I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2023 Building Biotech event from The Student Biotechnology Network (theSBN.ca). The following is my speech from that evening.
Is this familiar? You're trying to remember something - it's on the tip of your tongue but you just can't get it. You try hard to think of it, but get even more frustrated, and the answer seems even more elusive. Then, as soon as you think about something else, the answer comes to you.
Or this: you're working on something and it's going really well. Before you know it, an hour or two has passed by and you didn't notice. You don't recall exactly what you did during that time, but you can see what you accomplished, and it feels brilliant.
Yep, me too.
“By mid-November 2021, after more than 18 years, I was abruptly out of my work-job-career.” I wrote that in a post in April 2022, and said that it was a story for another time. That time has arrived.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on a staycation. It was my first extended time off in nearly two years, and while the camping getaway plans were abruptly cancelled, I still wanted to spend time away from work and the computer, so I stuck to my scheduled break. I had lots of books to read and a few decluttering projects around the house I could tackle.
We can consider quality management in a very simple project to see how it can be applied as ‘good enough’. A familiar project where quality is a driving priority is baking. Let’s consider a project where I make a batch of cupcakes for an event with my team. My quality standard is relative and subjective – I want the product to be as good as the last time I made them, or at least good enough to contribute to the event. The quality attributes are edibility, uniformity (all the same size, shape, and colour), producibility, social acceptability (not an offensive shape and clearly marked for contents (gluten, non-vegetarian, may contain nuts)), and popularity (hopefully few to no cupcakes left at the end of the event).
A challenge for many projects, especially in research, is describing the quality criteria and distinguishing it from scope. A really big clue that you're talking about quality is when those subjective words start happening - better, faster, smaller, less, more, cheaper.
This is the second of a short series of posts about quality management, to include some of my take-aways from teaching as part of the Mohawk College and CARA Research Administration Certificate program, as well as experiences in my own work related to quality.
Who is Robyn?
My career as a research project manager is rewarding, dynamic, challenging, and fun. I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience in communication, organization, and common sense approaches in research management and leadership, and to enabling others to learn and grow in this exciting career.