The work with unified operational support
In the President’s decision V-2018-0764 from October 2018, a steering group was appointed to investigate and submit proposals on how to create common processes and bring together operational support functions throughout KTH to establish a seamless operational support system for the entire organisation, called Step 2. The work was to be carried out in parallel with an implementation of organisational changes for the university administration at the time, under the direction of the University Director (Step 1).
What has happened so far?
Both work processes got underway during the autumn of 2018, and it was quickly noted that having parallel processes concerning organisational issues caused a lot of concern and confusion. For that reason, the President and the steering group for Step 2 decided to postpone the work until the reorganisation of the university administration was complete.
Since 1 January 2019, the university administration has transitioned to become Joint Operational Support (GVS), with a new department structure and organisational placement, and the work with Step 2 could be resumed. At the same time, it was announced that the University Director would step down from his post in the summer and that the vacancy would be advertised during the spring. This information sparked a discussion in the steering group for Step 2 regarding whether the work should be postponed until a new University Director was in place. Together with the President, a decision was made to continue on with the work, and with that the steering group’s work with Step 2 was resumed.
What has been done?
The steering group has worked defining what the assignment entails, setting common goals, discussing alternative forms of working that promote cooperation between the different functions, bringing in process support and starting the work with situation mapping. We have posted these page on the intranet where information on this work can be found.
The decision includes four priority areas. As most processes are very complex and almost always involve multiple areas and operations, it is not possible to limit the work to four priority areas, therefore the focus will be not on any specific areas but rather on processes.
An important part of the work will be to work with cultural development, trust-based governance, respect and understanding for our operations, and ensuring that the work is based on an operational perspective.
Another issue raised in connection with the work in the steering group is centralisation versus decentralisation. The decision does not indicate how the seamless operational support shall be structured. Instead the outcome of the investigation will indicate how KTH best organises the intended support, based on the nature of the process and the skills required.
What happens next?
The work ahead has been divided into two phases; one phase up until a new University Director takes office, and another phase when a new University Director is in place.
The first phase consists of a situation mapping of the processes/activities/development projects that GVS managers, heads of administration and heads of schools feel are most important to address. Plans for annual cycles have also been produced for the various operations. A report on the work was presented on 24/5. The material will constitute a solid basis for the continued work with the process mapping.
During the second phase, after Kerstin Jacobsson has taken office as University Director on the 1:st of September 2019, she and the steering group will continue the work with a unified operational support for KTH. This will involve in-depth process mapping in working groups with representatives from all the relevant operational areas. The work will be led by process management consultants to support us in our thinking on processes, recipients, process owners, process optimisation etc. This also means that no major changes in processes or similar activities should take place until she has taken office.