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The University of Groningen (RUG) is supported by four support services, including the University Office (+/- 550 FTE). A team of Boer & Croon, consisting of interim manager Dedan Schmidt, People Excellence manager Robin Betten, and Young Executive Nijs Wienese, was asked to adapt the organisational structure and to supervise and realise the accompanying (cultural) change. Gradually, a merger between two of the support services also became part of the programme, with the Office and the Facility Management continuing under the name University Services in the future.

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Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG)
People Excellence

RUG

CONTEXT/ANALYSIS

  • Following the Klaassen report, a number of recommendations were made, after which the management of the Bureau asked Boer and Croon to set up and implement a programme. Part of the assignment was to improve the organisational structure. The Agency consisted of 27 different departments, each managed by a director or head. This could be organised and managed more efficiently.
  • RUG organisation: The Executive Board manages 11 faculties and 4 support services (Office, Facility Management, CIT and University Library). The Executive Board is managed by a two-man directorate and contains a large proportion of the RUG's support services, such as HR, finance, policy, legal affairs, etc. (approximately 550 FTEs). (+/- 550 FTEs).

ASSIGNMENT

Advise and guide us in the design and implementation of a future-proof, agile and better governed agency.

APPROACH

At the end of 2020, we set to work. We broke the programme down into four different phases, namely phase 1 (start-up), phase 2 (focus), phase 3 (set-up) and phase 4 (execution).

In phase 1, we started with a survey in which we talked to more than 100 employees. This led to a vision of the requested organisational change and the coherence between the issues, the wishes and ideas about the organisation. The analysis also revealed the important role that the Office plays in supporting the RUG's management and strategy. A more efficient Bureau would enable it to facilitate the execution and implementation of strategy even more effectively. This meant that the scope was broadened beyond the Bureau's organisation to include the RUG's management philosophy.

Accordingly, a steering committee was set up in phase 2, comprising the Executive Board and the management of the Executive Office. Six working groups were set up during the programme, focusing on the following themes: 1. Management and leadership. Under the guidance of the programme team, these working groups set to work on delivering recommendations to the steering committee. We drafted these recommendations in close cooperation with people from the organisation.

At the start of phase 3, we came across several organisational issues, such as the wish of the Executive Board to simplify the top structure of the RUG, the creation of a single real estate organisation and the implementation of business improvements. This gave rise to the idea of jointly tackling these organisational issues at the interface between the Facilities Management Department and the Executive Office, and of combining the strengths of both organisations by proposing a merger of the two. We felt that the increasing complexity of the change did not stand in the way of such a merger. Thus, in phase 3, the proposed merger of the Facility Management and the Office into the new organisation University Services became part of the programme.

The programme is now in phase 4. Prior to this phase, the programme was transferred to the organisation. Boer & Croon's team drew up transfer documents and a planning with milestones. The organisation can now proceed with implementing the recommendations of the working groups and getting the new organisational structure up and running.

RESULT

Boer & Croon's efforts have led to the following results:
  • New organisational structure of University Services including a new Management Team
  • Positive advice to the representative council on the merger of the Facilities Management and the Office to form University Services
  • Guidance for the management philosophy of the Executive Board
  • Advice on the formation of a strategy and its implementation within the RUG
  • Advice on the establishment of a Project Management Office within University Services
  • A culture change has been set in motion and a culture programme has been set up to be rolled out over the next few years

PROGRAMME TEAM

Dedan Schmidt (interim-manager), Robin Betten (manager), Nijs Wienese (YE)