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Lead Business Project Manager

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

Summary:

At Northwestern Mutual, our vision is to deliver financial security to help our clients live their best lives by choice. A key pillar of our vision and success is our strong and vibrant sales force. Career Distribution (CD) is at the forefront of working across the home office and sales force as one team to achieve the sales and growth objectives the company expects, while delivering the experience our distribution needs and deserves.

Portfolio Execution team within CD creates visibility to, and supports, the portfolio of initiatives, resources, and interdependencies that deliver the intended field experience and business outcomes. This team serves as a key contact for enterprise partners and provides program and project management services for CD’s strategic initiatives.  

Reporting to the Sr. Director, Portfolio Execution, you will empower the enterprise with knowledge and insights and provide the highest level of program management expertise and consultation to the business to meet CD function and enterprise wide goals. Your initial focus will be on our multi-year strategy work for our Private Client Group.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Accountable for aligning one or more large, complex programs consisting of multiple efforts.
  • Accountable for defining the program structure and creating a single, unified plan to drive clarity and deliver on the program objectives, priorities and measures.
  • Ensure that assigned programs and projects follow standards: work plan, budget, governance structure, communication, change management, and performance management.
  • Enable tracking and manage dependencies across multiple efforts; lead escalation processes to make issues visible to partners and leadership; drive resolution for dependency issues through disciplined program management processes.
  • Make connections across our teams and work streams to drive identification and facilitation of interdependencies.
  • Accountable for identifying, assessing and mitigating program risks and issues, and removing impediments.
  • Independently leads highly complex cross-functional initiatives with responsibility for managing scope, schedule, risk, business value, dependencies and budget.
  • Accountable for motivating, influencing project team members to take positive action and accountability for their assigned work.
  • Identify risks and issues within the project team at a portfolio/program level. Analyzes possible solutions and assesses each using standard procedures, developing a recommended approach.
  • Exhibits the following competencies: accountable for high quality, value driven work that drives business outcomes; places the user in the center of decision making, teams up and collaborates for speed, agility, and innovation; embraces continuous learning, is curious, embraces ambiguity, voices opinions; and takes personal accountability.


Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:

  • A minimum of 9 years of professional experience.
  • At least 7+ years of project management experience in technology and/or business functions.
  • Experience with agile project management methodologies.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and manage large and highly complex assignments including those with enterprise-wide impact.
  • Experience building external strategic partnerships and managing a portfolio of work.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, in addition to strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to drive cross-functional teams to clarity within ambiguity, including vendors
  • Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Computer Science, Information Systems or related field, or an equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • Experience in the Financial Services industry strongly preferred.
  • Experience working with sales force strongly preferred.

This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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