Dir, Continuous Improve-QMS Sr- Teterboro, New Jersey in Teterboro, NJ at Quest Diagnostics

Date Posted: 9/11/2020

Job Snapshot

Job Description

Dir, Continuous Improve-QMS Sr- Teterboro, New Jersey - 

Look for more than answers. Patients and Physicians rely on our diagnostic testing, information and services to help them make better healthcare decisions. These are often serious decisions with far reaching consequences, and require sensitivity, tact and a clear dedication to service. It’s about providing clarity and hope. 

You will work for the world leader in the industry, with a career where you can
expand your skills and knowledge. You’ll have a role where you can act with
professionalism, you can inspire colleagues, and you can care about the work we do and the people we serve. 

At Quest, we are on a continuous journey of discovery and development. It’s this attitude that has made us an industry leader and the #1 Diagnostic Lab in the US. For those joining us, we offer exciting and fast moving career opportunities where you can affect change at a rate unheard of in many organizations of our size and scope. While we invest in and develop technology to drive our innovations, our ongoing success relies on our people.


This position is a key member of the East region leadership team, leading the Quest Management System (QMS) specifically focused on Continuous Improvement (CI). As a broad umbrella of approaches incorporating elements of change management, process improvement, project management, quality system design, and human resource development, CI roles at Quest require deep immersion in a variety of businesses, functions, and workflows in cooperation with other QMS professionals. (See the breakdown below for the seven major practices areas within the QMS.)

This is a highly visible role structured to deliver significant performance benefits to regional businesses and their leaders. As such it is a natural stepping stone to larger roles across the enterprise. As CI Program Director, you will be responsible for coaching others up and down the org. chart to understand CI principles and tools as integral parts of their daily work and responsibilities. The ability to move others to action by modeling servant leader is vital. Inspiring commitment to solving difficult problems through thought leadership, rather than managerial authority, is the primary way of “getting things done” in this role. 

Together with internal talent and capability development, success for CI Program Directors is measured by quantifiable improvement of regional businesses’ operating margins, product & service quality, customer experience, and employee engagement (e.g. satisfaction and productivity).

The Quest Management System (QMS) is Quest Diagnostics’ approach to aligning decisions and actions to organizational priorities and then executing effectively. The QMS toolset and methodologies are designed for successful adoption and execution of continuous improvement principles in both day-to-day work and in paradigm-shifting breakthrough initiatives. It is the structured way we support our people, lead change, and solve problems. Continuous Improvement (CI) is one of the 7 practices comprising the QMS:

Quest Management System – 7 Areas of Practice

  •  Management Approach & Governance
  • Breakthrough Management and Hoshin Planning
  •  Customer Insights and Solutions Development
  • Process Management
  •  Continuous Improvement (CI)
  •  Project Management
  • Change Management

Quest Diagnostics’ CI practice comprises numerous approaches enabling everyone across the company to improve their work by eliminating waste regardless of the obstacles they face or the environment they work in. Primary among these approaches is Kaizen: a Toyota-inspired philosophy of waste elimination, standardization, and human capability building adopted by top tier companies worldwide. In terms of execution at Quest, kaizen is practiced by everyone as we examine our work for small improvements every day. When larger opportunities are found that require more than 2 or 3 others to accomplish, locally-led kaizen events are an effective approach. Even larger and more complex problems needing disciplined cross-functional focus may call for a multi-team kaizen event lead by trained QMS kaizen facilitators or a corporate CI leader supporting a Shingijutsu consultant. Whether small “flow-disrupters” or big urgent business-level problems, kaizen is an approach we use. 

Job Responsibilities:

  • Owns the learning, application, and adoption of QMS principle and practices across large portions of the enterprise with the goal of building localized self-sufficiency, sustainability, and scalability of improvement efforts.
  •  Owns a portfolio of initiatives that result in large-scale improvement across designated functions and businesses.
  • Leads his/her own initiatives and teams to effectively initiate, plan, execute, and sustain improvements generated by Director’s own insights drawn from his/her deep lean experience in other functions and industries.
  • Captures, quantifies, and reapplies best-in-class practices between laboratories, businesses, and regions
  • Supports Project Managers:
  • Removes project issues, roadblocks, and problems
  • Acts as a change agent to guide teams toward success
  • Coaches team members to perform through issues and constraints
  • Owns the timeline, budget, resource constraints, and deliverables
  • Shifts between the "big picture" and the small-but-crucial details (strategic vs. tactical)
  • Knows when to roll up their sleeves and work through detailed issues
  • Ensures all tools are used and applied effectively (e.g., charter, Gantt chart, status updates)
  • Communicates thoroughly and effectively with all stakeholders
  • Uses rigorous root cause analysis on shortfalls, applying systematic corrective actions as necessary
  • Ensures commitments are met through the project sponsors, leaders, and team members
  •  Leads efforts to implement Process Control and Management (process definition, documentation, ownership, metrics, and monitoring systems)
  • Facilitates workshops and targeted improvement events to help teams quickly achieve strategic objectives
  • Works with local team members to identify and prioritize continuous improvement opportunities
  • Works with functional and site leaders as a “thought leader” to create future state improvement roadmaps with clear executable plans that are in line with the business strategies and improvement needs
  •  Works with local team members to model and coach effective leader standard work and daily work management behaviors such as gemba walks, tiered huddles, TPM reviews, and active problem-solving
  • Contributes toward building a grass-roots culture of continuous improvement

Qualifications/ Job Requirements:

  • Demonstrable success leading large, complex, cross-functional change initiatives (10+ years)
  • Previous experience designing and deploying “kaizen culture” across medium-to-large organizations
  • Equivalent of 10 years’ hands-on experience leading Shingijutsu-style “kaizen events,” kaizen blitzes or Rapid Process Improvement Workshops. 
  • Significant experience working in the Toyota Production System, Danaher Business System, Virginia Mason Production System, Honeywell Operating System or similarly mature and rigorous lean model
  • Expert-level experience using robust, structured problem-solving and designing counter-measures for multivariate problem. 
  • Demonstrated understanding of continuous improvement, process management, and systems thinking
  • In-depth experience applying CI principles in one or more of the following areas: product design, service delivery, machine automation, logistics, information systems, healthcare, finance.
  • Proven track record of fostering leadership alignment, target setting, and ‘catch-ball’
  • Poise and leadership presence when facilitating discussions and leading workshops
  • Experience managing geographically dispersed teams
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strong relationships with others
  • Advanced data analysis skills
  • Working knowledge of Hoshin-Kanri (Policy Deployment) principles and practices
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills across multiple formats:  formal presentations, training material development, meetings, conference calls, e-mails, and memos
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint
  • Comfortable with Microsoft Project

Additional Duties:

  • Participation in Communities of Practice
  • Identification and facilitation of benchmarking opportunities
  • Leading of QMS training classes
  • On-going internal and external professional training


  • Bachelor’s degree required (engineering, supply chain or other technical focus preferred)
  • Master’s degree desirable.
  • Formal training in continuous improvement methodologies required (e.g., Lean Manufacturing, TPS, Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, Theory of Constraints)
  • Provided Training and Certifications (to be completed within 6 months of entering into the role)
  • QMS Core Practitioner Training (internally provided)
  • Customer Insights training
  • Process Management training
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Project Management training
  • Change Management training
  • Other (e.g., Influencing without Authority, Vertical and Horizontal Logic, Writing Business Cases)
  • QMS Project Management Certification (internally administered)
  • QMS Continuous Improvement Certification (internally administered)


  • 25% travel expected (actual travel required will vary)
  • Some evening work hours may be required at times

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