28 October 2019 • Maatje Vos
Pilot for Internship and Graduation Process Ready to Start
After an interactive design stage (read the interview here), the Back on Track programme for Internship and Graduation Process Optimisation is ready for its first pilot. Alma Kamphuis, Bianca Kraak (internship and account managers for M&O) and Mario van Boven (faculty office manager for M&O) have been busy with the preparations for the pilot. “It’s quite an investment, but the results will be worth it”.
How are you preparing for the pilot?
Kraak: The implementation team composed an implementation plan, which will go into effect at the end of October. This plan includes a gap analysis, which we will be discussing with the degree programmes within the faculty over the next weeks. We will be considering the current internship and graduation process, the optimal internship and graduation process, and the steps we can take to close that gap. In doing so, we will help shape OnStage for these degree programmes. The sprint sessions we held during the design stage resulted in a process flow, which will now serve as our guideline. During the second semester we will start the pilot at one or two degree programmes.
Van Boven: As management, we feel it is vital for the team to have sufficient capacity. The employees are given office hours to work on the pilot, and the internship and graduation coordinators are also compensated for their time. This means our success rate is not dependent on the availability of our team members.
How does management guide this process?
Van Boven: By means of the Wall Walk: every two weeks we all walk past the visual representation of the annual plan (see photograph). The Wall shows the status of all relevant topics, including the Back on Track programmes. The implementation manager informs me on the progress and I in turn inform the management team. This allows the implementation team easy access to the management team. An important factor, as we carry joint responsibility for the success of this project.
Kamphuis: It really does feel like a joint project: many people are involved and they all feel involved as well. They realise that their investment will be worth it.
What do you think the benefits of this project will be?
Van Boven: The project will, among other things, ensure that our systems communicate better. This will lead to less manual administrative work, which in turn will reduce the risk of errors.
Kamphuis: Moreover, the project will save time. The improvements are not just about saving money: students, lecturers and faculty offices will all profit from the changes. For instance, lecturers and students will be able to upload all documents at once and no longer in two or three parts. Once the links are active, students will be able to obtain their study progress overviews with the push of a button. Lastly, the new OnStage4Business will ensure that internship providers also have direct access to OnStage.
Kraak: Once the processes have been unified, that single process will be clear to everyone. Instead of working on little islands, each degree programme will use the same process. This means that cooperation and support both within and between the faculties will improve.
Which challenges do you foresee?
Kamphuis: The OnStage system has so many possibilities and we can use it so much better than we do now. We would like to install an automatic link to Osiris to ensure the consistent transfer of data, for instance. However, a feature like that requires time for testing and installation. Moreover, students and lecturers will have to learn to use any new features, but not everybody learns at the same pace. Everyone will need to practise and we will need to support lecturers in this.
Van Boven: Yes, teaching people to use new features will take time, but it is essential that we all invest this time. We will share the positive experiences, but we will also be transparent about any challenges we might encounter.
What would you say to people who are sceptical about these changes?
Kraak: Join the pilot and see the benefits for yourselves!
Mario van Boven and Alma Kamphuis