The Ideal QA Manager… Has Something to Prove

Welcome to 2015

In the recent months, I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to work on this little side project of mine. With the holidays, and a crazy… insane… workload at the Lab, I’ve been a bit distracted. With the New Year, however, comes a refocus on one of the main focuses of the last 10 years of my career.

I would be remiss if I didn’t start this post pointing out the fact that we in the business of ensuring the quality of laboratory data have a fairly thankless job. Effectiveness in our positions means that there is little recognition. Our diligent work behind the scenes ensures that everything runs smoothly, efficiently, and generally without blemish.

When things go south, the first question always seems to be, where was QA when this thing or that was snowballing into a really bad thing?

Honestly, its one of my biggest fears… that I might miss something in my constant review of the operation. Something that’s not exactly on my radar… It’s the kind of fear that can keep a girl up at night.   It’s a fear similar to that one where you forgot to quadruple check the reporting units on the proficiency test results you reported (did I mention that this fear usually strikes at 2 am after the study closes?). QA Management can be a very lonely job.

It can also be very rewarding. Not an ounce of monotony, plenty of opportunities to mentor folks, and the opportunity to be involved in some great improvement projects. You become the local expert in darn near everything, and if you enjoy that kind of thing, Rock On!   You are well on the way to Rock Stardom.

Being a Rock Star QA Manager is not an act of self-sustaining power grabs (more on office politics here). You are not the end-all-be-all to the operation. It will go on with or without you. Being a Rock Star QA Manager means that your team will be just that much stronger. You can only get to Rock Star status as a QA Manager by gaining the trust of those doing the production work. That trust is only gained by bringing something to the table… every chance you get.

QA Manager – Make it your year!

So I ask you this… What are you brining to the table this year? Is it going to be another year of checking a box [Compliant? – Check], or are you going to come to the table with something that will help your team get to the next level?

6 thoughts on “The Ideal QA Manager… Has Something to Prove

  1. When you say what are you going to bring to the table, are you talking about ideas that may improve on an old concept. Or QA Management showing their team knew and different ways of doing things. So that they take those things to the floor and apply them.
    I ask before I put my improvement out there. Before I say anything. One company uses it. But no one likes to hear what it replaces.

    1. In my perspective, its both really. My goal is to support the team on the ground, but also to offer improvements or alternatives from an “independent” view.

  2. Hello, If I am honest, I feel that my organisation is regressing from pushing Quality into the business to more of a compliant, Quality Dept do that – Very frustrating.

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