We've combined our love of gourmet coffee with our love of workflow efficiency and created this light hearted look at experimental workflow design for the vivarium and beyond! Follow our imaginary baristas as they use Climb to design and implement their coffee experiments!
We have a group of research baristas that are hoping to win the next big Art of Coffee competition. They must carefully plan, control variables, and analyze results. Let's take a look at how they used Climb software to plan and execute their research.
First, they designed the study. In the Study facet, they might have added:
- description of the project
- funding sources
- documents and pictures
Next, the baristas designed all the jobs needed to complete the study. Each job needed to take into account one variable. For example, they would need to test things like:
- French Press with Kenyan beans
- French Press with Costa Rican beans
- Aeropress with Kenyan beans
- and so on...
Here is one of the barista's jobs. They tested the standard method protocol with the Aeropress. They used a conical burr grinder to finely ground beans from Costa Rica.
Wait, we know you're asking. How'd those baristas get those custom terms like "Coffee Grinds" and "Coffee Brewers". It's super simple and really fun. Let's check it out.
Our baristas used the Characteristics facet.
The baristas used the "Jobs" tab, created a new characteristic using the plus sign, and saved. Let's check out the Coffee Brewers characteristic.
It looks like our baristas are testing various brewing equipment. They chose to use an enumeration data type. Enumeration just means "drop down menu". Since our baristas are hip and efficient, they use iPads in their research. When they have gloves on, the drop down menus are a lifesaver! They just tap and go.
Knowing how much more efficient they could be, the baristas customized several drop down menus. They went to the Enumerations facet to do this.
As you can see, our baristas developed multiple drop downs to account for each of their variables. In this example, they added the different types of coffee brewers they were testing.
Now, our baristas have designed their overall aims in the study. They've customized all the variables for their jobs. Now, the fun part! Our baristas actually set up the jobs for testing.
Our baristas wanted to make sure the method was easy to test. They also needed to ensure that different people could complete different steps of their method. They went to the Tasks facet.
It looks like they added a bunch of tasks!
Let's take a look at a few of these tasks.
This task just has an input. The task is to "Spin the chamber" of the Aeropress. The input gives extra guidance. The baristas must make sure all the grounds are saturated.
Let's check out a task with outputs. Outputs are where our baristas will gather their experimental data.
This task is to "Taste" the final product. Our baristas need to sniff the fresh brewed coffee, swirl it around, swish in mouth, and finally, taste the coffee.
The output is their experimental data. In this case, it's rating of this particular method. The baristas chose a standard qualitative rating. They customized it in the Enumerations facet.
Because our baristas have many variables to test (origin of beans, grind, grinder type, etc), they need to repeat these tasks over and over. They often use this exact method but just change one variable. It's not efficient to keep working with the individual tasks, so our lead barista decided to group all those tasks into one easy to use protocol. The leader just dragged the tasks into the Protocols facet, ordered them, and scheduled the tasks to ensure they were completed in order.
It turns out, our baristas must work in teams at the Art of Coffee competition. To be successful, the team of baristas must work together like a well oiled machine.
The leader of the barista team used the Jobs facet to plan the work. The leader dragged the protocol in the Job, and assigned the work to each team member.
In the Tasks area of the Jobs facet, you can see how the barista team leader assigned specific tasks to each of the team members.
Now, all the team members have assigned jobs. When they practice for the competition, how do they figure out who does what?
Simple, they open the Workflow facet! Each team member can see what is assigned to them. They can even search for the particular job they are working on. In this case, they are working on a job that tests the Aeropress unit.
Now that the barista leader has set up all the research processes, the rest of the bartista team can interact with all their tasks right here in the Workflow facet. They never even have to leave the Workflow facet. They can enter all their outputs (experimental data) right in the details of the task.
Our baristas have not only designed and implemented jobs to test their variables, but they also streamlined their entire process! At the Art of Coffee competition, they will not only have a scientifically researched method, but they will perform as a well oiled machine! Laboratory information management for the modern researcher!
To see how workflows look in the laboratory, click this link to take a screenshot workflow tour!