Clinical Research Operations- Space Planning

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Completed: 2014
Boston, MA


In this four-month interdisciplinary, Lean-based study, Isgenuity collaborated with space planners, researchers, department chairs and leaders of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Department of Performance Measures and Improvement (DPMI).  The team engaged over 250 clinical researcher coordinators and staff across 15 disease centers in surveys, interviews and analytics to evaluate operations. These research coordinators are the ‘backbone’ of coordination between DFCI and industry drug development companies in translational and experimental approaches to cancer treatments.  

Lean-based tools were utilized intensively throughout the study to identify improvements to flow and operational efficiency.  Metrics were established for existing operations and material management through surveys and time-motion studies.  A Value Stream Map was developed for processing kits (the mechanism for taking and testing blood).

The consensus summary recommended a scaled approach to implementation of a space master-plan and operational improvements.   The master-plan outlined prototypical new workstations and team-based furniture arrangements that would be built over the course of a multi-phase renovation and re-organization project.