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Planning Manager

Premium Job From Phoenix Group
Recruiter: Phoenix Group
Listed on: 14th May
Location: Wythall, Birmingham
Salary/Rate: £70,000
Salary Notes: Up to £70,000 + on target bonus 16%, up to 32% + 10% company pension + flexible benefits
Type: Permanent
Start Date: ASAP

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At Phoenix Group we're passionate about helping people achieve a more secure and sustainable future. With circa 14 million policies, we make a difference to the lives of millions of people as the UK's largest long-term savings and retirement business. Join us now and you'll grow with us as we build on our success.

We're currently recruiting for a Portfolio level Planning Manager to join Change Delivery to support the Head of Change in ensuring the successful delivery of the Financial Delivery & Investments Portfolio and associated projects. Key responsibilities include: enforcing embedding both the planning standards and templates and dependency management framework, developing and owning the Portfolio 3 year Roadmap and milestone plan, support the team with facilitating planning workshops and engendering a culture of continuous improvement across the programme for all matters relating to planning and plan management.

This is a fantastic opportunity to come in and help shape the new Portfolio and set the standard for planning across the teams.  Working alongside a hugely successful, collaborative and motivated team, you will be at the heart of helping shape our roadmap for how we deliver our Portfolio objectives and setting out best practise for our teams for planning and dependency management.  We are looking for someone who has a passion for planning and is able to bring this passion to others and help develop planning capability across our team.

Key Responsibilities

  • Enforce and embed the planning standards and disciplines required to operate a robust, yet cost effective governance and control framework across Portfolio.
  • Provide oversight, guidance and support to project and programme managers on plan development and plan management.
  • Facilitate planning workshops as appropriate to drive identification of key milestones, the critical path, dependencies, and planning risks and assumptions.
  • Undertake quality assurance on the health of project plans, ensuring that planning standards are observed and that plans are developed using Phoenix planning templates in line with the Project at Phoenix methodology
  • Support Head of Change and Project Managers with mobilisation of new hubs/initiatives, working with the key delivery roles to identify and plan activities.
  • Create and maintain and present executive-level MI for senior internal and external stakeholders.
  • Create and maintain the Portfolio Road Map and other plan MI to inform and advise programme governance forums as appropriate.
  • Enforce and embed the Phoenix dependency management framework.
  • Develop, track and report on the key Portfolio dependencies.
  •  Provide oversight, challenge and validity of dependencies.
  • Provide guidance and oversight for the identification and tracking of milestones and planning assumptions in SmartCore.
  • Effectively balancing supporting multiple and demanding projects.
  • Ensuring an appropriate process is in place to review, analyse and impact assess all change impacting Portfolio level plans and dependencies ahead of decision making by the appropriate forum.
  • Works with a high level of autonomy.
  • Developing relationships with key internal and external stakeholders including up to Business Leadership and ExCo level.  Maintaining positive relationships with key external outsource providers, suppliers and consultants.

What We're Looking For


  • Ability to provide high level planning and dependency oversight across multiple complex programmes within a portfolio.
  • Excellent understanding of project management disciplines.
  • Knowledge of governance, controls and reporting mechanisms to an auditable standard.
  • Experienced in developing high, medium and detailed level plans in Microsoft Project for complex programme from initiation to baselining.
  • Solid project planning and organising skills with the ability to facilitate planning workshops with senior stakeholders.
  • Excellent written, oral, presentation and facilitation skills and proven ability to provide high quality management information at different levels.
  • Experience of implementing and enforcing planning standards and processes.
  • Identification and management of key dependencies, risks, issues and assumptions.
  • Dependency Management across multiple complex programmes.
  • Critical path analysis.
  • Ability to work under pressure and to be flexible in working practices to align appropriately to the requirements of a specific programme.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to interact and persuade / influence at a senior level.
  • Ability to take on challenging objectives and achieve them. 
  • Ability to understand complex issues and support effective decision making. 
  • Ability to mentor others in planning techniques and dependency management
  • Excellent knowledge of MS Project.
  • Excellent PC literacy, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.


  • Experience in the Life Insurance and Pensions industry.
  • Project Management accreditation such as Prince2 or APMP.

What We Offer

Bring your ‘whole self', skills and dedication to the Phoenix Group and we'll recognise your effort, support your development and help to drive your ambition. We'll ensure you're rewarded for your contribution with a competitive package that includes an attractive pension, annual bonus potential, private medical insurance, generous holiday entitlement, enhanced maternity and adoption leave and a range of other financial services and lifestyle flexible benefits. 

 Join us and you join a unique organisation. It's not just the 14 million policyholders we serve, or the £300 billion of assets we look after. Or that we're a FTSE 100 company that has been listed as one of the UK's Top Employers for nine years running.  It's our talented, inclusive and diverse workforce that makes us a success.  We offer flexible working opportunities ensuring we attract and retain the very best of talent. Find out about more about our people's stories, our values and our commitment to diversity.

Online Interviews and Onboarding

All our interviews, onboarding and new joiners are now managed remotely.  We have in place a strong virtual support network to ensure new colleagues are supported and developed as they navigate their first few months with us

About Us

Phoenix Group is a member of the FTSE 100 index and is the UK's largest long-term savings and retirement business. We specialise in the acquisition and management of Heritage life insurance and pension funds. We've businesses in the UK, Germany and Ireland and hold a broad range of both Heritage and Open products split across three key business segments: UK Heritage, UK Open and Europe.  Our open business manufactures and underwrites new products and policies to support people saving for their future in areas such as workplace pensions and SIPPs, primary under the Standard Life brand. And we market corporate pension trustee services and manufacture products to be sold under other brands. Did you know Phoenix Life manufactures SunLife's market leading Guaranteed Over 50's plan?

We value diversity in our workforce and welcome enquiries from everyone.