Technische Universität Berlin’s current and certainly largest project, the introduction of a campus management project started in late 2015, is now running in two key areas, Student Life Cycle Management (SLM) and Enterprise Resource Management (ERM). In the administration, for instance, accounting, personnel-organization management, payroll accounting, identity management, reporting, fund management, and other operations have transitioned to the new SAP software.
However, learning by doing is also a key component of such ambitious projects. “Despite the best possible training and preparations, it is inevitable that each new working process requires practice and time,” says Robert Nissen, who worked alongside Michaela Müller-Klang in the overall project management until the end of October 2019 and has now taken over from Michael Jeschke in SLM. “In fact, this often only becomes apparent during operation when bottlenecks occur, processes still need to be improved, and when 'sand in the gears' impacts other areas as well. However, we have responded with appropriate measures.” In addition to new staff hires, recommendations were drafted on how workflows could be more closely integrated.
Important web-based applications for employees are now up and running and further applications will continue to be introduced. These include Employee Self Services (ESS), with which managers can independently manage and download working time records, requests for periods of absence or presence, internal communication, or staffing schedules. This saves both a tremendous amount of paper and time.
In order to further support users, additional office hours are available for all areas as well as extra training dates and workshops for tips and tricks, Nissen explains. “We are of course aware that such a major process of change can only succeed with the active commitment of everyone. We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all individuals involved for their dedication and patience, even when things did not go as planned straight away. Only by working together can we learn and continuously improve.” And one thing is certain: “With the university-wide introduction of the system, we are on our way to creating something unique among German universities.”