Director Strategic Portfolio and Program Management

London (Greater)
03 Mar 2021
03 Apr 2021
Contract Type
Full Time


The Director Portfolio and Strategic Program Manager - Global Business Operations position will be focused on the execution and management of key strategic and operational projects within Discovery, defining program management best practices and capabilities within the organization, as well as creating/monitoring the strategic pipeline of initiatives to support ongoing business transformation. This role will report into the Transformation Office and play a key part in an ongoing continuous improvement practice. This position is integral in defining an opportunity pipeline strategy as well as managing implementation dependencies across the organization. The position will demand very strong organizational and structuring skills, strong analytics, a high degree of collaboration/partnership with members of different groups both domestically and internationally, including senior business stakeholders, and corporate groups. The ability to independently shepherd complex interactions and situations is essential.


Provide strategic continuous improvement pipeline management leadership (40%)

  • Develop and maintain a pipeline view of continuous improvement opportunities led out of the Discovery Transformation Office with focus on ROI value, key achievements, resources, and dependencies
  • Ensure the PMO function is aligned with and driven from the organization’s business needs and priorities based upon the executive direction from the steering committee and Chief Transformation Officer
  • Lead discussions around prioritization and approval for initiatives that may require business case escalation to leadership team
  • Act as a thought partner for business unit teams; identify transformative opportunities, help to shape strategic plans, bring in cross-functional expertise where needed, and drive the initiative planning process
  • Provide mentorship on business cases, identifying the business impact, probability of satisfying business needs, anticipated business benefits, and risks and consequences of failure
  • Ensure there are mechanisms / metrics in place to track strategic improvement initiative effectiveness based on business cases
  • Works closely with business leads on key projects and programs to optimize ROI on project investments by leading and facilitating courageous dialogue, challenging opinions, and influencing decision making at all levels of the organization


Provide project and change management leadership (35%)

  • Support Business and Corporate teams in the identification and structuring of issues/questions to be solved, and the subsequent structuring of a project plan and execution
  • Develop strong cross-functional partnerships and relationships to support initiatives as needed
  • Requires strong leadership skills to bring senior stakeholders together and develop a feasible, rigorous plan for execution along with negotiation across business units when goals do not align
  • Ultimately responsible for the appropriate pace/on time execution of projects from beginning to end to include:
    • Prepare and manage project plans/timelines b. As necessary coordinate, lead and/or communicate analysis
    • Assemble representative project teams and coordinate team members to meet project milestones
    • Conduct and lead status meetings e. Manage and escalate issues as required f. Continually evaluate project risks and dependencies g. Create project documentation for updates to steering committee and executive stakeholders


  • Define relevant financial and metric information and coordinate effort to ensure appropriate tracking
  • Collaborate with cross-functional and external partners to provide relevant and actionable project insights to the business units; track and ensure completion of project tasks
  • Conduct and facilitate project kick-offs, stand-up meetings, team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and manage risk and change
  • Incorporate feedback from leadership and modify process as needed, leveraging team member expertise and cumulative experience on projects
  • Define key linkages or dependencies that are needed to complete the project, and effectively manage those dependencies to successful conclusion


Develop Best Practice, Tools, and Skillset for project leadership within the wider organization (15%)

  • Develops and implements effective program and transformation initiative management tools and best practices to support all the business units.
  • Leads the defining of targeted initiatives every year that may include optimization of processes, or introduction of new tools and management with the goal of improving internal control of projects.
  • May include the continuous improvement of project management templates for all project phases, using appropriate project methodology based on project type, and creating a project portfolio clearly supporting the organizational strategy.
  • Creating standard operating procedures for planning, business cases, risk management, and overall portfolio management


Provide Team Leadership and Issue Management/Escalation (10%)

  • Manage team ensuring that staff achieve their goals, including providing staff with targeted guidance and advice, training, performance management, leadership development, and career development. Coordinating priorities and tasks and monitoring progress
  • Over time, utilize experience and team knowledge to develop robust program / plan for team member development
  • Ability to manage issues requiring problem resolution and conflict management with excellent interpersonal and intervention skills
  • Apply different approaches/ situational leadership with teams and individuals appropriate to the circumstances to enable project delivery


  • Strong project management or operational process leadership experience preferably in the media industry with progressive experience utilizing strategic/critical thinking.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Operations, Management, other analytical field or equivalent experience. * MBA and/or PMP Certification preferred. * Strong group leadership skills. * Strong analytical acumen and a high strategic solution orientation. Capability in influencing and guiding discussions as a key stakeholder and promoter of critical capability and process improvements.
  • Skill in conducting effective questioning in order to break down complex issues and opportunities into core elements.
  • Strong facilitation and negotiation skills; Effective stakeholder management, builds commitment and trust, influences others positively.
  • Strong ability to manage complex projects, multiple stakeholders and articulate the dependencies and interrelationships.
  • Experience proactively driving enterprise/systemic change to current governance and process gaps.
  • Demonstrates a result based and adaptive leadership style with strong impact and influencing skills.
  • You appreciate change, you’re highly flexible and adaptable.
  • Strong change management experience and the ability to articulate solutions at varying degrees of granularity to different audiences. * Strong written and oral communication skills to include the ability to articulate problems and solutions clearly, to conduct brainstorming sessions, etc.
  • Experience developing, diligencing, and managing a financial business case from a project perspective including operating and capital expenditures preferred.
  • Organizational, project, and priority management skills for planning, executing and following up on issues, projects and daily responsibilities in order to meet established deadlines.

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