Non Executive Directorships

Digital Advisory Board: Non Executive Director

Location: Cabinet Office

Date Posted: 09/04/2021

Closing Date: 24/04/2021

Vacancy Description

Following the appointment of Paul Willmott as chair of the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO), we are seeking to establish a new ‘Digital Advisory Board’ to provide independent expert advice to the CDDO and the wider leadership of the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) function across government.

There is a significant drive to take this work forward from both Minister Julia Lopez (Parliamentary Secretary) and Alex Chisholm (Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office) as well as the CDDO team itself.

The objectives of the Digital Advisory Board (DAB) are:

  1. Set and sustain a high aspiration for the application of digital, data and technology (DDaT) across Government, drawing on external best practice
  2. Provide active sponsorship to the CDDO Executive as they shape and deliver DDaT-enabled transformation of government
  3. Provide challenge and advice to ministers and officials across Government as they deliver DDaT programmes
  4. Provide input to other governance bodies, including decision-making bodies (e.g., Civil Service Digital & Data Sub-board), ministerial sponsorship groups (e.g., Government Digital Support Group) and Departmental boards

Responsibilities of DAB Non Executive Directors (NEDs):

  1. Raise the aspiration for DDaT across Government by bringing external experience/expertise to bear
  2. Collaborate with other DAB members and the CDDO Executive to align around DDaT priorities, strategies and plans
  3. Build relationships with key stakeholders within government
  4. Actively sponsor the CDDO Executive, providing support to resolve issues requiring additional expertise or stakeholder alignment
  5. Engage with ministers and officials across Government in a variety of settings to provide challenge, advice and coaching
  6. Work closely with one or more Departments (to be jointly agreed), engaging with minister and officials and Departmental NEDs to align agendas between the department and CDDO

Key Success Factors:

  1. Build trust-based relationships with stakeholders including other NEDs, ministers and officials
  2. Establish credibility as a DDaT-related expert with relevant experience
  3. Maintain a high bar for outcomes (vs. external reference points) and surface issues clearly
  4. Build alignment and desire for action around critical agenda points
  5. Communicate clearly and consistently

Person Specification

Required Characteristics:

  1. Credible at Board level
  2. Thought-leader, used to shaping creative solutions to complex challenges
  3. Comfortable operating with high ambiguity, taking decisions without full information
  4. Effective communicator with strong influencing skills, able to use ‘soft power’ to influence
  5. Collaborator, able to work with peers, NEDs and executives to jointly develop perspectives and solutions
  6. Solution orientated, able to ‘bridge’ different views and bring stakeholders to a common position
  7. Able to act with the highest integrity and discretion

Required Experience:

  1. Experience operating at the highest levels, including:
    • Influencing at Board level
    • Managing large executive teams
    • Working in functional roles, with matrix oversight of multiple businesses and/or markets
  2. Experience leading multi-year DDaT transformation programmes in complex environments, including all or some of:
    • Shaping ambitious strategies and plans for DDaT-enabled business transformation
    • Improving business understanding and accountability for DDaT/business model transformation, including the introduction of product-owner structures
    • End-to-end digitisation of customer-facing services including service redesign, automation, omnichannel and personalisation
    • Migration of legacy systems from on-prem to cloud and hybrid environments
    • Scaling data engineering, data science and AI capabilities, including API-based data architectures
    • Evolution of ways of working from waterfall to agile and DevOps, including product-aligned organisational models
    • Reshaping approaches to talent including rebuilding core technical skills, reskilling, introduction of technical career paths and certifications
    • Updating sourcing models, including insourcing and contracting for agile projects and programmes

Desirable experience:

Experience of one or more of the following is desirable:

  1. Machine Learning and AI
  2. IOT and digital twins
  3. Cyber security
  4. Quantum computing
  5. Low/no code tooling
  6. Distributed ledger technologies
  7. Open source technologies

Additional Information

Practical Expectations:

  1. Attend 6 DAB meetings per year, each 2-3 hours, usually face-to-face
  2. Engage ‘on the ground’ with selected focus Department, approximately 10 days per year
  3. Provide challenge and advice to CDDO Executive, Cabinet Office ministers and officials on an ad-hoc basis, approximately 6 days per year

Conflicts of Interest:

Candidates must note the requirement to declare any interests they may have that might cause questions to be raised about their approach to the business of the Digital Advisory Board. They are required to declare any relevant business interests, shareholdings, positions of authority, retainers, consultancy arrangements or other connections with commercial, public or voluntary bodies, both for themselves and for their spouses/partners.

Practical Expectations:

  1. Attend 6 DAB meetings per year, each 2-3 hours, usually face-to-face
  2. Engage ‘on the ground’ with selected focus Department, approximately 10 days per year
  3. Provide challenge and advice to CDDO Executive, Cabinet Office ministers and officials on an ad-hoc basis, approximately 6 days per year

Travel to in person meetings, likely held in London, will be required in the future post COVID-19.

How to Apply

How to Apply:

Please send your CV to cddo@digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk demonstrating your relevant experience for this vacancy.

If you have a disability and require reasonable adjustments to enable you to attend an interview, please advise us when you receive confirmation of an interview request.

This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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