Continuous improvement managers are responsible for measuring and testing procedures in a company with an eye to improving production efficiency. They also identify new metrics for judging efficiency, as well as work with human resources employees or trainers to develop curriculum to bring hires to peak efficiency quickly.
Depending upon the company's primary product or service, a continuous improvement manager's work may be indoors or outdoors, although most spend the majority of their time indoors in a factory or office setting. While non-manufacturing industries occasionally create continuous improvement manager positions, they are far more common in manufacturing, which is focused on extracting maximum efficiency from a company's production line. Continuous improvement managers generally work a first-shift, 40-hour a week schedule, though there may be some call to work more unusual hours due to the 24-hour nature of the manufacturing environment. Continuous improvement managers typically answer to senior executives, and, while they don't always have a team under their direct control, their actions often have a significant effect on a majority of employees.
Project management skills are also important to a continuous improvement manager; they often have to be working on several improvement projects simultaneously, often with very disparate groups of people within the organization.
Companies looking to hire continuous improvement managers generally look for such qualifications as Lean Six Sigma certification and previous experience in facilitating via Six Sigma. This is in addition to a bachelor's degree in a field related to business, logistics, or the specific industry in which the company works.
Continuous Improvement Manager Tasks
Drive the improvement of processes and systems in a company, and implement programs that will have continuing long-term benefits.
Develop plans, schedules, and budgets for projects to improve existing processes.
Supervise and direct the work of CI department staff.
Monitor existing processes to make sure they continue to perform at optimal levels of efficiency.