Arno van Herk
The focus of my work at Synergio is to realise solutions for our customers in support of their lean-agile development processes, with help of our tools. Very interesting work in a large diversity of environments, often hard work but in the end enjoying the results with grateful customers.
When biking you encounter similar experiences: your tour brings you to all kinds of exotic places, every time extremely hard work but at the end of your tour always a beautiful view to enjoy. If only that nice cool glass of beer that is waiting for you 🍺
Both in the job at Synergio as in biking not everything goes smoothly all the time, sometimes you take a steep fall, but you don’t let that scare you. Making errors is something to learn from! Lots of laughs, get up and on you go! Sometimes it hurts a bit longer than the other, but it is and remains too much fun to do!
As you may have read in the personal stories of my colleagues, there are many similarities between sports and product development, especially if you compare it with team sports. Maybe you are a fan of a certain team and when you think about that, try to imagine why they are so good: Maybe you are a fan of a certain team and when you think about that, try to imagine why they are so good:
• With a top team it seems like everything goes very smoothly.
• It's really fast and everything looks so easy
• Players can find each other blindly, they are super attuned to each other
• They have a lot of fun
Who would not want that?
Yet there is also a strange paradox when you compare product development and sports, especially if you ask the question: How did they become so good and how do they stay that way?
Athletes have become great because they train 80 to 90% of the time and play matches 10 to 20% of the time, applying what they have trained. They train on technique, tactics, endurance, mental toughness, etc. all necessary in a competition.
If you compare this with product development teams in many organizations, the ratio is often the other way around: 10 to 20% of the time is spent on training and 80 to 90% of the time on playing “competitions”, namely actually developing products.
In order to get your training hours as a product development team, it is essential to make "continuous learning and improvement" an integral part of your product development process, then you will also become a top team!
Mike van Spall
I feel comfortable in technology-driven organizations where the development of new and improved products is an essential part for the organization. I am happy to take on the challenge of developing high-quality solutions better, faster and more sustainably.
I sometimes compare the process of product development with cooking a delicious dish for friends and family on my Big Green Egg. With this age-old cooking technique you can apply different cooking techniques such as smoking, grilling, baking and steaming. But with the tools and ingredients only I still don't have a nice dish…Now it comes down to the preparation, the ambiance and the taste experience. This is where the craftsmanship is needed.
Accelerating Product Development
- Software and systems engineering
- Lean agile product development
- Lean agile portfolio management
- Continuous value delivery
- Continuous learning and improvement
- High performing teams
• You can go on an adventure and discover
• You need to work together closely
• You have to surrender yourself to the wind and be creative
And imagine. You get on a sailboat in the morning, make a plan together and leave. In the afternoon the wind changes and you have to adjust your plan and at the end of the day you will arrive at a different but perhaps more beautiful destination than you previously thought.
This all makes sense for sailing, but people do not find this logical for product development or the realization of a project. That's remarkable, because prodcut development is also an adventure where you have to deal with changes and things you have no control over. And that's what I help organizations with. We teach organizations to deal with these changes. Don't try to sail against the wind, but anticipate to changes, come up with creative solutions and adjust your course. We do this by making teams work better together in short sprints and by eliminating waste in processes. We also have tools that give you insight into your progress, so you can adjust your plan in between and stay on track.
And we don't do that from the quay. I don't believe the best sailors stay on shore. I'll board the ship with you and put the steering-wheel back in the hands of the people who have to do the work. And I enjoy that when people can determine their own course again.
If you are curious about how we do this, I would be happy to tell you more about it.
What will be the structure of the garden? What should be high and what should be low? What grows well where? First I work out a plan to ensure that the total picture is correct. As soon as I have a plan, I immediately get to work. Moving plants, pruning, mowing the lawn, I can fully enjoy myself in the garden. Clearing weeds is my least favorite, but I don't shy away from that either. After that, the garden itself has to get to work: let everything grow.
In my work I see many comparisons. I like to analyze first: how should an organization be set up, how does everything come into its own? What processes are currently setup and how could we improve them? When the vision is clear, I like to get started right away. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't rest until I take action: go-go-go for the result. I am a practical person: so not everything goes perfectly according to theory but see what works best for these people and this situation.
My preference is focusing on good cooperation. We work with several methods (SAFe, Agile, Rapid Learning Cycles), which one doesn't really matter to me, what it really comes down to is that people know how to collaborate and strengthen each other. Everyone in their place in their role. Because if that succeeds… then something really beautiful is created and the company can start to flourish.
And my role? I am the gardener, one time sitting with her hands in the soil, then restructuring, removing weeds, and pruning once again. Just like in a garden, growing takes time. If you have set up the structure correctly, you can then maintain and enjoy it. Occasionally watering, pruning and removing weeds, but above all: letting it grow.
Walter van de Laar
A while ago I came across the same Casio watch online as the one I had 30 years ago. I immediately bought it; nice! After all those years, I still remembered exactly how it worked.
What I then realized was that the Japanese design team on that watch did a really good job, back then. The user interface still makes sense after all these years, very usable, sleek and the watch always does what it's supposed to do.
A strong design, that's what I have a weakness for! I like stuff that does what it promises and keeps doing it, with no fuss. I select the things I buy based on that, and with that 'state of mind' I also tackle DIY jobs around the house, for example. And, it is also how I strive to act professionally.
That is why I also feel at home at Synergio.
I always strive to unburden you, the customer, as much as possible. I like to have a lot of interaction, in short cycles, in order to achieve an optimal result.
This often works out fine, not always. If results are below expectations, I believe it's important to discuss openly, and to expose myself, also my weak points.
And that brings me to another thing I have a weakness for. In the Lean production methodology, it is prescribed to completely shut down the production line if a deviation occurs in the product. During this shut down, the entire multidisciplinary team together goes to search for the cause. They then eliminate it, think of ways to prevent it from happening again, and only then they start producing again. A rigorous approach, but a very inspiring one!
Cooking is one of my passions because I can express myself in it and I know that once we sit at the table, in whatever setting, we come together, really have time and attention for each other. Eating together connects.
So I don't just cook at home but also for our Synergio family.
Caring, unburdening, having genuine interest, paying attention. It's not complicated. I don’t want complicated, but pure, sincere and above all from within, with the best intention. It is not about what is visible, but about what can be felt.
What keeps my memories so warm and alive is my dear team that I am still in touch with. We were playing together, sharing the same struggle, celebrating big wins and wiping tears after tough losses. We managed to go through injuries, challenging preparation camps and rookie self-confidence struggles. We were best friends inside and outside the court – and it was the shared goal that kept us together so tightly. Even now, while writing this, I am smiling.
The obvious conclusion of the paragraph above is that I am a team player. I believe in sharing goals, being honest and open when encountering difficulties, being supportive and respectful. What does it have to do with working with a customer on implementing a change? I believe that this is the pure essence.
The goal is the result of change, the path might be bumpy sometimes, but you are not alone there – there are the coaches to support you, to make the strategy clear and to adjust it when the situation changes. At some point you will start to feel that you are not even slightly afraid – that adrenaline comes from determination and excitement, because you learnt and improved so much about yourself, that you are no longer scared to give it a try.