Lateral Flow Test technical transfer can often be considered a complex project. In our latest article, Gillian Hayward, Senior Project Manager at Abingdon Heath, delves into the role of project management in ensuring successful customer outcomes on time and within budget.

Fail to plan, plan to fail.
Process. Process. Process.

There are many ways to think about and describe my role as a Project Manager at Abingdon Health, during the technical transfer and scale-up of a lateral flow rapid tests.

It is predominantly thought of as a process job and being the go-between for multiple people and departments, inside and outside of the business, and managing milestone delivery. However, it is more than that. During my career I have learned that project management is actually, at its heart – a people job.

A customer first approach

As is said in many industries, you have to be a true ‘customer first’ business to deliver the best service. This is definitely the case for Abingdon Health’s when working with all of our clients. As a Project Manager, during the technical transfer process, my role is to take the product on its journey from R&D all the way through to production. In doing this, it is easy to underestimate the value of this to the customer. It is never just another lateral flow test to the customer– it is often something they have spent significant time and energy on – and with this comes an emotional, as well as a business investment. Therefore, I enthusiastically join our customers on their journey to help ensure we deliver the right product for them.

It’s much more than just a process

The bits of my job I enjoy the most, and I like to think where I bring the most value to customers, is not the process control, planning and delivery. That is not to understate or underestimate the value of these – they are undoubtedly incredibly important in the environment in which we operate and form the basis of the roadmap to success. But it’s not about getting there, it’s about how you do it, and that is much more than just the process. My role is always to work closely with the customer and provide the reassurance to them that their product is just as important to us as it is to them – to ensure that as a business we are as invested in the success of the product as they are.

Being ‘The Voice’

In many circumstances, as a Project Manger, I am the voice of the customer within Abingdon Health. Whereby I ensure that the customer’s values and goals are a communicated to the wider team, building a common focus and enthusiasm for delivering a project. I am also the voice of the organisation for the customer. It’s important to understand the values and goals of both parties for the project, bringing them together as one voice.

Project Managers are risk obsessed!

There are many moving parts in any project, which can be complex. This is why project managers are risk obsessed! The key to getting through the highs and lows of any project is down to using effective project management methodologies and tools, and having great working relationships with all parties inside and outside of the business. At the end of any successful technical transfer and scale-up project, there is always cause to celebrate. But as I pass the project over to our manufacturing team and see the tests routinely rolling off the production line, it is always slightly tinged with sadness. From a personal perceptive, I value the working relationships I form with my customers. And that, for me, is the biggest mark of success.

Authored by Gillian Hayward, Senior Project Manager

Need help with taking a test from R&D to routine manufacture?

3 scientists using high volume lateral flow test manufacturing equipment
Whether you are an established player or emerging innovator, a good lateral flow test contract manufacturer will guide you through the outsourcing process, while being an extra pair of eyes for scoping opportunities and a safety net in supporting success. Contact Abingdon Health to see how help you on your journey.