Tag Archives: Thought Leader

How to move a Lab and not go CRAZY!

the getaway2014 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.

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The Ideal QA Manager – Never stops learning.

Early on, when I was still cutting my teeth in the realm of Quality, a lot of effort, time, and resources was spent to ensure that the necessary foundations were set for me.  More of often than not, this foundation was built on the job, guidance and mentoring from individuals far more seasoned than myself.

Looking back, starting with a clean slate…  Those individuals molded my style, ensuring that the QA Manager they were developing would fit the type of lab they envisioned.   I still have a lot of the same philosophies that were drilled into me at the very beginning.

Back then, when I was so very green, I soaked up every opportunity to expand my knowledge of QA in the Laboratory I could.  I could, on occasion, even muster up the courage to submit a request to attend a targeted training session (A2LA has some great short courses on Internal Auditing and Uncertainty Measurement), or a professional conference (my preference has always been TNI).

I’ve always held the opinion that it’s important to get a good mix of internal training and external insight.

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In the beginning…

…  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 Qualimedium_3346906435ty.  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…