How to Evaluate Resources when Acquiring a LIMS

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Today we are going to talk about trust. I propose that, when receiving information about laboratory information management systems, or LIMS, that we consider them to belong to one of three trust models:

Before we get into a discussion of these points let's assume that a complex decision requires a certain degree of research, research that will include external sources, many of which you may not have had any previous experience with. Acquiring a LIMS is indeed a very complex decision and will likely require assimilation of information from a wide variety of sources. You will use one or more of the trust models previously described when weighing those resources. Your decision may be heavily influenced by one or more of them. Now, we know that a certain degree of research goes into the LIMS acquisition process. Whether you are building or buying you are going to go outside of your organization and you are going to be confronted with a wild array of diverse information. Some of it will be from magazines; others from private websites; still others will come from organizations professing to be organized for the purpose of assisting your organization in acquiring a LIMS.

Regardless of the source, you must adopt a slightly defensive stature when filtering through this information. Some of it is written by private interests with the goal of influencing your decision in a way that is actually detrimental to your goals. A good way to deal with information during the research phase of a LIMS acquisition is to treat everything the same -- that is, scrutinize it all mercilessly.

Ask, do I trust this resource? If so, under which trust model do I trust it?

Anything outside of personal experience or outside of the direct experience of someone you already know should be considered suspect. In other words if you trust a resource based on its own appearance and/or language then it is in Trust Model #1. This should be considered the lowest model. If you trust a resource based on what other people have said about it that resource may be in Trust Model #2 if that external resource is made up of competent individuals acting free of influence in a transparent manner. In other words, if a resource is vetted by competent individuals that have nothing to gain other than recognition for doing an excellent job than that resource may have propelled to Trust Model #2. Otherwise it belongs at the lower rung. Finally we reach Trust Model #3 where you are willing to do some business with them. Here you should consider the scope of trust. How much trust is good? For a new vendor or provider the typical goal should be to set up the relationship in such a way that getting back out is easy to do.

One should date a while before getting married.

Hence, full enterprise-wide rollouts of a particular LIMS is not recommended for a vendor or provider you've never done business with no matter how good their recommendations might be. Try them out somewhere where, if they fail, the repercussions to your operations will be minimal.

If you follow these recommendations you may find your organization wasting less time and energy on vendor/provider promises and more time getting things done.

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Citation: How to Evaluate Resources when Acquiring a LIMS. (2014). Retrieved Wed Mar 22 22:16:01 2017, from;iid=readMore;go=1389630315