Project Management: Communication Breakdown (It’s Always the Same!)

Best Practices for Managing Environmental Laboratories
Oral Presentation

Prepared by M. Alessandroni
The Markay Consulting Group LLC, 3385 Summerland Hills Loop, Lakeland, FL, 33812-6363, United States

Contact Information:; 863-255-5856


Laboratory project managers are sometimes lab folk, tired of running instruments or preparing samples. Other times, they are sales professionals charged with managing projects as a function of their position. In either of these cases, as well as any number of others, these individuals often have no formal training on what it takes to be great, despite the fact they are the critical liaison between the Client and the laboratory. Successful project managers anticipate gaps in information and communication, and they have an appreciation for the challenges faced by Client field sampling technicians as well as Client project managers responsible for making sense of laboratory analytical reports and preparing assessment and other reports that allow for sensible decision-making by their Clients. This presentation will touch on some of the tenets of administrative and technical project management that have a direct impact on laboratory Clients’ success or failure in delivering meaningful environmental or other engineering reports. Specific administrative topics to be covered include: proposals & contracts, project documentation, invoicing & collections, high profile projects, business development, common challenges, and fundamental traits of great project managers. Technical topics will include: appropriate methods, dilutions and detection limits, preservation & containers, holding time accommodations and contingent analyses, responsibilities for proper waste sample preparation, assumed and actual target analytes, accreditation requirements, and variable contaminant criteria. Examples highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly will be presented, along with brief discussions of challenges project managers face as well as some ideas to help project managers deal with these challenges.