Community Solutions is a hardworking team of social problem solvers working to create a lasting end to homelessness that leaves no one behind. Our Built for Zero team is working with about 125 communities across the US and around the world to build a movement to homelessness. Fifteen communities have already ended veteran and/or chronic homelessness.
The Portfolio Lead, Learning System & Evaluation, is responsible for leading the overall approach to learning and evaluation across the Built for Zero team while overseeing knowledge dissemination for target audiences, including internal knowledge sharing across Community Solutions’ divisions, and externally in partnership with the Communications Team. This role should understand and assess Built for Zero in the context of broader organizational work at Community Solutions. However, the work on Built for Zero is quality improvement driven and uniquely tied to key Built for Zero data points and methods. This person should take an according approach to learning and evaluation that is grounded in a deep understanding of BfZ projects, a commitment to real-time measurement, and a bias toward quality improvement standards of knowledge.
The Portfolio Lead is also charged with designing light-touch support to the other Built for Zero Portfolio Leads and their teams as they operationalize the shared learning systems. Importantly, this position has both a doing and a coaching role. The Portfolio Lead manages a team of people to support all the work in this portfolio, including an embedded member from the Communications Team. This position reports to a Principal/Team Director and is responsible for the supervision of both people and work. This position is also responsible for overseeing the ongoing professional development of up to three staff members.
The candidate of our dreams is organized but not rigid–– a “get stuff done” kind of person who can work out a plan of action quickly in the face of ambiguity and changing information (this environment offers a lot of both). We’re looking for the sort of person who finds problem-solving and complex implementation fun and who prides themselves on seeing multiple paths to the same outcome. You should come to work every day with a desire to serve and assist your teammates as they serve local change agents in communities around the world. You should also see your job as enabling results, not just hitting deadlines or budgetary targets. We have clear strategic plan aims, and project completion does not necessarily equal success if a project does not advance these aims. Successful projects are ones that can describe the results and can foster a culture of learning by sharing with internal and external audiences what worked and did not work.
A successful Portfolio Lead for this portfolio will:
- Develop a shared learning system across all Built for Zero portfolios that support and accelerates the achievement of our strategic plan aims.
- Participate in the development of Community Solutions-wide learning and evaluation system.
- Provide strategic direction for learning and evaluation with the Built for Zero team.
- Share emerging learning across all Community Solutions’ divisions.
- Continuously improve systems, ensuring data into and from the learning system enables a human-centered approach.
- Effectively coach and support other Built for Zero Portfolio teams to implement and improve the shared learning system to support their work.
- For limited learning questions and projects to be determined in partnership with the Team Directors, serve as an internal evaluator, knowledge capture, and dissemination lead.
- Ensure an equity lens on all data analysis and make concrete, data-informed recommendations on further advancing equity in all evaluated work.
- Identify optimal ways in which the Learning System & Evaluation Portfolio can offer opportunities to make other portfolios successful and help to bridge the knowledge gap with those portfolios as appropriate.
- Provide strategic, tone-setting leadership for the whole initiative, in accordance with our values, as a member of the Built for Zero Portfolio (leadership) Team.
- Supervise and professionally develop staff on the Learning System and Evaluation Team.
- Work collaboratively with the Communications Team to ensure learning is disseminated to influence critical policies and practices aimed at ending homelessness.
- Understand quickly and work to implement effectively the vision of the Community Solutions’ strategic aims, including mobilizing key resources, advancing work plans, and making key decisions with an agreed-upon strategic framework.
- Effectively manage and leverage key strategic partnerships and consultants as appropriate.
- Set-up projects for publication and write for publication.
- Nurture a network of evaluators that understand CS’s approach.
- Identify and evaluate the risks associated with program activities and take appropriate action to control those risks.
- Use data analytics skills, both for qualitative and quantitative data, to interpret analysis and apply learnings to targeting learning questions and our overall strategic plan.
- Seamlessly coordinate with organization-wide learning systems and evaluation projects.
Essential duties and responsibilities:
- Owning accountability for portfolio-level aims and outcomes.
- Execution of direct project work as necessary.
- Coordination of the work and staff within portfolio, as appropriate.
- Implementing and refining strategy for shared learning system and evaluation.
- Plan for and manage budget envelope for portfolio related expenses.
- Ongoing supervision and professional development of up to three staff members.
- Management of limited, project-specific contracts, budgets, and key administrative duties, in coordination with Team Excellence and Team Directors/Principals.
- Ongoing evaluation/rationalization of portfolio against strategic plan aims, in coordination with Team Directors/Principals.
- Ongoing and regular coordination across team, in conjunction with Team Directors/Principals, Project Manager, other Portfolio/Backbone Leads and Managers.
- Developing relationships with external partners and coordinating with these partners for contracting and/or execution of project-level work.
- Building internal will across Built for Zero team for learning system and evaluation approaches.
- Coordinate and work directly with Communications Team on dissemination strategy for various internal and external audiences
- Write internal and external publications.
- Present summary reports, presentations, and findings to both internal and external audiences.
Qualities and prerequisites:
- Five to seven years of previous work experience in a similar role
- At least one year of experience directly supervising dedicated staff
- Knowledge and experience of improvement and implementation methods
- Knowledge or experience of working in housing and homelessness sectors highly desirable
- Experience with formative evaluation approaches and methods
- Experience leading change management efforts around formative evaluation and learning systems
- Proven ability to balance management and a learning agenda
- Ability to gather and synthesize information from various sources
- Strong ability to interpret both quantitative and qualitative data
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- The ability to work independently and as a team member
- Intellectual curiosity and appreciative inquiry
- Clear strategic thinking function
- High learning agility and a high tolerance for ambiguity
- Self-motivation, flexibility, and integrity
- Proficiency with Built for Zero’s methodology, including data quality, coaching, human-centered design, facilitation, and Quality Improvement (QI) framework
- Proficiency in MS Office suite, as well as Google Apps, Zoom, Slack, and Asana
- Ability to learn and adopt new technology as necessary
- Tendency toward, and high tolerance for, clear and direct communication
CS offers competitive salaries and benefits packages for every position. The salary for this position is 100k.
This position can be located anywhere in the U.S. and provides the flexibility to work from a remote location without the standard support available at an office if desired. The Built for Zero team has offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta.