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“We need to interlink central and local support”

A man and a woman standig in a research lab. Behind them there are bottles on a table.
Joakim Palestro, Åsa Ancarkrona and the communication staff at KTH gathered for a workshop at SciLifeLab to make progress on harmonising communication, support and also gain a little insight into the research being conducted there. Photo: Theresia Köhlin.
Published Feb 24, 2023

Efforts toward a joint support service organisation at KTH continue. The focus for the communication support area is now the prepared action plan, which indicates priority areas within the communication support that need to be developed.

The process of developing communication support towards coordinated, joint support service for all of KTH is being led by Åsa Ankarcrona, Head of Communications, and Joakim Palestro, Head of Administration at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). All communication staff at KTH are involved in the development.

Clear goals have been defined for the development work up to the deadline in September 2026. One is to optimise use of the collective expertise within KTH in the field of communication.

“I hope that everyone working in communication feels that they’re a part of the overall communication mission of KTH. The job is about helping to achieve KTH’s goals, wherever you work within the organisation. Moving forward, I think we’re likely to work in a more concentrated way on various substantive issues,” says Ankarcrona.

What are the most important insights to date?

“One eye-opener was the result of our competence-mapping process. It clarified the number of communication staff at KTH, what we can do and are doing, and what the funding looks like,” says Ankarcrona. She continues:

“Another lesson, mainly from the pandemic, is the importance of structured internal communication, which is something I’d like to develop going forward.”

She also says there is firm support from the organisation for establishing better support tools, such as a new publishing tool for the intranet, as well as a web editors’ organisation.

“From a school perspective, we need greater uniformity in our services relating to events,” says Joakim Palestro.

“We must work in comparable ways for an equal delivery and have technical systems that help us. Take, for example, the event system that SciLifeLab is using, which comes from Uppsala University. That’s exemplary system support.”

Ankarcrona also mentions increasing awareness at KTH about the support that’s already available in the shape of templates and checklists, and also streamlining the work on newsletters:

“I think in future a few people will work on all the newsletters, whichever newsletter it is and wherever they work.”

The five principles that will characterise the development of support services are operational benefit, close to operations, involvement and participation, work culture for renewal, and mutual respect. The latter three pertain to how the work itself will actually be done.

Both Ankarcrona and Palestro see great value in using the workshop format in the development process, together with everyone who works with communication at KTH.

“The meetings we’ve had so far have been forward-oriented, and we’ve been able to go into greater depth each time. We have encouraged communication staff to set priorities among the jobs that need to be done. There’s a clear focus on ensuring that what we agree on, stands. So levels of motivation and engagement are increasing,” says Palestro, concluding:

“The communicators are positive about change.”

Text: Marianne Norén

The merger and its continued development

In March 2022, the President decided that the support services at the schools and the joint University Administration (GVS) should merge to form a new ‘Support services’ (VS).

The joint organisation is the next step in the work of developing high quality and efficient support services that free up teachers’ and researchers’ time, thereby contributing to KTH’s competitive standing.

Find out more about the joint support services

Belongs to: Current
Last changed: Feb 24, 2023