Associate, Project Operations at Palladium

Purpose of Position

For assigned projects, the Project Associate (Operations) serves as part of the corporate management team. This team is responsible under the leadership of Project Director and management of the Director, Project Operations for the management and delivery of projects. The specific purpose of the position is to support the management and 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.

Primary responsibilities

Project Management (Operations)
• Support project start-up and closeout;
• Serve as a liaison between corporate services and the project
• Contribute to the preparation and maintenance of project specific components of the project operations manual;
• Support training of project staff on 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 operations matters);
• 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;

Head Contract and Client Relationship Management
• Support the monitoring and maintenance of compliance with head/prime contracts;
• Manage and support contract amendments as required;
• Liaise with and respond to requests from clients;
• Provide regular or ad hoc reports to the clients;
• Support project advocacy with internal and external stakeholders;

Financial Management
• In collaboration with Finance establish 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, set-up project bank accounts with appropriate company and project signatories;
• Ensure the project financial calendar is adhered to;
• Monitor expenditure against budgets and forecasts, including staff costs, operating expenses and procurements;
• Assist with project financial / cash-flow planning, process funding requests from the field, and process monthly Funds Transfer Requests (FTRs);
• Review cashbooks / field vouchers and ensure supporting documentation is complete;
• Serve as a coordinator for service providers and process work orders and invoices;
• Assist in ensuring the accuracy of client invoices (including monthly, milestone and performance based invoices);
• Reconcile and report expense advances monthly;
• Process contract action requests (for example travel, personnel additions/changes, partner, grant, budget realignment, etc.);
• Support the external audit process and ensure retention of project records is compliant with company policy;

Human Resource Management and Recruitment
• Coordinate input and support from HR for recruitment and contracting;
• In collaboration with Security, ensure safety and security procedures, including Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) requirements, are in place and adhered to;
• In collaboration with HR, ensure staff performance management systems are in place and adhered to;
• Maintain project data on relevant HR systems for short-term and long-term staff and consultants;
• Support the mobilisation and demobilisation of all international staff (short-term and long-term) including contracting, travel management, payments and induction;

Procurement, Sub-Contractor and Grant Management
• Support development of project subcontractor / grant management procedures compliant with the company’s SOPs and Guidelines and client’s rules and regulations;
• Review and ensure quality of field procurement; ensuring compliance with company anti-corruption and due diligence processes;
• Coordinate the processing of service provider work orders and invoices;
• Monitor and report monthly on the status of partner budgets/invoicing and grants;
• Ensure asset management procedures are undertaken and conduct spot checks.

Business Development / Other
• Participate in capture planning, providing inputs on operational requirements;
• Provide input and support business development of the company as required;
• Other duties as assigned.

Reporting requirements

The line manager for the role is the Director, Project Operations or delegate. The reporting requirements include:
• Attendance at all weekly and/or management team meetings,
• Provision of regular updates to the line manager,
• Monthly submission of operations financials and forecasts,
• Monthly updates on the status of personal Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and any other material matters and/or areas of concern,
• Provision of exception reports as required,
• Inputs to the Business Unit’s quarterly reports as required,
• Other reporting as requested by the line manager.

• The role is part of the overall Project Management team,
• The role liaises with clients, technical area specialists, corporate services, professional service providers, and other stakeholders as required.

Authority levels
The role carries a degree of autonomy with appropriate consultation. The role is required to:
• analyse and make sound recommendations to the line manager,
• contribute to process improvement through innovative and cost effective proposals/ideas/suggestions.

Minimum education and experience required
• A relevant Bachelor’s degree.
• A minimum of 2 years relevant work experience.
• Project management of administrative support experience with DFID, DFAT, USAID or other donor client(s).
• Experience in a developing country or similar environment.
Key competencies and professional expertise required
• Understanding of Project Management.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
• Financial acumen and the ability to interpret and analyze financial reports.
• Sound problem solving and decision making skills.
• 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.

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