A large multinational chemical company acquired a business unit from another company, and needed to align the additional manufacturing sites with their existing systems. The client had eight global locations involved in this project, of which several were part of the acquired business unit.
The project involved implementing a new version of SampleManager LIMS™ across those sites. They also needed to improve their LIMS functionality by integrating with their manufacturing execution system (MES) and with two separate instances of SAP.
The client had consultants from several companies to help with the SampleManager and MES implementations. When projects are this large and complex, they can easily fall behind schedule without proper project management and leadership, and this project was no different. CSols Inc. had worked with this client during the initial phase of the project and presented the idea of, and a CSols consultant as, a project leader to get things back on track.
First phase: implementation of three SampleManager LIMS 11.2.2 instances at the sites acquired in the merger, one for each product line. Most of the manufacturing sites had existing SampleManager LIMS implementations with significant customization.
Second phase: add two additional sites, including one that used French-Canadian as its primary language.
- Major issues in connectivity between the acquired sites and the heritage sites led to significant delays.
- At the outset of the project, the client was renting server space from the company that had sold the additional sites.
- The French-speaking site had never used a LIMS before, and it was difficult to agree on requirements.
- These issues were complicated by a short timeline, with the goal of delivering 23 lab go-lives in 6 months.
CSols’s Role in the Solution
The project leader took an iterative prototype approach to achieve rapid development cycles, bring the project back on schedule, and meet aggressive timelines. This methodology was used for both phases of the project.
The size and complexity of the project required a dedicated project leader resource to effectively manage the project and work with the client on organizational change management, so that the new system was adopted by the end users. Meetings were held throughout the project, both online and in person, to communicate developments to the client’s team as they happened.
The CSols project leader was also responsible for the following tasks:
- Project governance, including budgeting, deployment strategy, and interacting with the client’s business and IT sponsors
- Project charter and initial project planning, including master data management
- Project requirements gathering with project team
- Business change management with the client, including process harmonization and training
- Managing the project through requirements, build, testing, and deployment
- Project risk assessment and status reporting; change control
- The failing implementation was brought back on schedule for an on-time completion due to the calculated approach taken by the experienced CSols Project Leader, who was able to respond effectively to the fluid nature of the client’s requirements.
- The iterative prototype approach taken by the CSols project leader provided a highly customized solution that works well for the client.
- There were minimal disruptions to client’s resources because the CSols Project Leader had the skill and foresight to guide the project as seamlessly as possible to completion.
- The project leader worked with all stakeholders to ensure timelines were met, user requirements were addressed, and end users were satisfied with the outcome, by leading the teams through the necessary organizational change.
- All client sites are now on SampleManager LIMS 11.2.2, with some sites using a LIMS for the first time.
- The French-speaking site received documentation translated into French Canadian. The CSols project leader knew that the translation would increase user adoption of their first LIMS.
- In addition to the harmonization of all sites, the client now hosts their informatics solutions on their own servers and was able to stop renting server space, saving them money.
- LIMS implementation and integration with their MES and SAP instances increased productivity and reduced risk to the client.
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