Implementing NGS, Industry Tip #3: Manage Change and Communicate Value

Choosing to run next-generation sequencing (NGS) can be a compelling proposition for many organizations. One large biopharma, for instance, plans to use NGS to, “quickly leapfrog other biopharmas,” according to its Senior Product Manager of R&D IT.

He was one of the experts that we interviewed for our white paper, “Next-Generation Sequencing Comes of Age: Tips from Industry Leaders.” The company saw a strategic advantage in acquiring its own NGS services to support internal research. Instead of paying CROs to perform NGS, the organization is investing in its own core lab and has operationalized processes by consolidating standard NGS services into a catalog that sets expectations with internal customers across the organization.

A LIMS for Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Data

Building the infrastructure and acquiring the resources (including expert personnel) required to run NGS forces change across an organization—from laboratory technicians and researchers to IT staff and senior managers. Collecting metrics to measure lab processes can go a long way toward helping stakeholders adjust. “If you can’t measure what you’re doing, you can’t understand it and you won’t be able to explain and justify the volume and scale needed to work in production,” said the Senior Product Manager of R&D IT. Using a LIMS to collect and manage data about lab workflows provides a wealth of information that can be used to inform and guide process improvements.

Strong communication is also necessary in order to ensure that laboratory workers see the value of the work NGS will force them to do every day. And this means keeping in mind how a change will impact users and providing systems they want to use. ““I don’t care how good the technology is, how good the facility is, how good the algorithms are—if you don’t have the people and the team working toward the common mission, you’ve got nothing,” said one of the experts that we interviewed.

NGS Data Analysis

The Senior Product Manager of R&D IT at the large biopharma summed it as follows. “We’re taking volumes and volumes of data and looking for needle-in-the-haystack changes that will drive our research program,” he said. “But the results won’t happen overnight. We need to constantly prove our value, which means delivering services to the enterprise and information to our leaders so that they can make smart decisions about what to do next.”

To learn more about the importance of managing and communicating the value of change in NGS implementations, download our white paper today.