Metra Dir, Business Efficiency & Imp in Chicago, Illinois

Dir, Business Efficiency & Imp


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Non Unions






United States of America



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Metra is one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane, and McHenry Counties. The agency is linking communities in Northeastern Illinois by providing safe, reliable, and efficient commuter service.

Institutionalizing a mind-set of continuous improvement and lean strategy is critical to sustaining the on-going success of Metra. To this end, Metra is creating a new department to launch an organization-wide business efficiency effort, and is seeking a Director, Business Efficiency and Process Improvement to help ensure the effort becomes an integral part of Metra. Reporting to a member of the Senior Leadership Team, the Director, Business Efficiency and Process Improvement will build and manage a team of lean practitioners to drive strategic process improvements across the organization. This position will be responsible for achieving positive significant and sustained impact on Metra's finances, operations, customer satisfaction, employees, and processes. The objectives for this position are to improve Metra's ability to grow revenue, improve cash flow, reduce costs, enhance customer experiences, and improve Metra's business processes. The Director will build and manage a team of lean practitioners at levels necessary for the projects, and will mentor and coach the team and others driving process improvement projects. The Director will provide counsel, advice, and assist in project identification and evaluation to the leadership team concerning viable business process improvements and lean Six Sigma initiatives. The position will be responsible for consulting with Metra leadership to identify and prioritize strategic projects. The Director will direct Metra's business process improvement efforts and track the progress of projects to support Metra's short and long-range business objectives. Consult with Metra leadership to establish and prioritize projects that meet financial, customer, and operational improvement impact goals. Identify, recommend, and influence the outcomes of strategic and optimal projects that have significant impact of agency/organizational operations, financial stability, and/or customer experiences. Manage a team of Black Belts/lean practitioners who assist and lead the projects and teams of subject matter experts assigned to projects. Mentor, coach, and train all team members in the use of tools and methodologies necessary for successful and timely completion of projects. Proven ability to facilitate and train adult learners in continuous improvement and process improvement methodologies (DMAIC, Lean, Kaizen, etc.). Demonstrate successful experience applying these methodologies in projects. Develop robust process control plans with teams to ensure sustained improvements. Employees may perform other related duties as assigned to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

Candidates can expect salary offers that range from the minimum to the mid-point of the salary range. Metra provides full pay ranges so candidate can consider their growth potential. Metra is a railroad employer subject to the provisions of the Railroad Retirement Tax Act, not the Social Security Administration.


  • Must have a Bachelor's degree in Operations Management, Engineering or other relevant field.

  • In addition to #1 above, must have a minimum of eight (8) years of experience in quantitative analysis, long range planning, and/or process improvement with lean Six Sigma tools or similar continuous improvement tools.

  • Must have a minimum of eight (8) years of direct supervisory experience.

  • Experience leading complex projects and analyses such as current and future states and value stream analysis.

  • Experience creating a culture of lean improvement and facilitating, teaching, and leading others who have taught lean principles to adults to create a culture of continuous improvement.

  • Strong working knowledge and experience in Six Sigma, Lean, and Kaizen methodologies, including problem-solving, root-cause analysis, and process management.

  • Well-developed problem-solving, organizational, and communication skills (verbal, written, and interpersonal), ability to effectively plan, organize, and prioritize tasks according to schedules and goals, and an aptitude for complex, analytical work and attention to detail.

  • Financial acumen - understanding of and experience in performing cost benefit analysis and ROI, and the ability to a lead team in the identification of cost savings. Must be able to develop and present complex business cases to senior leadership and board of directors.

  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills. Demonstrated ability to motivate, influence and gain commitment at all levels of the organization.

  • Six Sigma certification, Black Belt required.

  • Must have a valid driver's license.

  • Ability to lift and move up to 20 pounds.

  • Must be willing to travel within Metra‚Äôs 6-county region.


  • Master's degree preferred.

  • Experience working with all levels of employees, including front-line employees, especially in a unionized environment is preferred.

  • Transportation or railroad industry is preferred.

  • Six Sigma certification, Master Black Belt preferred.

  • Project Management Institute (PMP) certification desirable.

Metra is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. It is our policy to fill vacant positions with qualified candidates without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, gender identity, disability, or any protected categories, assuming an individual can perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodation.

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