“We are committed to a modern working environment that makes the creativity, interests and ambitions of our colleagues visible and where we develop excellent digital solutions together,” says Merel Veracx, former ambition theme leader. Fontys ICT wants to lead the way by facilitating optimal learning and innovation with its own ICT environment.
Wilrik de Loose, interim theme team leader: “There is no lack of ambition in our team, but we have had the necessary challenges. Reorganisation, changes to team staffing and the overarching structures at Fontys have not made it easy. But we have still achieved important results and above all, learned a great deal.”
The right foundation
“The first development path is described as ‘the right foundation’. Your own ICT landscape needs to be inorder if you want to be able to collaborate effectively and successfully. However, there are all kinds of connected systems and interests in a Legacy environment. Merel has taken on the role of IT Architect to facilitate development
and steer it in the right direction. She maintains oversight, prioritises, and directs the development of the landscape. A Change Control Board has been established to give users a say in the development. This body collects, assesses and implements the changes that employees and students desire. This has given ICT development a much stronger foundation in our organisation.”
DeX Innovation platform
“Our second pillar in Digital Excellence is the facilitation of innovation. We wanted to make all those valuable developments (ideas, knowledge, tools, apps and demos) of our students, lecturers and researchers far more visible so that others can learn from them and progress faster. I worked on DeX, a sharing platform, along with a number of students. The first version proved to be lacking the desired quality, but gave us a good insight into the requirements and now serves as a demo for further development.”
“We gained a number of important insights while working on this theme. For example, the execution of long-term projects proved a challenge in a semester structure. The break can get in the way and requires an effective hand-over and coordination. We also came to the conclusion that you cannot simply place larger developments in the hands of a team of students and lecturers. Some projects are large, comprehensive and far-reaching. You are better off with a full team working on that. A Scrum/Agile approach can help with that too. What’s more, it is advisable to involve research groups closely in the development of digital excellence. Our insights and recommendations have been consolidated in a comprehensive advisory note to the extended leadership team to deliver digital excellence at the level it deserves.”