LabWare GOLD Methodology Overview
LabWare provides an overall methodology and approach for the way in which LabWare helps its customers through all of the stages of owning a Laboratory Information Management System. This approach is called GOLD - Goal Oriented LIMS Delivery.
LabWare advises all of its customers to use the GOLD methodology. Support for GOLD is integrated within the LabWare LIMS product, the on-line support systems provided to customers, and in the extensive range of templates, guidelines, and business models.
GOLD takes the best ideas from the IT industry and applies them to LIMS. It embraces effective project management techniques that fully utilize an evolutionary, participatory approach while maintaining tight time scales and regulatory compliance.
The classical waterfall model of writing detailed requirements and functional specifications before performing any configuration is inappropriate for package based information systems where the users need to interact with the system to understand what functions and features are available. LabWare's goal oriented, iterative approach is a far more efficient way of delivering business systems. The LabWare approach is based on high productivity tools, clear objectives, and small, very skilled teams. GOLD has been developed and refined using the experience of many hundreds of successful LIMS projects.
The GOLD methodology consists of four key stages, which are summarized below:
As described above, LabWare's interaction with a customer starts with a teacher / student relationship, evolves into a master / apprentice relationship, and eventually stabilizes into a supporting relationship. Each implementation project starts with training. LabWare offers a weeklong training program that is attended by all team members who will participate in the configuration work. The implementation then continues under the technical leadership of one of our certified implementation consultants. During this phase the team members receive on-the-job, hands-on training. Over time, usually in the second month, the team members start to feel comfortable with the tools and as appropriate, can be ready to take on some of the configuration tasks. Our consultant mentors the team while continuing to tackle some of the more complex parts of the implementation. This relationship continues until the customer is ready to move the LIMS into production. By that time, the customer often can become self-supporting and may need relatively little on-site consulting. LabWare continues to support the customer with online information, an email discussion forum, and assistance from our technical support staff via the telephone or if the customer prefers via email.
- Project Initiation - The key objective of the Project Initiation stage is to develop and establish the team, and to ensure that all team members understand the scope of work and speak the same language. In a nutshell, two key knowledge transfer activities occur. The customer’s team members are trained in LabWare’s product by completing the 5-day LIMS Administration 1 training course, and LabWare’s team members gain a clear understanding of the customer’s work processes through interactive workflow review meetings.
- Pilot Development - The Pilot Development stage has two objectives: finalize the functional requirements and provide mentoring to the customer’s team members as they become more familiar with the LabWare LIMS tool set. An iterative configuration approach is applied to rapidly prototype a "slice" of the functional requirements. Reviews are completed with subject matter experts to finalize the functional requirements and implementation architecture.
- System Completion - The purpose of the system completion stage is to implement all functionality that is necessary in order to go live. The transition from the Pilot stage to the System Completion stage is usually a gradual one. As the requirements solidify, the pilot system slowly becomes the “real” system. And as the customer team members gain more confidence with the LabWare LIMS product, they can start taking on more of the implementation work themselves.
- Rollout - The Rollout stage covers all testing and deployment activities prior to releasing the system for production use including test script development and execution, user training, and preparation of the production environment.