My First 100 Days – Wouter Mahieu
At Tobania, we are very frequently privileged to on-board new, passionate Tobians. And since we are always very curious to find out how they are settling in after a few months, we like to ask them about their first experiences, lessons learned and further aspirations in the column “My First 100 Days”. Highlighted in this edition: Wouter Mahieu, Business Consultant.
Can you briefly introduce yourself, Wouter?
Hello, I am Wouter and have studied Industrial Electronics Engineering (Specification ICT). Meanwhile, my 15+ years of professional experience ranges from Telecommunication Engineering, via Project and Program Managing roles to Bid Management, and currently Agile Product Owner within the ICT domain.
Can you tell us a bit more about your current role within Tobania?
I am currently taking on the role of Agile Product Owner at a health insurance client. In my role, the main focus lies on the alignment between business and IT at tactical and strategic levels. And this in order to support the Scrum Software Development team.
Have you already managed to outline a certain work routine during these first 100 days?
Most certainly. I am working on bringing the roadmap up-to-date, aligning the backlog planning with this roadmap, empowering the Scrum Development team and securing sufficient development capacity to allow the team to work more efficiently (e.g. on tools, processes and overall technical debt).
What have you learned yet regarding the ins and outs of the business in which you are engaged?
The healthcare sector in general presents very complex legal obligations involving more exceptions than rules, making the need for subject matter experts very real.
“I really feel at home in the Agile and Scrum methodology, whereby I am particularly energised by the sustainable workload.”
What is your favourite tool/technology you are currently working with?
Jira is the ultimate tool for Agile teams to collaborate, as a sufficiently detailed view can be obtained for Scrum methodology with minimal administration. Moreover, I really feel at home in the Agile and Scrum methodology, whereby I am particularly energised by the sustainable team workload.
In which hard skills have you already grown and do you still want to grow?
Two to be precise. Firstly, change management. This enables me to have a lasting impact within the team I work in, as well as across teams. Next, leadership. This means I aim to provide individual coaching and support to people in the team, and setting-the-example for others. In this way, I can motivate the team to give the best of themselves.
How is the collaboration between you and your team progressing up to now?
There is a significant increase in trust within the Agile team. This offers the great benefit that there is a higher chance of delivering better solutions as we’ve been looking at challenges from different point-of-views. Another bonus is that these solutions can be implemented with the support of all team members involved, increasing the likelihood that the solutions will be structural and will not disappear once my assignment is over.
What small or large project would you like to have accomplished in the next 100 days?
Set up and run a Story Mapping workshop for a project that needs to be initiated from scratch, in order to capture maximum input from all involved parties. And, depending on the success of this Story Mapping Workshop, I would then like to incorporate this into the standard project management toolset for large scale projects.
What are your most important lessons learned so far?
- Listen first, then speak! Most people know the solution themselves, but often all it takes is a little push or confirmation to get things going.
- No team can work without trust.
- Always make sure to look at the challenges from a right perspective, and be careful not to get lost in the details.
What advice would you like to pass on to others who are about to embark on a new consultancy challenge?
Be careful not to get lost in all the details at the start, but rather to have the right macro perspective on things. In addition, make sure that you can subsequently carry out deep-dive analyses by involving the right people or by always increasing your own knowledge.
“When you join us, you can count on a can-do mentality, knowledge sharing from hands-on experienced people and the approachability of all Tobians.”
Why should others choose for Tobania as well?
When you join us at Tobania, you can count on a can-do mentality, knowledge sharing from hands-on experienced people who deal with these issues day in and day out and the approachability of all Tobians. Everyone is truly accessible and has a drive to help others. Oh, and then I almost forgot to mention the parties!