United Airlines Director - Program Management Office in Chicago, Illinois

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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

Job overview and responsibilities


The PMO Director is responsible for managing the IT master project portfolio according to agreed upon standards and acceptance criteria. This role will oversee the strategy, operations and staff of the PMO and is accountable for the successful, on-time, and on-budget delivery of the IT project portfolio. The PMO 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 management both within IT and across business organizations and is a partner to key business stakeholders in maintaining a uniform approach to Portfolio, Resource and Financial management and serves as a change agent for continuous improvement through implementation of improved/enhanced methodologies, tools and techniques.


IT Planning, Strategy and Communications Management

  • Bring a comprehensive and forward-looking view of IT projects to the annual planning process

  • Support the high-level IT strategy and oversee the full portfolio of technology projects and initiatives to ensure they align with that strategy and support IT's 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 PMO team members

  • Identify and address training and development needs

  • Serve as a key liaison across IT and functional groups facilitating collaboration, project planning and prioritization to ensure projects support the business with a positive ROI

  • Establish and maintain strong business and IT relationships with both senior and operating level business leaders

  • Understand and provide recommendations for improvement of IT and Business Processes by leveraging existing IT capabilities, identifying improvements to existing IT capabilities and define new strategic IT capabilities

  • Be a Thought Partner, i.e. engaged with IT and Business Owners/Business Process Development

Educate IT and business partners on roles, responsibilities, processes and deliverables required to ensure effective delivery of new technology solutions

Portfolio and Process Management Support

  • Provide oversight for IT projects to ensure they are on track and meet required goals

  • Partner with IT and functional leadership during the project selection process, and ensure that a strong project governance framework is maintained and adopted. Chair CCB meetings

  • Oversee the development and maintenance of common standards and methodologies for project 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

  • Ensure that all projects are proceeding according to timelines, meeting targets and expectations, and adhering to established operating parameters

Assess and analyze the portfolio on the basis of schedule, costs, quality, resource allocation, planned vs. actuals, etc., Report status, performance, and financial health to IT and business leadership based on established criteria

IT Process Mgmt. and Administrative

  • Accountable for administrative management of 10-15 IT professionals, either as direct reports or sourced – HR administration, Salary administration, Time Reporting, etc.

  • Own the continuous improvement and process optimization processes for the PMO. 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 15 direct reports

  • Ability to manage up to 10-15 M in budgetOrganizational Effectiveness / People

  • Provide leadership by establishing department and individuals goals

  • Responsible for developing and maintaining an overall sourcing plan which includes creative sourcing options and alternatives to ensure supply capacities meet work demand, role and skill set requirements and cost objectives

  • Responsible for assessing and recommending improvements to the organization structure, roles and responsibilities

  • Responsible for department and individual performance assessments and improvement plans

  • Responsible for coaching, counseling, assisting employees to develop individual career development and training plans

  • This director is tasked with understanding all of the operating policies and procedures of the enterprise

  • The Director directs multiple teams of Project Managers involved in the analysis, design and development of complex and large scale applications which may include both projects and programs

  • Interacts directly


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

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

  • ITIL Foundational certification preferred Knowledge/Skills Required

  • 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 project/portfolio management methodologies and tools, resource management practices, change management techniques

  • Expert in MS Access and Advanced macros and SQL

  • Advanced knowledge of software development life cycles (waterfall, agile, etc.)Preferred

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



  • 10 years’ experience in Project Management discipline with focus on leading teams to deliver complex, technology 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 (EV)

  • Experience managing remote and geographically distributed teams

  • Broad outsourcing experience, including vendor/partner relationship management, contract negotiations and management

  • Leadership / People Management experience team of 10-15Preferred

  • Airline industry experience


  • International and domestic travel 20-25% required

  • 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