A goal of the AC2 Bio-Link Regional Center (AC2) is to incorporate LIMS (Laboratory Information Management Systems) in to biotechnology classes, possibly as a component of bioinformatics instruction. This is reasonable because students entering the workforce will have advantages over others if they have some experience with such systems. Also, CSO's and incubators need to consider LIMS to manage lab operations, train students in modern practices, and support their clients.
Getting, planning, building, using, and maintaining LIMS is a challenging endeavor. So challenging in fact, that there are countless systems available, a world of consultants, and many websites and linkedin groups devoted to the topic. LIMS are known to have a high failure rates with costly consequences to organizations. As the AC2 LIMS project has a strong educational aspect, I hope to share my experience through a series of blog posts. Blogging my thoughts also frees me of a plan. I'll just share when I'm inspired and have time to share.
This is about requirements and how good they are. The author made some good points you need to know what you need now and into the future. And, you need to articulate these needs into clear statements.
2. Biting off more than you can chew
This issue relates to getting too many features that may not be needed, which can lead to lengthy build/configuration cycles that can delay implementation. Sometimes to infinity.
3. Failure to properly evaluate and select a LIMS
From the author, because it was good. "Ok, so you’ve done a complete analysis of your user requirements and you have a great idea of what your needs are, now what? How do you figure out what is the best LIMS for you? Do a Google search for “best LIMS”? Many LIMS implementations fail because the correct LIMS system was not selected to meet the specific needs of the business and lab. More often than not, LIMS systems are selected based on price and sales promises. By the time you realize that the wrong one was selected, you are too heavily invested and turning back is not an option. Following a well thought out, formal selection process including RFPs, scripted demos, vendor audits, and reference checks is industry best practice. Doing so will guarantee that the selected LIMS will be able to meet your needs. If this is something that your company does not have experience with or doesn’t have the resources to do, securing Subject Matter Experts with experience and expertise in this space is essential."
4. Not enough prototyping
In essence you need to test your system in a real world setting.
I thought these were good points, but something was missing, so I commented:
I agree with much of the above, but it's also naive. The first reason assumes your have enough forward view to anticipate requirements. This can lead to the second failure, which leads to a failure in the 3rd reason because you may have over planned your LIMS. Together 3 and 4 expect a high level of experience and maturity, not to mention time. Few groups have the capability and capacity to work with prototypes and provide reasonable feedback. To me, after 20 years designing, building, selling, and using LIMS, the biggest challenge is getting started in a way that allows for future unanticipated growth. With getting groups started and using the LIMS being the single greatest obstacle to overcome.
So, I'd boil this down to one factor contributes to failure more than any other.
Does someone on the team have any experience with LIMS?
A favorite way to learn what other thinks is to type "your subject" sucks into google. Today's topic is LIMS.