We can do almost everything ourselves within our squad
It marked a big change for Joris Barbas when he moved from being a Senior Business Controller to become a Product Owner for the global rollout of the Quantitative Risk Management (QRM) system within ING. But he was ready for a more in-depth role.
“I thrive on change and had noticed that my previous role was becoming increasingly routine. My current position is completely different from anything else I’ve ever done. I’d never been a project manager but was assigned a team of five people, and when implementing the QRM system I suddenly became partly responsible for one of the bank’s strategic projects. The goal is to implement a single standard for forecasting the bank’s net income in various risk scenarios. Our aim is for the same data to be used, the same models to be applied in QRM and the same kind of output to be generated, worldwide. One great thing about this project is the close collaboration between Risk and Finance. We’re bridging the gap between the two disciplines and learning a lot from one another.”
“The project has grown tremendously over the past couple of years. The system has proven itself to such an extent that the local countries also want to implement the QRM standard, which has created a pull effect. I’m now responsible for twice as many people as at the start. We soon switched to the agile way of working, in three squads comprising people from Risk, Finance and IT. I manage one of those squads. We’re responsible for rolling out the system to new countries, the second squad develops the system functionality and squad number three is in charge of maintenance and support.”
Challenging and coaching people to foster their growth
“I’m so happy in my role. Working with a group of international experts from different disciplines gives me a tremendous amount of energy. Combining all that knowledge in one squad makes us less dependent on others. We can do almost everything ourselves. Everyone in the team really knows their stuff and there’s a terrific vibe. It’s my role to keep things running smoothly and remove any obstacles preventing them from doing their jobs. I strive to foster my team members’ growth by challenging them and coaching them – and it fills me with pride when I see it taking effect.”
Joris is not only focused on ING; he has also done a range of voluntary work over the years, such as teaching business studies at technical colleges and helping out on local projects in Africa. “Although since my girlfriend and I had our baby daughter, our holidays have become less adventurous and closer to home. Having said that, we’re going travelling around Israel soon. I think it’s important to keep broadening your horizons.”
Joris did a master’s in management accounting and control in Groningen, then worked at Deloitte before joining ING as a trainee in 2010. He has worked in Singapore for six months and in Istanbul for four, held various Business Controller positions and moved into his current role in late 2016. He enjoys swimming, running and getting together with his friends as often as possible.