LIMS Project Pitfall#7
“My current lab resources are enough to deploy & maintain a LIMS.”
Ask yourself these questions first. The answers to these questions can greatly impact a LIMS project and will determine if your current resources are enough to deploy and maintain a LIMS.
- Do I have IT resources?
- Do I have a LIMS Administrator?
LIMS requires IT involvement and that involvement should start BEFORE the LIMS is selected. IT resources will be needed throughout the implementation of a LIMS and even more in the maintenance phase of the system. IT will dictate additional requirements that must be met on the project. Additionally, IT will be required to maintain the LIMS databases and application services.
Whether you have an in-house centralized IT department or you contract your IT resources, both can result in an IT team that is less specialized and less agile. The IT resources assigned to your project or responding to your issue may not have the knowledge or background to address specifics of your LIMS system and the Lab’s business processes. Therefore, it is imperative to have a LIMS Administrator. A LIMS Administrator serves as the translator between the IT and the business teams. The LIMS Administrator is responsible for sustaining your system in the long term, managing user requests, owning standard operating procedures (SOP), and working with the business to troubleshoot issues.
It is also important to have a plan in place for knowledge retention and transfer before the first requirement is ever written. Many times the LIMS Admin and SMEs involved in the original LIMS implementation project are the only holders of the background and knowledge of how or why changes were made to the out-of-the box system. Be sure to document all changes from the out-of-the-box system, require vendor documentation on all customizations, and capture how the business has configured the system. Not only does turn-over happen but this documentation will assist new or less specialized team members make informed decisions and troubleshoot and resolve issues more effectively and efficiently.
To Avoid This LIMS Project Pitfall:
- Get IT involved from the beginning.
If you don’t have IT resources, consider a cloud-based LIMS solution such as Labtopia’s LIMScribe. With LIMScribe there are no servers and other hardware to purchase and maintain and there are no dependencies on internal IT resources. We become your data center handling the entirety of support, maintenance, backup, and recovery for all systems hardware and software.
- A LIMS Administrator is a necessity.
If you don’t have a LIMS Admin consider utilizing Labtopia’s LIMS Admin Services. Labtopia becomes your LIMS Administrator and addresses and supports the LIMS configurations and customizations that are in current use by the business.
- Plan for knowledge retention and transfer.
Document, document, document!
- Document changes to the out-of-the-box system
- Require vendor documentation on customizations
- Capture how the business has configured the system
- Develop procedures for end-users by role
- Develop scripts (“use cases”) that can be used to test the system
Labtopia can assist in writing technical design documentation, writing SOPs, and training.
Don’t miss the next installment in our LIMS Project Pitfall series.
LIMS Project Pitfall #8: “The hardware/software/network in my lab can meet all LIMS requirements without extra cost.”