"every day is different keeping things exciting."
Sanam Pervez has built a successful career working as a Safety and Assurance Programme Manager for High Speed (HS2) Ltd.
Hiring Sanam who comes from a diverse background is a fine example of HS2 understanding the essential part of the culture in a large organisation.
Through her work and responsibilities, Sanam brings diversity to life and open culture at HS2.
Sanam provides a balanced view when making decisions and continues to produce the best results in her role, which includes risk and issue management.
Having a qualification in programme and project management, along with previous experiences has helped Sanam to fulfil her role at HS2.
Sanam hopes individuals who have a passion for project or programme management will follow a similar career path.
Sanam Pervez exclusively spoke to DESIblitz about her employment with HS2, as well as advice on educational requirements for such role.
What made you choose HS2 after contracting with them?
My main focus when choosing a job is whether I will enjoy what I do and whether I am happy within the team I work in. Both these boxes were ticked in HS2 hence I accepted a permanent role here.
The programmes I lead on have a wide-reaching effect across HS2 and its’ supply chain which present the challenge I need to keep coming into work.
“It is a fast-paced environment that works well for me and every day is different keeping things exciting.”
What does the Safety & Assurance Programme Manager do?
The S&A programme manager manages the strategic programmes in the directorate and leads everything from initiation to successful closure of the programme.
The programme manager is responsible for:
- setting up the right structure for the programme
- ensuring the scope is clear and signed off by sponsors
- manages stakeholders (both internal and external) and communications
- creates the programme plan and monitors progress against these
- ensures conflicts are resolved in a timely manner between the projects
- resources the programme
- manages the project managers and other programme team members
- ensures HS2 governance is adhered to
- submits programme reports periodically
- ensure escalation channels are clear and utilised effectively to resolve issues
- manages risks, issues and dependencies across the programme, its’ projects and any other activity in the organisation
“The S&A Programme Manager is part of the Business Management team.”
Hence, I support the directorate in other ad hoc activity too where required i.e. support on the team away days or resolving a procurement issue.
In your role, what is involved with Risk and Issue management?
Both risk and issue management are involved in all aspects of programme management.
As a programme manager, I am responsible for ensuring risks are not only identified but assessed with mitigations against each and regular monitoring.
I am also responsible for ensuring escalation routes are utilised at appropriate times where required and each project is also following the risk and issues management processes robustly.
I also ensure that the key risks and issues are reported on periodically and those that are outside my power and influence to mitigate and resolve have an appropriate owner.
Regular sessions are had with the owners to ensure the steps committed are taken in a timely fashion with the sponsor updated, where required.
What kind of education is needed for your role?
There are many routes to project and programme management, therefore, this depends.
One can do a project management apprenticeship, do a project management course like APM PMQ or PRINCE2, Agile or get experience on a project as a project management assistant and support this with courses.
“I did a Masters in Programme and Project Management at Warwick.”
I then found a job as a Project Manager, progressing into programme management.
Sanam Parvez describes the working environment at HS2 as “fast-paced, challenging and energetic.” She is always learning new things every day.
Sanam encourages those who have career aspirations and a personality that matches programme or project management to pursue it further.
Her advice is to love the job that one does, with a clear focus on the tasks ahead.
Whilst celebrating the work of Sanam Pervez, HS2 as an employer of diversity hope to receive many more applications from candidates reflecting all backgrounds.