Infrastructure Support Senior Executive

No matter who you are, or where in the world you are, the chances are that our products are a familiar part of your daily routine.

Every day, around the world, people reach for Unilever products. Our brands are trusted everywhere and, by listening to the people who buy them, we’ve grown into one of the world’s most successful consumer goods companies. In fact, 150 million times a day, someone somewhere chooses a Unilever product.

Look in your fridge, or on the bathroom shelf, and you’re bound to see one of our well-known brands. We create, market and distribute the products that people choose to feed their families and keep themselves and their homes clean and fresh.

MAIN JOB PURPOSE:

To manage IT maintenance activities in a project/release management capacity, typically (but not exclusively) planning, acquiring and utilising the necessary resources and skills, within agreed parameters of cost, timescales and quality.

  • Leading teams to deliver an ITM activity
  • Managing and embedding change
  • Creating realistic and achievable plans
  • Budget management

Definition:

Takes responsibility for the definition, documentation and successful completion of IT maintenance windows, ensuring that realistic activity, quality and risk plans are prepared and maintained and that a change control procedure is in place. Monitors and controls resources, revenue and capital cost against budget and manages expectations of all stakeholders.

  • Identifies, assesses and manages risks to the success of the maintenance window. Takes responsibility for the definition, documentation and safe execution of maintenance windows, actively participating in all phases of the activity.
  • Ensures that realistic activity and quality plans are prepared and maintained and tracks all activities against the plan, providing regular and accurate reports to stakeholders, as appropriate.
  • Monitors costs, timescales and resources used, and takes action where these deviate from agreed tolerances. Ensures that delivered changes are implemented within these criteria.
  • Initiates and influences relationships with and between key stakeholders, in business change design, management and implementation, acting as a primary point of contact for senior stakeholders and influencers.
  • Manages the change control procedure and ensures that maintenance window deliverables are completed within planned cost, timescale and resource budgets, and are signed off. Gains agreement for revisions to the scope from sponsors.
  • Determines the readiness levels of business users with regard to upcoming changes; uncovers readiness gaps and creates and implements action plans to close the gaps prior to go-live.

JOB SUMMARY (JOB DESCRIPTION)

  • Managing a large team of resources through the full project lifecycle from scoping to planning and onto delivery
  • Timescales and go-live dates are fixed and unmoveable, so ability to hit challenging targets every time is key
  • Clear communication and accurate planning is vital for success, as is the ability to manage issues and risks appropriately
  • Weekend working is required

IT maintenance is operated around a 12 week rolling cycle, with 1 or more “outage” being prepared for and executed each month. The following timescales and tasks relate to this process, as described further in the ITM SharePoint website.

Overall responsibilities to operate the ITM process (broadly being Planning, Impact Analysis, Risk management, Communication)

  • An ITM window will typically have 30 changes, from all technical teams, impacting 1000 servers and apps / services

Consequently, large number of apps / services / servers will be impacted by more than one change in a single ITM and the conflicts all need to be planned out carefully, and scope is frequently adjusted in order to achieve the best fit. This is a time intensive activity, that the Project manager must execute with a high level of diligence given the size/scale/risk of Unilever estate potentially impacted.

  • Scope must be communicated to the business 6 weeks before the ITM, and it is the PM’s responsibility to prepare a detailed communication package in this regard :-

– This allows the business to give notice to factories / suppliers of impact to service.

– Scope meeting is therefore held approx. 8/7 weeks out to enable us to set the scope appropriately and prepare all documentation.

– Once scope has been communicated, any change or addition to scope after this point needs exceptional approval

  • Detailed planning happens during weeks 6-4 & this needs to be accurate

– During this time, RFCs are updated with detailed plans, and the Project Manager must produce an overall ITM plan, conflicts between plans are resolved and dependences identified.

– This can only be achieved successfully if the implementation plans for each RFC are fully populated in good time, and accurate.

– All downtime for non-production systems is also agreed in this period.

  • Methods and techniques associated with planning and monitoring progress of projects.

Examples: product/work breakdown structures, critical path analysis, earned value, resource analysis, conflict resolution.

  • Project management methods and leadership skills, as preparation for more demanding project management responsibility.
  • Methods, techniques and tools for the analysis, assessment and management of risk.

KEY REQUIREMENTS (EDUCATION, WORK EXPERIENCE & SKILLS)

  • Ability to work under pressure and to deal with escalation required
  • Strong knowledge of the use of Remedy, SharePoint, Clarity, and Workbench & Excel required
  • Strong knowledge of Unilever Change Process required
  • Planning and scheduling of changes with multiple dependencies and teams

Desirable:

  • Strong Knowledge of ITIL Change, Risk and Release Management an advantage
  • Technical overview knowledge of a wide range of technologies used in the Unilever estate

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