IT Transformation Insights: Lessons Learned from Labs

Working with the U.S. National Laboratories

The 17 US National Laboratories across the nation work to innovate across the areas of science and technology, including sustainable practices, nuclear energy, security, and more.  

Elire has had the opportunity to work with a variety of these labs, focusing on business process improvement and wide scale technology implementations around Oracle HCM Cloud. Through these experiences, Elire has gained knowledge of how projects are set up for these specific industry clients and implications for their revenue.  

Along with an understanding of how projects are set up, these labs have provided valuable lessons on project work, safety, security, and how to ensure a collaborative work environment for IT transformations and implementations. Below are some of the key considerations when exploring transformational opportunities within the Lab industry. 

Key considerations to make when exploring opportunities in the Lab industry

Regulation  

In the Lab network there are regulations that must be observed during a system implementation. Some of these may include federal, state, and local laws that dictate constraints of how the lab must operate its HR and Finance systems.  

Another common set of regulations in the Lab network are the regulations that pertain to represented employees. Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) may have specific requirements regarding union employees and how they will interact with the HR and Finance system, as well as their expectation of the system’s output. For example, time & labor requirements may affect when an employee is paid and in what way they are paid. An understanding of payroll requirements is a necessary component to navigate regulation. 

Standardizing Business Processes 

Laboratory business processes are likely long-standing and require a system that is standardized. In order to explore a new system, the project team needs to define the current state, consolidate requirements, and match the new system’s ability to meet these requirements.  

In order to standardize the business processes, it is important to evaluate the current state of the system, which may require a few things, like transitioning from the current custom or in-house business process for a delivered process or excluding the process in the new system implementation.  

It also could require a compromise to meet in the middle, where the new system configuration facilitates some of the current business processes and implements change management initiatives that affect previous processes. 

Red Tape 

For large scale labs, there are likely many employees who are only familiar with the current business processes, which may cause an aversion to change.  

To prevent a disconnect between departments and employees and navigate towards the desired future state businesses processes in the new system, it is important that all internal departments involved in the lab have a consistent communication, goal alignment, and a unified implementation strategy. 

Gaining this communication alignment early will streamline the process of change in the new system and allows for the accurate representation of each department during decision-making. 

Decision Making 

SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) and module experts work with in scope processes every day and are familiar with process requirements and current state. Empowering these SMEs and module experts to make collaborative decisions can create a solution to meet in the middle between current state processes and desired future delivered state.  

A lack of empowerment to collaborate on decisions could result in project delivery delay, additional rework costs, and unhappy end-user experiences. Ensuring a collaborative approach to decision making where SMEs can use their expertise is a key component of successful project implementation.  

These valuable lessons learned from collaborating with Labs can enhance project management methodologies and guide technical and functional changes in a system implementation or update. 

Our dedicated teams can support labs to hold the highest standards not only for the changes of specific system components, but we can also work with project management teams to mitigate risk and ensure on time delivery. Learn more about Elire’s Cloud Transformation Services here, or read about a recent DOE Lab Cloud Implementation success story here. 

  • Ms. Ericson serves as Elire's Marketing Associate, supporting Elire’s digital marketing efforts. Summer collaborates with the Elire Marketing Team to develop engaging and educational content that delivers value to the lifecycle of Elire partners and their applications.

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