Seamless transition into joint Support Services
From 1 January 2023, KTH has a new Support Services organisation (known by the Swedish abbreviation VS). The new organisation is a starting point for the university’s ongoing development towards joint and coordinated support services. An action plan will be issued at the end of March, covering the period up to September 2026, when the process will be complete.
“During the first quarter of 2023, the management council and I will be preparing the action plan, with a focus on planning and prioritisation,” says University Director Kerstin Jacobsson, who is heading up the restructuring of VS.
The new Support Services will be a fusion of the current University Administration (GVS) and the support services at each school. Since the outgoing President decided on a programme directive for KTH’s support services in the summer, the seven support areas have been mapped and analysed as to how they can best be developed. The next step will be to set priorities. The support areas are education, research and innovation, HR, finance, infrastructure, communications and management support. They are all at different stages of development, and have different needs to consider as they evolve moving forward.
Infrastructure, for instance, is working towards the goal of ensuring it’s easy to get it right thing, and that KTH should function smoothly with equivalent services on all campuses. Meanwhile education, the biggest support area, is prioritising developing the processes surrounding research education and incoming/outgoing students, administration around exams and so on. In finance, the focus is on developing aspects such as system support related to management, planning, budgeting and staffing.
“Thanks to a lot of valuable discussions, particularly with the council of prefects, we have arrived at a positive working climate where we have forward-looking talks focusing on support services that are cost-efficient, raise quality, and free up resources for education and research,” Jacobsson continues.
How will I, as an employee, notice the difference?
“That will vary depending on what your job entails. But for the vast majority of people there won’t be any difference in the day to day, and most will have the same manager as before. It should be a seamless transition.”
Rather than drawing an organisation chart, work to date has focused on what jobs need to be done, and how they can be done more efficiently.
“We’ll deal with one thing at a time, and we will of course be measuring people’s experiences of support services before and after. New meetings, constellations and collaborations have been a development in themselves. We’ve also been able to step in and help each other at various places around the organisation, which shows that the new VS brings new opportunities.”
Text: Jill Klackenberg
Photo: Håkan Lindgren