You may have identified the benefits that LIMS can bring to your laboratory but that is just the start of your journey. You now need to convince your organisation that this is a project worth undertaking. How do you do this?
Follow our 6 tips below and you will give yourself a great chance of success.
Tip #1: Who are the key decision makers?
You are just one of the decision makers. Who are the others? Identify them and understand what are their decision-making factors, and you will be underway on your LIMS approval journey. Most projects will include formal and informal decision makers. Examples of formal decision makers are the Finance Director, Managing Director and Operations Director. However, do not forget those informal decision makers – the people who may not have authority to make the decision but will influence the ultimate decision maker. Examples of informal decision makers are routine users of the system such as Lab Analysts and Technicians.
Tip #2: Frame your debate.
Start with the business case. Why do you need the software? What issues will it resolve? What are the pros and cons of the solution you are proposing? What are the implications of doing nothing? Build a well thought out, coherent argument and be prepared to present it in a succinct manner. Less is often more but make sure that you have data to back up your case (see points 3 & 4).
Tip #3: Determine costs.
Whilst your project is all about saving money through process and other efficiencies, it is important that you understand the costs associated with the deployment of LIMS that you are proposing. The costs are likely to be split into two areas – one-off project deployment costs and ongoing costs.
It is always best to start with the benefits (ie. ‘we can generate this level of savings at this cost’ rather than ‘by spending this money we will achieve these benefits’). Always present benefits before cost.
Tip #4: Calculate the project return on investment (ROI).
Return on investment figures are what most decision makers are interested in. The question of cost vs. savings is sure to come, so how do you calculate the savings that your LIMS will deliver? Having this data available will add value to your LIMS proposal for board approval – especially when the figures are compelling. Be sure to cover direct and indirect savings to build a complete case.
Tip #5: Overcome objections.
No matter how strong your case, objections are sure to be put in front of you. How do you prepare for them? A great tip is to sit in the shoes of the objector. By doing this, you will come up with the likely objections, and have time to prepare your responses. Objections could include the project timeline, overestimated potential savings and conflicting projects. Deal with facts. Use data, and you will be well placed to deal with objections.
Tip #6: Be Persistent.
Fight your corner. All businesses will have multiple projects they can undertake. Be clear on your case, explain it well and do not take no for an answer.