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Project Manager

American Planning Association

Chicago, IL United States

How to Apply
Email: PM@planning.org

This role will report directly to the Director of the Strategy Delivery Office (SDO). The SDO is an integral part of APA's Leadership Department, and as such, projects managed by the Project Manager will directly benefit team members by shaping cross-departmental team strategy and maximizing the team's communication tools and tactics, with the goal of amplifying our impact to deliver projects on time and within budget in a way that achieves the desired outcomes.

Critical Outcomes

Increased certainty that strategic programs and projects succeed, deliver the highest ROI possible, and move the organization toward its vision faster and with less consumption of resources.

Hands-on facilitation and support of successful project/program delivery is being provided to achieve specific business objectives advancing APA's strategic goals.

Core Responsibilities

Manage Projects and Lead Cross-Functional Teams (80%)

  • Lead teams with members at all levels; clarify meeting content, objectives, and establish team norms.
  • Collaborate with internal stakeholders across departments, external vendors, and subject matter experts to create and execute complex project plans and schedules.
  • Ensure that all projects meet the expected business goals and desired outcomes within the constraints established by the sponsor.
  • Ensure quality of the work produced by cross-functional teams, and make sure deliverables are current and accessible.
  • Full lifecycle project management, including risk management etc. Manage budgets and schedules, ensuring accuracy and transparency for the team.
  • Maintain excellent verbal and written communication with all stakeholders; Provide insight and support to enhance existing communications between teams.
  • Facilitate meetings to help participants reach decisions, define next actions, and accomplish goals.
  • Work with team members to understand their project needs thoroughly, in context, emphasizing listening before solutioning.
  • Flexible employ training, documentation, and process changes as well as more traditional project management solutions such as use of a Gantt chart, status report, etc.
  • Proactively build project management skills and expertise by learning and embracing new technology, staying abreast of industry developments and best practices, and attend or provide training as available and approved.
  • Support the implementation of comprehensive collaborative projects aligned with our mission, strategic objectives, and core values.

Support Development of SDO Services and Capabilities (20%)

  • Provide project management coaching and guidance to departments to help surface and understand each team's unique project challenges
  • Partner with senior leaders to develop and implement best practices on their teams
  • Brainstorm and support development of project management training, templates and materials, and other items as directed
  • Coach other newer project managers on the SDO approaches and guidance, as well as general project management best practices

Core Requirements

The ideal candidate will be extremely organized, detail-oriented, and have excellent communication skills to collaborate with team members and project leads. Facilitation and presentation skills to lead key meetings and coach teams for success are key attributes for this position. This is a new role in a newly formed office; the strongest candidates are comfortable with ambiguity, flexible enough to pivot direction as needed, and serve as a positive role model for other project managers.

Sharp critical thinking skills are a must. The right person for this job understands the big picture of what teams are trying to achieve and can also connect the dots between our strategy and daily work. Ownership of projects is a must-have, along with the ability to reimagine what is possible, work as a team and bring a solutions-oriented approach to challenges and obstacles.

  • Demonstrated, excellent communication skills across writing, speaking, and listening
  • Experience motivating and inspiring others with leadership and critical thinking skills2|Page
  • Conflict management and negotiation skills for supervising and resolving issues across project teams
  • Attention to detail for independently assessing and anticipating project risks and issues
  • A mix of independent and collaborative working styles
  • Experience drafting presentations and speaking to a wide range of project contributors, including senior leadership
  • Ability to maintain flexibility in a dynamic work environment and meet deadlines under pressure
  • B.A./B.S. preferred
  • At least 5-7 years of experience working in project or program management or related field
  • Project-management certification or coursework preferred
  • Excellent grasp of project management tools and concepts, such as Gantt charts, estimation, and project management methodologies (e.g., Critical Path Method, Waterfall, Agile, Scrum, Kanban)
  • Proficiency with technology, including Microsoft Office/Office 365/Sharepoint
  • Comfortable exploring new technical platforms, analyzing their application across the organization and leading implementation and training, as needed

How to Apply

Submit a resume and cover letter to PM@planning.org. The following questions must be addressed in your letter to participate in the evaluation process:

  • Salary expectations
  • Address in your cover letter an example of how you have demonstrated flexibility and comfort with ambiguity, in a work setting.
  • Give an example of a time you were able to connect the dots between an organization's strategy and your daily work.

The American Planning Association exists to elevate and unite a diverse planning profession as it helps communities, their leaders and residents anticipate and meet the needs of a changing world. Learn more at www.planning.org.

APA embraces diversity and equal opportunity in our employment practices. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. The more inclusive we are, the better our impact will be.

APA COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Disclaimer

The American Planning Association values the safety of our employees, our members, and our visitors. In support of these values, if you are selected for this job you must show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID, except when vaccination is not medically advised or violates your sincerely held religious beliefs. We strongly encourage boosters, as well. If you are invited to join our team, you must comply with APA COVID Vaccine Policy.

APA Dynamic Office Environment

Beginning April 2022, we'll be shifting to a dynamic work environment that will bring those of us in the Chicagoland area together in person two days a week, Tuesday and Thursday. We'll use this time to rekindle relationships, build new ones and connect with each other formally and informally in a way we can't do online. The other three days can be worked remotely or in the office.

Experience Level
Mid II (4-8 years)
AICP Level
None Selected
Management, Budgeting, or Finance
Salary Range