Continuous Improvement Specialist

Continuous Improvement Boise, Idaho Raleigh, North Carolina


Xylem |ˈzīləm|

1) The tissue in plants that brings water upward from the roots;

2) a leading global water technology company.

Xylem, a leading global water technology company dedicated to solving the world’s most challenging water issues, is the leading global provider of efficient, innovative and sustainable water technologies improving the way water is used, managed, conserved and re-used. Our international team is unified in a common purpose: creating advanced technology and other trusted solutions to solve the world’s water challenges. We are committed to creating an organization of inclusion and diversity, where everyone feels involved, respected, valued and connected, and where everyone is free to bring their authentic selves and ideas.

If you are excited and passionate about helping us #letssolvewater, we want to hear from you!


The Role: This CI Specialist position is accountable for helping leadership define and achieve their CI priorities relative to the strategic direction, priorities, and overarching metrics in an IT business unit.  This position is accountable for helping leadership lead a CI cultural transformation.  This includes coaching, training, facilitating, supporting, and helping drive a culture of CI and change.  This position is also accountable for leading cross functional projects designed to analyze and design workflows that improve flow, remove waste, and achieve the principles of operational excellence overall.  This work includes interfacing with other department leaders, managers, and staff to systematically identify improvement opportunities and to share and spread best practices.  This position is also responsible for supporting the overall direction of CI as set by CI leadership and the CI team as a whole.

Essential Duties/Principal Responsibilities:

  • Develop value stream (VS) maps, VS metrics, action plans and events/kaizens to achieve the future state.
  • Simplifies project planning to the point where objectives are achieved at a healthy pace of change.
  • Trains managers in lean/sigma, leader standard work, daily metrics and leading indicators.
  • Leads cross-functional, complex projects designed to analyze and design sequence of operations and workflows to improve operations within the IT functions.
  • Working with IT management, conducts studies pertaining to cost control, cost reduction, inventory control, and production record systems.  Included is setting baseline, target performance, establishing regular reviews and coaching to help process owners and associates achieve target performance. 
  • Assist management in developing and implementing plans and programs for facility modifications and revisions to operating methods and tools to facilitate an Improved Customer Experience."             
  • Work closely with leadership, management/process owners interacting Global Software Operations teams to identify and improve the efficiency of underperforming parts facilitating problem solving, root cause analysis, countermeasures, and action to address.                     
  • Facilitate the development of sequenced action steps to achieve departments’ improvement opportunities. 
  • Be skilled both in the creation/development of PERRT diagrams and basic project planning and in a way where change is solidly, effectively, and timely orchestrated.
  • Analyze culture, VSs and departments for most effective deployment of problem-solving training, coaching and mobilization of problem-solving teams supporting groups to streamline processes, achieve flow, lower work in process and overall drive clear business improvement.
  • Facilitate virtual and in-person kaizen events to drive strategic CI priorities, VS future state design, metrics and to drive a culture of CI.                                                   
  • Skilled in change management techniques both in understanding dynamics of coaching and facilitating change and in defined techniques for driving change, such as Kotter’s change model.
  • Be well skilled in yokoten or the sharing and spreading of best ideas to expedite improvements, their impact and to build a culture of sharing and spreading of best practices.   
  • Be a change agent: challenge organizational leaders to drive continuous improvements; remove organizational barriers to continuous improvement processes.                              
  • Partner and work closely with customer facing teams and business functions (HR, Finance, IT, Customer Support, Product Management, Engineering, Product Development).
  • Experience delivering tangible productivity results via transactional excellence projects
  • Participation in Xylem Watermark volunteer activities

Minimum Qualifications: Education, Experience, Skills, Abilities, License/Certification:

  • BS/BA Degree or Equivalent
  • 2+ years’ experience in the business and technical aspects of IT and the IT environment
  • Experience working with Cloud Infrastructure teams
  • Possess a vision and understanding the deployment of lean/sigma is a business operation and specifically in the industry of IT testing, deployment, and application.
  • Possesses ability to grasp the overall logic, intent, and details of an IT CI improvement initiative
  • Possesses an ability to apply lean to the IT industry, business, VSs and processes
  • Proficient in MS Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, SharePoint, etc.)
  • Familiarity with databases for querying and analyzing data.
  • Familiar with modern technical terminology, environments and Scrum practices
  • 3+ year of successful leadership in executing continuous improvement / Lean / Six Sigma efforts and enabling efficiency, effectiveness, and tangible financial benefit
  • Black Belt certification required Lean or Six Sigma
  • PMP/Agile training or certification preferred (Project / Program experience is acceptable alternative)                                          
  • Hands-on and demonstrated experience with continuous improvement programs including employment of lean and / or Six Sigma tools and methodologies
  • Facilitated or participated in at least 2 separate weeklong kaizen events while performing proper preparation and follow up
  • Demonstrated successful project management experience and acumen
  • Comfortable with ambiguity
  • Demonstrated experience with ensuring effective Change Management development and execution
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

We Offer You More Than Just “A Job”

  • Professional Development – To advance the capabilities of our people, we offer a wide variety of experiences to support our employees’ professional growth and continuous learning.
  • Total Rewards – We offer comprehensive programs for compensation, benefits, recognition, learning and development, work-life integration and corporate citizenship.
  • Watermark – Watermark is our corporate social responsibility program working to provide education and access to safe water to ensure healthy lives, gender equality, and resilient communities. Employees have the opportunity to learn and volunteer on various water-related projects.
  • Employee Networks – Our Employee Networks provide a professional, supportive network for employees from diverse backgrounds, including Women’s, LGBT+ and Allies, Veteran’s, People of Color and Allies, Hispanic Origin & Latin Affinity, Emerging Leaders, Working Parents Networks and Non-Native English Speakers and Allies.

Physical Demands/Work Environment:

(The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those an employee encounters and must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.)

  • Light lifting (20-25 lbs.), office environment
  • Regularly required to sit or stand, reach, bend and move about the facility
  • Office: Standard office equipment; work usually performed in an office setting free from any disagreeable elements.
  • Work environment includes zoom/Teams interactions leading CI improvement initiatives as well as team meeting rooms
  • Standard weekly job hours: 40 hours
  • Travel: 25%

Xylem is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, protected veteran status or other characteristics protected by law.