Program Manager Enterprise Operational Excellence -
Master Black Belt

Supply Chain & Customer Care

Vanwege het internationale karakter van ons bedrijf en onze medewerkers hebben we hun verhalen en ervaringen in het Engels weergegeven.

"I have a natural tendency to help people and organizations to improve."

Marian describes herself as typically Dutch; she is married to Rob, and together they have two children: Janneke (thirteen years old) and ten-year-old Maartje. In her spare time, Marian enjoys walking her two dogs Puk & Pip in the woods, together with her family.

As Marian travels quite a lot, she also appreciates just being at home on the couch reading a good book. And after a busy week at work, she likes to have a nice glass of wine on a terrace with friends. Due to her busy travel schedule, she does not have time to work out as much as she would like to, but in a spare moment, she likes to run. All in all, a busy lady, who is already with Medtronic for nineteen years.

Marian about her position at Medtronic

As a Program Manager Operational Excellence in the Enterprise Operational Excellence Team, I am coaching many people and teams in the organization in deploying our global standards for our Medtronic Operating System (MOS). The goal is to embed a working environment in which everyone, every day and everywhere is working on continuous improvement within Medtronic. As an organization, we embraced the Lean Six Sigma methodology as one of the foundational tools and methods to support the Medtronic Operating System (MOS).

Marian’s education and career path

In my early career, I started within the research & development (R&D) environment in the Bakken Research Center in Maastricht. At that time, I learned that I had a natural tendency to help others and the organization to continuously improve. I got the opportunity to further develop these skills by moving into a dedicated Lean Sigma Green Belt and Quality role. After working for several years as a Lean Sigma Black Belt and later as a Master Black Belt in a local Operational Excellence (OpeX) team, I moved into my current global Operational Excellence role.

Most challenging in my current role

People are often so absorbed by the daily operations and often have the tendency to fall back into a firefighting mode and/or look for quick wins instead of thinking about structural solutions. It is my challenge to explain and convey the message that we need to fix the fence first by implementing a robust operating system, instead of continuously chasing chickens who slip through the hole in the fence by implementing quick fixes.

What I like most in my current job

I am doing what I like doing best, and that, I consider a privilege. Working on continuous improvement and helping many people and organizations to embed and create a culture in which everybody can work on continuous improvement every day. By doing this, I am improving the lives of many employees and organizations, and consequently, the lives of the patients in the hospitals.

Also, as part of my role, I am coaching and training people in different parts of the organization and I am meeting many people. I am so proud of the achievements we are accomplishing together within Medtronic, and this makes me happy.

What I like about working for Medtronic

People within Medtronic are highly motivated to improve processes and organizations in order to improve the lives of our patients in the hospitals.

It also makes me proud to work for a company with its mission of improving the lives of many people, including that of the Medtronic employees themselves.

On top of that, Medtronic offers a wide range of opportunities to develop your career or help you find the right motivation.

What ‘Further, Together’ means to me

I am daily working on improving processes and organizations within Medtronic, and as such, I believe that I am contributing to improving the services we provide to our hospitals and patients. For me, there is a patient behind everything I do.

This is only achievable, however, through teamwork. If we only work solo or in silos, there will be no improvements. Therefore, instead of only a few selected people working on improvements, we want to mobilize everyone within Medtronic to work on continuous improvement every day.

Working together as ONE team to alleviate pain, restore health and extend life.

My most memorable experiences at Medtronic

The first time that I witnessed a patient turning off his DBS (brain) neurostimulator during one of the Patient Events. He immediately was unable to control his movements due to his brain disease. I still remember his tears – after he turned on his Medtronic device again – when thanking all of us for contributing to improving his life. I was shocked and very proud.