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LIMS Implementation: Don’t Let Fear of Change Stand in your Way

Your lab is barely keeping up. Work volume is increasing, resources are strained. Tools are old and outdated. Processes are manual and time-consuming. You have researched LIMS implementation and it sounds like a great solution. But is it worth the time and effort? How do you get your staff to go along with a potential disruptive change? How do you dispel the fear and anxiety that accompanies change?

Change management is a common theme in the IT world. Author of the 8-Step Change Management Model John Kotter and his colleague Leonard Schlesinger present possible approaches for dealing with resistance to change. Setting aside manipulation and coercion, the most effective methods seem to be the following.

  1. Education and communication
  2. Participation and involvement
  3. Facilitation and support
  4. Negotiation and agreement

If your organization needs a new or upgraded LIMS and you are encountering resistance, it may be helpful to seek expert advice. Communication and education are key to any implementation project’s success. ATL’s professional services team conducts needs assessments, based on in-depth interviews and analysis, often onsite. The team delivers a final report that outlines the process in great detail. The assessment is a group project, and all stakeholders are involved and have a voice. Facilitation and support come in the form of access to skilled professionals. These professionals have vast experience and education and are able to troubleshoot and even prevent issues before they become challenges. Negotiation and agreement come in the form of a written plan complete with milestones, deliverables, and responsible parties.

Change does not have to be scary. With a plan, open communication, and buy-in along with proper executive sponsorship, large-scale implementations, including those for LIMS can be smoothly executed and adopted. Focusing on the bigger picture and long-term results, most organizations are glad they went along with embracing change and satisfied with the benefits.

Do you need a LIMS, but find yourself hesitating? What are your concerns?

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