Argonne National Laboratory Operational Excellence Specialist in Lemont, Illinois

Operational Excellence Specialist

Requisition Number: 404861 Location: Lemont, IL

Functional Area: General Business Management Division: BIS-Business and Information Services

Employment Category: Regular Shift: 8:30 - 5:00

Level (Grade): PA4 Share: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

Argonne is a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center, where talented scientists, engineers, and business professionals work together to answer the biggest questions facing humanity, from how to obtain affordable clean energy to protecting ourselves and our environment . Ever since we were born out of the University of Chicago’s work on the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, our goal has been to make an impact — from the atomic to the human to the global scale.

At Argonne, we explore the world together in order to build a better one

Whether it be for premier research opportunities, a chance to blend work and home life, a diverse community of colleagues or a place where others genuinely care about the planet, Argonne offers something for you. We offer work-life balance, professional development opportunities, and a culture of innovation that embraces diversity, inclusion, flexibility, collaboration, and career growth. Argonne also offers a comprehensive array of exceptional benefits to meet a variety of needs. In addition to medical, dental, life and disability coverage, you’ll have access to paid time off, a retirement plan with a generous match and a number of other benefits, such as on-site wellness facilities, an on-site child care center and auto and homeowners’ insurance.

At Argonne National Laboratory you will have the opportunity to contribute to and support research that addresses our nation’s challenges and advances the frontiers of science and technology. Our science impacts the world and you can be a part of that! Whatever your role—scientist, engineer, or support staff--there is a path for you here at Argonne.

Argonne National Laboratory has an opening for an Operational Excellence Specialist within the Business Information Systems team.

The Operational Excellence Specialist is responsible for a range of business change and operational excellence activities. Activities include planning, performing, and implementing business transformation initiatives and process improvement projects. This role partners with management, project champions, and process owners to align business transformation and process improvement initiatives with business objectives. Process management functions may include data gathering and analysis, best practice research, process mapping, developing and recommending solution alternatives for improvement, developing performance metrics, obtaining leadership or stakeholder agreement, implementing improvements, and monitoring post-implementation. The Operational Excellence Specialist may utilize Lean/Six Sigma processes and concepts to lead process improvement initiatives. The Specialist partners with management, project champions, and process owners to execute the project and deliver results this includes conducting Voice of the Customer techniques, identifying critical to quality (CTQ) characteristics, and understanding gap and root cause analysis. The Operational Excellence Specialist participates in change management, human performance activities and engages leadership and stakeholders to obtain support and buy in for changes.

  • Act as a change agent and passionate advocate for business transformation and operational excellence
  • Lead project teams, assist in business transformation and operational excellence strategy definition, solve problems, and implement solutions to improve operational performance
  • Enable business owners to embrace, implement and sustain continuous improvement as part of initiative engagements and projects
  • Continuously focus on the most up-to-date thinking/practices/research in process and operational excellence, constantly enhancing subject matter expertise.
  • Understand, develop, monitor and communicate key performance indicators and financial benefits of projects
  • Create charters and business cases to support project justification, approval and launch
  • Serve as a change agent working collaboratively within and across directorates, divisions and departments to implement a culture of operational excellence and continuous improvement
  • Prepares project documents, including presentations, process maps, supporting metrics, and status reports
  • Support the education of colleagues in Lean Six Sigma (LSS) principles through the LSS Community of Practice
  • Frequently contributes to the development of new methods and practices
  • Develops resolutions to complex problems that require the regular use of creativity
  • Interacts with management on matters requiring coordination across organizational lines


  • Process Orientation
  • Analytic Ability
  • Business Results Orientation
  • Business Acumen
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Influence
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Relationship Management


  • Strong customer and stakeholder collaboration skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to effectively manage relationships and provide leadership in a matrix environment
  • Superior problem solving skills
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and influence teams
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and prioritize work, be detail-oriented, and understand when urgency is required
  • Strong meeting facilitation skills
  • Practical experience participating in process improvement or organizational change initiatives
  • Experience with Lean, Six Sigma, and Project Management methodologies, processes and tools
  • Knowledge of business architecture concepts and practices
  • Experience with organizational change management methods and practices
  • Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt certification preferred

This job description documents the general nature of work but is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all activities, duties and responsibilities required of the job incumbent. Consequently, job incumbent may be required to perform other duties as assigned.

As an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer, Argonne National Laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters collaborative scientific discovery and innovation. In support of this commitment, Argonne encourages minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment. Argonne considers all qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, gender, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.