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Head Of Technology Category

Birmingham, United Kingdom | UK Civil Service

  • Industry:
    Government / Military
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
    IT / Information Technology
  • Experience:
Job Description:
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As Head of the Technology Category you will be responsible for the development and execution of a commercial strategy, designing and implementing the commercial frameworks, outsourcing policies, and supplier relationships to deliver the desired commercial outcomes across Defra Group.

You will develop effective strategic and operational approaches for promoting innovation across the function. You will improve delivery within the Technology Category through rigorous and strong leadership across the profession that supports the business strategic outcomes.

You will hold a business-critical senior leadership role (primarily within Defra’s Digital, Data & Technology directorate) and will need to have the confidence to manage relationships with a wide range of senior stakeholders, within Defra and other senior leaders across wider government, including the Government Commercial Function.

You will lead, motivate and direct a professional commercial team (c45 FTE) to develop and implement corporate initiatives to ensure business outcomes are met and to ensure continuous improvement in the field of commercial activity.

You will also be responsible for supporting senior leaders to upskill themselves on effective contract management, to support them becoming intelligent customers and build effective relationships with suppliers.

You will also contribute strongly to the corporate leadership of the organisation and the wider Civil Service, promoting the Civil Service reform agenda and demonstrating the core leadership behaviours set out in the Civil Service Leadership Statement

The Head of Category role will report directly to the Head of Category Management.

Job description

Defra group Commercial (DgC) is part of Defra, the central Government Department responsible for growing the rural economy; improving the environment; and safeguarding animal and plant health. DgC is responsible for providing a commercial service to organisations within the Defra Group.

You will have a strategic leadership role, influencing and improving the commercial capability and the management of the Technology category of spend across the Defra Group.



Lead, motivate and develop a professional commercial team to enable them to challenge and influence; deliver corporate outcomes and to ensure continuous improvement in all commercial activity;

Challenge and drive measureable improvements in the governance and policy making, working collaboratively to deliver optimum commercial approaches and promote category management principles across the core spend activity;

Champion the commercial engagement on prescribed expenditure or specialism, promoting and leading on the end to end commercial DNA process on behalf of the function;

Take the strategic lead on supplier relationship and contract management to deliver customer outcomes whilst recognising the importance of the supplier’s commercial drivers / objectives;

Promote, develop and influence the network to deliver value for money. Achieve savings targets and sustainable outcomes through innovative procurement routes and maximising the value and outputs of existing and new commercial arrangements;

Engage with key strategic internal and external policy makers, key stakeholders such as Ministers, Directors and Senior Management peers to ensure commercial best practice is applied. Able to influence strategic decision-making across Defra;

Promote commercial principles within the Defra network and wider Government, influencing policy where appropriate;

Drive and lead on Lean Procurement to reduce unnecessary complexity thereby reducing inefficiency and cost, while increasing the quality of procurement outcomes;

Drive progress against key deliverables and provide expert advice on commercial risk management; deliver innovative and flexible approaches to support the complex business agenda and the strategic objectives at corporate level;

Engage and support lead customer directorates to develop their commercial capability;

Employ excellent communication, negotiation and influencing skills to enable an effective change management with stakeholders at all levels (including board members) who may hold conflicting views;

Be amongst the most senior members of the Government Commercial Function and play a role in the broader commercial reform programme led by the Government Chief Commercial Officer;

Play a key leadership and change management role in developing a strong commercial function for Defra Group Commercial and across government.

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

Extensive experience of contract and procurement management, successfully leading and delivering a portfolio of multi-million-pound technology contracts in a complex and demanding environment

Proven track record of strong financial management and delivering value for money as well as managing the legal and technical aspects of complex technology projects.

Demonstrable experience of successfully working with a broad range of senior stakeholders and external partners, demonstrating the communication and collaboration skills, impact and gravitas to effectively challenge assumptions.

Proven leadership experience with a track record of driving a diverse and inclusive working culture with employees, contractors, suppliers and consultants and leading teams through large scale strategic change

Proven track record of excellent supplier management; procuring, implementing and managing complex contracts. Developing collaborative supplier relationships across the supply chain to maximise innovation, value for money and efficiency.

Experience coaching and mentoring, to build the capability at all levels of a commercial function.

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