2014 has been an interesting year in the life of this QA Manager. This time last year, we were in a full court pressto prepare the lab to move into our new facility. As we ushered in the year, the facial twitch caused by transferring equipment, personnel, and systems was deeply present. Of course, moving a lab is not a new concept. It was, in no small scale, a big deal for our team.
I was reminded of that this week while searching for an email that I sent at the beginning of the year. Plenty of labs have relocated, mostly successfully. But that doesn’t negate the fact that the project was extremely challenging. Specifically, the instrumentation that we employ could not simply be loaded onto the back of a pick-up truck. It took no less than a full day to prepare each instrument to move, another day to crate, forklift, and haul each instrument to the new lab, followed by two days of installation. The coordination involved in moving all four of our instruments could be a full discussion of choreography and agility.
As I scrolled through my email traffic early 2014, one thing was apparent. As a team, we were on fire.
When we entered into the project, we had a strategy. We had a schedule. We had a punch list. Most importantly, we made a commitment to stay agile. We new from the start that through all of the planning, the schedules, the punch lists, there would be surprises. There would be crises. How we reacted would be the key to our success or failure.
Continue reading How to move a Lab and not go CRAZY!
I love the wiki on editing. There are so may different types of editors, each having a different specific task leading to the final product.
It has to be a thankless endeavor, that of an editor. Much like the QA Manager, the only real attention likely comes when things go wrong. I know I am quick to judge a professionally published copy that is poorly edited.
I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a laboratory with a staff technical writer, whose sole job it is to write highly technical policies and procedures that define the Quality System. That said, in my experience, the role of author/editor/publisher often falls on the QA Manager.
As the keeper of all things written among the Quality System, I struggle with this role of author/editor/publisher. I want to do it all perfectly, all the time. I have this inkling that my colleagues that review those documents expect the same. Self-torture, I believe they call it. A glutton for punishment? Perhaps. Honestly, I dabbled in journalism a bit in college, but a career as a writer has never been something I’d envisioned for myself.
I have found, however, that I have a particular interest in doing my part to improve the written communication in the laboratory. It may not be terribly exciting material, but my hope is that I can make reading those mandatory SOPs less painful. And those documents can be painful. It seems that every document I pull for review needs serious work.
In this vein, I recently had an epiphany. After spending the weekend with my blind parents, I thought that I would use the “text-to-speech” function of Windows to “proof-read” a certain document I’m currently working on. I was extremely excited about this idea for about a week. I even mentioned it to a few of my colleagues on Friday. And then I saw this. Grrr… it just goes to show, there is no unique problem, only solutions.
Continue reading The Ideal QA Manager… Technically writes, technically
… there was no content.
But there was a vision, it was simple. Find a sounding board for all of those thoughts, ideas, and philosophies that live inside of my head. Maybe, just maybe, we can trigger a discussion.
My craft resides in the world of Quality Assurance, within the realm of Analytical Testing. It is a very niche market. There aren’t a lot of resources out there for the QA Manager for a testing laboratory (think ISO 17025 and the like).
Sure, ASQ has plenty of resources. And the Voice of Quality features some individuals that have a lot to say on general topics in Quality. There are few outlets, however, for those of us who manage the quality systems of testing laboratories. While the general topics of Quality can, and do, apply to the testing laboratory, my job involves so much more than being the local thought leader on all topics of quality.
Continue reading In the beginning…