Digitalization of Nuffic's Operations

By Ed van Doorn

International society is digitizing, flexibility is increasing and so are the employees and education target group. Nuffic promotes internationalization in education and is active in eleven different countries among other things by issuing scholarships and foreign diploma comparisons. Director of operations Anton Biemans says: "There was a lot on paper, it became increasingly difficult to properly support the core objectives for internationalization of education." The goal is business operations with less paper, "any time, any place, any where," working effectively and efficiently. Nuffic desires a digitization, modernization and improvement of business management processes and systems.

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The result of digitizing business operations

Following a reorganization, a digitization effort was planned to support business operations. With a solid business case, an integrated architecture with guiding principles, a program plan and the design of the control system, the digitization was given shape. The goals such as making business processes and systems digital, integrated and accessible via the Web.  

The program achieved this result in several phases (not all at once!) and delivered within the time and budget set. Five outdated administrative systems were replaced by two new online systems for financial and personnel administration. As a result, the associated processes have changed and are more uniform than before. The program consists of several sub-projects, two European tenders, realization, data migration, and implementation of systems and processes. The result is an online and modern financial administration, CRM adaptations and a new eHRM portal. The starting points for this were the selection of two cooperation partners with a standard set-up (so-called best practice). With the effect that Nuffic had to adapt its processes to this standard and not the other way around. Efficiency is thus increased by implementing more uniform processes and also feasibility is increased by providing more standard solutions without customization. It turned out to be a major digital change.

Highberg Program management and organization

Highberg (formerly VKA) was asked for the role of program manager for the management and realization of digitalization. As sparring partner and pleasant cooperation between client Anton Biemans, Ed van Doorn set up the program.  

The project teams, sponsors, change coordinators, and change teams are based on train the trainer principles and set up based on the program method Managing Successful Programmes (MSP). Based on leadership principles, with commitment, cooperation, enthusiasm, connection, and direction of communication, best practice implementations eventually succeeded. Not without a struggle, there were set-ups, migrations, changes in working methods and teething problems were overcome in order to deliver the result aimed at the set goals. Nice to work as program manager together with the Nuffic team and the client to make this digitization a success for Nuffic and internationalization in education.  

Want to know more? Please contact Ed van Doorn

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