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Director – Technology Portfolio Strategy and Planning

Req #: WHQ00013000-NR
Location: Chicago, IL US
Job Category:Information Technology
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Information Technology

The United IT team designs, develops and maintains massively scaling technology solutions that are brought to life with innovative architectures, data analytics and digital solutions


This position is responsible for creating, organizing, and driving the framework for successful execution of the technology planning portfolio. The person must be successful in working closely with portfolio leaders aligned with each business division to develop the business technology strategy, partner on planning, and secure investment from financial planning. In addition, this position is responsible for ensuring consistency in the group along with alignment with overall Divisional Strategic Plan, and must develop and lead the critical thinking and actual creation of the strategy framework. This position is responsible for managing the technology planning portfolio according to agreed upon standards and acceptance criteria.

This position will:

  • Provide portfolio leadership to develop strategies aligned with corporate objectives in defining divisional priorities and plan.
  • Actively seek ways to apply technology to business processes, researching and providing information on trends and competitor’s practices relevant to airline technology.
  • Assess near-term needs, consult with subject matter experts; advise on options, risks, costs versus benefits, and impact on other business processes and system priorities.
  • Work closely with Financial and Portfolio Management teams to prioritize business cases for programs, outline investment criteria, align technology direction, and work closely with IT leaders and business units to develop new ideas into business cases.

This role will oversee the strategy, operations and staff responsible for portfolio management and is accountable for the successful, on-time, and on-budget delivery of the technology portfolio. The Director provides the professional and strategic leadership for the organization and coordinates both internal and external resources to maximize project and program success. This role partners with senior management both within IT and across business organizations and is a partner to key business stakeholders in maintaining a uniform approach to Portfolio, Resource, Risk and Financial management and also serves as a change agent for continuous improvement through implementation of enhanced methodologies, tools and techniques.


Technology Strategy and Planning
  • Support the high-level technology strategy and oversee the full portfolio of programs to ensure they align with that strategy and support long-term goals
  • Manage relationships and keep project stakeholders and leadership accurately and regularly informed regarding the project portfolio status
  • Foster and promote a supportive team environment. Direct, motivate, and develop team members and identify and address training and development needs
  • Serve as a key liaison across technology and functional PMO groups facilitating strategic collaboration, project planning and prioritization to ensure projects support the business with a positive ROI
  • Be a Thought Partner, i.e. engage with technology and business owners

Portfolio Leadership
  • Partner with leadership during the project selection process, and ensure that a strong project governance framework is maintained. Chair important portfolio meetings
  • Oversee the development and maintenance of common standards and methodologies for portfolio management
  • Ensure projects are defined, tracked, and executed in a consistent and effective way that will maximize project success
  • Maintain centralized accountability for management of the project portfolio
  • Provide oversight of the portfolio to ensure that all projects are proceeding according to timelines, meeting targets, and adhering to established operating parameters
  • Assess and analyze the portfolio on the basis of schedule, costs, quality, resource allocation, planned vs. actuals. Report status, performance, and financial health to executive leadership based on established criteria

Process Improvement / Effectiveness
  • Own the continuous improvement and process optimization processes for the portfolio. Create and continually update processes and procedures that support company long and short term goals
  • Define, prioritize, allocate resources, track and provide status reporting of work assignments
  • Ability to manage up to 10 direct reports
  • Ability to manage up to $10-50 M in budget


  • Bachelor's or advanced degree in business, information technology or related field required


  • PMP certification required with knowledge of PMBOK process groups and knowledge areas required
  • ITIL Foundational certification preferred




  • Influential leader with superior interpersonal and communication abilities, business and technology knowledge, a tremendous customer focus and first class problem solver
  • Ability to effectively establish and maintain strategic working relationships with peers and constituents at all levels of the organization
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate staff/project teams, inspire teamwork and take a leadership role
  • Extensive knowledge and expertise in the use of portfolio/project management methodologies and tools, resource management practices, change management techniques
  • Expert in MS Access, Advanced macros and MS PowerPointAdvanced knowledge of software development life cycles (agile, waterfall, etc.



  • Expert in MS Project Professional and MS Enterprise Project Server (2010 preferred)




  • 10 years’ experience in Portfolio Management discipline with focus on leading teams to deliver complex, customer focused projects and programs under the direction of a governance body
  • Experience managing program/portfolio budgets and managing and controlling projects using Earned Value Management
  • Experience managing remote and geographically distributed teams
  • Broad outsourcing experience, including vendor/partner relationship management, contract negotiations and management
  • Leadership / People Management experience for team of 25-40


  • Airline industry experience


  • International and domestic travel 20-25%
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer without sponsorship
  • Successful completion of interview required to meet job qualification
  • Reliable, punctual attendance is an essential function of the position




Equal Opportunity Employer – Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled/LGBT

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