Process Improvement Manager

Role of a Process Improvement Manager

A Process Improvement Manager is responsible for the development and evolution of an organization’s capabilities. This is done by teaching Process Improvement skills and managing any Process Improvement projectsOpens in new window or related endeavors.

Process Improvement Managers demonstrate best practices associated with the Process Improvement discipline and inspect business processes for areas that could be improved while creating a positive learning environment for the various stakeholders involved with an organization’s processes.

They support the delivery of new processes and solutions that are more robust, customer centric, and leanOpens in new window in design.

The role of a Process Improvement Manager is distinct from a functional manager or operations manager.

The operations manager is typically focused on providing management oversight to a facet of the core business on a permanent basis, whereas a Process Improvement manager is responsible for facilitating the improvement of operational processes throughout the temporary nature of a formal project.

Depending on the organizational structureOpens in new window, a Process Improvement Manager may report to a functional manager or into a centralized Process Improvement Organization.

The recommended approach is to keep separation of duty in place and have all Process Improvement professionals report into a centralized organization. However, in many cases, organizational culturesOpens in new window, finances, or resources do not permit this. If that is the case, it is still ideal to ensure that the Process Improvement Manager’s role is a distinctive role even when inserted into a functional or core operations division.

Process Improvement Managers facilitate changeOpens in new window to the various process areas such as cycle time, waste reduction, quality improvementOpens in new window, increased awareness of risk, mitigation of risk, effective communication, and increased customer and business satisfaction.

They must be highly skilled in the identification and resolution of strategic challenges and tactical execution and be able to demonstrate these skills in order to mentor other Process Improvement professionals or business stakeholders.

The Process Improvement Managers' role is typically highly visible in the organization as it is engaged in meaningful corporate change activities at the strategic level.

Process Improvement Managers act as advisors and coaches to business owners. In this capacity, they typically do not take on direct responsibility for business team members because it is necessary to ensure that the purity of their purpose is maintained and the integrity of proposed solutions is upheld.

Process Improvement Managers should always be collegial and act as a helping hand rather than as a control point.

Although operations managers are responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of a processOpens in new window, Process Improvement Managers focus on improving those activities in order to sustain business competitiveness and performance.

Process Improvement Managers ensure that any improvement effort is managed in a disciplined and structured fashion and that all efforts align to an organization’s strategic objectives.

    Research data for this work have been adapted from the manual:
  1. Tristan Boutros, Tim Purdie. The Process Improvement Handbook: A Blueprint for Managing Change and Increasing Organizational Performance.