Director, Continuous Improvement

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Westmoreland Coal Company
March 5, 2021
Englewood, CO
Job Type


The Director of Continuous Improvement position is responsible for defining and driving business transformation that is linked to company and site long term strategic objectives, near term business targets, and continuous improvement needs of existing processes. This will be achieved by serving as the subject matter expert in continuous improvement methodologies, providing oversight and support for Continuous Improvement Professionals, and establishing disciplined continuous improvement approaches that will drive efficiencies across all areas of the organization. Defines and designs specific process improvement programs as a part of the Program Management Office strategic direction, and ensures integration and alignment vertically and horizontally across the organization. Establishes and maintains performance metrics to measure overall program success. Utilizes Lean, Six Sigma and/or other change management methodologies and have appropriate levels of certification for the role.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Support the VP PMO in deployment of the Operational Excellence program across the organization through coaching, mentoring, and full engagement across all functions.
  • Manage a team of Continuous Improvement Specialists.
  • Influence the strategy for planning and implementing process improvement, operating model optimization, and organizational design/integration initiatives.
  • Monitor and manage budget of programmatic efforts. Advises management of project status and any significant trends and changes in the investment.
  • Identify and implement the necessary tools to support the site transformation such as Tiers, Gembas, mini-transformations / Kaizen, Statistical Process Control, dashboards, and Lean Maturity Assessments.
  • Design and support the roll-out of effective coaching programs for site leadership roles on how to effectively lead teams who will help drive continuous improvement efforts.
  • Lead the completion of complex process improvement projects across all functions of the organization, as well as coordination of smaller scale quick win events.
  • Responsible for coordination of resource needs and deployment to support the continuous improvement efforts across the organization.
  • Ensure all financial reporting and models are properly approved by FP&A and delivered on time.
  • Establish measurable standards and compare actual results against these, regularly generating detailed update reports for executive team.
  • Provide mentoring and directs teams to demonstrate proper application and interpretation of Operational Excellence criteria.
  • Monitor progress in order to check if changes yield desirable results.


Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a field of business, engineering, science or operations research required, with 7+ years related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Highly analytical and experienced with project coordination, using problem-solving skills to foresee obstacles and make strategic decisions.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience leading continuous improvement efforts and delivering results in an industrial/mining setting.
  • Demonstrated performance in Change Leadership including evidence of successful implementation of Lean / Continuous Improvement culture resulting in improved performance.
  • Subject matter expert for continuous improvement tools and methods, both Lean and Six Sigma (5S, standard work, VSM, flow management, pull systems, strategy deployment, A3 thinking, descriptive statistics, SPC, process capability).

Licenses, Registration, and Certifications

  • Certification in continuous improvement methodologies such as Six Sigma/Lean/Agile or comparable continuous improvement operating systems.


  • Ability to develop and maintain positive relationships while driving for improved performance and accountability.
  • Organized and committed to meeting deadlines.
  • Coaching-style leadership that inspires team members to give their best effort while setting the direction for initiatives.
  • Strong communication & presentation skills (makes complex issues accessible to business audience, clear, concise, and audience appropriate).
  • Demonstrated ability to lead multiple initiatives simultaneously.
  • Proficient with use of computer and software applications including Minitab, Microsoft Project, Visio, Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Experience in process mapping.
  • Ability to manage resources both directly and via matrix management.

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