Increased budget accuracy and better risk work structure with Hypergene
Lund University, one of Europe's leading universities, has significantly improved its budgeting and forecasting work through introducing Hypergene. Among other improvements, the whole organisation now follows a common working process, using the same definitions of different concepts.
Lund University is one of Europe's leading universities within higher education and research in the fields of technology, science, law, social sciences, economics, medicine, humanities, theology, art, music and theatre. The university has around 40,000 students and over 7,400 employees, and the major part of its activities are within research.
The organisation is divided into eight faculties, and there are many underlying institutions and departments. Administration and services are managed jointly, while at the various departments, around 200 economists are involved in the economic work.
The challenges that Lund University faced are shared by other higher education institutes. Above all, there was a need to make the budget process more uniform and efficient, and to increase the quality of budgets and forecasts.
Previously, Excel was primarily used for the budget process in a non-transparent and labor intensive manner. The university needed a coherent risk analysis tool to get a better overview and improve the follow-up on risk management, as well as to facilitate and systematise analysis and documentation.
- Need for a more effective budgeting and forecasting process.
- Vital to gain control over risk management in order to work more proactively.
In addition to the need for better support for budgeting and forecasting, there were requests for analysis tools. In its quest to find and evaluate suitable suppliers, Lund University reached out to CGI.
"CGI helped us to search the market for solutions that would meet our requirements. Three different solutions were presented, one of which was eliminated early on. Finally, Hypergene was selected."
Today, the solution has over 300 users, mostly economists at the different units.
A few years after the introduction of annual budget reporting in Hypergene, support for multi-annual budgeting of projects was also added.
Hypergene was selected as the risk management tool. In concrete terms, risk management is the process of defining number of risks to be evaluated, putting measures in place and following up on them (so-called objects). The risks are assessed on the basis of probability with a consequence on a scale from 1 to 5.
The new Performance Reporting functionality was implemented over the course of 2018.
"Performance Reporting is a very exciting product and is fully in line with the automation and quality enhancement in the reporting process that the university is striving for."
- Hypergene’s solutions for budgeting and forecasting, analysis and follow-up, risk analysis and performance reporting.
For budgeting and forecasting work, the introduction of Hypergene has enabled the entire organisation to adopt a common process with the same definitions of different concepts.
"Having a standardised process facilitates our conversations. Today, different data can be better compared and monitored," says Helena Jönsson, economist and system manager at Lund University.
The university has also gained the quality enhancement and automation it wanted.
Hypergene's project functionality enables economists to offer support to project managers in the calculation process for grant applications, and once funds are granted, to enter their multi-year budgets into Hypergene.
For risk management, Hypergene has improved the overview and increased the level of control. Examples of risks and challenges that are unique to a college or university include dependence on external funding, and the impact of student application volumes on course offerings. Some of these risks live on for many years, while others are easier to address and eliminate.
With Hypergene, you can create an analysis from a risk perspective, i.e. observe what "risk X" looks like for all faculties, and from an organisational perspective, highlighting the risk situation of an individual faculty. The results can be presented in tables and diagrams, or in an easy-to-grasp risk matrix.
The longer you work with risk management, and the more years of data you have to compare, the more interesting it becomes to follow trends and actions on risks over the long term.
"With Hypergene, we have a completely different level of control and overview of our risks, and we feel confident that we can work proactively to minimise the risks and challenges we face," says Elisabeth Pupp, who works with the risk process at Lund University.
"Performance Reporting has provided us with good conditions for quality enhancement in our various reporting. Instead of spending time on pulling up numbers according to separate instructions, the staff who will create the reports can focus on the analysis itself. We look forward to all the developments that are taking place in that module, and to automating more of our reporting flows," Helena Jönsson adds.
- A more transparent budget process, increased cooperation between economists, and more dependable forecasts.
- A structured approach to risk analysis, with increased possibilities for of follow-up and analysis.