Interview: How Avinor became better at business management

Avinor had a cumbersome and complex support system in Excel for following up on strategic business management, and was therefore looking for a simpler system for reporting and follow-up. They found a solution that is now used on a daily basis and is available to everyone. 

Posted originally by Carina Charlotte Carlsen, Visma

Like most other companies, Avinor also used a lot of resources to monitor whether the strategy they had put in place was actually followed.  Among other things, they experienced;

  • Big and heavy Excel sheets where it was difficult to make changes 

  • Time consuming to gather documentation for management meetings and decisions 

  • The process was dependent on many individuals and very vulnerable 

In 2013/2014, they introduced balanced scorecard management to improve the management of the business. They saw the need for a tool for this process, but decided to first spend some time making sure the processes were good. In 2017, they announced a tender to find a system for business management. 

Initially they had traditional Excel sheets. 

“This was very cumbersome to use and maintain, and that the whole system was complex. We therefore had to find a new system,” says Ørjan Slotterøy, head of strategic business management at Avinor. 

The Excel files were stored locally in the various units in Avinor. This created various "silos" in the organization and led to little or no transparency across the units. There was a lot of cut and paste, and one became very person-dependent since only a few key people could make updates.

Corporate governance is important in providing the right information to the right person at the right time so that the right decisions are made.

Due to, among other things, the ease of use and the short implementation period, lead to the software Strategy Orchestrator, to win the tender to deliver a system for business management at Avinor. 

Kristine Rud from Avinor  Kristine Rud says that the users are satisfied that the system is so easy to use.

Kristine Rud from Avinor

Kristine Rud says that the users are satisfied that the system is so easy to use.

 -The users are happy

“With this solution we have got a system that the users are very pleased with. One of the biggest advantages is that reporting is very easy and accessible,” says Kristine Rud, adviser for strategic business management at Avinor.

With Strategy Orchestrator, Avinor has been given the opportunity to automatically report KPIs, which has been an important focus area in corporate governance. Comments and assessments on goals and measures provide complementary background and context to the numbers, and everything is now in one common place, in a central database with version control and access management. One avoids the uncertainty that follows Excel-based routines. 

Transparency has been the focus

Information is the lifeblood of the organization. If one can channel the information correctly, it helps to make good decisions and as a means of communicating and gathering around the business strategy.

Avinor ensures that the Group's strategic goals are well reflected in the units, which ensures that they are drawn in a common direction.

With everything in one place, Avinor provided full transparency across the organization. A total of 2274 employees have access to the system and so the status in the company are available to everyone

“Now everyone can see each other's goals and initiatives. This proves to be a useful effect because the employees are inspired by each other,” says Rud.

All departments' goals, strategic initiatives and KPIs are recorded, and status is visualized using strategy maps and scorecards.

Ørjan Slotterøy in Avinor  The strategy map is one of the things Ørjan Slotterøy likes best with the solution.

Ørjan Slotterøy in Avinor

The strategy map is one of the things Ørjan Slotterøy likes best with the solution.

“The strategy map is one of the things we like best about the solution. The transparency of the strategy map is important because from there you dive deeper into what you want by switching between units and periods. This supports the transparency of the organization,” says Slotterøy.

 

Strategic corporate governance is implemented and is now used by both the corporate management and divisions and corporate staff. 

Further develops the visualization

When implementing new solutions, it seldom goes completely painless. Avinor says that they have been heard by the supplier when they have experienced issues and that it is taken seriously.

“It has been a very good collaboration. The supplier is easy to work with and the collaboration has been uncomplicated. They deliver a good balance between usability, as well as technical and pragmatic solutions,” says Rud.

Now that the system is implemented in the organization and works well, Avinor is now focusing on further development.

“The solution works very well, but there are still some things we are working on. We want an even better visualization. It works well on its own workstation, but we need some adaptations so it works better in meetings,” says Slotterøy.

Make sure the history is safe

When Avinor used traditional Excel sheets, the history of the system was difficult to access. If you made changes, earlier notes disappeared from the system and one had to look back into previous versions of the files to find the history.

“With Strategy Orchestrator, history is safe, which was not the case with the old system, but now I know that what lies there is correct. If you want to get an overview of how things have developed, you can easily get that with the new system,” says Rud. 

- We want to expand the use

The number of active users of the system in Avinor is increasing regularly every month. On the basis of simplicity and availability, more people have now opened their eyes to the system. Slotterøy says that the department is experiencing a demand in Avinor after using Strategy Orchestrator for several purposes.

“Many people struggle with follow-up of initiatives and status on action plans and projects. Therefore, we now look at the possibility that Strategy Orchestrator can be put into use in a broader sense,” says Slotterøy.

Want to know more about business management and Strategy Orchestrator?