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8 months ago
Gowling WLG
Location: Birmingham
Job type: Permanent
Category: Legal IT Jobs

Working hours:


Business Information Systems


About Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is an international law firm created by Gowlings, a leading Canadian law firm, and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG), a leading UK-based international law firm. We built Gowling WLG to provide clients with legal services at home and around the world, and to help you succeed no matter how challenging the circumstances.

Gowling WLG clients have access to in-depth expertise in key global sectors along with a top-tier suite of legal services. With more than 1,400 legal professionals across offices in 18 cities worldwide and specialised expertise in countries around the globe, we’re positioned to help clients rise to the challenges they face – both today and tomorrow.

About the Team

Here in IT, "our ambition is to be a team recognised for providing straightforward and valued services and solutions, to help drive our firm's strategy". We're the central support of IT to all UK and international offices and we pride ourselves in ensuring our people and clients benefit from the most effective computing solutions available.

We're a collaborative and diverse IT department with a wide-ranging skillset, including project management, solution development, infrastructure, finance systems, client & user support services, procurement, information security and much much more!

Technology is forever evolving and supporting our firm in a variety of ways. In the team we are managing and supporting a number of projects that challenge and develop our skills and knowledge, so it’s an exciting part of the firm to work in.

Main Purpose of the Job

To manage the technical delivery processes, projects and products and to support the drive for the technical development of the firm by:

* Managing and liaising with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), Developers and Solution Architects (SAs)

* Taking responsibility for technical IT/Information Systems development and implementation – building, configuring and enhancing, plus supporting maintenance and eventually decommissioning

To monitor and support the development of the technical professions – working within the overall guidance of Architecture and Innovation.

Direct reports: 13 Subject Matter Experts, 3 Developers, 3 Solutions Architects

Indirect reports: Lead technology teams as required

Budgetary / financial responsibility: To be agreed with the Head of Function and in accordance to the budgetary and financial authority limits of the firm.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

To manage the technical delivery processes, projects and products by:

* Providing leadership, vision and direction to the technical organisation to ensure it will contribute to the company achieving its goals

* Supporting the IT Director, Head of Architecture and Innovation, Head of Business Solutions & Change, the Head of Service Delivery and other IT Leaders to develop the overall IT strategy in the context of the business strategy

* Developing productive relationships with business leaders across the organisation to influence how IT systems can enable new sources of value

* Defining and enhancing methodologies and practices for the technology life cycle management in line with best practice and practical experience of continuous improvement

* Ensuring that technology processes (including those of external service providers) are conducted in line with corporate social responsibility, environmental and technical policies and applicable standards and legislation

* Implementing and managing IT system life cycle management status reporting, metrics and benchmarks

* Overseeing the use of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), Developers and Solutions Architects

* developing and leading a team of high calibre technical delivery resources capable of originating and supporting the firm’s technically based business initiatives and products

* allocating appropriate technical resources to projects and ensuring that both segregated and overlapping project team roles are identified and coordinated

* Ensuring a high-quality technical outcome for projects and products

* designing, testing and implementing technical solutions to agreed standards

* providing subject matter expertise

* Performing vendor/service provider relationship management to ensure they cost-effectively meet the needs of the firm

* Providing 3rd-line technical support

* Conducting regular surveys of stakeholder satisfaction with IT systems, publish the results and, where necessary, implement action plans to improve satisfaction

To ensure the IT systems cost-effectively meet the needs of the business as a whole by:

* Overseeing the assessment of the technical and business fitness of the technology portfolio and its associated costs and risks

* Working with the Portfolio Manager to facilitate the IT systems governance process to gain consensus on a prioritized set of measurable business outcomes that the technology must support, within the limitations of the technology budget

* Working with stakeholders to accomplish the IT systems work in a way that improves the business and technical fitness of the IT systems portfolio and minimizes its ongoing support costs

* Overseeing the successful technical delivery of business outcomes in partnership with BIS colleagues (e.g. Solution Delivery Managers) and the business

* Working with business and BIS colleagues as needed to realise benefits and ensure that business outcomes are achieved

* Overseeing support activities in conjunction with Service Delivery and the business to ensure the IT systems perform well

* Holding the SMEs, Developers and SAs accountable for optimising the costs, minimising the risks and maximising the value associated with developing and implementing IT systems (and working with Service Delivery colleagues to do the same throughout the technology lifecycle)

To drive the technical development of the firm (working with Architecture and Innovation and the Service Delivery Business Partners) by:

* Enabling the firm to grow through strategic use of technology and the processes that surround it

* Identifying opportunities and risks for the firm that could be solved by technology or where technology could play a part in the business deliverable

* Ensuring the development of the technical and soft skills of the teams to understand and exploit current and future version of key software and delivery methods

* Supporting technology research and development (R&D) on behalf of the firm including

* facilitating innovative and experimental technology work to test new ideas - within bounded cost and timeframes

* coordinating knowledge gaining and sharing amongst SMEs, Developers and SAs by utilising corporate membership of industry bodies and knowledge providers (e.g. Gartner)

* Fostering collaborative working relationships with IT colleagues and understanding BIS systems dependencies and the firm’s operating environment

* Consulting with the Information Security Officer to ensure that any proposed technology developments or changes do not compromise the security of the firm’s data

* understanding security requirements and issues, and identifying encryption and controls needed to protect information

* adhering to privacy by design principles, enabling use of test data, pseudonymisation and encryption at rest, ability to delete data

* building in full auditing and error logging to any applications or customisations

* ability to output logs of security events to security monitoring software

* prioritising security above functionality and performance, whilst being pragmatic and taking a risk based approach

To support the Head of Business Solutions and Change and BIS by:

* Performing any other reasonable operating tasks as requested, including requests from other senior BIS leaders

* Delegating tasks to and supervising the SMEs, Developers and Solutions Architects

* Performing the Service Delivery Out of Hours Support (OHS) ‘Duty Manager’ role on a rota basis

* Supporting Service Delivery with global incident management, business continuity and resolution

* Responding to service incidents/BAU (RUN tasks) as required by the Service Delivery Business Partners – this should always be the highest priority for all BIS staff

To introduce more agile ways of managing the staff and work relating to technical delivery processes, projects and products such as Huddles and visual management boards

To monitor and support the development of the technical professions – working within the overall guidance of Architecture and Innovation by:

* Understanding overall staffing requirements - summarising technical staffing requirements (current and future views)

* Developing and leading the technical paths for the SMEs, Developers and Solutions Architects - working with HR on approaches and training to match requirements – including apprenticeships as appropriate

* Working with HR to understand the competencies and capabilities within the technical pool and to develop a programme to plug gaps

* Maintaining team knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; attending professional conferences and events; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organisations such as ILTA and Litig

* Coordinating the SMEs, Developers and SAs participation in, contribution to and networking within cross-BIS ‘Communities of Interest’ relating to the core technology platform areas (i.e. with Enterprise Architects, Digital Innovators, Solution Architects, Developers, other SMEs and Subject Matter Analysts)

* Educating peers, including with current business and technology trends

Key skills and experience

This is a sensitive role dealing with commercial risks and significant costs. The firm must have a high level of confidence in the integrity and track record of the individual appointed to this role.

* Ideally a graduate qualified in computer science/information systems/related fields/project management and/or

* Five or more years of IT and Business User experience, with sensitivity and commitment to business problem solving - ideally experience of working with a range of technologies (including Microsoft) within business/operations areas of the legal profession or other professional services, with a global component

* Three or more years as a technical development manager who can demonstrate success in effectively and efficiently:

* managing a large, high-performance, cohesive team of technical development staff (subject matter experts, developers and solutions architects)

* driving multiple IT/Information Systems led product/application development projects in a demanding client led environment

* providing leadership expertise in building cross-organisational consensus with business/operations clients and/or technology providers

* liaising with middle and senior management

* managing IT contracts and service providers including the associated costs

* engaging with procurement and legal contract advisors for additional information

* working with IT technology, operations, service and support organisations

* using data processing, analysis and quality management tools

* developing and implementing processes and policies

* Knowledge of project and change management processes and methodologies (e.g. PMI, Prince2, Agile Development, Lean IT and DevOps)

* including project planning tools (e.g. MS Project or similar project management software)

* with demonstrable ability to develop and execute a project resource plan that ensures the right people are in the right place, doing the right things, at the right time

* ideally with experience transitioning an organisation from traditional practices to agile development methodologies

* Demonstrable experience in at least some of the following areas:

* software design/development, mobile applications, application architecture, project management, software as a service (SaaS), software integration, automated software testing, data management/governance, business intelligence, information security, business process analysis

* Strong knowledge and understanding of business needs, with the ability to establish and maintain a high level of customer trust and confidence

* Distinctive blend of business, IT, financial and communication skills, as this is a highly visible position with substantial impact

* Good understanding of current and emerging technologies and how other enterprises are employing them to drive digital business

* expected to have membership of professional organisations, trade or user groups and a pattern of regular attendance at industry conferences to enhance knowledge of current technology

* Ideally evidenced experience of managing staffing requirements and career paths including competencies and capabilities

* Demonstrated experience and ability in successfully utilizing "soft skills" or "people skills"

* ability to lead and motivate others; demonstrating empathy and knowledge of personality types

* evidence of strong interpersonal skills and conflict resolution expertise

* evidence of senior stakeholder management - should be challenging and possess ability to convince and manage stakeholders, with sensitivity to working in a ‘political’ environment

* expertise in setting and managing customer expectations

* effective influencing and negotiating skills in an environment where this role may not directly control resources

* excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to understand and effectively communicate technical (and business) concepts to non-technical people at all levels – helping to drive decisions that lead to positive outcomes

* Strong analytical, diagnostic and problem-solving skills with the ability to absorb new information quickly

* Proven ability to collaborate, build relationships and influence individuals at all levels in a matrix-management environment (as well as with external vendors and service providers)

* Evidence demonstrating ability to work efficiently and effectively under pressure including expertise in prioritising competing workloads for self and staff

Equal Opportunities

Gowling WLG is committed both to promoting equality and diversity in the firm and to Equal Opportunities in employment. The firm believes in equality of opportunity regardless of race or racial group (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, national origins), religion, caste or belief, age, disability, gender, gender identity, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnerships, surrogacy, adoption and parental rights. This also includes any incidents of perceptive or associative discrimination and harassment.

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