LIMS implementations are often viewed as a challenging journey due to the investment of cost, commitment of resources and competing priorities within the company. The right system will provide the laboratory operations significant benefits through data management, optimization of processes and improved regulatory compliance. In the Clarkston Consulting Virtual LIMS Series, the Roadmap to a LIMS Solution seminar addressed several topics from assessment to deployment including the vendor selection process and how companies can ensure a successful LIMS implementation.
What is a LIMS MVP?
The LIMS minimum variable product (MVP) identifies the core functionality to effectively deploy the LIMS solution and provide the necessary productivity to the laboratory. It is unique for each laboratory and is determined based on the lab’s current capability, areas of need, risks, and strategic goals. The goal of the MVP is to provide the laboratory operation the working functionality to gain immediate productivity and tangible evidence of the solution capabilities.
How to develop a LIMS Implementation Roadmap?
A roadmap or multi-phase plan is a high-level overview of your implementation vision and direction over time. The roadmap shows the overall strategy and anticipated effort required to achieve the objectives. A LIMS roadmap assessment can be broken down into three phases:
- Initiate-Align the intended scope and project approach with leadership and stakeholders
- Assess- Conduct focused interviews with stakeholders and subject matter experts to identify present and future business processes and requirements
- Recommend-Summarize finding and assessment results to establish a deployment roadmap
- A roadmap should illustrate not only the iterative expansion of capabilities over time, but also should provide a sense of the incremental victories along the way
What are the keys to a successful deployment strategy?
Spending the time to make the right choice for current and future business needs can ensure success and greater return on investment. For the implementation phase, consider these three keys to success:
- Start with a Detailed Project Plan
- Clearly Identify the Project Deliverables
- Build a Strong Implementation Team
The success of any implementation is strengthened by proper planning and execution, while a lack of a strategy coupled with unrealistic expectations will doom the project and waste valuable resources.
What are the advantages of a successful LIMS solution?
A successful LIMS solution requires dedicated resources throughout the journey, from initial implementation to site rollouts to incorporating system enhancements and upgrades, to be successful but the return on investment is clear. There are several advantages once the LIMS solution is successfully deployed; for example, an enhanced laboratory throughput, compliance, and data integrity.
This journey will begin to incorporate a Lab digital transformation which will require less paper with the elimination of manual systems by integrating instrument interfaces and electronic systems like an electronic laboratory notebook. When the focus is on driving efficiency to maximize return on investment, the lab can reap benefits far beyond the typical return from a LIMS solution.
How to execute a Vendor Selection?
The goal of a LIMS implementation Vendor Selection is to choose a LIMS solution that can not only fulfill your MVP, but also achieve the stakeholder vision defined by the roadmap. The key elements to a vendor selection process incorporates a current and future state visioning, a market scan to evaluate vendors in the market, a system demonstration based on typical scenarios and finally a vendor selection. To summarize the selection, a scorecard is prepared based on the proposals and demos, as well as an analysis and quantification of any gaps. The final decision is then presented to the key stakeholders and decision makers, including the final evaluation and total cost of ownership.
What are the keys to a successful LIMS vendor selection?
The first step is to develop a clear and documented understanding of scope, objectives, requirements, and expectations from the roadmap. Next, build a cross-functional business team, who will be part of the entire selection process, to ensure continuity and a holistic perspective from requirement gathering, reviews, scoring, and final vendor selection. This team will develop a structured proposal process and grading criteria that enables apples to apples comparisons, but also gives the vendors enough room for creativity and differentiation in their response. The team will manage a methodical and diligently selection process, that achieves the selection objectives and measures vendors, across multiple dimensions, in a reasonable timeframe. The best approach ensures alignment between business requirements and market offerings for greatest overall value and allows for the selection of a vendor solution that best suits your current needs as well as your future strategy by leveraging our deep functional and industry expertise to highlight the best features and risks of each solution.
To view the more on this topic, please click on the link to download Clarkston’s webinar Roadmap to a LIMS Solution.
Contributions by Segun Olorunyolemi, Lloyd Dzinotyiwei, George Adams, Blake Long.