2007 09 26 ELN Working Routine


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General presentation on ELNs and working routines

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2007 09 26 ELN Working Routine

  1. 1. ELN Working Routines John Trigg & Simon Coles
  2. 2. Introduction to Me • CTO & Co-founder of Amphora Research Systems • Working on ELNs since 1996 • A number of our customers are here & speaking
  3. 3. Why me? • We do the Patent Evidence problem • Keep the lawyers happy • You still need to make the scientists happy • So we get a ring-side seat on some of these problems
  4. 4. This Presentation • Adapted from an all-day workshop given every year at the Association for Lab Automation in Palm Springs • Come and join us in January! • Hot, Sunny, and informative...
  5. 5. So.... • You’ve decided to get an ELN • Do you • Buy a tool, and fit your work to the tool? • Find out how you work, and buy/build a tool to fit?
  6. 6. The “ELN” Word • Very ambiguous • Probably best if you didn’t use it • Say what you mean
  7. 7. What do you mean? • The term “ELN” means different things to different people • Somewhere the scientists will work • A Patent Evidence system (& long term record)
  8. 8. Patent Evidence • Typically this is a broad, thin layer • Consistently applied across the whole company
  9. 9. Differences that make a Difference • There are 2 key aspects which impact the character of your ELN implementation • Regulated Vs Unregulated • Industry
  10. 10. Regulated or not? • If you are regulated, chances you are talking about process automation, enforcement, and compliance • This isn’t easy, but it is • Relatively unambiguous • Fairly well mapped already
  11. 11. Industry/Company Type • Life Sciences • Biotech or Pharma • Biology Vs Chemistry • Multi-national Chemicals
  12. 12. Chemistry Vs Biology • In Life Sciences, the biggest distinction is between Chemists and Biologists
  13. 13. Chemistry • Chemistry is pretty structured • Buy (or build) them a Chemistry-centric ELN and let them get on with it • The selection process is detailed but at least the work relatively consistently
  14. 14. Sources of Chemistry ELNs • If you’re a big pharma, you’re probably already set • With varying success - this isn’t easy • Solutions • Buy off the shelf • Build from what you have • Vendor capture
  15. 15. Sources of Chemistry • In Biotechs, you probably can’t afford to build or do vendor capture • Unless Cheminformatics is a core strength • So you’re going to have do as much as you can with off-the-shelf (customised as needed) • Nice selection of vendors, have fun!
  16. 16. Biology • Massive diversity • Lots of Microsoft Office and other “non ELN” applications • Best approach is to get out of their way
  17. 17. Examples • Nadine’s talk about J&J earlier • Really good example of in-depth analysis of process • 98% approval rate on a project that size is pretty stunning
  18. 18. Large Chemicals • Somewhat boring places you may or may not have heard of • But employ 1,000 of scientists and make most of the fun stuff in your house and car • e.g. companies like Kodak, BASF, PPG, Milliken, USG, etc.
  19. 19. Large Chemicals • Massive diversity • R&D is typically very close to the customer • Tight timescales • Low tolerance for “non-value add” activities
  20. 20. Large Chemicals • The ELN project will “Open the can of worms” in terms of • The tools people are using • The records they are creating • The patent evidence that is generated
  21. 21. General Purpose ELNs • “You all use the same Paper notebook don’t you?” • “So surely you can all use the same Electronic notebook?”
  22. 22. General Purpose ELNs • You can do it for small numbers of users and certain styles of work (e.g. e2v) • Where workflow is important • For large numbers of users • The diversity in process will kill you • You end up building an expensive version of Word & Excel
  23. 23. General Purpose ELNs Functionality Number of users
  24. 24. General Purpose ELNs Functionality Possible Number of users
  25. 25. General Purpose ELNs Functionality Possible Possible Number of users
  26. 26. General Purpose ELNs Functionality Possible Doomed to fail The organisation will frustrate you Possible Number of users
  27. 27. Front end tools • Most organisations will end up providing different front ends to different users • Examples • BMS, Solvay, all the other large companies
  28. 28. Patents • As a rule, what you need to do from a Patent perspective is pretty generic • You might have some specific needs, but 95% of what you need can be done off the shelf • This is one area where you want to stick with convention
  29. 29. Security • In Life Sciences things are relatively sane • In Large Chemicals, you get all the fun of “Chinese Walls” created by Commercial agreements
  30. 30. Security • This is another whole can of worms • That didn’t really exist until the ELN came along • No one could find anything in the paper notebook anyway
  31. 31. Security • Ultimately you have to do what the organisation requires • But you need to avoid massively complex regimes • If you do NDA-related Chinese walls, you need to have that tagged into the record at creation
  32. 32. Records Management • The Cinderella of ELN projects • Desperately important • Clearly something that’s dependent on your own processes
  33. 33. Conclusions • Our original question • Some thoughts
  34. 34. Our Questions • Do you • Buy a tool, and fit your work to the tool? • Find out how you work, and buy/build a tool to fit?
  35. 35. Conclusion • Unless you have been specifically charged with changing the workflow • Don’t pick the fight • You’re there to support the science • Today and in the future
  36. 36. Conclusions • They’ve probably already got what they need anyway • Or a very good idea of what they need • That’s why they asked for an ELN in the first place
  37. 37. Conclusion • If you are charged with changing the workflow • That’s your project, not “ELN” or whatever • Try to keep the scope as small as possible • Size and diversity will kill you
  38. 38. Patent • Stick with best practice unless you really know what you are doing
  39. 39. Security • Do what you have to do • But try to keep it simple
  40. 40. Conclusion • Chemistry - buy, or build, the best you can • Biology - get out of their way • Large chemicals - you’ll never fully understand everything in detail