Thinking Portfolio Advancing Research and Development

Thinking Portfolio has increased transparency in project activities and synergy between various industries.

Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences (MAMK) is a place of higher education for lifelong learning. The university operates mainly in Southern Savonia. There are approximately 4,500 students in seven fields of study at the school. MAMK is a strong player in research, development and innovation. Research activities are focused on enhancing regional expertise and competitiveness.

New products, services and operating models are created through various projects and vocationally oriented studies in collaboration with companies and the public sector.

Thinking Portfolio facilitates MAMK’s project preparation, quality, risk management and reporting. The application is used in official procedures as well as for project reviews.

At Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences, the Thinking Portfolio is known as HanSa. Development Manager Hanna Kuninkaanniemi and Project Controller Marja Tiilikainen say that HanSa has been in active use in both individual projects and as a whole. With the exception of projects requested by companies, all MAMK projects are handled with the portfolio. HanSa users from different fields of study are also able to view each other’s projects. This transparency is seen as a positive factor in strengthening collaboration.

– In the past finances were managed with Excel, but the tool was becoming outdated. HanSa has provided us with a tool which helps us in financial as well as quality and risk management.

– The application aligns very well with our management system and project management processes

– HanSa is not only highly beneficial in terms of project entities, quality and planning; it is an excellent tool for handling individual projects from the idea to the final report.

– HanSa enables us to view all fields. This has helped increase cross-discipline synergy.

Communication with Thinking Business is effortless

In MAMK, the Thinking Portfolio application was implemented in collaboration with the City of Mikkeli and other key development players in the region. The parameters of the application have been slightly modified and some additions have been made in order to further facilitate MAMK’s operations. Tiilikainen and Kuninkaanniemi have been pleased with the collaboration with Thinking Business. All of the desired additional features, such as SAP integration for exporting cost data, have been implemented effortlessly. Communication with the supplier is regarded as positive.

– We have found certain positive features that we have decided to develop further

– Thinking Business has held their end of the bargain and conducted the collaboration with an excellent attitude

– Whenever necessary, it is easy to give them a call. We have always received answers to our queries quickly.

Partners have taken note of the effectiveness of the application

The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council quality audit commended HanSa, for example, for ensuring strategy-orientedness and transparency. In its final report, the council lists HanSa among Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences’ good practices.

“The HanSa system facilitates and makes the management of project entities more systematic. It provides a clear view of how projects are connected to the university’s areas of focus while enabling the assessment of regional impact of sponsors.” (The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council publication 1/2013, p. 78).

– The application is also used in the preparatory stages of projects to present them to sponsors. Sponsors have expressed a great deal of interest in the HanSa product package.

We can safely recommend Thinking Portfolio to others

Tiilikainen and Kuninkaanniemi describe Thinking Portfolio, or HanSa, as an irreplaceable tool and would gladly recommend it others as well.

– Users have not resisted the implementation of the application, on the contrary. HanSa’s impact on reducing workload has been noted at the university. Data that is entered into the system once can be used for various purposes.

– In the past, our project applications were prepared manually on an A4 sheet. Now, all necessary data is automatically retrievable in HanSa.

– We have created connections from HanSa to our financial management systems. The application has also been integrated with AD, meaning that no separate login is required. In the near future, we will establish a connection to other project management software.

– We can definitely recommend the application to anyone whose projects it fits.

Additional information:

Marja Tiilikainen, Project Controller
marja.tiilikainen@mamk.fi

Hanna Kuninkaanniemi, Development Manager
hanna.kuninkaanniemi@mamk.fi

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