontiers in an environment that supports and inspires us to always be better. By pushing the boundaries of technology — and each other to surpass these boundaries — we create seeds of learning that become the catalyst for the world’s innovations, personal and global, large and small.

Learner at the heart

Pearson is a global education company that helps people around the world to make progress in their lives through learning. With a rich heritage that combines 150 years of experience in publishing with the latest learning technology and digital services, we help people learn whatever, wherever and however they choose. We are now transforming Pearson to accelerate our activity in digital learning, education services and emerging markets. This will enable us to make a lasting impact in helping to solve some of the most important challenges in global education.

Why we need you

We believe education is a vital force that can empower people, help them to reach their potential and contribute to more connected communities, all around the world. Our strength comes from our outstanding people; our strong relationships in the education world; our expertise in using technology to help people learn; our global footprint and local reach; and our position as a profitable, global company with a unifying sense of purpose.

About the job

Job purpose

Higher Education Services (HES) is our leading print, digital courseware and services business in the UK, generating annual sales of around £25m. We partner with customers to provide world-class products and services that meet their needs, and those of their learners, both today and tomorrow.

The Service Delivery team supports all parts of our UK Higher Education business to identify, design and deliver with excellence services and products that support teaching and learning in a blended or online environment, against an agreed set of strategic priorities and growth opportunities. Reporting to the Programme Manager, the Project Manager will support the successful delivery of a number of assigned projects using industry best practices in an agile, results-driven environment.

The Project Manager should be familiar with project objectives, as well as the role and function of each team member to effectively coordinate activities, spending significant time communicating with cross-functional colleagues involved in the delivery of assigned projects in order to ensure delivery to customer satisfaction, on time, to specification and within budget. The Project Manager will anticipate opportunities and issues proactively as well as manage scope using project management applications and tools.

The candidate will:

  • be an existing effective and confident Project Manager with leadership qualities,

  • have experience in managing senior stakeholders,

  • be familiar with Scaled Agile Framework methodology and Jira software,

  • have technology/software development background/experience,

  • have experience working in early product lifecycle (from idea to initial commercialisation) or in a volatile market where change is constant

The job description reflects the current priorities of the company. It may need to be configured differently over time if these priorities change.

Key Accountabilities:

Overall responsibility and accountability for projects assigned: Responsible for using best practice PMO methodology to plan project activities to fit the stakeholders/customers’ needs in order to deliver on time, to specification and within budget.

Define project roles and responsibilities: Working closely with the internal project team, the PM is ultimately responsible for defining the project scope, objectives and schedule and ensure these are understood by stakeholders and sponsors and in agreement with the plan from the outset.

Create and manage schedule: Understand scope and develop a schedule for each project assigned. Determine task relationships, track milestones and set realistic completion dates. Keep plan accurate at all times and communicate to the project team.

Leading the Project Team: Set up and lead regular project team meetings (set agendas, circulate minutes post meetings and drive accountability within the team for delivering on their responsibilities). Communicate and liaise with appropriate internal departments as and when required.

Change management: Manage changes to the project scope, schedule and budget as required, following relevant approval process for any additional spend.

Risk Mitigation: Identify and manage problems/issues as they arise and before they impact the project, coordinating corrective actions quickly and efficiently. Escalate critical issues quickly to appropriate stakeholders. Be open minded and flexible in navigating roadblocks and create innovative solutions to mitigate risks. Document and manage risk/issues log.

Project Tracking: Prepare and circulates clear and concise activity/progress reports applying a proactive approach in tracking project members’ progress against schedule dates/project commitments.

Maintain detailed records: Create and maintain detailed project documentation throughout the life of a project and share information as necessary. Maintain a learning tracker throughout the projects and review/report when needed to implement changes (particularly when working in sprint to drive continuous improvement and efficiency)- on project closure, full report is reviewed with the team for consideration on future projects.

Stakeholder management and communication (both internal and external): Effectively communicate project status to all stakeholders/project team members/client teams. Serve as a point-of-contact to the customer and cross-functional teams for day-to-day execution.

Manage budget/costs against initial P&L: support the Programme Manager with financial reviews and documentation to ensure spend is kept in line with agreed budget whilst identifying initiatives to reduce cost and maintain quality.

General: Follow agreed departmental/company workflow, process and procedures. Contribute to process and procedural updates, proactively suggesting new and improved ways of working. Set best practice in PM tools and techniques.

Key competencies:

  • Excellent client/senior stakeholder-facing skills.

  • A demonstrated ability to work collaboratively whilst leading a project team.

  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) with good listening skills.

  • Excellent organisational, time management, prioritisation and planning skills. Expert in managing tight schedules.

  • A demonstrated ability to work independently, managing own time, prioritising effectively and making decisions confidently, quickly and thoughtfully.

  • Can confidently create, update and manage project schedules and budgets.

  • Ability to set agendas and lead successful meetings in person and on the phone.

  • Able to quickly identify and solve problems pragmatically.

  • Takes initiative to invoke change and solve problems with a ‘can do’ approach.

  • Exhibit learning agility and working knowledge of best practice in project management including change and risk management, lean and agile.

Previous experience

  • Project management experience essential

  • Experience of project managing multiple large/complex projects

  • Experience working to tight deadlines and with changes throughout the project life cycle

  • Experience of Scaled agile methodology and using Jira,

  • Have a technology/software development background/experience.

Personal style and behaviour

  • Professional approach at all times

  • Excellent organisational, time management skills and communication skills

  • Team player

  • Good analytical thinking skills and proactive problem-solver

  • Behaves ethically and with integrity, supports Pearson’s core values, beliefs and codes of conduct.

  • Disciplined, yet flexible enough to adapt to changing priorities.

Pearson is an equal opportunities employer. We do not discriminate against employees or job applicants and select the best person for each job based on relevant skills and experience.

We are also committed to building an accurate picture of the make-up of the workforce and encouraging equality and diversity.

The information you provide will stay confidential, and be stored securely. It will not be seen by those involved in making decisions as part of the recruitment process.


Education, qualification and training

  • Graduate calibre

  • Ideally a formal project management qualification

  • Proficient in MS Office applications, Smartsheet and Jira

Primary Location: GB-GB-Harlow

Other Locations GB-GB-London

Work Locations: GB-Harlow-Kao Park Kao Park Hockham Way Kao Two Harlow CM17 9SR

Job: Project/Programme Management

Organization: Core

Employee Status: Regular Employee

Job Type: Standard

Shift: Day Job

Job Posting: Nov 15, 2019

Job Unposting: Ongoing

Schedule: Full-time Regular

Req ID: 1914933

Pearson is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and a member of E-Verify. All qualified applicants, including minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.