The changing role of the continuous improvement leader: Interview with Michele Boutwell, SVP Citi

Today’s continuous improvement leaders must be more flexible and more able to adapt to the changing business needs, says Michele Boutwell, SVP IT Strategy and Planning at Citi. That means that the leader must wear many hats and often cross from pure process improvement into strategic thinking in order to identify those opportunities that will deliver greatest business value.

In this video interview, Boutwell discusses the evolution of continuous improvement within the enterprise, offers her opinion on what Lean and Six Sigma bring to IT and argues that both IT and process professionals need better cross training in each other’s disciplines.

Questions discussed in this interview:

  • Do you think the role of the continuous improvement leader within our organizations has changed in the last decade?
  • What's driving those changes?
  • One of the things that I find fascinating is that you've got an extensive background in implementation of continuous improvement methodologies like Lean and Six Sigma and quality and environmental management systems - how did you end up in IT Strategy and Planning?
  • What do you think Lean and Six Sigma bring to IT?
  • There are some who say that IT and process professionals need to be better cross-trained in each other disciplines - IT professionals need to learn process improvement methods and process improvement professional need to learn more about the technologies. Would you agree with those who think the two professions need more cross-training?