High Tech unit launches Agile Work Location Manifesto

Like many others, we – the High Tech business unit of ICT Netherlands- certainly had not expected to be working from home for nearly half a year now. As a project-oriented organization – developing complex technical software for our customers – we were accustomed to having the project teams sit together in our office. Although the IT infrastructure to work from home was always in place, it felt much more comfortable to have all team members work in the same location. Being out of the office was a rarity.

Well, until mid-March at least. Due to the measures taken following the COVID-19 outbreak in March, we were forced to close the offices and roll out mandatory remote work. As we, Frank van der Kruijssen, Stefan te Winkel and Tjitske Hartman, realized that it was realistic to assume that shifting to the ‘home office’ will become the new normal for many of us we decided to rethink the way of working within the projects of the High Tech unit. After a few weeks of working from home, we sent out a survey to evaluate how colleagues handled the new situation and what they think of this new way of working. Working from home turned out to be a positive experience for the vast majority of our colleagues yet most of them would prefer a mixture of home and office working to spend some face-to-face time with their teammates as well.

Taking this as a starting point, we began working on something that would later be called “the Agile Work Location Manifesto”. By default:
– You have a flexible work location (not necessarily being your home)
– People have access to a proper workspace
– Everyone within the team has access to information (e.g. decisions taken, planning etc.)

We envision a hybrid situation where colleagues can choose their work location, within a framework that is called the Agile Work Location Manifesto. Its fundamentals are:

Result over Presence
Trust over Activity Management
Team Empowerment over Direct Guidance
Team Need over Personal Preference
Direct Communication over Scheduled Interaction
Flexible Schedule over Fixed Office Hours
Objective Driven Location over Calendar Driven Location

While there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. The items are not put in the list based on a priority, all are equally important.

Teams will use these items as guidelines to decide when to meet in person (as a team) and when to work from their individually chosen location. We believe this has many benefits, e.g. more autonomy as a team to decide how you want to work, choosing your location depending on the type of work you do, flexibility in schedule, etc. Having more influence on the process will lead to happier people, resulting in more efficiency and higher productivity, and therefore satisfied customers. The Manifesto aims to take ‘the best of both worlds’: work individually at your chosen location and come together as a team when the project requires personal interaction.

While the Manifesto may seem simple, it takes effort to make it work. The mindset of teams and all their individual members (including project leads and architects!) must change. This means restructuring the process; work face to face when needed, work remotely when possible. As a team, you really have to think about what you are doing, how you want to do it and why you want to do it in a certain way. It also requires more preparation when getting together as you box the time spent as a team. To support the teams and project leads in implementing this new approach, we organized introduction and coaching sessions. After all, we envision this process not just to be applicable during the COVID period. It is something we are embedding in our project organization to make it future proof.

It’s a new way of thinking that is in line with the desire of our colleagues to be more self-organizing.  We are already seeing benefits in our projects in terms of team members having more control over their way of working. This leads to a more attractive and satisfying work environment.

This is part of our future. Would you like to discuss yours?

Contact us at tjitske.hartman@ict.nl.

Gert-Jan’s Challenge: Predicting the behaviour of AGV’s in order to reduce the number of congestions

Port terminals use Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) to transport containers between the quay cranes and the stack. Because the AGVs are used in a limited area, traffic often crosses, frequently leading to unwanted stops. This has a serious impact on the traffic flow, planning and fuel consumption.

Never finished learning

Gert-Jan van der Wielen wanted to learn more about improvement processes, so he followed the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training programme. “You learn how to optimise business processes by identifying issues in processes, analysing them and reducing them according to a certain method. A method that is also used by the client; within the project team everyone has attained the Green Belt level as a minimum. Because I collaborate closely with them, it was only logical that I would also follow the training programme.” His manager shared his opinion. Subsequently, ICT facilitated Gert-Jan in attaining his Green Belt.

Predictable behaviour

When Gert-Jan started looking for a practical assignment to round off the course, he consulted with the client and made a proposal to investigate the traffic flow of AGVs at the terminal. “It often happened that a number of AGVs had to wait for each other for a long time, sometimes even in deadlock. In some cases waterside control had to intervene to resolve an AGV traffic jam. There were even more frequent cases of AGVs having to slow down or (almost) having to stop because of crossing AGV traffic, and naturally this interfered with the timing of activities. I have been working for this client for some twenty years now. It is my personal drive to minimise the waiting times for AGVs at the quay cranes and thus improve the terminal’s performance.”

Mapping out root causes

“The first part of the project consisted of interviewing the client about the issues and the improvements they wanted to realise.” The complaints included undesirable AGV stops, waiting for AGVs in vain, and performing manual actions to get stationary AGVs moving again. The objective was clear: improved traffic flow of the AGVs, resulting in reduced fuel consumption, higher terminal performance and less time required from employees, for instance the waterside control, the service desk and the technical maintenance service. What was intended to be a small project turned out to be larger than conceived originally. “The analysis revealed a lot more problems than estimated at the onset. We collaborated closely with the project team in order to collect input from all possible angles and map out the root causes of the problem.”

Small measures with great effects

The vital causes often turned out to be softwarerelated. “We mapped them out and prioritised them. As a next step, we implemented software changes in the planning and control software and tested them extensively. We stored and documented the improvements in JIRA, the software package we used to manage all issues regarding the planning and control software of the equipment at the terminal. The results included improvements such as optimising the accuracy of an AGV’s predicted position, harmonising the AGV claiming and the AGV claim prediction, and improving the test environment. Altogether we implemented a total of 28 small improvements during a series of several Scrum sprints.”

Still more reductions

After a baseline measurement Gert-Jan set himself the target of reducing the average number of hourly obstacles by 50%. Having achieved a reduction of 76% means that this target was exceeded well and truly. “It is expected that addressing the remaining causes will lead to yet another step in AGV obstacle reduction. For instance, late arrivals of AGVs can be further reduced and the system can be made even more predictable. It’s fantastic that I’ve managed to achieve this for my client. And what’s more, it simply is a lot of fun.’

At ICT we connect people, technologies and ideas. Are you looking for a new challenge, for instance as a developer, architect or engineer? Check out www.werkenbijict.nl.

Julian’s Challenge: Continually finding challenging work for my colleagues

About fifteen years ago, Engineering Manager Julian van Basten started as the fifth employee of Raster Industrial Automation. He has grown with the company, which is now part of ICT Group. The company has increased in size and the attic in the home of one of the former owners has long since been exchanged for spacious office premises with its own workshop. But the feeling of a small-scale business has remained. “It is this personal touch that appeals to me. I can make a difference here.”

Generally, the projects carried out by Raster are not standard work. The projects are more likely to belong to the category of complex or special work, because clients are aware that Raster is good at handling assignments that are sometimes ground-breaking. At the start of Julian’s career as a software engineer with the company, he regarded this as one of the main attractions of his new employer. For example, Raster developed the control software required for recovering the Russian submarine Kursk in 2001, which had sunk a year earlier in the Barents Sea after an accident. This specific software is still used in other projects. A more recent project is the development and implementation of the entire safety control system for the Pioneering Spirit, the world’s largest vessel that is used for installing and dismantling entire offshore platforms.

“We have excellent people with a lot of experience, and it is important that we keep challenging them.”

Enjoying your work

As Engineering Manager Julian holds the final responsibility for all technical projects. As a result, he is now less involved in project realisation than in his early years with his employer. Nevertheless the focus of Raster on special projects is still as important to him as in the early days of his career. Because this is what allows the company to distinguish itself in the market and to remain in the forefront of developments. “We are still very successful because we follow our own path.” In his opinion, this is an absolute requirement in a market in which technical professionals are hard to find. “We have excellent people with a lot of experience, and it is important that we keep challenging them. So far we have succeeded in doing this.”

As a manager, making sure that employees enjoy their work by offering them varied and interesting projects is just as important as ensuring that projects proceed smoothly. ”I want to keep challenging and developing myself. In the beginning this was by working on special projects. These days, I also get a lot of satisfaction from finding the right people for positions and ensuring that everybody is happy in their job. My main challenge is to ensure that everybody is happy, and if they are, success will come naturally.”

Raster Academy

His management position requires extensive social skills. “These skills are crucial. These days, good communication skills are just as important as my technical experience,” says Julian.

“There are different technical departments within Raster. For instance, the Operational Excellence (OX) department, which focuses on product development, using the latest technical developments in web technology. Then there is the Industrial Automation department, which often uses the products developed by OX in their discipline. These departments offer the engineers the possibility to develop their skills in another direction within Raster.”

The Raster Academy is very useful in this respect: The Academy is a training and coaching programme that offers employees the possibility to take part in training sessions that focus on a particular subject. Generally, this is a technical subject, but it may also concern project management issues, such as scrum, a method aimed at working more effectively and more flexibly. In addition to group sessions, Raster also has a development plan that focuses on the interests of the individual employee. For example, one employee may specialise in cyber security, while another employee focuses on functional safety.

Personal and small-scale

Raster’s growth ambitions mean that there are plenty of challenges for Julian for years to come. “The challenge for our team is to set up the organisation in such a way that we have more project control and an improved project organisation.” This will probably mean that because of his management position, he will become even further removed from the realisation activities of projects. “However, that’s part of the job”, he says.

As Raster grows, Julian aims to retain Raster’s characteristic atmosphere. The technical responsibility for a team in his current job at Raster suits him better than leading a business unit in a much larger company. “The personal aspect still strongly appeals to me. And this also involves plenty of challenges.”

Are you looking for a new challenge as  developer, an architect or an engineer? Visit www.ict.eu/jobs.

Jeffrey’s challenge: Keep learning and participating in interesting projects

Having completed his study in industrial automation, Jeffrey had ample choice from the jobs that were available. Even before his graduation, recruiters started making him offers. And this is how he came into contact with Raster. The personal atmosphere of this small-scale subsidiary of the ICT Group was the decisive factor in choosing this company, where he currently works as a software engineer.

When Jeffrey was exploring the labour market, he had the impression that most companies only paid attention to the specialisation of their future employees. “However, at Raster they were also interested in me as a person. I was received in a very open manner.” There was a click on both sides. What also appealed to him was the rural, calm environment of Raster’s location; Dreumel, not very far from the town of Tiel. When Jeffrey’s employment started, his employer was in the process of hiring more professional education graduates in order to create a more balanced team of employees. By now the team consists of some thirty colleagues from various age groups. Jeffrey soon felt at home. As he was a junior, one of his senior colleagues looked after him during his first project. One of the advantages of being new to the job was that he didn’t have the feeling that he had to overperform just to prove himself. “I was able to participate very quickly.”

Immediate deployment

Sometimes, there’s quite a gap between someone’s education and the labour market, but this was not the case for Jeffrey. In actual fact, he could be deployed in projects immediately. “There was quite a good connection between education and work for my field of work. The way you  rogram something in terms of language is more or less the same in all cases. The only thing that varies within the cases is the type software that is used. That’s something you adopt very rapidly. What does differ is the way in which different companies work, for instance the structure that is used to build software. Some companies use fixed standards that have proven their use over the years. At Raster they’re also open to new developments that I learned during my education. They give me quite a lot of freedom in terms of doing things my way during a project.” For example during one of the projects in New York we wrote the application in Delphi and React.

“I feel very much at ease and supported in what we do. People are listening to me.”

Meanwhile, Jeffrey has accumulated quite a bit of work experience from a number of very diverse projects. Recently, he was in New York to test whether the software that Raster developed for the 5BY2 automated parking solution of Lödige Industries worked properly before being transferred to the client. This was a special experience because it didn’t only involve technical aspects but also the cooperation within a very international team. “An experience that allowed me to learn a lot.” And fortunately, despite the often hectic project phase, there was some time left to explore the city.

Jeffrey tends not to look very far ahead in his career. His current position still offers a large number of challenges. What’s more, there are plenty of opportunities for developing himself further through training and to keep up-to-date with his field of work. “So far, I feel very much at home here and I’m very happy in this company.” He hasn’t had a single moment of regret about his choice for Raster: “I feel very much at ease and supported in what we do. People are listening to me.”

Do you want to challenge yourself?

Are you looking for a new challenge as a developer, an architect or an engineer? Visit www.ict.eu/jobs

Stan’s challenge: Ensuring up-to-date data provision and absolute reliability

Everywhere across the world compressors are used by factories, power plants and hospitals. Gas, compressed or ultraclean medical grade air from sea container-sized compressors are crucial to the (business) processes of these organisations. IoT and the latest cloud solutions are used to ensure actual and reliable data. Wherever and whenever you need it.

Stan Verdiesen was involved with the innovative IoT platform SMARTLINK from the very start. “Microsoft delivered the cloud solution. In addition to the entire architecture, the design and realisation of the platform, ICT deployed an Agile development team, as well as a complete, managed and hosted service once everything was up and running. We constantly asked ourselves: if you want to display certain information, then what is the most efficient way to retrieve the required data? And what is the best way to store the necessary information? The automatic result is that data is often stored in multiple locations and in different ways.” This concerns considerable volumes of data. Stan: “The 150.000 compressors that use the platform receive about 130 million messages on a daily basis. That works out to approximately 1.400 messages per second. The expectation is that this volume will only grow larger in the future. That makes it a unique project.”

Code like spaghetti

When ICT became involved in the project, the previous platform was unable to handle the quantities of data. “The old platform used a single database. However, there was a huge number of ad hoc solutions, so nobody really knew how it worked exactly. When the volume increased even further, the platform was no longer able to process the data. As a result, users were not receiving actual data or they were experiencing disruptions, and distorted signals. An untenable situation because many of the organisations depend on their compressor system for their core activities.”

Microsoft Azure: the latest in cloud solutions

The solution was found in Azure, a Microsoft cloud solution. “Azure includes some twenty services for data storage. One for one the newest of the new. It was fantastic to work with and at the same time a challenge as not everything is known. Not even for Microsoft itself.” Together with his team members Stan had to transform software requirements into reliable methods that could perform the task. “In what way do these new techniques deliver with what we need? It was a matter of researching, trialling and pioneering. The fun part is that we came up with solutions that were new even to Microsoft. It was an excellent collaboration and we learned a lot from each other.”

The fun part is that we came up with solutions that were new even to Microsoft. It was an excellent collaboration and we learned a lot from each other.

Gaining and sharing knowledge

Stan was not a complete novice when he began on the project back in May 2018. He participated in an Azure bootcamp in Seattle, organised by Microsoft. “ICT Netherlands highly values knowledge acquisition. The same applies internally; we regularly have knowledge sessions to share our insights with  colleagues. Within ICT I am the expert with respect in the domain of Azure, and my expertise constantly gets me involved in other projects. This way the knowledge remains useful and my knowhow can be applied for other clients.”

Flexibility

Stan started as a senior software developer in 2014. The SMARTLINK-project was his chance to prove himself as a software architect. “Besides offering opportunities for development, ICT is an employer that gives you the space to work flexibly. As a father of two children it is nice to know that you can plan your own working hours or work from home when you need to. It gives you space to breathe.”

Do you want to challenge yourself?

Are you looking for a new challenge as a developer, an architect or an engineer? Visit www.ict.eu/jobs

Developing mobility software in times of Corona

Developing mobility software in times of Corona: how are the project teams at InTraffic approaching this? Colleagues Maurice and Sebastian explain!

The country slowly seems to be starting up again after we came close to a complete standstill due to the Corona-crisis, but public transport remains a crucial sector. The applications developed by InTraffic for various clients are often of mission-critical importance. They have to keep functioning correctly, especially during this time. Developers Sebastiaan la Fleur and Maurice Knoop explain how they and their teams make this happen.

Remote meetings

Like so many companies, InTraffic is currently also working entirely from home. Normally some employees work on-site at the client’s office and the others from InTraffic’s head office in Nieuwegein, but now everyone has their workplace at home. Because you can’t just walk over to a colleague, remote meetings have become increasingly important, says Maurice. As software developer he is responsible for developing and maintaining systems for up-to-date travel information. “Our team works in an agile manner, which means that we are self-managing. It’s important to keep in touch with colleagues and to be properly informed of what they’re working on.”

Stand-ups have become even more important

We keep each other informed when we have our daily online stand-ups – short meetings during which team members join in to discuss important daily issues. This has become even more important. Sebastiaan, also a software developer at InTraffic, adds: “Our stand-up takes place earlier than usual. Because we’re not having any brief, informal talks, our stand-ups take longer than at other times. It’s important to discuss the day with the entire team to see whether there are areas in which we can help each other.”

Moreover, the work of some teams has become even more important during this period. This applies to teams that manage the applications which are used to process timetables, because timetables need to be adjusted more frequently now than is usually the case, Maurice comments. Normally he works at the InTraffic office in Nieuwegein and sometimes on-site at the client’s office. “Most people think I have less work to do because of the decreased amount of traffic. But it’s the exact opposite. Because of all the changes in the timetable I actually have more work to do! What’s more, the impact of my work has also increased.”

“Most people think I have less work to do because of the decreased amount of traffic. But it’s the exact opposite. Because of all the changes in the timetable I actually have more work to do! What’s more, the impact of my work has also increased.”

Team spirit

In addition to the daily stand-ups during which the entire team is present, there can be a need for meetings between team members at other times. We use the entire gamut of tools, from e-mail and voice call to Microsoft Teams. Maurice: “We have a Teams-meeting running in the background all day. Normally everyone is quiet, until you encounter an issue. When that happens, you discuss it with the group. Each time someone asks a question there is a quick response. This means that the interaction is a bit different, but it hasn’t become less efficient.” Other teams may prefer chat or the phone. What matters is that team members don’t feel any hesitation to ask questions to their colleagues.

Discussions between separate teams

When you work on larger application, several teams usually work on separate parts of the same application. While those teams would normally have regular meetings, it just doesn’t work to have online meetings with dozens of people at the same time. This is why discussions between separate teams now take place via the product owners. On the one hand, this is more hierarchical and developers cannot always talk to each other directly, but on the other, it does save us a considerable amount of time.

Consciously finding time for the human factor

Finally, it’s important for people to have a chat with one another and bring each other up to date. An occasional chat about things other than work is important to our team, Sebastiaan adds. “The best team work comes from people who are in tune with each other, and getting to know each other better contributes to this. We strongly believe it’s important – especially when there are no face-to-face meetings – to consciously create time for informal chats. And this is why our team organises things like ‘tea parties’: virtual get togethers during which everyone can talk about anything they want, except work.” The virtual Friday afternoon drinks are also attended by more people than the real world ones, says Maurice. After all, possible obstacles such as travelling times are gone!

Jeroen’s challenge: Improving the diagnosis and treatment of patients and as a result optimising quality of life

Jeroen Wennekes is Operational Manager (OM) at ICT Healthcare Technology Solutions, a developer of advanced systems to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients and as a result optimise quality of life. With his degree in Embedded Software, Jeroen started as a junior software engineer and quickly became one of the rising stars within ICT Group. At the age of 28 he is the youngest OM in the organization.

“I think it has everything to do with the many career opportunities the company has to offer. At ICT my drive was noticed, also thanks to my former OM, I was challenged to challenge myself. It really is to the company’s credit that ambition and hard work are acknowledged with opportunities and actual career steps.”

“As an OM I focus on three main tasks, I am responsible for a group of colleagues who work in secondment. I am their go-to person within ICT Group, I liaise with the client, and together with each team member I draw up an individual professional development plan. I currently manage the account where I used to work in secondment myself. Soon, I will be taking on more accounts. Besides this, I am responsible for part of the acquisition and I help to design the short- and long term strategy for my business unit. I feel privileged that I can contribute to the future of the business, based on my everyday practice.

“ICT Group has lots to offer, you just have to seize the opportunity, I am proof of that.”

Born techie

“Will I miss software programming?” Jeroen pauses to think. “I’ve always enjoyed it very much, it feels like a hobby. I’m a born techie. In the short period that I’ve been working as an OM, I have used my technical knowledge and experience in Healthcare on a daily basis. A recent example is that one of my former clients had a technical request of which I knew – based on my years of experience in their operations – they were asking the wrong question. I discussed this with the client and they really appreciated the initiative. So now I use my knowledge in a different way which I like even better. It helps to support the client’s success and endorses our own capabilities.”

Do you want to challenge yourself?

Are you looking for a new challenge as a developer, an architect or an engineer?
Visit www.ict.eu/jobs

Faster building and testing with automatized coding

Julien and Rachid discuss smart ways of working and collaborating with Model Based Testing & Model Driven Engineering.

Model Based Testing (MBT) and Model Driven Engineering (MDE) are methods for faster, low-cost and more efficient software design. They allow you to create an abstract model based on system requirements. Tools automatically generate the code for the test (MBT) or the system (MDE). “From simple data entry to the thought process; a software engineer is more focused on the system’s functioning than on writing code. The result speaks for itself: more innovative products with a shorter time to market.

In the case of MBT, instead of describing the test, you create a model of what the system or a component is required to do. With a single press on a button the special tools generate the code for the tests and run it. Rachid Kherrazzi: “Because the test scripts are generated automatically, you obtain a much more elaborate test set than if you were to write all the tests manually. What’s more, writing the code manually is prone to errors. A typo is made easily, but can have huge consequences.”

Back to basics

The advantages described by Rachid also apply to MDE. “The difference is that MDE uses the abstract model to generate the code for the system,” Julien Schmaltz, principal consultant at ICT Group, explains. “When building the model you’re focused on the essentials of your product. What should the system be able to do? Which requirements should it meet? Once you’ve mapped this out, all the rest is automatically filled out for you in Java, C#, or in another programming language.” When you use MDE and MBT, developers and testers can focus on the smart and complex aspects of the system. “The work becomes a lot more challenging: you can concentrate on the functionality, which is what it’s all about. Because generic work such as writing and developing scripts is automated, developers and testers have more time to design better solutions and create more innovative products.”

“Everyone looks at the same model; client, domain expert, tester and designer. This really enables you to collaborate during the development process.”

 

Faster, more frequent and accurate testing

Using models creates clarity and transparency for everyone involved in your project. Julien: “Everyone looks at the same model; client, domain expert, tester and designer. This really enables you to collaborate during the development process. The simulation gives an impression of the end result. Is this what you intend to build? Can you think of any other possibilities or requirements based on your progressive insight? The model allows everyone to come up with relevant questions, as early as during the requirement phase. This way you can obtain feedback from the client even before you start creating the design or entering the coding.” A model also helps you in finding errors at an early stage, Rachid adds. “Moreover, it provides immediate insight into whether particular changes will improve the product. This can easily be tested in the model with simple adjustments. A model allows you to perform the build-measure-learn loop faster and more frequently.

Tooling

Creating innovative products requires innovative tools, Rachid explains: “After all, you can’t use the same tool for all of your clients. This is why InTraffic works together with companies that develop these kinds of tools. They create the tools, we apply them and if required, we customise them to fit the demands of the client. By collaborating as partners you can improve and develop the tools together, and be the first to have access to improved features.” And this is absolutely necessary in order to retain a leading edge in the market. “In a society in which the complexity of products is increasing, it’s essential that you become smarter when you’re creating code. And attract the people who can go beyond code and dare to be innovative in their work. The tools have improved substantially during the last few years. Now is the time to apply them and benefit from the improvements.

Would you like to know more or talk to us? Please contact Julien Schmaltz ICT or Hans Heising from InTraffic. Or take a look at our High Tech page and learn about what ICT can do with MDE en MBT.

 

Pursuing career opportunities: back at ICT Group

Rik Verbeek came back to ICT Group as a Senior Control Designer after having explored a career opportunity  at another IT company.

“I want to keep developing myself as a professional and ICT Group offers a serious training and education programme for any stage in one’s career.”

“I learned a lot while I was away, but I discovered that I really liked the sort of laid back and flexible yet stimulating culture at ICT Group. I want to keep developing myself as a professional and ICT Group offers a serious training and education programme for any stage in one’s career. I love the  bits and bytes, and I also very much like to work with people. It is my ambition to become a Service Delivery Manager because it lets me do both. A Service Delivery Manager is responsible for the long term relationship with clients and manages the service level agreements, requiring both leadership skills and technological knowledge. So when I learned I could really pursue this career at ICT Group, the choice to return to the Deventer office was easy to make. I joined the Service team and my Operational Manager is helping me to get started on my own accounts. I’m thinking of taking the Professional Leadership course and ITIL, a course of best practices in IT Service Management. I’m just really happy to be back at ICT Group,” Rik explains.

Do you also want to work on challenging and innovative projects such as Rik?

Visit our website: www.ict.eu/jobs

Jeroen’s Challenge: Deliver on this career opportunity

After earning a degree in Embedded Software, Jeroen Wennekes quickly became one of the rising stars within ICT Group. “I think it has everything to do with the many career opportunities the company has to offer. I started out as a junior software engineer and was promoted to senior software engineer with the Healthcare unit within five years. During this period, it became my ambition to reach for the role Operational Manager (OM). I assumed it would take about ten years, but this career opportunity came much faster than I expected, also thanks to my own OM.” Jeroen is 28 years old, making him the youngest OM ever at ICT Group. “It is to the company’s credit that ambition and hard work are acknowledged with opportunities and actual career steps.”

Born techie

“Will I miss software programming?” Jeroen pauses to think. “I’ve always enjoyed it very much, it feels like a hobby. I’m a born techie. In the short period that I’ve work as an operational manager, I’ve used my technical knowledge and experience in Healthcare on a daily basis. A recent example is that a certain technical request was made within my account, but based on my years of experience in their operations I knew they were asking the wrong question. I discussed this with the client and explained what I thought was needed. They really appreciated the initiative. So now I use my knowledge in a different way which I like even better. It helps to support the client’s success and endorses our own capabilities.”

“As a company, we value human capital and care for our people’s wellbeing. ICT Group has lots of opportunities to offer, I’m proof of that”

Operational manager

“My work consists of three main tasks,” Jeroen explains. “I am responsible for the wellbeing of several colleagues who work in secondment. I am their go-to person within ICT Group, I function as the contact person for the client, and together with each team member I make professional development plans. I currently manage the account where I used to work in secondment myself. Soon, I will be taking on more accounts. Furthermore, as an operational manager I am responsible for part of the acquisition. And thirdly, I help design the short- and long term strategy for my business unit.” His input is based on everyday practice and provides valuable information for the future. “Yesterday, I had a very productive day if I may say so,” Jeroen says smiling. “Through my network, I was able to deploy one of our software engineers on a project in my account. I also met someone at my client’s office who was looking for programming support, it is very likely they will hire the software engineer I proposed. Furthermore, I had some good talks with a couple of team members about their professional development. And I spoke with a developer from my own network who is interested in joining ICT Group.”

Vision

“In my role as OM, I completely underwrite ICT Group’s vision on employer responsibility. As a company, we value human capital and care for our people’s wellbeing. ICT Group has lots of opportunities to offer, I’m proof of that. They noticed my drive and offered me a chance to challenge myself. Proactiveness and ownership are important values within ICT Group and will pay off. Personally, I find it essential to take responsibility for your own success. I also expect that from my team. I’ve told my colleagues that I will not stalk them with courses and seminars, but I do require them to keep working on their professional and personal development. I will support my team members to reach their goals at all times.”

Are you looking for a job where you will be challenged?

Take a look at our vacancies: www.ict.eu/jobs.