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Senior Design Project Manager



Design, Operations
Chester, VA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2023

About Plenty

We are on a mission to grow plenty of fresh food for everyone, everywhere. We are building the world’s largest, most technologically advanced, indoor vertical farms. Using a fraction of the land and water outdoor farms need, our farms are designed to secure our food future.

Our people and teams are how we make our mission possible. We are passionate about our contributions to Plenty, the communities around us and our planet, but never take ourselves too seriously. We’re down to earth, we grow together, and we always find a way. Join us as we rewrite the rules of agriculture, and we’ll bet our berries you’ll be rewarded with innovative and collaborative teammates, a supportive environment, diverse career opportunities and meaningful work.

About the role

Plenty is looking for a Senior Staff Project Manager to join our R&D Engineering team. The R&D Engineering team designs and scales the technology used in our state of the art, indoor vertical farms. In this role, you will be responsible for coordinating the overall design of our indoor vertical farms and capital projects within farm assets from concept to deployment. In this role you will be responsible to ensure projects meet business requirements set forth in Plenty’s Plan of Record and align to the overall programmatic delivery embedded within the Product Management strategy and organization. You will be responsible for overseeing completion of design, scheduling, budgeting and cost forecasting. You will help to develop and improve the stage gate delivery framework for Plenty and to ensure that cross-functional leaders from Plenty and their teams deliver on stage gate requirements, making strategic decisions throughout the process. You will be part of a passionate and dynamic team that is developing new technology from the ground up and deploying it at a global scale, all with the goal of making delicious, healthy produce accessible to all.

What you'll do

  • Ensure the Design of the Farm Product is capable of meeting schedule, cost and performance requirements of the Farm
  • Project manage a cross functional team of Engineers, Supply Chain Managers, external design agents and external consultants to ensure appropriate resource loading for activities in all stages of development according to farm requirements, business Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Research & Development (R&D) resourcing needs
  • Identify and prioritize opportunities to innovate in our design to drive down costs, shorten deployment durations and iterate improvements through successive deployments
  • Develop and define procurement strategies and approaches in collaboration with the Supply Chain team and execute against them
  • Further develop and improve the Plenty stage gate process including business and technical requirements to ensure repeatable and reliable delivery of programs and projects
  • Responsible for integrating design and procurement plans into the end to end Farm Project Plan that complies with stage gate requirements judiciously resourced
  • Allocate and manage budget and schedule across Farm Areas and align with cross-functional team responsible for delivering against budget and schedule; comprised of engineering, supply chain, construction management, controls, and others to develop architecture and designs across automation, electronics, devices, and firmware
  • Align with Technical Product Managers to specify Plenty Intellectual Property (IP) included in each Farm instance and assess tech development and supply chain risk to ensure R&D delivery in alignment with Farm Project schedule
  • Author and maintain risk registers for projects and oversee completion of mitigations for technical and business risk
  • Support in other upstream Farm Asset planning initiatives including Plenty selection of future sites, including review of surveys, titles and zoning, environmental and geotechnical reports in conjunction with external consultants, solicitation of utility services, analysis power and energy markets, and preparation of utility agreements
  • During construction phase, accountable for change control decision making process and escalation through balance of influence and decision making
  • Generate Technical content and run Governance meetings on a regular cadence
  • Prepare content for Board updates as needed
  • Other duties as assigned

What you'll bring to the table

  • Experience or education equivalent to a B.S. in an Engineering discipline, preferably Mechanical, Electrical, or similar
  • 10+ years of experience in large scale capital project management ($50-$100M scale a plus)
  • Deep background in working with quantity surveying and management of engineering service providers
  • Experience in risk management and/or leading design and manufacturing validation activities (e.g. risk register, FMEA, DV/PV testing, etc.)
  • Appreciation for the art of managing evolving project requirements in a fast-paced environment
  • Experience using a standard product development process
  • Highly collaborative mindset and excellent communication skills
  • Willingness to travel ~25%

Type of role

Full-Time; Hybrid

What we can offer

  • Compensation; we’ll pay you a competitive salary, give you a stake in the company via equity and contribute toward your 401K
  • Health & well-being; we’ll invest in your physical and mental well-being with comprehensive medical, dental, & vision benefits, in-office gyms, and an Employee Assistance Program to help with mental health, financial & legal matters
  • Food; in-office lunches, snacks and access to our leafy greens & new produce in development -- are you up for a side gig as a taste tester?
  • Grow together; learning & development opportunities including unlimited access to our Upstart University platform, LinkedIn Learning, lunch & learns, training certifications, and more
  • Equipment; we’ll provide you with the equipment you need to be successful, including $75/month toward your phone bill and $250 every 2 years to upgrade your phone
  • Paid time off; we know you’ll do your best if you’re taking time to recharge, so we don’t cap the amount of days you can take off per year in addition to the paid holidays we observe
  • Parental leave; 12 weeks off for all new parents - fully paid so you can focus your energy on your newest addition

Food & Safety Requirements

  • Comply with all Plant, State and Federal OSHA, EPA, FDA, HACCP, and SQF regulations
  • All applicants must be 18 years or older to apply
  • Make sure Equipment design is of a material suitable for food safety and designed in a way that is smooth and easily cleanable