Blog entries

Competency development inspiration

"In this month’s blog, I want to highlight four examples of competency development courses which have been launched in order to accommodate new needs which have arisen, particularly in connection with digitisation", Arnold Boon writes.

Almost every day, I see good examples of how we are working to develop our administration. This makes me feel pleased and proud. To make sure that we will continue to be able to provide high-quality, professional service to our research and teaching programmes, it’s important that you as administrative employees continually develop your competencies to keep pace with current needs. This is something we discuss regularly in LEA, the administration’s management team, where we have decided to place particular emphasis on digitisation, process optimisation and competency development.

I sometimes get questions about what kinds of competency development administrative employees need in order to perform well in a digital administration. While I usually reply that it isn’t possible to provide a one-size-fits-all solution for digital competency development across the university, I do have two main messages:  First it’s important to be curious and stay informed about developments in one’s own field. And second, it’s important to have regular discussions of what competencies will be needed in your team with your manager and co-workers.

In this month’s blog, I want to highlight four examples of competency development courses which have been launched in order to accommodate new needs which have arisen, particularly in connection with digitisation.

WorkZone will be an important tool for making administrative processes easier and more efficient. WorkZone provides digital support for administrative workflows and makes it easier to register correspondence in connection with administrative work processes. This spring, we will be offering a master class in WorkZone which will give a selected group of employees an opportunity to become expert users of the system. Participants in the master class will be able to help their co-workers use the system – and hereby contribute to the development of digital workflows within each administrative area.

Digitisation, process optimisation and competency development are inextricably linked. And process optimisation is another skillset we will be offering courses on this spring. For example, courses on how to facilitate process optimisation in the administration, managerial courses in process optimisation and specialised courses in process optimisation. The courses emphasise preparing participants to prioritise and facilitate the optimisation of processes in their daily work – and require the participation of both a manager and one or more employees from the same division or unit.

Digitisation also plays a role in relation to how we process and handle personal data in the administration. This spring, we are offering a course on good administrative practice at AU. The course has become extremely relevant and in demand because of the new EU general data protection regulation which comes into effect on 25 May this year. The first course just ended, and there were over 100 participants. The same course will be offered three more times this spring.

The final course is primarily intended for managers and employees who work with business intelligence (BI). Our systems provide us with a lot of useful data, for example WorkZone. But how can we translate this data into relevant information for managers? And do administrative employees have the skills needed to generate the right reports for management? The AU Finance and Estates Projects and Development BI unit is currently working on a new BI strategy which will involve the implementation of a new tool, Power BI, which administrative employees will be able to use to generate reports. In this connection, the BI unit will create a new network for Power BI developers, in order to provide support and competency development to relevant employees.

I hope that these examples of new courses will inspire all of you to keep up the good work of adapting the administration to the rapid digital development of our sector and the rest of society – and not least ensure that we have the right competencies.