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Associate Director, Business Project Management (Six Sigma – Black Belt)

at Avanir Pharmaceuticals (view profile)
Location Aliso Viejo, California
Date Posted September 8, 2018
Job Type Full-time


Job Summary:

Associate Director, Business Project Management (BPM) will reside within Avanir’s Business Project Management (BPM) and Alliance Management function and be an advocate of Avanir’s Mission Vision Values and serve as an impetus in achieving organization goals and objectives. The Associate Director will be a champion in Avanir’s journey towards organizational excellence in how we execute from strategy development to daily operations management. Working with the rest of the BPM team, the incumbent will be part of the go-to team in instilling continuous improvement mindset throughout Avanir.

The incumbent will support Avanir to strengthen quality and drive streamlining, standardization and optimization of business processes and systems to effectively support the growing needs of the organization. The incumbent will support development and implementation of BPM strategy with the objective to enable attainment of various Avanir’s transformational corporate and functional goals. The position will serve as the dedicated Business Partner for the assigned functional area(s). The incumbent will provide technical and operational aspects of Lean Six Sigma(LSS), Project Management and Change Management to ensure assigned projects are successfully implemented and sustained toward delivering results aligned to the corporate goals and strategy.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Assesses and analyzes the functional and systemic needs of the business by working closely with business leaders, subject matter experts and other stakeholders
  • Responsible for management of project intake and assessment process for the assigned function(s) by working with respective key stakeholders
  • Participates in annual and periodic project portfolio development process
  • Supports efforts to facilitate visibility and management of Avanir’s project portfolio within Avanir and as needed within Otsuka North America
  • Responsible for successful project execution, implementation and sustainability of assigned projects through proper application of LSS, Project Management and Change Management principles and tools within allocated budget and timeline
  • Guide/lead the project teams in quantifying project benefits (baseline and actual results) and obtain finance approval of financial project metrics as needed
  • Conducts regular cross-functional project/program meetings with all stakeholders throughout project lifecycle; effectively communicate up, down and across
  • Sets and manages scope, cost and delivery expectations of internal/external partners and stakeholders
  • Manages the effective utilization, allocation and deployment of internal/external resources to ensure successful delivery and support of projects
  • Partners with IT, process owners and other key stakeholders to ensure the alignment, consolidation and integration of systems/solutions
  • Escalates any potential risk to business immediately to his/her management
  • Teaches, coaches/mentors less experienced team members at all levels to increase organizational capability around LSS, Project Management and Change Management methodologies and tools
  • Maintains a performance and improvement culture. Be an impactful Change Agent. Take initiative to reach out and drive changes
  • Provides regular updates to management and all key stakeholders to ensure proper communication and continued alignment on project goals and priority
  • Develops project control plan and appropriate hand off with process owner(s) to ensure sustainability and periodic project outcome reporting
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Exemplifies and coaches accountability
  • Provides leadership to support the company’s culture, mission, vision and values
  • Ability to instill trust, confidence and respects of sponsors, stakeholders and external partners while working in a professional manner
  • Drives outstanding performance and gains commitment through developing, coaching, motivating, energizing and inspiring team members
  • Ensures team thrives on change and inspires colleagues to embrace and embed new ways of working
  • Ensures team is focused on achieving results and feels comfortable to challenge and be challenged in a respectful way
  • Actively removes any boundaries to create an environment that promotes and encourages team working across all functions
  • Oversees the quality and appropriateness of the work performed to ensure it delivers measurable business benefits
  • Demonstrates strong leadership qualities including conflict/issue resolution, ability to run a project/serve as project manager on a team and ensure successful project lifecycles
  • High level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness with strong work ethic and the ability to work independently with minimal direction
  • Influences without authority to appropriately drive results


  • Bachelor degree from a reputable accredited intuition required. Preferred science and engineering background.
  • MS/MBA Preferred
  • Preferred certified Black Belt/Master Black Belt
  • Preferred PMI certification
  • 10+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical/ biotechnology industry desirable
  • High level of familiarity with LSS, Project Management and Change Management
  • Proven ability to assess risk and develop solutions
  • Proven hands-on experience in driving, implementing and sustaining change
  • Proven successful track records of developing, implementing and leading cross functional projects
  • Must be solutions oriented and pragmatic (with analytical thinking and problem-solving skills)
  • Excellent project management and organization skills
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal and written) and interpersonal skills
  • High level proficiency in MS applications

EEO Statement:

As an equal opportunity employer, Avanir Pharmaceuticals is committed to providing all applicants and employees with equal access to employment opportunities, regardless of sex, race, age, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, pregnancy, religion, genetic information, sexual orientation transgender status, gender identity, marital status, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.  All Avanir Pharmaceuticals employees, officers, principles, agents, and representatives are expressly prohibited from engaging in unlawful discrimination.  Consistent with federal, state, and local requirements, Avanir Pharmaceuticals will reasonably accommodate any qualified individual with a disability if such accommodation would allow the individual to perform the essential functions or the job, unless doing so would create an undue hardship.

 Avanir Pharmaceuticals shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR-60-300.5(a) and 60-741.5(a).  These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of protected veteran status or disability, and require affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.


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