Head of Solution Architecture

Date: 03-Apr-2019

Location: London, GB, EC1A 1BB

Company: Royal Mail Group

Job reference number 102846

Head of Solution Architecture

Full time


Mount Pleasant Mail Centre

Not many companies can say they’ve been around for 500 years and were founded by Henry VIII, but we can. Royal Mail is the UK’s designated Universal Postal Service Provider, supporting customers, businesses and communities around the country. We are the only postal company to provide a one-price-goes-anywhere, six days a week service to more than 29 million addresses across the UK.

It is an exciting time to join Royal Mail. We’re a FTSE 250 company, we generated revenue of £10.2 billion in 2017-18. On top of this, we have recently undertaken an extensive review and transformation of the Technology function, one of the largest IT transformation programmes across the UK. With this transformation now complete, there is significant potential for growth and success.

Digital is now at the heart of our business and drives our vision of enabling smarter working - from Front Line colleagues through to Head Office. At the same time we strive to deliver innovative products and services through a world class customer experience.

Job purpose

To create a Centre of Excellence in Solution Architecture (SA) that will support the RMG Operations, Customer and International and Central functions IT Projects. The Head of SA will ensure all IT projects are appropriately architected, adherent to best practice and RMG Standards, Principles and Policies. The Head of SA will work with other Technology leaders to ensure that teams work effectively together to ensure Projects are engineered consistently regardless of supplier, technology or methodology used to deliver them.

Key accountabilities

  1. Demand planning to ensure the right number of architects are in place with the right skillsets and the appropriate mix of permanent and external headcount
  2. Ensure all architectures are appropriate, peer reviewed and agreed with the IT Directors with all risks and issues communicated to relevant stakeholders so that short, medium and longer term implications are clearly understood
  3. Line manage a number of permanent employees ensuring that they are empowered to make decisions whilst at the same time supported with relevant governance and oversight.
  4. Ensure appropriate training for employees and ensure that there are no single points of failure in individuals or processes
  5. Help build the RMG EA in conjunction with EA colleagues
  6. Work closely with IT Directors, the Technology Design Authority and Portfolio Directors and ensure an appropriate solution is agreed across potentially conflicted needs
  7. Work closely with platform owners ensuring their architectures are effectively engineered
  8. Ensure architects working on Agile projects call out blockers early, ensure appropriate engineering is built into early sprints and that the medium and longer term needs are understood and architected in from the beginning.

Key dimensions

  • Lead and manage a team of skilled architects of circa 50
  • Accountable for ensuring Solution Architectures are fit for purpose and issues are identified early in project lifecycles across the entire investment portfolio for technology ~£250m p.a.
  • Lead and manage the engagement of external resources where required
  • Budget responsibility up to £8m p.a

Key Skills, Experience and Qualifications required for this specific role

Essential criteria:

  • Experience of managing a team of at least 5-10 architects.
  • Lead Architect experience, with responsibility for delivering multiple multi £million projects.
  • Experience actively leading from the front a mixed team across c. 100 projects and differing technologies
  • Experience of working in Agile / DevOps and Waterfall environments, including an understanding of operating Agile methodologies at scale e.g SAFE
  • Experience of managing a budget of at least £3-5m
  • Experience of working at significant scale (c. 150k users, 1,000’s of txns per sec, petabytes of data)
  • Ability to explain technical concepts in non-technical ways, particularly for senior business stakeholders
  • Ability to present at conferences and industry bodies, to build the RMG presence in the market place
  • Experience of working in a multi-supplier environment, on complex large-scale projects with a mixture of technologies and methodologies
  • Experience of working in near real-time event driven environments

We are an inclusive employer with equality, diversity and fairness at the heart of our values.  We welcome applications from individuals from all different backgrounds and are committed to promoting fair participation and equality of opportunity for all of our job applicants.



For more information on Royal Mail Group and our Values please click on the link (http://www.royalmailgroup.com/our-people).


Closing Date: Closing Date: 01/05/2019

Job Segment: Solution Architect, Architecture, Engineer, Demand Planner, Supply Chain, Technology, Engineering, Operations

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