“Retendo is very responsive to our requirements”
Karlstads University has around 1,200 employees and 16,000 students in a total of 50 subject areas. Retendo Academic was introduced in 2014 as a workforce planning tool for the entire university, which chose to appoint two people, one in each faculty, to be in charge of user support. One of them is Monica Jakobsson, Deputy Head of Department and Director of Studies.
How do you use Retendo Academic?
“At the moment it’s a workforce planning tool which allows the employees to see how their working time is distributed. We also want to be able to integrate financial systems into Retendo in the long term. But the important thing is that we’ve obtained a joint system so everyone plans in the same way.”
How did the introduction go?
“A project group was created in 2014 containing directors of studies, heads of department and finance administrators who were responsible for carrying out tests. At first we did a “dry run” with fictitious people, but it was only when all the information on courses and staff was transferred to Retendo that it became fun. We needed to get a sense of how we wanted to build our structure, where some things are university-wide but each department can enter its assignments.”
How does Retendo make you more efficient?
“It’s easy to find and access right from the start. The old Excel sheets were hidden away in some internal folder. It’s also easier to obtain information such as how much continuous professional development time there is in a department or how much time individual courses have.
It also makes things easier for the teachers because they can also see colleagues’ workforce planning – who’s going to be on “my” course, who’s the course coordinator or the examiner and so on. You can’t see the workforce planning for colleagues in another department, but Retendo has instead created an on-loan from and to feature. If I need someone from chemistry, I send a request to the chemistry department via the program and they then answer that “you get Kalle for 40 hours” and it’s then entered in Kalle’s workforce planning. Retendo is very responsive to what we think and tries to meet our requirements.”
What are the three main benefits?
“The uniformity, overviews and integration with other programs such as Ladok and the Primula human resources programme. Another important advantage is that many universities have the same system and can exchange experiences and ideas. We meet at regular intervals to talk about what works well and what we want to develop.”
How well do you think the support works?
“I’m very happy, but as user support to the others in the faculty, I have an advantage. At the beginning we phoned Retendo, but then a support feature was created with written answers. If the issue concerns a lot of people, we put it on a communal cooperation area on the intranet.”
Karlstads University is one of the youngest universities in the country. That makes us a bit braver. And we see it as our task to challenge established procedures and explore the unknown.