With many laboratory informatics projects starting up for January, quite a lot of you are now starting to think about the new temporary person or people you’ll have working with you. Whether you’ve got a new project manager, business analyst, configurer/programmer, or other types of people coming to work with you, they will all need some preparation from whomever is bringing them in. In this first part, I will talk about access. In the second part, I will talk about equipment and licenses.
Start as far ahead as you can to prepare that people working with you will get whatever access they need. People who are not coming to your site (working remotely) probably don’t need a badge nor, usually, do those people who won’t be coming to your site much. But it’s worth checking into the rules behind your badges because you sometimes find there are other rules and regulations that are affected by having a badge (or not) that will make it more clear to you whether you should go through the effort to get one for the person. Keep in-mind that escorting temporary people in-and-out is not just a hassle to the temporary person, but to all those people that have to do the escorting. On top of that, there usually comes the day when everyone is busy because of a meeting or announcement and the temporary person ends up stuck in the security office all morning doing nothing because there is no-one to bring them in. When there is a single person that can do the escorting, it just takes one good virus to keep that person home and to cause the situation to fall apart.
People coming to work with your laboratory informatics project usually also need system access. Some of them will need to have access to documentation, others to your actual system (e.g., LIMS, ELN, CDS). As with a security badge, this often requires prior planning. I’ve found some companies can get a new person access within a day or two, and others can take two weeks for the process to work.
Usually, there is nothing you can do about speeding up the process of getting a badge or system access. It usually requires planning ahead. On one project I was working with, the project retained someone to come in just for two weeks to do one special thing in the laboratory informatics system. The person specialized in doing this one specific thing and the project had to wait for an open two weeks in this person’s schedule. But when the person came to do their work, that’s when the project remembered to get computer access. Unfortunately, at that company, getting system access takes two weeks. So, the specialist walked around griping and bothering everyone else for two weeks, got paid for it, and then came back for another two weeks at a later time to do the work (side note: when you contract for someone’s time but don’t get organized to make use of it, it is not uncommon that you have to pay for it). Since that person’s schedule was so busy, it was quite awhile before that happened and the project schedule was pushed off, which it wouldn’t have been if that person had been able to do their work when they first came.