One of the world’s largest plastics, chemicals, and refining companies wanted to replace their aging Sapphire LIMS, early versions of SampleManager LIMS™, and several homegrown LIMS with SampleManager LIMS 12.2. The company has more than 50 sites spread across 25 countries, but did not have sufficient in-house resources or expertise to perform this work. A CSols Inc. Project Manager was brought in to coordinate the implementation of SampleManager LIMS 12.2 across the company.
Objectives and Challenges
Approximately 25 client sites spread across the globe needed to be upgraded to SampleManager 12.2. Most were manufacturing sites, with a few research and development sites. Each site had specific functionality requirements to support their work.
The client had been working on the project for approximately 10 months before the CSols team was brought in, and none of the sites had been brought to go-live. The key stakeholders felt that the project lacked structure. The CSols team jumped in to drive progress with an Agile approach.
The project had been initially scoped and budgeted to accommodate a standard system implementation across multiple sites. However, the client’s culture and way of working called for autonomy among the laboratories and for each site to have leeway in how their systems were implemented.
Timelines were extremely aggressive, in part because the project had fallen behind before the CSols team was brought in. Stakeholders were anxious for the project to begin to meet agreed-upon milestones. The project had been under-resourced, particularly for development. Priorities of the sites were ever-changing, so flexibility and adaptability was constantly required from the CSols team.
CSols’s Role in the Solution
The CSols team was brought in to fill project gaps with a Project Manager, Business Analyst, and two Developers. The CSols Project Manager immediately identified a disconnect between initial project scope and the actual way of working in the laboratories, and got stakeholders to align these two different approaches so that individual labs could change the system to suit specific needs around workflows and sample logging. The project was re-baselined to account for this work, and discussions are ongoing about whether to increase the budget or decrease the scope by taking some sites out.
- The CSols Developers used an Agile deployment model to quickly deliver functionality that met requirements.
- The Developers used an efficient process to manage code in an organized way.
- The Project Manager developed processes to clarify what work needed to be done and manage bug fixing and enhancements.
- The Business Analyst developed clear, actionable requirements from the client’s general requirements.
- Processes were streamlined using new functionality in SampleManager 12.2 to replace several spreadsheets with custom workflows, eliminating the chance of error.
- The short-term benefit of this work lies in getting sites off of unsupported LIMS and onto a common platform of SampleManager 12.2.
- Longer-term benefits will be realized once data from all sites can be merged into one database. When this project is complete, users and management will be able to view data across many sites and compare site metrics uniformly.
- CSols brought dedicated LIMS expertise to the project with a project manager and two developers who all had direct experience with SampleManager LIMS. This expertise provided the client with the knowledge needed to move the project forward.
- During four months of involvement by the CSols project team, five sites went live before work was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic..
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