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Continuous Improvement Lead

  1. Birmingham, York, London, Epsom, Bristol
  1. Transportation

The Atkins Transportation UK division brings together the capabilities of their key markets, Strategic Highways, Strategic Rail, Local Transport into a single £375m+ turnover business of 3,000 talented engineers and professionals. The transport infrastructure sector is experiencing unprecedented levels of investment and Atkins is playing lead roles in key projects across the UK from high-speed rail to major road programmes to digital railway implementation. But it is not just about today, the business is investing and building new capability and services in intelligent mobility, digital asset management and new products for the rail market. The Atkins teams work closely with Government, national and local authorities to deliver integrated transport strategies and solutions that support economic growth and improved journeys for all.

The unique breadth of services in transportation, combined with their scale makes them the leading UK transport engineering consultancy enabling Atkins to inspire their people and collaborate with their clients to shape the future of transportation.

Key objectives

The Continuous Improvement Lead will serve as the programme and project manager for the division’s operations improvement programme. The programme aims to improve project execution from the bid stages to close out, reduce write downs (margin erosion), eliminate waste and ultimately enhance our customer satisfaction and experience. To achieve this the continuous improvement lead will:

  • Use six sigma, lean and operational excellence approaches co-create, implement and embed solutions.
  • Have accountability for the delivery for their own workstreams.
  • Set up and lead the programme management office.
  • Support ongoing lean, six sigma and operational excellence projects within transportation.

Furthermore, the individual will be required to deliver the following:

  • Statistically analyse the causes of operational issues including write-downs, write-up defects, delays, rework, variability
    • Develop approaches for aggregating and analysing the data (that may not be capture in central location or be captured at all),
    • Create financial baselines of current performance i.e. linking operational issues to a financial performance (i.e. pounds sterling) and an operational baseline (i.e. days lost, last deliverables, etc). This include defining what the baseline will be.
    • Develop a method for agreeing impactibility of the main issues on the baselines.
    • Provide each workstream within the operations transformation an agreed baseline and set up the prototype for tracking the performance of the baseline (this is not simply using power BI),
    • Has the capability to turn data into information, which has practical use.
  • Designing and delivering fit for a purpose operations transformation programme
    • Design workstream breakdown, deliverables and milestones.
    • Design and roll out onboard programme for workstreams and sub-projects in a cost-effective way
    • Coach: workstreams on the development of the solutions, analysis. Taking charge initially on the analysis and diagnostic on each workstream.
    • Problem solve: workstream issues with workstream leaders.
  • Lead multiple complex projects
    • Take full accountability for critical projects from diagnostics to full embedding
    • Personally, conduct analysis and diagnostic, and solution design
  • Implementation
    • Develop implementation plan, tracking system for measuring implementation and monitor the degree of implementation
    • Develop system for proactively problem-solving implementation cold spots to ensure on time adoption
    • Create workstream handbooks, coaching plans and training material to support the implementation
    • Coach the coaching on implementation operational improvements
    • Develop compliance monitoring programme. Coach the quality teams on the initial compliance programme and embed

  • At the same time developing the wider capability of the engineering and project management workforce.
    • Create the continuous improvement champion community tied to specific workstreams and subprojects. continuous improvement champions will be made up of the workstream leads and taskforce members
    • Develop Continuous Improvement champion community through personally leading in house training on the lean, DMAIC, statistical analysis, solution design, implementation planning and change management. The Continuous Improvement champions must be developed to the point they are able to lead similar training programmes to their business units as well as carry out these activities unaided.
    • Baseline and grow the continuous improvement skills engineering and project management and ensure they are using the tools, approaches and methods to strengthen the bottom-line of the business. Success should be measured on the impact the financial or operation metrics.
    • Develop and execute effective leadership development programme around the operational transformation programme including lead, OEE, DMAIC, Business performance systems, analytical problem solving
  • Stakeholder engagement and Continuous Improvement communications.
    • Develop and implement stakeholder engagement plan

Additional responsibilities of Role

  • Direct, develop and foster a culture of structured continuous improvement across the route in alignment
  • Work on normally complex, multi-faceted initiatives with activities including: analysing business and customer requirements, conducting client and business workshops to help solve issues, create value, maximize growth and improve business performance
  • Delivering real and measurable results for the business
  • Lead and support the creation and deployment of an approach to enhancing Business Improvement capability across the business
  • Define problem statements and required outcomes based on cost benefit analysis linked to business objectives and implement improvement plans and objectives that align to the Strategic Plan for Profit
  • Measure progress and targeting of results from improvement projects against the Strategic Plan for Profit
  • Lead the inhouse lean, continuous improvement, operational excellence and six sigma training
  • Identifying and quantifying what the improvement team will focus on.
  • Deliver proactive and effective communication related to improvement initiatives. Liaising with the leadership and stakeholders to keep them informed of progress and to make relevant decisions

Required Skills & Abilities

  • Six Sigma certified and Lead practitioner with experience leading lean projects in service operations.
  • Extensive and proven experience of working in Operations Improvement and change management.
  • Proven track record and ability to demonstrate successful Lean deployment and structure operational excellence improvement projects across multiple functions.
  • Experienced the full project life cycle from concept through to implementation.
  • Has routinely applied standard methods of operational excellence such as DMAIC, 5S, Kaizen, Kanban, Cause-effect diagram, Last planner, Lean project management incl. loss accounting etc.
  • Project management skills to manage the process of providing operational improvements, turnaround, and continuous improvement using (LEAN and Six Sigma etc.)
  • Has trained and coached others (both client and internal) to apply these methodologies.
  • Ability to build and sustain relationships.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to effectively deal with internal customers; foster open. upward and downward communication within the organisation built on mutual respect.
  • Proven senior stakeholder management expertise with the ability to manage and influence multiple stakeholders at all levels, both internally and externally.
  • Excellent coaching skills with experience in building Improvement Communities
  • Good project management skills (budget, time & resources)
  • The ability to analyse complex problems and deliver insightful and practical solutions in a systematic manner-- Identifying issues and forming hypotheses and solutions,
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to turn data into information which has practical use
  • Result-oriented and has a structured way of working, with a strong focus on result and quality of deliverables.
  • Line management and development Continuous Improvement agents
  • Leading and growing of the champion community and associated benefits through utilising champions in an effective manner
  • Well-developed and effective verbal and written communication skills used in working with peers and employees at all levels of the organization.

Flexible Working:
We support flexible working and equal opportunities as we believe that diverse teams provide the best mix of interpersonal and technical skills needed to exceed our customers’ expectations.

This role may require security clearance and offers of employment will be dependent on obtaining the relevant level of clearance. If this is necessary, it will be discussed with you at interview.If applying to this role please do not make reference to (in conversation) or include in your application or CV, details of any current or previously held security clearance.

ATKINS, part of the SNC Lavalin Group, is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunities Employer, we value applications from all backgrounds, cultures and ability.

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