Program Lead R&D Strategy

Chicago, IL
United States

Experience Required
Degree Required
Job Description
Job Purpose/Overview

This roles exists to provide innovation strategy development and analytical support to the R&D Leadership team. There is a pressing business need to address how we are spending a disproportionate amount of time and money to launch new items compared to our growth and require a data-driven approach to shape and measure our innovation pipelines. This role will be instrumental in synthesizing of data inputs and developing strategy roadmaps that will guide the R&D teams to build robust and balanced pipelines to drive category growth.

Key Responsibilities

INNOVATION METRICS AND ANALYTICS: Cultivate ways of working with S&F strategy partners and CMI to ensure alignment to innovation metrics of past, current and future growth activities. Build and maintain advanced dashboard reporting by synthesizing inputs from PPM, Nielsen and Finance to ensure a focus on the performance measures of our innovation activities. Partner with the regional and global R&D product and pack development teams to embed tracking activities into their pipeline development.
INNOVATION STRATEGY: Galvanize the R&D organization around sustainable innovation practices and ensure clear innovation goals are in place and aligned with the segment growth ambition. Collaborate with cross-segment peers and corporate innovation team to look beyond the current practices and explore new innovation dimensions to position the segment for long-term growth potential.
RESOURCE UTILIZATION AND MODELING: Lead benchmarking study to assess the level of R&D investment (FTE and project expenses) devoted to each class of innovation: Build, Expand, Transform and Enter. Recommend solutions or corrective actions for improved return on investment where required. Support financial modeling of organizational design structure to support our current and future growth ambition.

Context and Scope

This role is member of the global R&D Program Management team and serves as a business strategy partner to key R&D functional teams on the ever present need to balance program delivery and prioritization of global initiatives.
This role will bring consistency to the team through establishing collaborative ways of working and applying situationally appropriate tools (e.g. meeting notes templates, action trackers, timelines, charters, presentation templates, meeting facilitation guides, reporting dashboards, stakeholder communication documents, etc.).
The PMO role is focused on the pursuit of continuous improvement of project management activities to maximize the team’s inputs/outputs to achieve our business objectives faster.
A Program Lead plays a critical role to ensure that team tacit knowledge is made explicit through the use of business tools for knowledge sharing (SharePoint, One Drive, One Note, etc.) and fosters a team culture of knowledge sharing to maintain business continuity in an environment of constant change.
This role will also be called upon to contribute expertise and program management to other ‘added value’ global Confectionery R&D initiatives to ensure the success of the global R&D organization.
Job Requirements
Job Specifications/Qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree (MBA preferred) in business, finance, marketing or other closely related field
8 years professional experience working in a business environment
5 years strategy and analytics experience
Excellence in project management with strong influencing skills to be able to get work done through others.
Experience managing cross-functional and globally dispersed teams.
Comfort in navigating systems and processes to effectively drive program of program deliverables and activities.
Understanding and experience initiating continuous improvements and pursuit of improved ways of working, communication and project management.
Understanding of risk assessment and contingency planning.
Effective communication skills including:
Synthesizing qualitative updates across various teams into clear and concise reports
Ability to customize message to suit the audience from peers through senior management
Effective stakeholder management to ensure program updates are cascaded accordingly
Strong organization skills, thoughtful decision making and ability to think on your feet

Key Supporting Competencies

Command Skills - Relishes leading; takes unpopular stands if necessary; encourages direct and tough debate but isn't afraid to end it and move on; is looked to for direction in a crisis; faces adversity head on; energized by tough challenges.
Organizational Agility - Knowledgeable about how organizations work; knows how to get things done both through formal channels and the informal network; understands the origin and reasoning behind key policies, practices, and procedures; understands the cultures of organizations.
Business Acumen - Knows how businesses work; knowledgeable in current and possible future policies, practices, trends, technology, and information affecting his/her business and organization; knows the competition; is aware of how strategies and tactics work in the marketplace.
Dealing with Ambiguity - Can effectively cope with change; can shift gears comfortably; can decide and act without having the total picture; isn't upset when things are up in the air; doesn't have to finish things before moving on; can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty.
Process Management - Good at figuring out the processes necessary to get things done; knows how to organize people and activities; understands how to separate and combine tasks into efficient work flow; knows what to measure and how to measure it; can see opportunities for synergy and integration where others can't; can simplify complex processes; gets more out of fewer resources.

Key R&D Functional Competencies & Technical skills

Risk & Opportunity Identification
Performance Evaluation & Continuous Improvement
Framing Business Challenges
Scale Up & Deploy
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