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Following a Map to Efficient Lab Practices

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2019
8 pages
This issue of TECHBeat outlines a January 2019 publication by the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) that presents steps for using lean facility design (LFD) in conducting a needs assessment for a new or upgraded forensic laboratory.
The publication, "Technical Note: Conducting a Forensic Facility Needs Assessment Using Lean Facility Design: A Case Example," features a case study in which the FTCoE and the Midwest Forensics Resource Center worked with the Broward County Sheriff's Office (BSO) of Ft. Lauderdale, FL in an LFD needs assessment. The project determined that a renovation would not work for the BSO; instead, they developed a plan for a new facility in 4 years. In the mean time, BSO identified some bottlenecks in its system that could be addressed to improve efficiency in the current facility over the short term. Using the LFD meant eliminating all steps that do not add value to a process. The LFD is based on the following principles: 1) Identify and focus on the customer's needs; 2) Assess laboratory processes to identify and address wasteful steps; 3) manage the workflow and standardize processes around best practice; 4) Manage by fact and reduce variation; and 5) Continuously strive to achieve optimal process flow. The partners also assessed facility space to determine whether to renovate or build a new facility; and they assessed operational procedures to identify areas where efficiency could be improved. The case report explains the following six steps of the needs assessment: situation analysis, current-state practice, ideal-state operation, closing the loop, future-state planning, and future-state practice. Access to latest video

Date Published: March 1, 2019