A process improvement manager is typically responsible for identifying areas of a company's operations that need to be improved. He or she is required to gather and analyze data related to current processes and computerized systems. Process improvement managers also lead, develop, and implement process changes within the company that help it become more aligned with strategic objectives.
One of the major responsibilities of a process improvement manager is finding deficiencies in the way a company operates. Communication between interdependent departments, enterprise computer systems, ordering and inventory management, quality control, and hiring practices may be operating under processes that are not achieving the company's desired performance objectives. Customers may find certain procedures cumbersome and out-of-date or employees may find it difficult to perform certain job tasks efficiently and accurately.
The process improvement manager spends time observing current company practices and collects data related to performance results. He then analyzes those observations and data to determine what might be causing a deficiency between actual and desired performance. Part of being a process improvement manager may involve organizing teams to carry out some of the observation and data collection, since it is often difficult for just one person to do.
Designing new process plans and strategies for improvement is another typical responsibility of a process improvement manager. Once gaps are identified, the manager is usually involved in obtaining feedback on what improvements may need to be made. Some of that feedback comes from customers and internal employees who are involved in implementing current practices. The manager may formulate recommendations based on his own experience and knowledge of best practices related to certain processes.
Most process improvement managers are responsible for leading improvement teams that assist with the implementation of new recommendations. The manager will usually be responsible for spearheading the training and education that is related to any new company processes. While he may not teach individual front-line employees himself, the manager will most likely need to educate supervisors and management about the new recommendations and champion the reasons for implementation.
Implementing a certain number of new projects is a typical job requirement for a process improvement manager. Some companies may require only one project per year, while others require at least three to four. These projects might center on improving efficiency, reducing production costs, increasing quality levels or increasing customer satisfaction and retention. The main goal with any project that the manager implements is to ensure that company's strategic objectives are met or exceeded.