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Astellas Pharma Senior Project Operations Manager in Northbrook, Illinois

Developing innovative therapies is one of the most challenging, most essential and personally rewarding fields in science. This is the most exciting time to be a part of Astellas, a company with a uniquely collaborative and patient-focused culture.

There's something special about working at Astellas. It's reflected in our focus on the people we serve, the way we treat each other and the results we achieve together as a company.

Astellas is announcing a Senior Project Operations Manager opportunity in Northbrook, IL.

Position & Scope:

Business Operations Strategy -- a group within the Strategic Planning & Communications Department - facilitates transformational initiatives within and across M&D organizations to improve how Astellas delivers innovative medicines to patients. These improvement programs include internal initiatives targeting areas such as quality management, integrated R&D operations, process improvement, and IT platform implementation. BOS also ensures alignment of these cross functional initiatives with Medical & Development's (M&D) forward looking business strategy.

The Senior Project Operations Manager will be responsible for supporting business case development, managing program delivery, and ensuring alignment with other initiatives impacting M&D. Facilitating teams to embed global transformational changes will require a strong grasp of project coordination and change management faculties.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

Key responsibilities include:

  • Responsible for developing, implementing and coordinating operational timelines for assigned internal improvement initiatives, which may include process improvement, data model design or IT platform implementation.
  • Support Project/program leadership, sponsors, and central operations teams to define business cases or develop project charters for proposed initiatives
  • Support project/program leadership with identifying resources to support initiative
  • Support project/program leadership to drive project, scope, schedule, resource, cost, risk, management plans
  • Support project/program leadership to drive building of delivery plan, critical path, translation into timeline, and alignment of resource assignments.
  • Support project/program leadership to identify/track dependencies/interdependencies impacting project delivery and adjust plans accordingly
  • Coordinate and oversee project/program execution according to established management plans
  • Manage conflict within any program in an effective, timely, and appropriate manner
  • Track & Escalate risks to leadership including potential impact and mitigation
  • Logging, tracking, and managing action items assigned across the team
  • Capture/Share best practices to enhance learning & improvement within the operations organizations

Quantitative Dimensions:

  • Responsible for evaluating program value and aligning with M&D priorities
  • Responsible for budget, resource, and timelines associated with assigned initiatives as well as periodic reporting to leadership

Organizational Context:

Position reports to the Director of BOS - Project and Portfolio Operations. Collaborates with transformational leads, cross functional peers, subject matter experts, subject matter experts and functional leaders and all functions within M&D to drive initiatives forward and ensure deliverables are met.




  • BA/BS


  • Minimum 8 years in the pharmaceutical industry and/or management consulting group focused on R&D, clinical development or medical affairs.
  • Strong command of project management capabilities, including developing and managing timelines, budgets, and risks, as well as experience with matrixed leadership & facilitation and business case development.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills in a matrix organization with a successful track record of accomplishing high quality results through team level performance.
  • A key organizer with demonstrated prioritization of developmental activities; finances with experience in financial reporting and planning systems/processes.
  • Strong knowledge of the Software Development Life Cycles and Computer System Validation expectations.
  • Knowledge of enterprise-wide pharmaceutical software solutions and application in industry; strong knowledge of assigned software solution.
  • Proven track record of facilitating process optimization and process change initiatives in a cross-functional setting.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills, in English, with an ability to interact at all levels of personnel.
  • Experience working cross-functionally and cross-culturally in support of business processes and/or systems, especially as they impact and influence multiple departments and levels of management
  • Strong and effective strategic thinker and problem solver with high degree of emotional intelligence, with the ability to both recognize and anticipate problems.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively build business relationships and influence without authority as part of a matrix organization.
  • May require up to 10% international travel.
  • Excellent understanding of the interdependencies of the various disciplines (CMC, Pharm/Tox, PK, Clinical, Regulatory, Marketing, Compliance, and Legal)
  • Excellent computer skills (MS Office Suite, including MS Visio and MS Project Plan)


  • Advanced degree, MBA, MS or equivalent
  • Project management certification, PMP/LSS or equivalent
  • Location for this position is Northbrook IL


Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Category Medical & Development