IDENTIFY THE NUTS AND BOLTS
Once the facility workflow is
known, it’s time to get down to
the core details. Questions to be
considered during this important
• How does the item being tested arrive?
• How is it routed and delivered
from Receiving to the specific test
• Who will touch the item?
• Is waste generated? If so, how
is waste handled and recycled/
• Where does the test product/
by-product go when it leaves?
• How is testing reported,
showcased and improved?
Answering these questions
helps create a loose diagram of
the process flow of each known
item to help designers and facility
personnel understand how the
process works today. Keep in
mind, however, that today’s reality
may be vastly different from
what you think it is and what it
can and should be. Also consider
that the processes employed by
your teams today may not be the
processes of tomorrow. Once
problems are addressed through
the lab re-design, processes can
and should adapt to be leaner and
more cost-effective in the future.
Even in today’s era where workspaces are more open and collaborative, people have a natural
tendency to become territorial—
claiming areas for their own. This
tendency is exacerbated when the
space does not provide what the
For example, one Hixson client had pent-up storage demand
among its lab workforce. Demand
for space was so high that some
personnel had widely unknown
storage locations and processes,
placing empty boxes in storage
areas to “hold” the space for when
it was needed.
Proper lab design takes into
the account the territorial nature
of humans, and offers ways to
accommodate that territoriality
into the natural flow of the space.
In the case of the personnel with The workspace offers this lab worker plenty of room to conduct critical testing.