Programme Manager (New Product Development)

Ref: AH/ 2000238

Location: Cambs

Salary: negotiable

Based in Cambridgeshire, our client is a world leader in industrial print systems development, and their technology is used worldwide in a wide range of print applications.

You will be based primarily at Head Office, with visits to our factory close by for meetings several times a week.

Occasional overseas travel will be required, e.g. to visit customers, end users of the company's products and exhibitions.

This position reports to the Deputy Director of Programme Management and Planning in the R&D function.

Purpose of Role

Management of New Product Development programmes. The products are industrial inkjet printheads and associated system components such as electronics and software to feed a printhead with image data from a host PC. Typical programmes can have.

  • A team up to 30 people (from the R&D, manufacturing and marketing)
  • Opex cost budgets of several million pounds
  • Duration of 18 months

Key Accountabilities

Programme Managers are key members of cross-functional Product Line Teams which have responsibility for the creation and ROI of a portfolio of products. Products are defined, developed, launched and manufactured until end-of-life under the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) process. The Programme Manager’s main activity is management of the New Product Development (NPD) stages of the PLM process:


  • High-level, cross-functional programme planning, phased according to the stages and milestone reviews required by the PLM process;
  • Formulation of product development strategy and work breakdown structure (in to subprojects and work packages);
  • Coordination of R&D, Marketing and Manufacturing sub-project planning and integration of lower-level plans, ensuring consistency with the high level plan;
  • Resource requirements planning and accommodation of resource availability in the programme schedule;
  • Cost estimation to set a budget for the overall development programme (labour, materials, expenses and capital), taking input from subproject plans.


  • Ensuring that deliverables are created by the team members who are directly responsible for them (as defined by the PLM process)
  • Ensuring that deliverables are made on time and fit for purpose


  • Achievement of programme objectives and within agreed timescales and budget; actively managing scope to ensure sufficient value is delivered without waste of resources
  • Holding NPD programme team meetings as a forum for communication (progress on tasks and deliverables, achievements, emerging threats etc.)
  • Tracking of progress at the subproject level and looking for early signs of problems Closed-loop tracking and management of actual + forecast cost vs. budget
  • Risk management (identification, assessment and mitigation);
  • Initiating prompt containment and remedial action in response to emerging threats, e.g. diverting or adding resources to recover from slippage;
  • Liaising with colleagues in other business functions to ensure that planning and progress in subprojects is in line with the overall programme plan, especially
    • Operations (e.g. DFM, fabrication of prototypes and preparation of production documentation, processes and tooling);
    • Marketing (e.g. product trials, obtaining feedback from lead customers and product launch.
  • Ensuring smooth introduction of new products to manufacturing

Reporting and PLM stage reviews

  • Regular, weekly reporting of consolidated programme status to the product team and senior management (according to PLM standards for content and format);
  • Immediate notification of serious threats or problems to the product team and senior management;
  • Coordination of input to PLM stage review presentations from the functional subproject teams (R&D, marketing, manufacturing);
  • Creation and presentation of programme management-related material to senior management a PLM stage reviews (e.g. development status, schedule and risk assessment).

Contribute to continuous improvement of the PLM process

  • Suggestion of improvements to the PLM process;
  • Development of methodologies and templates to help efficiency and consistency of PLM execution and deliverables

Key Challenges

  • Management of cross-functional programme resources with competing priorities
  • Being effective in a complex, fast moving, multi-disciplinary environment
  • Alignment and motivation of peers and partners
  • Successful communication with senior management and other stakeholders to secure support for the programme
  • Timely execution of planned activities

Person Specification

  • Able to understand, plan and manage complex programmes, setting development strategy as well as managing the detail
  • Comes across as senior, able to gain the respect and confidence of peers, senior management, customers and business partners. Able to influence thinking and opinions at all levels in the company
  • Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills that enable successful coordination of programme activities across different functional groups
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, able to report programme status succinctly, highlighting to senior management all information that is of particular importance
  • Commercially savvy
  • Proactive in nature; takes initiative; foresees problems before they have impact and takes evasive action
  • Rapidly responsive to emerging threats, putting action plans in place to minimise negative impact to programme cost or schedule
  • Skilled in the use of programme management and documentation tools such Microsoft Project, PowerPoint, Word, Excel and SharePoint
  • Has a thorough understanding of the product lifecycle management principles and a good understanding of the engineering methods, technologies and manufacturing processes applied to the products being developed
  • Understanding and experience of all aspects of product testing (verification, validation, accelerated life testing etc.)
  • Methodical, process-oriented approach to work and understanding of ISO9001 requirements
  • Attentive to detail, quality-conscious and results-oriented

Qualifications & Experience

  • Bachelors degree in a science or engineering subject
  • Background in industry as an engineer designing high tech products
  • Extensive experience of managing complex New Product Development programmes involving multiple engineering disciplines and successful transfer to manufacturing
  • Technical understanding and a successful track record of delivering products with the following content:


    • Embedded software and board level electronics
    • Mechanical design with custom components: plastic mouldings and machined or cast metal


    • Mixed signal ASICs
    • Fluidics
  • Successful track record of delivering high tech products from roadmap to production, ideally in an ISO 9001 certified environment
  • Direct experience of inkjet printing product development would be a significant advantage

Questor is acting as an employment agency in relation to this advert. Due to the effectiveness of online advertising and the response levels that it can generate, it is often impossible for us to respond to every applicant. As a professional company we gladly welcome applications from persons of any age and background and do not intend to discriminate with advert text and terminology.

01767 683583

To email us about this vacancy, please click here