Processes and process optimisation sounds a little abstract, or intangible. In fact, we naturally navigate a variety of (digital) processes every day. From withdrawing money from a cash machine first thing in the morning, to pre-ordering lunch via an app on your mobile phone, and even shopping or booking a flight from your sofa in the evening. Even on holiday we follow processes, when the airport or the tour operator clearly specifies what we need to do, in what order and at what time. Processes are nothing more than predefined sequences of events that need to be followed to achieve a desired outcome. If they go well and flow smoothly from one to another, we hardly notice them. Only when gaps in these processes occur or when weaknesses become apparent do these processes become an issue for us – usually with negative connotations.
Large organisations, complex processes
With more than 28,000 students and 5,000 employees, TU Wien is a fairly large institution – and therefore very complex in terms of organisation. In organisations of this size, responsibilities regarding who needs to sign or approve what and when often need to be mapped into structured IT systems. It is all the more important that these business processes, which accurately describe these sequences of events, responsibilities and interfaces, are continuously improved. Everyone involved stands to benefit from this. The Administration focus group, led by Wolfgang Spreicer, is looking at these improvements in business processes as part of the digital transformation.
Sought, found: new job advertisement
Forms: a topic that seems inextricably linked with the term 'administration'. However, that is all changing very quickly as a result of digitalization. Digital processes can map clear responsibilities and significantly accelerate slow approval processes. The key advantages are that data only needs to be entered once, and process steps, such as approvals, are associated with a relevant position, rather than a particular person. If the person changes, the process doesn't need to.
One example of this is the new job advertisement process for administrative personnel at TU Wien. If an organisational unit identifies a personnel requirement, the first step is to record it in the HR planning tool. Key data relevant to the advertisement is entered once – and once only. At the touch of a button, the data is transferred to the central TISS campus software and the advertisement process is started. The line manager now checks the advertisement, and can change it or approve it. The Working Group on equal opportunities, which must be included in all job advertisements, is then automatically informed. After being checked and approved by the AKG, the job advertisement is automatically forwarded to the relevant Vice Rector, also for checking and approval. Once approved, the HR Administration team then clarifies the job grade and checks whether the advertisement is actually covered by the organisational unit's budget. If the outcome here is also positive, the quality-assured data is transferred to the TU Wien careers portal and the advertisement is placed. This process not only saves forms, the interfaces represented in TU Wien's various departments also save a lot of time – and that is also a definition of optimisation.