Project Manager - New Grants Management System (GMS)



Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Reporting to: Director, Administration

Type of contract: Full-time position

Starting date: As soon as possible



About Oak Foundation:

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa and North America, Oak Foundation makes grants to organisations located in approximately 40 countries worldwide.


Context and timeframe:

Oak Foundation is recruiting a Project Manager to join a team, working on the replacement of the current 10-year-old custom built Grants Management System (GMS), an information-management system, incorporating business processes and document management. This is a major, high-profile undertaking, which impacts staff and trustees across the foundation, as well as Oak grantees. The project team is currently working with a specialist consultant firm and an implementation partner to develop a Proof of Concept of a solution on the Salesforce platform; if this stage is successful, we would wish to begin full implementation in 2020.


Outline of the project structure:

The Project Manager will manage this important project, working with the consultants and implementation partner and liaising at all levels within the foundation. Upon completion of the implementation project, the candidate will ideally stay on to manage the GMS and its continued evolution on an on-going basis.


This project is overseen by a Core Project team, comprising individuals in key administrative positions. Engagement wider in the foundation takes place through a Focals group, which comprises representatives of GMS users from across the foundation. The Project Manager will work in close collaboration with these teams of highly-engaged stakeholders.


Primary responsibilities:

  • Work with the Core and Focals teams, consultants and implementation partner to:
  • Develop and communicate a project management plan. Provide regular status updates and escalate issues to the Core project team and/or senior leadership as needed. Ensure project plans are kept up to date, reflect dependencies, required decisions and the responsible person.
  • Become familiar with existing business requirements, document and share these with the implementation partner.
  • Manage implementation, including system configuration, testing, change management, training and user support.
  • Present at various internal meetings to provide updates and highlight challenges.
  • Collaborate closely with the Core project team, engaging senior management efficiently and effectively and taking direction as appropriate.
  • Constantly monitor time, resources and budget against deliverables and ensure the core team is briefed.
  • Collaborate with diverse stakeholders to gather feedback, reach consensus on key decisions, manage expectations and manage change. Plan and organise stakeholder meetings adequately in advance keeping in mind other organisational priorities, as agendas tend to be very full.
  • Act as the primary liaison between executive management, operational teams and the consulting firm and implementation partner. Be the primary interface with the implementation partner for questions and clarifications and ensure these are responded to in a timely fashion after obtaining input as needed.
  • Follow up with responsible persons and provide support as needed to obtain responses and decisions, such that the project remains on track.
  • Document and follow-up on discussions, key agreements, trade-offs and best practices, to ensure that these are embedded into the project.
  • Work with Core team and Focals to document new business requirements and ensure that the requirements are reviewed and signed off at the appropriate level.
  • Develop a communications plan as part of the change management process.


Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher degree in a business or IT-related field and/or equivalent experience in the relevant field.
  • Project management certification.
  • At least 7 years of progressive professional experience in project management with experience of having directly led the implementation of a high-profile, complex system (ideally on Salesforce), building consensus across an organisation and managing change.
  • Significant experience with vendor selection and contracting / relationship management.
  • Proven experience in business analysis and process implementation, developing and maintaining detailed project plans, analysing business requirements, identifying stakeholders and critical path items, developing estimates and working within budget and timeframes.
  • Proven expertise facilitating stakeholder meetings, leading presentations, and driving prioritization sessions to deliver actionable decisions.
  • Experience with databases (such as configuration, customization, analytics, reporting and data visualization) a plus. Experience with Salesforce is particularly preferred.
  • Experience in the not-for-profit sector a plus.


Personal Characteristics:

  • Strong leadership and project management skills and a proven track record of leading and delivering complex multi-stakeholder projects within budget and timeframe in an evolving environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills. A team player with a consensus-driven approach, able to interact effectively with senior team leaders.
  • Ability to question processes and suggest alternative ways of doing things.
  • Self-driven and adaptive to a changing environment; delivery-focused and can meet tight deadlines. Highly organised.
  • Passionate about project management and / or business process analysis. Demonstrable knowledge of project management methodology and skills.
  • Excels at administering and coordinating groups of individuals by promoting teamwork, setting goals, delegating tasks and resolving conflict.
  • Can effectively convey vision, ideas, goals and issues—as well as produce reports and presentations.
  • Adept at negotiating the use of resources and managing compromise in a variety of fields, including budgets and schedules. Manages scope creep.
  • Excellent problem-solving, analysis and synthesis skills.  Pro-active in risk management – predicting issues and developing solutions to mitigate or resolve them before they arise.
  • IT savvy – Project, requirement, and issue-management Suites. Comfortable analysing data, configuring systems and proficient using Office (Excel: VLookups / Pivot tables); ease with cloud/web and mobile applications, as well as audio and video conferencing systems.
  • Proficient in handling multiple responsibilities and tasks simultaneously.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills at both technical, operational and management levels. Fluent in spoken and written English; other languages are a plus.
  • A commitment to Oak’s organisational values.
  • Available to travel as required, estimated as up to 4 trips per year.
  • Swiss/EU citizen or valid work permit for Switzerland.


How to apply

Interested candidates submit their Curriculum Vitae and a compelling covering letter via jobup, no later than October 6, 2019. Please note that we will only be contacting shortlisted candidates.


Oak Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer for all qualified job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital/partnership status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and any other attributes protected by law.


By submitting your application, you confirm that you have read and understood our job applicant’s data privacy notice.




Our mission

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

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Privacy Policy, Security Protocols and Terms of Use.


©2018 Oak Foundation.
All rights reserved.