Meet My New Superhero: The Quality Manager

Quality Manager - Super Hero

I recently met with a Scigeniq customer – I will call her Tara – and she made a profound impression on me. She personified everything I find so amazing about the people who manage quality in pharma companies.

Tara is the quality manager for a pharma company. So, of course, she is responsible for designing, implementing, and managing the quality process. And if you work in the same area, you know that is a pretty big job, especially at a fast-growing company.

The job requires experience, intelligence, and persuasiveness; Tara has all three. But, again, that is like most quality managers. So here is what impressed me so much.

Every time I have met with Tara (we use Zoom), she has been dressed for the manufacturing floor, hair net, and all. And she has been busy…REALLY busy. That tells me that she is much more than a process manager and executive; she is right in the action, taking part directly in investigations and resolving issues.

When we talked about this, she confirmed that she wears many hats – and a net — at the company, and yes, she definitely “gets her hands dirty,” taking an active role in resolving issues in real time on the manufacturing floor. Her days include calls from stations as issues arise. She puts together teams to investigate issues and works with them to define and implement corrective actions. And then, she goes on to document the issues, track them as part of performance metrics, and report them to senior management.

The image that comes across with Tara is of a very, VERY competent, organized, and busy professional. And as we talked, I found out just how true that is.

I learned that she was the leader in implementing the manufacturing facility she was talking to me from. It is a new facility that came online about five years ago, and Tara was there from the first planning sessions. That meant that her perspective, through a quality lens, was part of the plan and design from the first. So now she manages quality processes in the manufacturing facility she helped design and bring online.

In our conversations, we talked about the range of her responsibilities, and I learned that Tara is the mother of two school-aged children, so days start with getting them ready for the day and end with homework and bedtime stories. So, of course, like many women, she has a second job: a Mom.

How Tara does all this is a mystery to me. Superheroes are all the rage today, and I think Tara might belong next to Ms. Marvel based on her many roles. And like a superhero, how she does what she does, and does so effectively, is a bit of a mystery to me.

Our conversations also touched on her role in bringing Scigeniq into her organization, and what she told me fit right in with her pragmatic, action-oriented persona. When she set out to implement an automated Quality Management System, she told me she was looking for more than software.

She told me she wanted a partner who shared her vision of a QMS that would be flexible and dynamic and able to adapt to their needs as they grow, add facilities, and expand their products. In a way, she wanted a partner and a system that could match her own dynamic: energetic, competent, and intelligent.

Tara cemented my image of what being a quality leader is like. And when I think of our software solutions and the role they play, it is the image of her in her manufacturing floor attire that motivates me to deliver tools that match her competence and intelligence.