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Training Update: 30th Annual FBI Symposium on Crime Laboratory Development: Leading Scientific Organizations, Forensic Science Communications, July 2002

Training Update: 30th Annual FBI Symposium on Crime Laboratory Development: Leading Scientific Organizations, Forensic Science Communications, July 2002

July 2002 - Volume 4 - Number 3

Training Update

30th Annual FBI Symposium on Crime Laboratory Development: Leading Scientific Organizations

Symposium Format | Monday, September 23 | Tuesday, September 24 |
Wednesday, September 25 | Questions?

The 2002 Symposium focuses on management issues facing crime laboratory managers. The FBI is collaborating with Washington University’s Olin School of Business Executive Management Program in St. Louis, Missouri, to develop and present an executive management program customized for crime laboratory managers. The symposium will be held at the University’s Knight Center.

Crime laboratory managers who would like to attend the symposium but have not received a registration packet may contact the FBI Laboratory Training Coordinator Office at (703) 632-4622 or trainingcoordinator@fbiacademy.edu to request one. The registration deadline is July 15, 2002.

Symposium Format

The symposium features three session formats:

  • Plenary Session during which a keynote speaker provides a philosophical foundation for a topic to all attendees
  • Core Session during which an instructional speaker provides tools to address a topic to attendees grouped according to their interests (estimated group size: 75 -125)
  • Workshops during which facilitators help small groups develop personal skills for a topic (estimated group size: 25 - 50)

A draft schedule follows:

Monday, September 23, 2002

Plenary Session: The Challenge of Leading Scientific Organizations

This session will introduce the Symposium’s theme¾exploring the challenges for managers who lead scientific organizations. It will present the Theory of Disruptive Technology, which reveals a new way of managing and working. Successive sessions provide a comprehensive approach to learning the management competencies and leadership commitment needed for the future success of science-based organizations.


Core Sessions: Leading the Knowledge Workforce

Science professionals are knowledgeable people who seldom achieve results alone. During this seminar attendees will discuss the qualities, strengths, and weaknesses that distinguish science professionals in the organization.

Group 1: Managers with Case-Working Responsibilities

Attendees will discuss how to disengage themselves from their profession to accomplish leadership integration, to do the occupation they love while they carry out other management and administrative responsibilities.

Group 2: Managers without Technical or Scientific Backgrounds

Attendees will discuss gaining and maintaining credibility with scientific constituents. They will explore how to develop a leadership role by making good technical decisions.

Group 3: Developing New Managers

Attendees will orient themselves to the challenges of science-management concepts, then discuss the seven management competencies needed to effectively lead a science organization.


Elective Workshops: Management Challenges

Workshops 1, 2, and 3 will have attendees delving into the core session content in greater detail to explore how to integrate these concepts into the work environment. Workshops 4, 5, and 6, facilitated by other laboratory managers, will have attendees exploring how specific challenges can be effectively managed.

Workshop 1: Working Leaders
Workshop 2: Science Managers
Workshop 3: Developing Leaders
Workshop 4: Acquiring a Laboratory Information System (LIMS)
Workshop 5: Facing Admissibility Challenges
Workshop 6: Expanding Forensic Services (Adding New Disciplines)


Core Sessions: How to be an Effective Mentor-Coach

Crime laboratory managers should facilitate developing the personal and professional skills of their personnel. Mentoring and coaching are two major development practices. Attendees will explore mentoring and coaching models and discuss how to incorporate effective strategies in their laboratories.

Group 1: Leadership Mentoring

Attendees will review thinking strategically, driving for results, and analyzing problems, then discuss how these management competencies relate to leadership development. They will identify strategies for uncovering self-development needs and discuss how to recognize and foster leadership the development needs of their staff.

Group 2: Science Mentoring

Attendees will review disciplined process orientation, impartiality, and analytical orientation¾the technical and management competencies that an effective crime laboratory manager needs. They will discuss mentoring and coaching challenges.

Group 3: Organization Mentoring

Attendees will review mentoring and coaching, achieving expertise, and choosing a career path, then learn which of these competencies help initiate and sustain the organization. They will discuss whether these competencies are underdeveloped in science organizations and understand how they can make a difference.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Core Sessions: Managing Resources

Budget management is relevant to all crime laboratory managers. Strategic thinking and effective problem analysis are two key management competencies for developing innovative budget solutions.

Group 1: Managing under Budget Constraints

Attendees will explore various budgeting environments (i.e., constrained, no growth, reduction, and increased, but not enough). They will discuss and generate innovative solutions to maximize resources under these conditions.

Group 2: Pilot Projects to Make a Business Case

Attendees will discuss using a pilot project to establish a case for the value of new initiatives. They will learn how to use a low-cost, small-scale project to demonstrate success, then leverage that success to fund a new program.

Group 3: Managing Conflicting Priorities

Conflicting budget priorities are inevitable. Attendees will explore positive aspects of trade-off analysis, then further explore trade-off decision-making and how to properly evaluate options.


Elective Workshops: Pursuing Resources

Workshops 1, 2, and 3 will have attendees interacting with core session presenters to explore ways to integrate budget management concepts into their work. Workshops 4, 5, and 6 will have attendees exploring how some of their colleagues managed specific budget challenges effectively.

Workshop 1: Outsourcing and Other Cost Efficiencies
Workshop 2: Demonstration Projects to Secure Funding
Workshop 3: Making Trade-Offs
Workshop 4: Productivity
Workshop 5: Corporate Sponsors
Workshop 6: Grant Proposal Development


Core Sessions: Creating a Framework for Negotiation

Effective negotiation allows crime laboratory managers to build relationships needed to get results both inside and outside the formal power structure. Managers must learn how to constructively plan and prepare for important negotiation opportunities up, down, across, and outside their organization. Today’s crime laboratory manager must approach negotiation not as an adversary but as a partner willing to understand and meet the needs of other affected parties.

Group 1: Managing in a Union Environment

Attendees will be introduced to basic negotiation skills and explore negotiation relationships. They will discuss the negotiation process and use analytical tools and models. They will understand union partners in negotiation and their own role in achieving agreement.

Group 2: Managing in a Bureaucracy

The basics of negotiation will be presented. Attendees will learn how to develop a strategic approach to negotiation in a bureaucratic environment. They will develop specific negotiation questions and learn how to use that information to build an effective negotiation plan.

Group 3: Working with Non-Scientific Colleagues and Funding Agencies

Negotiation basics will be presented. Attendees will explore techniques for speaking effectively to influence a non-scientific audience. They will examine the use of technical language as a barrier to effective negotiations.


Elective Workshops: Negotiation Scenarios

Workshops 1, 2, and 3 will have attendees probing core session content more deeply with presenters to explore how they can integrate these concepts into their role as a manager. Workshops 4, 5, and 6 will have attendees exploring how their colleagues handled specific negotiating scenarios effectively.

Workshop 1: Strategic Negotiation
Workshop 2: Negotiating within a Bureaucracy
Workshop 3: Negotiating with Non-Scientific Colleagues and Funding Agencies
Workshop 4: Negotiating with Labor Unions
Workshop 5: Negotiating for Science Talent Retention
Workshop 6: Negotiating for Asset Forfeiture

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Core Sessions: Laboratory Manager as Advocate

A crime laboratory manager’s role extends beyond the boundaries of the laboratory. Managers also must instill common understanding, foster professional unity, and provide practical solutions to recognizing interests inside and outside the organization. Effective managers must speak directly and openly to the connecting interests of people, communities, and the laboratory team.

Group 1: Advocacy within the Criminal Justice Community

Attendees will learn how to become effective advocates through professional coalition building and grassroots advocacy. They will explore the characteristics of the criminal justice community audience and learn techniques for defining and stating their own advocacy agenda.

Group 2: Advocate for Forensic Science

Attendees will explore the common goals, language, and process in advocating for the forensic science profession. They will examine the building of coalitions for research and technology improvements. They will delve into strategies for effectively handling the media and using it as an ally.

Group 3: Advocate for the Team

Attendees will review techniques for creating a team environment by focusing on their staff. They will discuss methods for fostering individual development and team building by creating a trusting and information-sharing environment, fostering training, and providing adequate equipment to do the job safely. Above all, good work must be recognized.


Core Sessions: Improving an Organization’s Effectiveness

Continuous improvement is necessary to provide the highest quality and fastest response to crime laboratories’ client organizations. Quality initiatives must consider both personnel and process. When initiating actions to improve a laboratory’s effectiveness, managers must understand that the role they play and the investments they make are critical. These core sessions will focus on translating some well-established tools and techniques into practical applications and measures.

Group 1: People

Attendees will be introduced to the concept of people as assets. Scientific professionals are the owners of their skills and knowledge, and they are portable assets. Attendees will discuss employee retention by understanding that science professionals must want to work for the organization, even when other opportunities exist. Attendees will explore strategies for creating a symbiotic relationship built on the mutual needs of both the organization and its employees.

Group 2: Process

Attendees will explore concepts of quality, then discuss how a quality system can be integrated into a laboratory setting. They will evaluate the return-on-investment for a functioning quality system.

Group 3: Results

Attendees will identify performance measures applicable to a crime laboratory setting. They will discuss how performance measures can be quantified or qualified and tracked in a systematic way. They will learn how to use this information to improve productivity.


Elective Workshops: Successes and Failures: Real-Life Stories

These workshops will be an interaction among colleagues. Attendees will share success or failure stories for brainstorming on ‘how’ or ‘how not to.’

Workshop 1: Ongoing Professional Development: Creating a Supportive Environment
Workshop 2: Quality is a Comprehensive Strategy
Workshop 3: Measurement, Accreditation, and Certification
Workshop 4: How Our Laboratory Became ASCLD/LAB or ISO 17025 Accredited
Workshop 5: How We Dealt with a Serious Quality/Ethical Problem
Workshop 6: How We Improved Quality Beyond Accreditation


Plenary Session: Sustaining Professionalism in a Scientific Organization

Attendees will be called to act on ideas taken from the Symposium’s sessions. Managers will be challenged to harness the opposing forces of technical knowledge and management competency by providing leadership to science organizations.



Jane M. Homeyer
Training Unit Chief
FBI Academy
Quantico, Virginia 22135
Phone: (703) 632-4630
Fax: (703) 632-4657
E-mail: jhomeyer@fbiacademy.edu