Senior Project Manager, Research & Development

Indigo is a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet. With a vision of creating a world where farming is an economically desirable and accessible profession, Indigo works alongside its growers to apply natural approaches, conserve resources for future generations, and grow healthy food for all. Utilizing beneficial plant microbes to improve crop health and productivity, Indigo’s portfolio is focused on cotton, wheat, corn, soybeans, and rice. The company, founded by Flagship Pioneering, is headquartered in Boston, MA, with additional offices in Memphis, TN, Research Triangle Park, NC, Sydney, Australia, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and São Paulo, Brazil.  www.indigoag.com

The role of the Sr. Program Manager, R&D is to lead key R&D cross-functional projects. As part of the R&D Program Management team, you will be responsible for enabling cross functional teams to meet R&D and commercial objectives through the development of microbial products. Responsibilities include developing and executing project plans to ensure successful achievement of commercial goals, implementing standard processes to enable cross-functional alignment, and identifying and mitigating risks to R&D and/or commercial objectives. This position will report directly to Head, R&D Program Management and will work cross functionally with Crop Product Management, R&D Functions, and Crop teams to achieve the best outcomes for Indigo and our partners.

 

Responsibilities:

  • Develop plans and manage 3 projects to ensure success of Indigo’s Target Product Commercialization Goals
    • Take on portfolio of late stage R&D projects across up to 5 crops.
    • Obtain cross functional inputs and buy in to build and implement project plans
    • Run regular team meetings
    • Create and populate dashboards for quick reference to project status and functional responsibilities/dependencies
    • Provide coordination and logistics support for functional team members to ensure execution of workstreams
    • Lead cross functional project team meetings with clear agenda and objectives to maintain alignment
    • Identify and ensure mitigation of project risk according to Indigo’s Risk Management Plan
  • Identify, develop & improve upon R&D processes to enable efficient and scalable achievement of product launch goals
    • Establish rapport with functional workstream owners and have a clear understanding of their processes and challenges
    • Become an expert in the complexities of agriculture microbial product development
    • Establish and execute clear communication plans to meet team needs
    • Support functional teams, including Field Sciences, Bioprocess, Plant Phenotyping, & Regulatory/Quality, to develop improved assays and methods for deployment into Stage Gate to meet throughput and quality requirements for product development
    • Participate in R&D problem solving meetings
    • Improve upon current process MAPs to provide a clear framework for team member reference, training, and execution.
  • Independently coordinate with R&D pipeline engine to advance potential commercial products
    • Establish rapport with key R&D and Commercial stakeholders
    • Schedule and host Stage Gate meetings to determine commercial candidates that meet performance objectives while conforming to other required specifications
    • Provide cross functional logistics support to execute field trials, controlled environment testing, and manufacturing scale up
    • Work with R&D team to establish clear processes to meet all commercial and research requests, within and outside of Stage Gate
    • Manage collaborator relationships to support Stage Gate
    • Work with R&D Team to generate supporting technical marketing materials for commercial
  • Become a Subject Matter expert in the tools and processes deployed by the Project Management team
    • Utilize project management tools and processes for effective project management
    • Aid in institutionalization of PM tools and processes
  • Understands and embodies our purpose and core values
    • widely viewed as someone who personifies our core values, is committed to them, and leans on them when making difficult decision
    • Demonstrates personal and/or professional passion for our core values
    • Understands our purpose and core values and what makes Indigo different from other companies.

Competencies:

  • Able to translate stakeholder needs to system/process improvements; able to effectively communicate technology concepts to non-technical or less technical audiences
  • Able to bring structure to loosely defined processes and to develop requirements and process when presented with ambiguity
  • Well-organized approach to capturing priorities and following through on action items
  • Able to manage a program consisting of multiple projects involving stakeholders and resources from multiple departments
  • Think not only in terms of highlighting issues but also in terms of identifying and implementing solutions
  • Proactive in engaging the appropriate teams/resources for a given activity – and aware of which teams/resources are not required (e.g., those that can be informed at a later date)
  • Understands the hand-off between project/program management and other resources and stakeholders within a project (i.e., knows when to own a task vs. when to assign to someone else on the team)
  • Flexible mindset, able to remain composed amidst stressful situations
  • Driven, self-starter with exceptional organizational skills
  • Clear, concise, and direct communication style; able to “call to action”
  • Able to be an “owner” for all processes created; takes pride in their work and deliverables
  • Able to work effectively with individuals at all levels of the organization
  • Able to identify and manage complex interdependencies between tasks
  • Able to influence team members and stakeholders without direct management authority

Qualifications:

  • Industry experience, with emphasis on bioprocessing or biological manufacturing process development & tech transfer
  • B.S. or M.S. in a science discipline + ≥10 years’ well-rounded experience across business functions (manufacturing, R&D, operations, commercial / sales & marketing, etc.)
  • 6+ years’ experience in cross-functional project and program management with cross-functional teams or other relevant product development experience (e.g. business analysis, product development, engineering). Having done this in agriculture-related business is a plus.
  • Experience with MS Project or other similar tools
  • Experience in projects that deliver process and/or systems to drive operational efficiencies preferred
  • Experience managing projects that combine product and technology preferred
  • Experience managing programs and projects involving organizational change management preferred
  • Scrum master certification or PMP certification preferred
  • Willing to be based in Boston (we will pay for relocation), with occasional travel required

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