Flow chart from " A Global View of LC/MS", (2002).
Effect on LC/MS problem solving process from skipping a step.
1.) Define the Problem
Failure to properly define your problem can waste time and resources by requiring the analyst to perform needless analyses; possibly with inappropriate technologies.
2.) Evaluation of tentative solutions
Failure to thoroughly evaluate analytical solutions will result in repeated experiments, wasted time, and resources. People have a tendency to run all their samples on the instrument or with the technique they favor even if they may be inappropriate for their particular samples or sample problem.
3.) Implementing Solutions
Even when you have defined your problem, and evaluated solution choices and technologies; failure to design and execute the experiments may result in inappropriate results.
Whether your are in industry, government, or an academic laboratory environment you are always faced with budgetary, time, and resource restraints. When you have a problem where you need chemical information, LC/MS is one of the many tools capable of solving your problems. The flow chart at the top of this page is a general guideline for solving problems with LC/MS. The flow chart addresses the key questions that should be answered before committing significant time and resources to a particular problem. The topic of solving probelms with LC/MS is addressed in more detail in the problem solving guidebook "A Global View of LC/MS" and in several short courses.
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