Howard Woei

Together we make the difference

I work at Vroom since 1996 and have since that time usually fulfilled the role of project leader.

I have to admit that in the first year at Vroom, I have taken the term “leader” very literally. “My” projects in that year were managed reasonable directive and controlled-driven. And during my first Objectives and result review in 1997 it turned out that this style at the organizations where I had HRM-optimization projects, did not proof to be very effective. There were results, sure, but at the cost of a lot of my energy and when asked upon, some of “my” project members were not too happy with the way they experienced my leadership.

From then on I went looking for a different way of work and the first course I have followed was through the Open University. Thereby I got more insight, in how to get from a number of people, (sometimes voluntarily “preferred”) in a project, to a team of enthusiastic people. That worked well in some organizations and in other less. In some organizations the company culture was more directive and thus I still benefitted from my former role as the autocratic leader.

Partly due to the fact that in the late 1990’s the call for Prince II certified project leaders rose, within Vroom we got certified in this (formost technical engineered driven) methodology, which came in handy in cooperation with ICT, but proved less popular among the HRM members of the projectteam. If I have to give a bold explanation for this, I would say that Prince II is fatal for the creativity and flexibility in people.

Meanwhile in the most organizations it’s clear that Prince II offers no guarantee for successful project results, within budget, time and at the right quality. A major cause is that there is a lot of time waisted with the production of Prince II mandatory deliverables, which must be approved by multiple hierarchical levels. This causes terrible lead times and does not take into account the fact that circumstances change faster than ever today. Thus making that project result upon completion sometimes do not longer comply to legislation. A response to this way of working was inevitable and it’s is called Scrum Agile.

I recently became a certified Scrum master and have a year experience in practice. I have to admit that the concept of working with a selfsteering team personally fits me better, then directive leadership and that working within the dynamics and power of a group is much more fun.

And the most beautiful in Scrum is that I experience that ICT-specialists and human resource professionals come up with unique solutions that would not have arisen if both disciplines would work separately at the issue.

As far as I am concerned, “together we make the difference” is my motto for the rest of my career at Vroom.