A multinational chemical company with several unique product streams was entering phase 2 of their laboratory informatics project. The company needed to add two sites using paper-based systems to their SampleManager LIMS™ implementation; one that was acquired from another company and one that would operate in French-Canadian. Each laboratory was accustomed to localized processes and configurations. This project required the configuration and customization of SampleManager LIMS 11.2, instrument interfacing, and SAP integration.
CSols had completed an earlier project for this client, in which more than 20 laboratories went live with SampleManager LIMS 11.2. Understanding the special nature and complexity of this project, CSols had stressed to the client that strong communication skills and a thorough understanding of the SampleManager system and laboratory processes were required to complete the second phase on time. Continuity of the business analysis role was critical as well. The knowledge and understanding developed during requirements gathering would be essential through the testing and deployment phases.
The client agreed with the need for business analysis efforts and had brought a full-time Business Analyst from CSols in to the project.
Objectives and Challenges
The overall goal of the project was to harmonize all client sites by moving them to one platform. When planning for deployment at the two sites in phase 2, the client’s objective was to avoid roadblocks they had faced in the earlier work. In addition to wanting to mitigate those challenges (primarily centered around incomplete requirements gathering before adding the Business Analyst), there were additional known challenges, such as:
- A site that only used French-Canadian and the need to translate the system accordingly
- An aggressive timeline to complete configuration, testing, and deployment
- Two different deployments:
- 1 French-Canadian system that would be stand-alone
- 1 site to be integrated into the existing LIMS for that business sector
CSols’s Role in the Solution
CSols took a hands-on approach and used proven methodologies with the business analysis role. Several specific tasks demonstrated CSols’s expertise and ability to meet the customer’s needs in phase 2, including the following.
- Gathered requirements and generated User Requirements Specification (URS) and Functional Requirements Specification (FRS) documents
- Assisted the Project Management Lead in creating Project Plans, Communication Plans, and a Project Schedule
- Traveled to both sites to foster better communication about the system and UAT procedures and build a strong relationship with each client site
- Assisted with translation of English training documents to French-Canadian
- Methods were developed in a way to allow the operators to more easily find and enter results for samples – a need that was foreseen by the CSols Business Analyst and communicated to the developers to configure.
- Thorough requirements gathering and detailed development of URS and FRS documentation provided a strong understanding of the overall requirements and design to the end users.
- Translation of English training documents to French-Canadian helped personnel at that site have a thorough understanding of the new system, which was their first experience with a LIMS.
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