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LIMS Implementation Best Practices, The ATL Advantage Plan

Implementing a LIMS is a complex undertaking, involving a variety of participants and dozens of key tasks that must be successfully executed. As a result of implementing LIMS solutions in more than 600 laboratories over the past 26 years, ATL has developed the ATL Advantage Plan–A Road Map to a Successful LIMS Deployment.

ATL Advantage Plan
The Advantage Plan is the result of ATL’s long history working with laboratory professionals and our commitment to quality. The ATL advantage plan features a dedicated project manager with a focus on process and tools. Tools include checklists, project dashboard, regular meetings, and a staged environment to begin configuration.

Initially a team is assembled, roles are defined, and the team creates a project plan. Throughout the course of the project, regular meetings are held to review progress workflows, reports, and calculations. ATL provides technical support during parallel testing and through the go live phase.

The plan has four phases:

Phase I: Define Project Scope– initiation, analysis, and planning
Project initiation begins with a determined need for a LIMS and a commitment to the project. The team is assembled and needs are documented, categorized, and prioritized. A risk analysis is completed as well as a budget and timing estimate. After a needs assessment, results are analyzed along with a workflow analysis. Team members are interviewed and project requirements are finalized.

Phase II: Specify Core System Features– requirements specifications, configuration
The team reviews project scope as set in phase I, including specifications and requirements. Historical data to be migrated is identified, as are instruments and third-party software to be integrated. Customization and configuration are defined. Users, permissions, workflows, e-signatures, and control limits are set up.

Phase III: Implementation– verification testing, training
Quality control checks are run to check accuracy and validate set up. ATL conducts on-site training and offers videos, quick start guides, and Boot Camp training options. Parallel testing—running the new and old systems alongside each other– occurs during this phase to verify consistent output prior to cutting over to the new LIMS.

Phase IV: Going Live– support and upgrades
During this phase, ATL provides live technical support as well as resources including a knowledge base, white papers, FAQ, webcasts, and a user forum. This phase also includes training on new features and functions, automation improvements, and new documentation.

While the ATL Advantage Plan offers a strong foundation for your successful LIMS implementation, there are several best practices to also keep in mind:

  • It takes a team to successfully implement a LIMS. Choose the team members and LIMS Administrator carefully. Distribute the workload as evenly as possible.
  • Parallel testing is essential. Do not decommission the old system too quickly. Run both systems until you are satisfied with the new LIMS’ performance.
  • When going live, expect a few hiccups. Rely on your expert support team to work through them.
  • Look for additional areas to use automation and to streamline workflows.

We’d love your thoughts on LIMS Implementation. Share your own best practices in the comments.


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