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DEFINING LABORATORY CORE COMPETENCIES FOR ORGANIZATIONAL OPTIMIZATION

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Abstract:

To address the “Sanitary Sewer Overflow” federal mandate a new program was created at The Little Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant. A strategic functional plan was developed for reorganization so that staff could be moved from the laboratory to the new program. Two fully benefited permanent positions were moved out of the laboratory to staff the new program.

This paper's prime focus is on the strategic value of defining the laboratory's core competencies. Core competencies are defined as those activities that an organization performs extraordinarily well in comparison to its competitors. A public institution has no direct competitors, but benchmarking against other institutions, and performing cost/benefit analyses for performing work in-house versus contracting it out, can identify strengths and weaknesses.

Valuable strategic insights came from defining the laboratory's core competencies. In the evaluation, the managers discovered the laboratory excelled at providing same day turn-around analyses for NPDES compliance and process control. A total paradigm shift was required. The laboratory became a “lean, mean, short turn-around team.”

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864704784137710

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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