Aarhus University Seal

Pilot project on operations management creates sense of community and increases knowledge sharing

In just 12 weeks, the Finance Centre at Health has developed and tested a new operations management model which provides a more detailed overview for managers and makes it possible to solve more tasks as a team.

Each morning for three and a half weeks, Team Leader Karsten Vraa Nielsen met with the five-member test team in front of the board to agree on who would solve which tasks.

As part of the process of improving work processes and creating a more detailed and coherent overview of operations, the administration’s management team (LEA) has launched four pilot projects focusing on process optimisation and operations management. One of these pilot projects is being carried out at the Finance Centre at Health, and the Finance Centre’s management and staff have taken up this challenge with a high level of commitment and enthusiasm. Over the course of 12 weeks, management and staff have worked with the consultancy firm Carve and created an operations management board which forms the basis for a new way of managing operations. Each morning for three and a half weeks, Team Leader Karsten Vraa Nielsen met with the five-member test team in front of the board to agree on who would solve which tasks.

“The operations board provides a visual presentation of the tasks we solve in the team, and the time we spend on the individual tasks. In this way, the board is also an important management tool for prioritising and dividing the tasks in the team,” Karsten Vraa Nielsen explains.

Team meeting put into practice

(Subtitles are available in the player)

As part of the new operations management model more tasks are to be solved in collaboration.

"Until now the project finance administrators have worked alone on their tasks. As part of this pilot project, we have focused on the tasks where we could benefit from increased collaboration. This removes some of the pressure from the individual member of staff and makes it more flexible to move the workload, if a person has too much work,” says Karsten Vraa Nielsen and he continues:

“When we help each other solve the tasks, it also becomes apparent that we solve the tasks in different ways. Our unit has focused on establishing common procedures, and with this test, it has been necessary for us to invent common solutions. The way we are working with the new operations management model has given us a method of working with knowledge sharing and problem solving in a systematic, explicit way.”

When this pilot project ends, the Finance Centre at Health will continue to work on anchoring the results of the pilot project in the unit: “The pilot project has provided us with a system and a method which make it possible for us to work with operations management and improve our processes on an ongoing basis, and we will continue this work,” concludes Karsten Vraa Nielsen.

FACTS about the project

  • Before the test period began, the unit’s staff mapped the unit’s tasks and designed the operations board
  • The test period lasted three and a half weeks
  • The test team has eight members
  • Two status meetings are held each day. At these status meetings, the team leader divides the tasks, and the group addresses any challenges
  • On the operations board, it is possible for all to see who is working on what, and how much time it takes to complete the tasks.