Senior Project Director
Location: Austin, TX
The Senior Project Director (Sr PD) role covers two different areas: management of the overall PMO team and direct management of a small team of project managers.
PMO team management: The Sr PD serves as the leader of the project management team (project directors and project managers). They support the project directors by providing high-level oversight, guidance, and escalation. They support the Executive Vice President of Operations by participating in the creation of long-term strategic planning, executing annual corporate goals and strategic initiatives, and promoting/sustaining the corporate culture as defined by the mission statement and core values of Six Red Marbles.
Direct people management: The Sr PD supports the project managers and provides high-level oversight and direction for their assigned portfolio of projects. They partner with internal cross-functional managers to ensure the long-term success of projects and will develop and maintain solid relationships with their clients. The Sr PD will liaise between clients and cross-functional internal teams to ensure timely and successful delivery according to project specifications.
People, Leadership, and Teamwork
- Mentor and support direct reports and the wider project management team:
- Manage, coach, and mentor project management staff (project managers and project directors); assist in hiring as requested.
- Participate in training and process development and documentation efforts for the PMO.
- Act as a go-to resource for nontechnical questions about the project management tool.
- Promote and foster a strong team culture with open and transparent communication across the project management team.
- Provide leadership and direction to assigned project teams. The Sr PD will work with project teams as needed to help resolve difficult questions, offer guidance and insight into problem areas, act as a sounding board, and flag potential problems for the team to consider.
- Serve as an escalation point for all projects (assigned to them or not). The Sr PD must understand and follow the defined process for all project escalations.
- For the project managers that they manage, attend internal and client meetings as required. Meeting attendance requirements will be set according to the level of the assigned project manager. Attendance at all internal and client-facing project launches and escalation meetings is required.
- Act as a go-to resource for project managers, project directors, and others when process questions arise. In order to be successful, the Sr PD will need to cultivate a thorough understanding of Six Red Marbles’ policies, procedures, and practices, make suggestions for improvement of existing processes, and work to develop new processes where they see fit.
- Ensure that communication of key messages/initiatives is delivered accurately and appropriately to all staff. Roll out corporate goals and initiatives from executive management team to project management team. Collaborate with other project directors to ensure consistent messaging.
- Identify and flag opportunities with clients for sales team. In meetings with clients, listen for potential new/additional sales opportunities and notify sales team accordingly.
PMO Team Management
- Provide support to the project directors: Support the project directors by relaying their messages through the organization, informing them about any organization or leadership that would impact them or their team.
- Assist and mentor the project managers: As the most senior team member of the PMO team, they can assist and give guidance to other PMO team members, ensuring that their messages are conveyed to the organization and that the messages and information from the organization are conveyed to them.
Project Management/Risk Mitigation
- Provide high-level oversight of assigned projects. Ensure that project managers do the following:
- Manage the internal project team effectively across functional areas.
- Manage freelancers and vendors effectively, following processes for contracting and managing purchase orders appropriately throughout the project.
- Develop schedules and consistently track and monitor hours and expenses for assigned projects.
- Proactively identify risks and propose alternative solutions where needed to meet project goals.
- Ensure resolution of issues escalated by the SRM project team or client.
- Invoice clients according to billing milestones; identify potential fluctuations in billing milestones and proactively notify finance team of changes.
- Facilitate communication within the project team about risks, issues, and strategies. Upon escalation, facilitate discussions about project risk. Work with project team to develop and implement mitigation plans as needed.
- Identify and raise change orders:
- Support project manager in flagging scope creep, reductions in scope, and other work not aligned with SOW.
- Work with project manager and internal team to obtain detailed impact to budget and schedule.
- Raise change order through the proper channels.
- Participate in discussions/communications with client as needed.
- Ensure client satisfaction. Support project manager in managing client expectations with regard to schedule, scope, quality, and budget.
- Monitor the projects of all the projects managed by PMO. As the manager of the PMO team, the Sr PD is accountable for project health and will work with project directors to help them mitigate budget overages of hours and expenses, if they need their support.
- Monitor their own projects’ financial health. Project directors are accountable for project health and will work with project managers to mitigate budget overages of hours and expenses. Mentor and lead the project management team in the overall financial success of a project using metrics, financial tools, and Six Red Marbles’ accounting standards.
- Participate in presales activity and SOW development:
- Possess in-depth understanding of the presales process, collaborating with presales team during bid process as requested.
- Work with presales team to develop proposals, statements of work, and other contracts for clients.
- Ensure project SOWs adhere to industry standards, include key assumptions, contain reasonable and accurate billing milestones, and are written in a way that ensures project success.
Desired Skills and Experience
- Must be a team leader, motivating their team, assisting them in time of need, and enforcing company policies and procedures.
- Must be well-organized, detail-oriented, and highly analytical.
- Must thrive in a fast-paced environment and be able to pivot and adapt quickly to meet changing project goals or shifting priorities.
- Demonstrated excellence in mentoring, team building, and performance management; proven ability to effectively manage internal and external teams.
- Able to prioritize and manage multiple projects and teams simultaneously; proven success at overseeing large, complex, and particularly challenging projects and clients.
- Strong business acumen with specific attention to project financials, metrics, and KPIs.
- Excellent customer service skills and strong interpersonal and communications skills (verbal and written); comfortable communicating across all levels, both internally and with clients.
- Excels at synthesizing and communicating information to stakeholders at all levels.
- Strong relationship-building, problem-solving, and negotiation skills in a client-facing environment.
- Ability to drive and manage change in a dynamic environment.
- Proven experience of project management processes and methodologies, tools, and infrastructure.
- Proven ability to earn trust and effectively manage internal and external teams; able to delegate without micromanaging.
- Demonstrated ability to work and manage effectively under significant deadline pressure.
- Experience working with cross-functional teams/matrix management.
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, Teams, SharePoint, etc.).
- Knowledge of the education (preK–12 or higher ed) or publishing industries highly preferred.
- 6+ years of budgeting, forecasting, and overall financial management experience required.
- 10+ years of project management experience required; 4+ years managing client-facing projects.
- Bachelor’s degree required, MBA and/or PMP preferred.
Why Six Red Marbles
Do you believe learning matters? Well, we do too.
In fact, our entire business is built around the idea that we are all always learning and therefore always students. We believe everyone deserves the most engaging and innovative learning experiences available, and our employees are the secret to our success. Our values include:
- Doing right by our people and partners
- Taking an innovative, tech-forward approach to engage students of all ages
- Putting the learner first in the content we create
- Being transparent in all we do and how we do it
- Working together to find the best solution, not the easiest solution
- Embracing that we are Always a Student
About Six Red Marbles
Six Red Marbles delivers high-quality educational programs at scale and has decades of experience developing custom materials and assessments that can align with any educational standard. We have developed thousands of interactive learning programs for schools, publishers, universities, and more with the support of our global network of subject matter experts. Six Red Marbles has offices in Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Delhi, India; and Chennai, India.
Apply for This Position
Six Red Marbles is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.
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