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Program Lead R&D Strategy and Analytics at Mars Incorporated

Posted in General Business 30+ days ago.

This job brought to you by eQuest

Type: Full-Time
Location: Chicago, Illinois





Job Description:

A mutually rewarding experience.

Work. Realize your ambitions. And realize there’s more to being in business than just making a profit. That’s the Mars philosophy. And the opportunity we offer every one of our Associates. An opportunity to take what you do and make it mean more for you, for those around you and for the planet.  What you get here is challenging, interesting work. You get the tools you need to do a great job and you get to have the best possible people on your side to help you do it. And at the same time as getting to find ways to do business better today than we did it yesterday and driving a great career, you also get to build a more enlightened business and drive sustainability.

Because it’s never just about a single person, a single project or a single brand. It’s about how you can grab everything that’s within your reach here and use it to pursue mutual, long-term gain. It’s about having ideas. And ideals. Being prepared to risk failure because the promise of success means we’ll all be a little better off. It’s that mix of integrity and ambition that makes Mars such a special place to work. And why working here is always about more than just a job.

About Mars, Incorporated 

Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.

Job Title             Program Lead R&D Strategy and Analytics

Reports to          Senior Manager R&D PMO, Global Program Office

Segment             Mars Wrigley Confectionery

Function             R&D Program Management Office (PMO)

Location/Site      Chicago, IL/ GIC

Job Purpose/Overview

This roles exists to provide innovation strategy development and analytical support to the R&D Leadership team.  There is a pressing business need to address how we are spending a disproportionate amount of time and money to launch new items compared to our growth and require a data-driven approach to shape and measure our innovation pipelines.  This role will be instrumental in synthesizing of data inputs and developing strategy roadmaps that will guide the R&D teams to build robust and balanced pipelines to drive category growth.

Key Responsibilities


  • INNOVATION METRICS AND ANALYTICS: Cultivate ways of working with S&F strategy partners and CMI to ensure alignment to innovation metrics of past, current and future growth activities.  Build and maintain advanced dashboard reporting by synthesizing inputs from PPM, Nielsen and Finance to ensure a focus on the performance measures of our innovation activities.  Partner with the regional and global R&D product and pack development teams to embed tracking activities into their pipeline development. 

  • INNOVATION STRATEGY: Galvanize the R&D organization around sustainable innovation practices and ensure clear innovation goals are in place and aligned with the segment growth ambition.  Collaborate with cross-segment peers and corporate innovation team to look beyond the current practices and explore new innovation dimensions to position the segment for long-term growth potential.   

  • RESOURCE UTILIZATION AND MODELING: Lead benchmarking study to assess the level of R&D investment (FTE and project expenses) devoted to each class of innovation: Build, Expand, Transform and Enter.  Recommend solutions or corrective actions for improved return on investment where required.  Support financial modeling of organizational design structure to support our current and future growth ambition.    

Context and Scope


  • This role is member of the global R&D Program Management team and serves as a business strategy partner to key R&D functional teams on the ever present need to balance program delivery and prioritization of global initiatives.

  • This role will bring consistency to the team through establishing collaborative ways of working and applying situationally appropriate tools (e.g. meeting notes templates, action trackers, timelines, charters, presentation templates, meeting facilitation guides, reporting dashboards, stakeholder communication documents, etc.).

  • The PMO role is focused on the pursuit of continuous improvement of project management activities to maximize the team’s inputs/outputs to achieve our business objectives faster. 

  • A Program Lead plays a critical role to ensure that team tacit knowledge is made explicit through the use of business tools for knowledge sharing (SharePoint, One Drive, One Note, etc.) and fosters a team culture of knowledge sharing to maintain business continuity in an environment of constant change.

  • This role will also be called upon to contribute expertise and program management to other ‘added value’ global Confectionery R&D initiatives to ensure the success of the global R&D organization.

Job Specifications/Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s Degree (MBA preferred) in business, finance, marketing or other closely related field

  • 8 years professional experience working in a business environment  

  • 5 years strategy and analytics experience

  • Knowledge/Experience:

  • Excellence in project management with strong influencing skills to be able to get work done through others.

  • Experience managing cross-functional and globally dispersed teams.

  • Comfort in navigating systems and processes to effectively drive program of program deliverables and activities.

  • Understanding and experience initiating continuous improvements and pursuit of improved ways of working, communication and project management.

  • Understanding of risk assessment and contingency planning.

  • Effective communication skills including:

    • Synthesizing qualitative updates across various teams into clear and concise reports

    • Ability to customize message to suit the audience from peers through senior management

    • Effective stakeholder management to ensure program updates are cascaded accordingly

    • Strong organization skills, thoughtful decision making and ability to think on your feet



Key Supporting Competencies


  • Command Skills - Relishes leading; takes unpopular stands if necessary; encourages direct and tough debate but isn't afraid to end it and move on; is looked to for direction in a crisis; faces adversity head on; energized by tough challenges.

  • Organizational Agility - Knowledgeable about how organizations work; knows how to get things done both through formal channels and the informal network; understands the origin and reasoning behind key policies, practices, and procedures; understands the cultures of organizations.

  • Business Acumen - Knows how businesses work; knowledgeable in current and possible future policies, practices, trends, technology, and information affecting his/her business and organization; knows the competition; is aware of how strategies and tactics work in the marketplace.

  • Dealing with Ambiguity - Can effectively cope with change; can shift gears comfortably; can decide and act without having the total picture; isn't upset when things are up in the air; doesn't have to finish things before moving on; can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty.

  • Process Management - Good at figuring out the processes necessary to get things done; knows how to organize people and activities; understands how to separate and combine tasks into efficient work flow; knows what to measure and how to measure it; can see opportunities for synergy and integration where others can't; can simplify complex processes; gets more out of fewer resources.

Key R&D Functional Competencies & Technical skills


  • Risk & Opportunity Identification

  • Performance Evaluation & Continuous Improvement

  • Framing Business Challenges

  • Scale Up & Deploy

Mars is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.