The product vendors are all ears to this and are in constant work to better their products but there is one practical problem – making technology meet its actual need i.e., understanding the unsaid / unexpressed needs of the lab analysts (the actual users of ELN) and deploying / upgrading the system in a way it meets these needs.
Since the last decade, both big pharmaceutical and small biotech organizations have been constantly overhauling their informatics landscape to have ELN system that caters to all their changing needs.
From our experience with our customers, one critical step that alleviates the constant re-work is to understand the unsaid needs, pain points, and / or challenges for Business and IT stakeholders with the current ELN system.
When these unsaid needs were overlapped with the vision / strategy of the organization, we were able to render sustainable plan for the implementation / upgrade of ELN system. We call this exercise “Phase 0 Evaluation.”
And it includes other systemic tasks like evaluating current state usage independently of business emotions. Though this exercise may sound simple, we learnt over a period that it requires a specific skill to do it right – following are some of the key items.
- Knowledge of the capabilities of legacy, current and upcoming versions of ELN system (from whichever product vendor)
- Experience of assessing informatics landscape and proposing solutions to address gaps
- Understanding infrastructure constrains and network architecture of the organization
- Understanding business process across different functional unites and their usage of ELN
- Empathy towards business users to understand pain points with current ELN version
- Knowledge of other ELN systems in the market and what value they may bring to the business
- Experience with proposing upgrade plans along with risk identification and mitigation
- Overseeing upgrade with ability to manage needs of various parties (including product vendors)