Program Manager

June 11, 2021
Iowa City, IA
Job Type



We are seeking a Program Manager II, Senior Program Manager, or Lead Program Manager to help us fulfill our mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success. This is a remote,high-profile, customer-facingposition that includes travel (20-30%) for customer events. This is a remote position.

The ACT State Program Manager uses strong communication, interpersonal, and collaboration skills to lead the planning, implementation, and ongoing management of statewide assessment programs to successfully deliver all contracted products and services and to meet the needs of the state client, its constituents, members of the extended ACT program team, and the overall business. This includes working closely with a variety of external customers and both external and internal stakeholders.

The level at which this position will be filled is determined by the qualifications of the finalist.

What you will be working on:

  • Focuses on state contract delivery and serves as the primary point of contact with the external customer. Understands, monitors, and reviews state contract requirements and deliverables to optimize contract performance. Develops and leverages strong customer relationships to identify ways in which to expand opportunities within assigned states.
  • Initiates and leads the contract renewal processes, including, but not limited to, collaborating with the customer to define requirements for the renewal contract; updating contract documents; defining requirements and leading the effort to cost enhancements and/or new deliverables; coordinating the renewal with cross-functional team; and tracking all tasks through to renewal contract execution.
  • Works internally to bring closure to customer requests in a timely manner.
  • Supports proposal development efforts that may include requirements analysis, solutions development, writing/editing proposal text, costing, and participating in proposal review processes.

This could be the job for you if you have (minimum requirements):

Program Manager II:

  • A customer-centric focus and a strong sense of urgency while working through a complex matrix organization to ensure success for the customer, organization, and team members
  • Tenacity and persistence to bring closure to customer requests in a timely manner
  • Ability to adapt quickly to change and navigate ambiguity in a fast-paced environment that requires frequent prioritization and strong decision-making skills
  • Outstanding interpersonal, written, verbal communication and facilitation skills; tactful, direct, articulate, and thoughtful communicator with the ability to communicate effectively across all levels of the organization
  • Ability to build and maintain positive working relationships with customers and internal stakeholders, which often includes cross-functional teams, by encouraging and supporting collaboration
  • Ability to learn and utilize full lifecycle project management skills and methodologies to initiate, plan, implement, manage, and close out assigned programs
  • Ability to take initiative, motivate others and work both independently and as part of a team
  • Strong business and financial acumen
  • Collaboration \u2013 work effectively with individuals inside and outside the organization
  • Inclusion \u2013 actively seeks and engages with diverse perspectives and invites a sense of belonging
  • Decision making \u2013 acts decisively with sound judgement; uses data to analyze options and form opinions
  • Information literacy \u2013 uses subject matter knowledge and skills to effectively acquire and apply information
  • Optimization \u2013 ability to apply continuous improvement to existing processes and programs
  • Innovation \u2013 develops ideas that are new, better, or unique; embraces and promotes diverse perspectives
  • Change management \u2013 ability to manage change and navigate positively in an environment experiencing change at a fast pace
  • Initiative \u2013 uses self-starter approach, ability to multi-task, proactively anticipates and acts on information and details needed, completes tasks with little to no direction
  • Self-development - remains current in area of expertise, seeks opportunities to expand and grow skills
  • Accountability - takes responsibility and follows through on commitments; acknowledges and learns from mistakes without blaming others; recognizes the impact of one's behavior
  • A minimum of three (3) years' progressively responsible program management experience that includes:
    • direct client-facing responsibilities
    • experience in supporting the delivery of products and services, preferably for small statewide contracts
    • use of full lifecycle project management methodologies using applicable software applications (MS Project preferred) 

Senior Program Manager:

Meets Program Manager II level requirements plus:

  • Ability to readily manage a portfolio of 3-5 mid- to large-scale statewide assessment programs with varying levels of complexity
  • Demonstrated expertise in a leadership role to navigate a high-stakes program through a complex matrix environment
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and articulate carefully considered tactics to improve program delivery and retain customer satisfaction
  • A minimum of five (5) years' progressively responsible program management experience that includes:
    • accountability for leading the delivery of mid-to-large scale contracts with significant complexity; preferably for statewide contracted products and services
    • experience with independently planning and implementing new contracts and/or business initiatives
    • experience initiating and supporting contract renewal efforts, readily handling costing to support new contract line item

Lead Program Manager:

Meets Program Manager II and Senior Program Manager level requirements plus:

  • Knowledgeable in P&L management, budgeting, costing.
  • Demonstrates an ability to navigate complex contractual requirements and communicate them to key stakeholders throughout the broader organization.
  • A minimum of seven (7) years' progressively responsible program management experience that includes:
    • accountability for leading the delivery of large-scale contracts with significant complexity, a high degree of risk and potential impact to the organization; preferably for statewide contracted products and services
    • Brings the voice of the customer to the table when meeting with internal stakeholders to develop solutions to problems or new initiatives.
    • Skilled in understanding and interpreting nuanced communication and developing and retaining relationships with all internal and external stakeholders. 

For all levels:

  • Bachelor's degree in Business or related area of study, or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired 

It's a plus if you have:

  • Experience in educational assessment industry
  • A Project Management Professional (PMP) credential through the Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • Experience working in a matrix environment with a diverse group of internal stakeholders to deliver contracted products and services
  • Experience in supporting proposal efforts, including text development and costing

Your Work Makes a Difference

ACT team members are part of an organization dedicated to an important mission:  Helping people achieve education and workplace success. 

Everything we do contributes to this mission, including team member events, professional development resources, community outreach opportunities and solid benefit offerings.  Helping team members achieve education and workplace success of their own advances the ACT mission on a daily basis.

You will be joining a team of program management professionals with skills and expertise in working with and developing strong relationships with external clients; following PMI-aligned methodologies to plan, implement, and manage the ongoing delivery of large-scale statewide assessment programs; employing keen business acumen to retain and grow the business; thinking strategically to support customers, team members, and stakeholders; and having some fun along the way.

About ACT

When ACT was founded in 1959, it disrupted the assessment industry with a new approach to helping students better understand their readiness so they could take steps to improve it.  By leveraging our expertise and authority in assessment and research, we will again disrupt the industry\u2014helping more people learn, better measure their progress, and improve their navigation through life's transitions. 

More than ever before, ACT is fulfilling its mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success. We're doing it by pushing the boundaries of learning innovation through the work of our people, who we call team members because we're all in this together.

We know transformation does not come without challenge. That's why ACT invests in a variety of experiences for team members to strengthen their connections, explore ideas, learn from customers, and celebrate success.

Learn more about working at ACT at!

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