The Innovation project manager will direct the submission and evaluation of new innovation projects, manage and measure the movement of projects through the firm’s new product development (NPD) pipeline, and measure the return on those investments. He/she will be responsible for reviewing project funding requests, driving the evaluation process, facilitating stage-gate meetings, collaborating with innovation task force members, and measuring and communicating key portfolio metrics. The ideal candidate will possess strong organizational, project management and communication skills.
This is a firmwide role and as such they must be able to work effectively with people at all levels of responsibility, and across all business units and industries. The portfolio manager with support from the innovation program associate director will be expected to provide input and recommendations to help task force members make decisions about where to invest the firm’s innovation dollars and facilitate the process in a fair and consistent manner in accordance with task force policies and guidelines.
Specific responsibilities and time allocation:
- New idea submissions and funding requests - Approximately 40% of the role will be reviewing new requests and collaborating with the firm’s innovation task force to determine next steps. The project manager should look for opportunities to improve the funding request process and utilize technology when possible.
- Innovation metrics – approximately 30% of the role will involve financial reporting and analysis to measure the firm’s investment, revenue potential and actual revenue generated from new products and solutions. Responsibilities will include regular updates of the portfolio metrics and communication via the firm’s quarterly scorecard, and annual report.
- Portfolio management and process assurance – Approximately 25% of the role will involve managing the active portfolio of projects approved for funding and in various phases of the NPD pipeline from exploration through post-launch. Common activities include establishing, facilitating, documenting, and communicating funding review discussions, stage-gate (progress) reviews, demos, and deliverables based on each project’s plan and timeline.
- Education and self-development– approximately 5% of the role will involve educating and guiding new users about the NPD process as well as responding to inquiries. The project manager should plan to devote some time to learning about innovation process best practices and opportunities to improve or enhance our model.
Skill sets required include:
- Four-seven years of experience, with at least two in an accounting, budgeting, or financial reporting role
- Initiative and drive; must be proactive and able to operate independently
- Strong process mindset and conceptual thinking
- Very organized with demonstrated analytical skills
- Strong interpersonal skills including relationship-building and collaboration with people from different disciplines
- Ability to influence, challenge, and support work groups that are not direct reports with tact and professionalism
- Strong written and oral communication skills
- Experienced at stakeholder management, including senior management
- Can adapt to shifting priorities, demands and timelines through analytical and problem-solving capabilities
- Flexible during times of change; embraces ambiguity
- Strong execution skills and ability to bring projects to successful completion
- Ability to prioritize and manage multiple concurrent projects.
- Self-motivated with a positive attitude who can organize work, innovate and problem-solve
- Advanced user of Microsoft Office programs, experience with Visio is a plus.
The ideal candidate must have the following:
- 3+ years’ experience in project management or client service role
- Financial reporting, account management, or budgeting experience – accounting experience preferred
- Prior experience in or knowledge of professional services industry, innovation program experience is a bonus
- BA/BS in a business related major (e.g. Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Economics, Operations)
Crowe Horwath LLP (www.crowehorwath.com) is one of the largest public accounting and consulting firms in the United States. Under its core purpose of “Building Value with Values®,” Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities while also helping clients reach their goals with tax, advisory, risk and performance services. With a total of more than 3,000 personnel, Crowe and its subsidiaries have offices coast to coast. The firm is recognized by many organizations as one of the country's best places to work. Crowe serves clients worldwide as an independent member of Crowe Horwath International, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world, consisting of more than 150 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 100 countries around the world.