My role is like being the coach of a hockey team
In his ten years at ING, Erik has worked in a number of different marketing roles, including developing OranjePakket (ING’s digital payment package for consumers), working for ING Direct in Paris and being responsible for major marketing campaigns within Business Savings. Having worked for years at the ‘front end’, he made the switch to product management – and that coincided with ING’s decision to start fully transitioning to the agile way of working.
In the new organisation, Erik became Chapter Lead Service Tribe Payments, which comprises around 400 people, including lots of IT engineers and around 50 Customer Journey Experts. “I’m responsible for the Debit Card Management and Transactions chapter, which is a very broad area. Our processes run throughout the whole bank and affect lots of other processes and products. All of my chapter members are Customer Journey Experts, many of whom work as Product Owners in a squad with IT engineers.”
“My role comes with a variety of responsibilities, and the main one is like being the coach of a hockey team: I look at which formation will best help us to achieve our objectives. The challenge for me is to get the best out of each individual team member so that the team as a whole delivers an optimal performance. But once they’re out on the pitch it’s down to the team themselves; they decide what they should do and when. I’m on the sidelines providing tips and pointers during the match, of course. I still enjoy sparring with them and challenging them, and I’m proud of how strong the team is now, more than two years down the line.”
The world around us
“Another aspect of my role is managing contracts and working with external organisations. That means going on occasional business trips abroad, or participating in interbank meetings. A debit card has to work everywhere, in any kind of cash machine, so our cards – and those from other banks – have to comply with a whole range of standards. I represent my colleagues at the interbank meetings, raising topics on their behalf and informing them afterwards about what we’ve discussed and decided. In that sense, I see myself as the team’s ‘radar’, and I look a little further ahead so that we can all successfully anticipate any changes in the world around us.”
In touch with the business
“As a Chapter Lead I spend some of my time working as a Road Manager for another project. It’s that combination that makes my role so interesting. I like having my own project in addition to being responsible for my chapter, because it keeps me in touch with the business. I think that’s important, plus it helps me to do a good job as a coach. Besides that, I find all the dynamism resulting from the combination of the two roles hugely energising. I feel very lucky to be able to do so many terrific things here, have such an impact and work together with so many great and smart people.”
Erik studied business economics at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, during which time he also worked part-time at the ING Bank call centre. After graduating, he joined ING as a marketing trainee.
He is married to Sanne and they have a son and a daughter. In 2016, they left Amsterdam and moved to a farmhouse in the Betuwe region. “The peaceful surroundings here are a nice counterbalance to my hectic working life. Walking through the countryside is a great way to clear my head, and that regularly leads to new ideas or solutions.”