Continuous Improvement Manager - Europe,

Poland, ,

Business unit: Functions

About AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel has a passion for paint. We’re experts in the proud craft of making paints and coatings, setting the standard in color and protection since 1792. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. Headquartered in the Netherlands, we operate in over 80 countries and employ around 35,000 talented people who are passionate about delivering the high performance products and services our customers expect. For more information please visit


The Continuous Improvement Manager (CIM) role is responsible for championing, developing and sustaining a culture of
continuous improvement (CI) and knowledge about related methodologies/ activities (Lean, Six Sigma, ALPS) across all
areas of the shared service center. The end-purpose is to improve the real result key performance indicators of the center. The CIM is actively involved in setting up and establishing a support structure to develop CI capabilities and mindset with guidance from the global CI team - thus acting as an agent for culture change. This role personifies the Lean Six Sigma (L6S) capabilities and way of solving problems, making decisions and setting standards. This is a position that reports into the global CI lead GBS and is part of the local center management team. As such the role aligns with the specific local requirements and priorities and acts effectively and autonomously to support the operational performance people development.
The role is supportive to the center management to:
1. Build organizational capabilities
2. Improve and sustain overall performance
3. Drive and manage the improvement portfolio
4. Lead and support the ALPS deployment for the shared services location
5. Manage regional/global CI projects at the CI Expert level

1. Build organizational capabilities
- Champion, develop and sustain a culture of continuous improvement (CI) and knowledge about related methodologies / activities (Lean, Six Sigma, ALPS) across all areas in the shared services location
- Develop and expand local capabilities in applying continuous improvement tools and methods (lean, six sigma) and promote a structured problem-solving approach. Inject passion for this activity by providing a vision and direction for the future development and performance
- Deploy and sustain the ALPS capability and improvement program including a coaching support structure to drive CI initiatives and ensure sustainability of improvements
- Coach local staff and the leadership team (LT) and provide guidance on/or deliver training on selected topics
- Coaching CI sponsors (MM5+) to establish a CI culture change
2. Improve and sustain overall performance
- Support and challenge the workforce and local LT in direction setting, prioritization (timing, resources, and sequence of actions) and implementation of improvement activities to best achieve the targets for the key performance indicators resulting from the annual strategy deployment
- Review the teams’ performance and support these teams to improve upon their overall performance.
- Perform yearly benchmark and activity based management surveys to identify areas for improvement
3. Drive and manage the improvement portfolio
- Identify, capture, validate, initiate and drive new improvement opportunities
- Drive for sound project progress reporting for all improvement initiatives and break through projects
- Manage the improvement project funnel including scoping, project assignment, resource planning, tracking of progress and benefits and controlling sustainability of outcomes
4. Lead and support the ALPS deployment for the shared services location
- Lead/ support the local ALPS implementation and build-up of required capabilities
- Ensure the ALPS implementation is done in full and is applied on a daily basis
- Network within the AkzoNobel CI community and share insights, problems and opportunities to promote improved performance and problem-solving across the company as well as encourage others to do the same
 5. Manage regional/global CI projects at the CI Expert level
- Run own improvement projects at local level delivering value to the organization
- Contribute up to 20% to regional and/or global CI projects

Vacancy data


Job characteristics

Closing date

December 13, 2018

Vacancy number






Business unit


Job family

General Management

Hierarchy level


Full time/part time


Contract type


Job requirements/Candidate profile

Essential educational qualifications, relevant experience and requested skills.
- 8+ years of relevant work experience (operations, (process) engineering, continuous improvement, etc.)
- Bachelor degree (degree related to technical, business or economics fields most applicable). 
- Strong analysis and problem-solving skills, able to identify and structure issues, run accurate (also statistical) analyses and synthesize recommendations
- Experience with continuous improvement methodologies such as Lean, Six Sigma
- Extensive experience in coaching and engaging others; able to impart knowledge to others
- Good team player, knows how to build his/her own network
- Prior line management or team leader experience;
- Experience with practical implementation of change programs a plus
- Solid project and stakeholder management experience
- Excellent communication, presentation and conflict resolution skills on all organizational levels; ability to gain respect and trust through situational leadership and integrity and inspire others to follow and participate in the change process
- Fluent in English, both verbal and written
- Strong computer skills (PowerPoint, Excel, Word, SharePoint, JMP); able to prepare various formats of documentation associated with CI programs
- May require some travel (up to 20%)
Behavior and Personality Features 
- Risk-friendly and self-directed, able to take a decision quickly within uncertainty
- Comfortable in quickly changing environments with steep learning curve
- Passionate about change and striving for exceptional performance
- Competent leader
- High self-confidence and ability to deal with resistance
- Active listener
- Highly organized and can keep the “big picture” in mind
- Reliable 
- Customer focused