3.1 Using the quality system in strategic management

Picture 19. Haaga-Helia's management and quality system
Picture 19. Haaga-Helia’s management and quality system

Quality process as a part of strategic management

In Haaga-Helia, the quality system is a part of everyday management and integrated in the management system. The objective of the quality system is to support implementing strategy and to provide reliable data for the management of operations. We have set strategic goals for every core duty, which also form the base of the new process-led organisation. Interlinking strategic goals, core duties and main processes aligns the organisation and its management and quality system to support the achievement of strategy. In the new organisational structure, even more emphasis is on the actions and development work crossing over the organisation boundaries, which is designed to diminish the silos identified as obstacles during the last strategy period.

Our strategy guides our development work together with goals negotiated with the Ministry of Education and Culture. A five-year rolling strategy map elaborates these goals and provides the basis for annual action plans for organisation, areas of responsibility, groups, teams and ultimately individual goals. Based on the organisation’s annual goals, the areas of responsibility plan their own annual operational goals in close interaction with their groups as well as the budget and staffing to support the implementation of the plan. Annual plans are approved by the Management Group and Board. In addition to being involved in the creation of annual plans, we have performance and development discussions to implement the plans for both the group and individual levels.

Picture 20. Strategic and operational planning and follow-up
Picture 20. Strategic and operational planning and follow-up

Data management to support development

Throughout the process, we use both verbal and numerical goals. Numerical indicators are used to measure the achievement of a goal. The strategy is measured with strategic indicators, operations with financial and performance indicators, and quality with qualitative indicators. Together, the indicators form a comprehensive picture.

Since the previous audit, data production has been centralised. The task is to produce reliable and consistent information for the use of the organisation. We utilise information from both internal and external sources. Already, more than 40 PowerBI visualisation sites have been created to serve different users. In addition to ready-made visualisations, there is an annual plan to manage requests for information where the required information can’t be found on the PowerBI sites, allowing information to be provided in a timely manner to those who need it. The information is utilised for organisation-level monitoring (the Board, Management Group, Strategic Preparation Group), appropriately segmented for operational support in various functions (middle management and development groups) and in operational-level development work (staff).

We review the strategic goals and indicators during the strategy period annually when the strategy map is updated. We follow up action and budget plans during the year and are in the process of turning this into a systemised quarterly practice on every organisational level. In the performance and development discussions, we evaluate the previous year’s operations and follow the progress of the current year’s operations.

Staff participates actively in strategic and operational planning

Our staff participates actively in all the stages of the preparation: strategy, strategy map, action and financial plan, performance and development discussions. This increases common understanding and helps staff to implement the strategy. As a result, in the personnel survey 2021, the staff was well familiarised with the strategy. The goals at the group level were still less understood and the division of tasks between the groups was not yet clear, most likely due to the incompleteness of the new organisation at the time of the survey.

Responsibilities for quality management align with organisational responsibility from the management to an individual responsible of the quality of their own work. According to the organisational regulations, all staff are responsible for the quality of operations in their respective areas of responsibility. The quality system supports different levels of the organisation in the management and development of its areas of responsibilities, groups and teams, as well as in performance management.


Strengths Enhancement areas
Strategy created in cooperation with stakeholders, and staff systematically involved in strategic and operational planning With a lot of development actions throughout the organisation, need for an open access internal project portfolio
As a strategy-led organisation, strategy is genuinely guiding all our operations and work Improving recognition of the connection of own work with the strategy through more active dialogue of strategic and operational plans
Systematic data management linked to strategy  In addition to data monitoring, further improving the open systematic follow-up of planned actions