First 5 LA

Manager, Operational Excellence

Employment type
Full Time
9 days ago
Los Angeles

The Manager, Operational Excellence in conjunction with the Senior Director of Administration is responsible for driving and implementing business process improvements across the Administration Division to better support the organization. S/he is the primary project manager for Administration Division-owned projects that benefit not only the Administration Division, but First 5 LA. S/he also serves as the contract manager for Executive, Human Resources and Administration contracts with consultants, contractors and/or vendors and works closely with the Contracts Administration and Purchasing Department to monitor compliance of these contracts.

The Manager, Operational Excellence also works with the Administration Division to identify, recommend and implement organization-wide risk mitigation strategies and tactics.

The Manager, Operational Excellence will focus on improving business processes with goals of adding revenue, reducing costs, increasing efficiency, eliminating waste, defects, and other non-value added or duplicate efforts, with a continuous focus on improved internal and external stakeholder (customer) experience.

The Manager, Operational Excellence should visibly demonstrate the adopted organizational values of collaboration, integrity, respect, accountability, purpose, shared leadership and learning in the execution of their key areas of responsibility.

Key Areas of Responsibility:

  • Ongoing risk identification & mitigation (for First 5 LA as a public entity)
  • Division-wide business process improvement
  • Project management for division-owned projects
  • Contract Management for Executive, Human Resources and Administration contracts

Essential Duties:

  • In partnership with appropriate stakeholders, develops and implements operational excellence projects focused on: risk assessment & mitigation, business process improvement and business efficiency
  • Uses operational excellence principles, tools, methods, and techniques, in direct support of achieving First 5 LA’s goals, improving performance, and increasing efficiency and productivity via process standardization
  • Provides business process and technical support in all phases of process improvement and project
  • implementation
  • Serves as a liaison between cross-functional groups and First 5 LA Division Leadership to co-develop and implement projects and process improvements initiatives and projects
  • Works with Division Leadership to provide business guidance to identify and prioritize initiatives and develop plans and business cases to implement and meet First 5 LA’s strategic priorities, goals and objectives
  • Directs and manages project development for administrative division projects from beginning to end including defining the project scope, goals and deliverables that support business goals in collaboration with leadership and stakeholders
  • Uses project management and continuous improvement tools to develop project plans and associated communications mechanisms for monitoring overall administrative and business process improvement and drive the operational aspects of these various projects through implementation
  • Facilitates meetings to help resolve issues and help inform recommendations and business cases to leadership to improve efficiencies
  • Project manages all aspects of operational excellence projects including: change management and communications and training and roll out of newly designed or redesigned processes with internal and external stakeholders
  • Develops key relationships with functional leaders, key stakeholders, key users and Subject Matter
  • Experts to promote the deployment of improvement initiatives and adoption to change
  • Implements and publishes First 5 LA Administration division key performance metrics and dashboards
  • Compiles, prepares and presents information for project updates and technical presentations to staff and executive management including presentations
  • Keeps track of lessons learned and shares experiences with team members
  • Analyzes root cause, coordinates and communicates corrective and preventive actions
  • Seeks out innovative ideas within industry and helps bring in potential system/tool providers to showcase to management
  • Participates and facilitates in Administration Division meetings and keeps track of actionable and follow- up items
  • After contracts are negotiated and executed, assumes responsibility for ensuring ongoing contract management (e.g. necessity for amendments or extensions of contracts, compliance to contractual obligations, and/or termination and administration) are performed
  • Supports the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and values a diversity of perspectives
  • Adheres to policies and procedures to ensure alignment with State regulations, local ordinances and First 5 LA directives
  • Keeps apprised of all laws, regulations, statutes, rules and policies affecting First 5 LA and Proposition 10
  • Supervises contractors and consultants, as needed
  • Collaborates both internally and with external stakeholders to capture, synthesize and share learning and knowledge outcomes from the ongoing execution of all activities as necessary
  • Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed are designed to provide typical examples of the work performed; not all duties and responsibilities assigned are included here, nor is it expected that all similar positions will be assigned every duty and responsibility.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
Organization-wide Competencies

  • Commitment to organizational mission and values: Mission-driven and self-directed, with a demonstrated passion for First 5 LA’s work to strengthen families and improve child outcomes; strives to model organizational values through daily actions and behaviors
  • Possesses Customer-Focused Mindset: Is able to identify appropriate and relevant stakeholders; identifies internal and external stakeholders needs (customers); is responsive to stakeholder needs, considers impact when making recommendations
  • Collaborative: Collaborates with peers to drive results in alignment with organizational and operational goals in support of the organization’s mission; is able to work in cross-functional teams; is able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, public officials and the general public
  • Communicates effectively: Communicates effectively both written and oral; strong presentation skills; demonstrates ability to develop and deliver relevant and appropriate communications; delivers messages in a direct manner; able to tailor messages appropriately to various audiences
  • Demonstrates integrity and judgment: Follows through on commitments letting others know of his/her true intentions; ensures decision-making or recommendations are fact-based and others understand the decision/recommendation before moving forward; considers the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one
  • Demonstrates critical thinking: Applies critical thinking, logic and reasoning to analyze complex problems and information; identifies relative strengths and weaknesses of options, solutions or approaches
  • Demonstrates strategic thinking: Identifies key issues and relationships relevant to achieving long range goals or vision; develops alternatives based on logical assumptions, facts, available resources, constraints, and organizational values to develop a point of view on a course of action to accomplish goals; develops priorities with the right balance of short and long-term wins

Job Specific Competencies

  • Role Specific Content: Demonstrated ability to coordinate and implement process end-to- end and continuous improvement ; experience in the areas of process optimization, change management, process management and standardization; strong influencing and relationship skills; excellent root case problem solving and process mapping skills; hands-on experience of training and coaching others to support process standardization; ability to cultivate a genuine spirit of motivation in the project teams to work together in the most rewarding and fulfilling manner; strong presentation skills
  • Content Knowledge: Competent in required job skills and knowledge; ability to learn and apply new skills; ability to learn how to operate new systems quickly; demonstrated ability to set priorities, establish clear expectations and execute identified projects; keeps abreast of current developments; requires minimal supervision; displays understanding of how job relates to others; knows how to use technology tools to effectively manage and expedite processes; uses resources effectively
  • Planning and Organization and Project Management: Works in an organized manner with strong attention to detail; prioritizes and plans work activities; ability to effectively manage overlapping projects and deadlines; ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines and adjust to changing priorities; uses time efficiently; plans for additional resources; integrates changes smoothly; sets goals and objectives; ability to manage high performance projects
  • Managing Processes: Provides direction and gains compliance; uses negotiation skills to resolve conflict; strong influencing and relationship skills



  • Minimum of five years industry experience or consulting experience in internal controls, project management and/or process optimization or equivalent industry experience preferred
  • Minimum of two years of experience managing mid to large scale, cross-functional projects or programs preferred
  • Previous experience in the areas of process management/optimization, Project Management Office (PMO), risk management preferred
  • Six Sigma, Lean Practices, Business Process Management (BPE), Change Management and Business Process Engineering (BPE) tools; certified (Lean) Six Sigma Black Belt preferred
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification preferred


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in policy, public administration, public affairs, political science, economics, research science, or a related field preferred

Computer Skills:

  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Ability to use widely supported internet browsers

Certificates, Licenses and Registrations:

  • Valid California Class C Driver License or the ability to utilize an alternative method of transportation when needed to carry out job-related essential functions
  • Valid automobile liability insurance

Travel Requirements:

  • This position requires travel locally, statewide and nationally as needed
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