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Conducting a Forensic Facility Needs Assessment Using Lean Facility Design: A Case Example

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2019
10 pages
This report details the steps for using a lean facility design (LFD) approach in conducting a needs assessment in a forensic facility, and a brief case example is provided.
A facility needs assessment is essential prior to remodeling an existing forensic facility or building a new one, as well as when identifying operational and workflow inefficiencies. The use of a LFD in conducting a forensic facility needs assessment involves the use of a strategy to optimize the flow of information, work, and people through a facility. This strategy can ultimately improve work processes; ensure quality products; and determine the configuration of physical spaces, such as forensic facilities. A successful LFD assessment in a forensic facility may require collaboration among laboratory staff, including the director and individuals from each unit; a representative from the agency completing the evaluation; a process management consultant; an architect; and engineers. The case example provided of the use of LFD in a needs assessment of a forensic facility occurred when the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) collaborated with the Midwest Forensics Resource Center (MFRC) to conduct an LFD needs assessment at the Broward County Sheriff's Office (BSO) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The BSO requested a facility needs assessment for its crime laboratory. The BSO also wanted to determine whether a facility renovation would suffice or the construction of a new facility would be required to address the findings of the needs assessment. This report describes each stage of the LFD process, with examples provided of each stage; however, the examples and outcomes from the BSO needs assessment may differ in other laboratories. 3 figures, 2 tables, 5 references, and appended questions to ask during an LFD assessment