Planning Manager

Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS)

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The Planning Manager will be responsible for coordinating the Department’s strategic planning process, developing and overseeing accountability measures for the plan’s implementation, and leading a team engaged in complex, detailed analytical and administrative work on plans filed with the state. The Planning Manager will be a highly visible position under the direction of the Chief Planning Officer; working closely with the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) managers, subject matter experts, and community members on the use of the Department’s resources so that DHS meets its mission of assisting and strengthening the county’s most vulnerable individuals and families. Additional responsibilities will include:

  • Creating and submitting DHS’s plans to the state, to secure millions of dollars in funding for programs and services; and serving as the organization’s liaison to the state budget and policy offices and with DHS’s fiscal/budget staff. (These plans include the Needs Based Plan and Budget and the Human Services Block Grant.)
  • Guiding the implementation of the current strategic plan, and supporting staff and leaders in their implementation, through frequent communications/updates and reporting internally and to the public.
  • Coordinating the process for the next strategic plan:
    • Supporting the Chief Planning Officer and Chief Analytics Officer in identifying the scope and aims of the plan and working with them to present this approach to DHS leaders for their approval and modifications. The plan will identify long-term goals, strategic objectives and measurable outcomes for DHS.
    • Working with DHS’s analytic teams and program staff to identify the information that stakeholders need in order to shape a well-targeted plan (e.g., data on community needs, organizational performance and challenges, program performance, and opportunities DHS could leverage).
    • Working with DHS’s customer experience (CX) team to develop and implement an approach to securing client and community ideas and response to the plan’s aims and strategies.
    • Managing the planning process, which includes creating the work plan with deliverables, timeline, and identified leads, providing support to work groups/teams, coordinating assignments, clearly communicating among planning participants, and following up with them to provide additional support needed to progress.
    • Developing metrics with leaders, staff and analysts, to accompany each strategy.
    • Throughout planning, works collaboratively with the DHS and other staff. The Planning Manager must seek ways of building positive working relationships with DHS’s customers, nonprofit agencies, County employees and officials, and the general public, as well as develop positive working relationships with people across multiple areas and, by delivering results that they value, maintain that respect and collegiality.
    • Assisting in the development of key performance indicators across all of DHS and in conjunction with other County departments.
    • Writing the plan and working with DHS’s Office of Community Relations to communicate it to the public.
    • Guiding and supporting the implementation of this new plan.
  • Supporting DHS offices in developing their annual plans and budgets, to align with the strategic plan and DHS’s mission.
  • Collaborating with staff and leaders to identify issues and design creative solutions.
  • Supervising and managing a group of Planning Analysts to conduct this work and to be fully part of the broader Planning and Innovation team, ATP and DHS.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of human services, its purpose, and service delivery approaches.
  • Ability to develop plans that move organizations forward and unite leaders and staff in a common vision and set of strategies, and that are tied to resource allocations.
  • Ability to manage projects and support program design and performance improvement.
  • Capacity to select, develop, and supervise staff for their high performance and job satisfaction.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan using adaptable (not rigid) frameworks, and to apply planning research methods, data collection and analysis.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong meeting facilitation and public speaking skills; ability to clearly communicate plans to groups and the public, and support DHS in seeking customer opinions and ideas.
  • Ability to write clear, logical and well-researched plans, reports, and applications for funding.
  • Consistent ability to exercise sound judgement.
  • Ability to initiate and develop ideas that support the organization’s mission.
  • Open to developing personal skills and to coaching/development by the Planning and Innovation leader and other DHS leaders.
  • Outstanding time-management, planning and organizational skills, including the ability to support assigned team and their projects.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills, and the ability to build a cohesive, high-functioning team that delivers high quality results; respectful and reliable when interacting with others.
  • Strong budgeting and analytical skills; skilled in evaluating data, policies and technical issues.
  • Ability to think at a systems level (seeking to understand the big picture and how things connect), and work collaboratively, while asking questions and challenging assumptions.
  • Self-directed and flexible with strong problem-solving abilities.
  • Capacity to develop short-range and long-range plans, and build innovative solutions.
  • Ability to thrive despite ambiguity—when projects and aims require assistance to be more clearly defined and shaped, over time.
  • Consistent access to reliable transportation with the ability to navigate in the community for work-related assignments.


Education/Experience Requirements

Master's degree from an accredited college/university in Public Policy, Urban Planning, Public Administration, Social Work (with concentration in Social Work Administration/Planning), or similar field, plus five (5) years’ planning experience and five (5) years’ supervisory experience preferred.


Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university in Public Policy/Administration, Business Administration, Planning, Government/Political Science or a directly-related field, plus six (6) years of increasingly responsible experience with strategic planning, project management, policy analysis, research, and program development, including two (2) years of mid-to senior-level supervisory or management experience. Five (5) years’ planning experience and five (5) years’ supervisory experience preferred.

If hired for a position, candidates would work for Allegheny County, Department of Human Services and be employed by Great Lakes Behavioral Research Institute.


About Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS)

DHS helps children grow up safer and healthier, older adults remain able to live independently, and neighborhoods to thrive—with the overall goal of improving the health and well-being of people in Allegheny County.

DHS is the largest agency in Allegheny County government, with a budget of nearly $1 billion. It serves over 200,000 people a year through its staff and a large network of provider organizations. Its services include: Preventing unnecessary nursing home stays and supporting them in living safely and healthfully, protecting children and youth from abuse and neglect and preventing future occurrences of maltreatment; improving child wellness through family support, home visiting, early intervention and in-home services; providing treatment for behavioral health issues such as substance use disorders and mental illness; managing the care of adults with intellectual disabilities; and services that prevent homelessness and provide shelter and housing for families and individuals.

Advantages of this assignment at DHS

  • It is innovative. Most recently, the national attention and awards we’ve gotten are for how DHS integrates data and uses them to improve the safety and well-being of children, through tools that support front-line staff in making decisions (using predictive analytics).
  • DHS is diverse, but strives to be more inclusive. The director has made it his top priority. This includes equity in hiring and advancement, as well as in unleashing the creativity and ideas of staff at every level of DHS.
  • DHS has strong, assertive leaders. The director expects independent thinking by his team—which has an average tenure of 15 years of working together.
  • People can make a big impact at DHS. It stands out as one of the best human services organizations in the country.


“At DHS we have a clear vision: to be the place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come, to grow and do their best work.

-From the organization’s statement on Equity and Inclusion





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