The overall purpose of this position is to manage technology innovation pilot initiatives for Darden IT. The position will oversee the day-to-day activities in our technology innovation pipeline, from concept to pilot to transition for rollout. The Technology Innovation Project Manager should consistently demonstrate strong leadership, initiative and communication skills.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
-Help develop process for identifying, assessing, and prioritizing technology innovation opportunities
-Stay abreast of key technology trends & solutions that may be applicable to the hospitality / restaurant industry
-Identify & help manage key third-party partnerships to realize our vision
-Help to define approaches to evaluate new initiatives at fast pace/low cost for feedback/learning
-Work with Business Solutions and Infrastructure teams to tailor the software development process to optimize delivery of innovation pilots while still ensuring on-time, on-scope, and on-budget delivery of projects
-Collaborate with key Darden stakeholders to define success criteria and pilot metrics
-Manage pilots including scope/resources to ensure on time/on scope/on budget delivery
-Coordinate with operations on the pilot implementation & launch
-Monitor the results in order to assess the pilot's applicability within Darden
-Facilitate transition of successful innovation pilots to the IT Support groups
-Manage the technology innovation pilot portfolio, including pipeline activity and the prioritization of new potential solutions as they enter our innovation pipeline
-Manage technology innovation projects throughout their lifecycle, including:
-Defining objectives & requirements
-Creating & managing project plans for pilots, proof-of-concepts, and tests
-Creating & managing project budgets (capital & expense)
-Providing Leadership to resources for Innovation projects
-Managing project scope & key assumptions
-Managing the design, iterative development, and testing process for innovation pilots
-Providing Leadership to internal & external development resources to deliver on pilot objectives
-Developing, measuring against, and reporting on key pilot performance metrics
-Assessing and communicating key risk areas and mitigation strategies
-Communicating with key stakeholders in Enterprise Operations, Enterprise Marketing, the brands, and the restaurant learning labs
-Creating key artifacts to support transition of successful pilots to the IT Development teams
-Proactively communicate with IT Leadership team members as appropriate regarding Pilot and Innovation initiatives.
-Maintain & support key partnerships & external relationships to support our innovation agenda
-Provide feedback for team members engaged in the projects lead by the Project Leader, and help coach and motivate the resources throughout the project life cycle and beyond.
REQUIRED TECHNICAL SKILLS:
-5+ years of proven project management experience in IT application development and/or leading technology innovation projects with strong abilities in relationship management.
-5+ years of experience successfully leading project teams. Experience and demonstrated competency in managing resources, tasks, contracts, scope, and budgets for projects in the context of technology initiatives.
-5+ years' experience in business process management and gathering business requirements
-Strong understanding of project financial budgets, variance management, forecasting, & reporting
-Experience developing detailed project plans including resource allocation/scheduling. Experience and demonstrated competency with Microsoft Project and Visio.
-Facile with evaluating, learning, assessing, and dissecting new technologies
-Strong organizational and planning skills
-Strong product management mindset and skills including experience with and a thorough understanding of how to interpret customer business needs and translate them into functional business requirements, application and operational requirements.
-Proven ability to deliver on projects and deadlines
-Exceptional interpersonal and collaboration skills that will assist in both internal and external relationship building
-Demonstrated ability to lead, motivate & develop employees
-Track record of consultative / "ability to influence" skills
-Responds quickly & effectively to changing business environment, requirements or shifts in technology and/or skills.
-Direct and coordinate activities of project personnel to ensure project progresses on schedule and within budget
-Perform in a highly skilled individual contributor capacity relative to project management and analysis
BS/BA in MIS, Computer Science, Business or Mathematics.
OTHER KEY QUALIFICATIONS:
-Excellent project management skills.
-Strong propensity for and experience with superior customer service.
-Ability to manage multiple objectives and tasks simultaneously
-Solid analytical skills to assess and effectively resolve challenges.
-Excellent verbal and written communication skills working with both technical and non-technical audiences. Ability to communicate at all levels.
-An immediate and hands-on approach to addressing issues and opportunities
-Demonstrated ability and willingness to adapt to changing priorities and/or projects
-Proven ability to effectively prioritize and address multiple and simultaneous challenges
-Experience with one or more of the following areas:
-Wireless and Digital solutions
-Mobile applications / mobility
-Web user interface (UI) design
PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:
-Restaurant operations experience
-Knowledge of other retail business (preferred)
-Experience leading innovation projects or mobile solutions
-MBA or Masters in Computer Science preferred