Project Manager

Project Management Chicago, Illinois


The Project Manager leads the execution of deliverables for projects and programs. This individual is responsible for the creation of the project plan based on information provided by the clients and creative/strategic briefing materials. He or she owns the process from inception to completion, including participation in budget determination, creation of project schedule, managing resources for deliverables, raising red flags as issues arise and ensuring adherence to the approval process. This position will report to the Director/Senior Project Manager.

The State Farm team at DDB has a long heritage and track record of recognizable, business-building work. We are a high-functioning team that expects our team members to be passionate, creatively-driven, and analytically curious about the industry, our client, our work, and our team.

This position will lead project management supporting State Farm marketing programs (specific program/work load as designated by Director/Senior Project Manager). These programs encompass both above and below the line advertising deliverables and include working closely with the cross functional team of account, creative, design, and production.

Process/Workflow Responsibilities
• Develop and maintain project plan and schedule, internal status, and Program Captain status.
• Assemble the project team by coordinating with the Director/Senior Project Manager and Creative Resourcing (as necessary).
• Complete project set up activities including intake process, documentation, and opening jobs in Aura system.
• Set up folders on shared server to house all program and project documentation.
• Input project information into all PM documents (resourcing reports, status documents, etc.).
• Schedule and lead project kick off meetings (as it relates to schedule, folder structure and location, scope of assignment, creative asset particulars, etc.).
• Initiate and conduct internal review meetings to secure creative approvals (including creative, digital development, and proofreading).
• Initiate and conduct team status meetings, including documenting and communicating risks and issues for internal purposes.
• Maintain daily communication with team members on all projects, inclusive of account, creative, and production teams.
• Work closely with the account, creative, and production teams to determine and understand daily project status and generate daily hot sheets.
• Coordinate and ensure quality processes and flag opportunities for efficiencies and improvement.

Timeline Management
• Communicate project plan and schedule to project/program team. Work with account management to align and gain client approval.
• Utilize PM software, templates, team calendars, program calendars, etc. to create detailed timelines, Gantt charts, and calendars. Communicate key milestones to all internal (account, creative, and production teams) and external project stakeholders. Ensure all appropriate stakeholder approval prior to project initiation. Update timeline on an as needed basis and communicate updates to all stakeholders.

Financial Responsibilities
• Working closely with Account and Production Teams to ensure estimates are generated, approved, and signed by client in a timely manner.
• Working closely with Program Director/Senior Project Manager as necessary on estimates, budget, and financial reporting.

Resource Management
• Keep Program Director/Senior Project Manager apprised of all upcoming resource needs based upon project scope, workloads, and timelines, maintaining a pulse on department volume within the DDB State Farm team.

Key Success Factors
• Adherence to DDB procedures and policies
• Well organized
• Flexible
• Creative thinking
• Excellent people skills
• Self-confident and decisive
• Ability to cope under pressure
• Keeping Program Director/Senior Project manager apprised of issues that impact State Farm team programs and projects
• Timely completion of individual assigned projects

Attributes/Skills Required
• Strong fact-finding skills and good judgment
• Strong project management skills
• Detail oriented and well organized
• Systematic, innovative thinker
• Ability to manage multiple priorities and meet or exceed deadlines
• Team player, positive influence on teams and individuals
• Excellent oral and written communication
• Excellent analytical skills, particularly problem solving and solution offering

Technical Skills
• Proficient with MS Office Suite (Mac based)

• Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Communications or another similar field
• 3-5 years’ experience in Project Management (including category or brand management)
• Account or client side experience a plus
• Experience developing timelines and estimates
• Strong leadership skills
• Financial, insurance, and small business knowledge and experience a plus