Work Assignment and Planning

Thursday, May 2, 2019

At this year’s 2019 CTEC conference in Stockholm and Espoo, we unveiled the Work Assignment & Planning (WAP) module.

For labs, Workflow planning and resource allocation are decisive elements that feature prominently in budgeting, hiring, training, overtime apportionment and much more. In the relentless hunt to maximize efficiencies, effective work planning ranks high in importance among lab managers.

LabVantage developed WAP with that core principle in mind: make lab operations more efficient and more predictable.

Improving Lab Efficiency with LIMS-Based Work Assignment & Planning

WAP is a powerful add-on designed to assist lab managers. It provides an easy means of quickly and effortlessly managing the ‘Who, What and When’ of lab operations.

WHO – Choose the instruments and humans assigned to the task.

WHAT – Any LIMS-based work, such as: samples, tests, calibrations or other tasks and functions.

WHEN – A fixed or range of time when the work and resources are planned.

WAP for Every Lab

Sounds like the perfect fit for a massive, super-hectic lab, right?

Not so fast.

WAP isn’t just for the big guys. Even a simple standalone laboratory organization has complex resource and production parameters. Managers must juggle staff holidays and appointments, the routine batches of work coming into the laboratory on schedule, the maintenance and calibration of instruments, unexpected work and outages, and more.

The way most labs currently deal with the challenges of work planning is to use makeshift or custom-built tools, such as Excel spreadsheets, whiteboards covered with notes, or a package such as MS Project or Outlook. The WAP module replaces all of these makeshift tools with a purpose-built system that is highly integrated with the LIMS.

Inside WAP

There’s a great deal of flexibility with WAP. Work can be assigned directly (“I want Fred to test sample A this afternoon”) or indirectly (“Sample B needs to be tested by a particular group of users this afternoon,” or “Sample B needs to be run on instrument X this afternoon”).

Some additional features of the Work Assignment & Planning module include:

LIMS Calendar Integration

The WAP module includes a calendar feature which allows integration with 3rd party calendars from external systems. The onboard calendar allows users to define workable times for departments and users, and set appointments for departments, users and instruments.

Laboratory Department Hierarchies

Defining departmental hierarchies in the WAP module:

  • Allows definition of a site (or multiple sites) for your organization, to improve segregation of data and informatics
  • Allows definition of a testing laboratory so work can be planned accordingly
  • Allows definition of work areas inside your laboratory so work can be planned to groups of resources

New Interfaces

WAP includes two new front end user interfaces. The new planning front end user interface lets users:

  • Quickly assign work to available users and instruments on the dates you require
  • Receive feedback on due dates and deadlines
  • Assign work to groups of users and instruments
  • Quickly see if a plan is working or if alternative planning is required
  • Plan for days, weeks or months

The new work front end user interface allows you to:

  • View work that is scheduled for the laboratory, work area, user or globally
  • Reassign work by drag and drop
  • See multiple views such as calendar, gantt charts and agenda
  • Work from end user plans and execute LIMS functionality direct from the plan

Working with the LIMS

WAP and the LabVantage LIMS synchronize activities, with due dates set in the LIMS propagated to WAP and vice versa. This two-way communication ensures WAP has the most up-to-date information available about resources and tasks, and that the information is shared with the LIMS.

Learn more about the WAP module and how it can improve lab efficiency. Contact us today.