University of Twente
ChangeMaker Nuhi Stenvers went to work as an interim manager at the University of Twente in the Projects and Development department. The goal is to ensure that all conditions are in place so that University of Twente can eventually do everything around low-code itself.
The University of Twente is a university with five faculties and over fifty programs. The university is a pioneer in connecting technology, science and engineering with social sciences to make a difference in the world. The university’s scientists, faculty and students are curious and have an entrepreneurial mindset. The university sees that societal challenges today are greater than ever, and technology is key in finding solutions to the complex global challenges, according to the university. The University of Twente embraces the connection between people and technology and knows that today one cannot exist without the other.
University of Twente was not ready for low-code
People were still working with large PID documents and old programming languages like Java, PHP and Dotnet and SQL. This meant that the university was still ready to embrace low-code thinking.
There was an extensive SaaS landscape
The P of People is the first thing Nuhi looked for and what is always his starting point when embarking on change. Within the university, Nuhi set out to find people who wanted to get moving in the organization and convince them of the benefits of low-code and free up energy and realization power.
But what is also very important is that a low-code mindset is implemented at scale. The whole organization has to go along. “Do it to scale, or don’t do it,” Nuhi Stenvers said.
By now, enough people saw the value of low-code and it was time for the second P: Portfolio. Nuhi got to work choosing appropriate projects and use cases for low-code applications. Many of these projects – without low-code – would require a large investment in terms of license applications. So by smartly managing the portfolio, the university saved a substantial amount of money.
With these and a number of other appropriate use cases, setting up the third P: process began. In other words, the realization process. Nuhi’s role in this consisted of steering the organization toward low-code. In doing so, it was critical to realize a University of Twente “way of working” with low-code. Together they looked at whether low-code apps could add value to the application architecture within University of Twente. For example, additions could be made to the standard functionalities of current SaaS packages.
Nuhi began adding end users of the new software on his team as consultants so they could continue developing their own application in the low-code Platform. Important here was keeping an eye on whether the organization could keep up with the speed of development. And whether the new way of working could be incorporated into the existing processes, or whether they could possibly be modified. Due to the speed of low-code, applications could be realized after only six months.
In 12 weeks containing 8 sprints, use cases were brought to life in collaboration with the product owners. To give an example, one of the use cases was about a system to build and interrogate questionnaires in an internal process around ethical concerns for research with humans. University of Twente had been struggling with this for 2 years and each time the project stalled. So thanks to low-code, this all went a lot faster!
In total, the entire project took about 9 months. Within the University of Twente, we now have our own team of 4 people: a scrum master and 3 Mendix conultants. Moreover, Mendix has been elevated to a target technology within the University of Twente.
University of Twente and our ESG policy
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