By writing this blog, I want to give you a glimpse into how a career can develop and why NN is a fantastic company to work for. My name is Maartje de Bruijn. I didn’t start my career at NN, but I’m proud to work there now.
After secondary school, I started working as a product manager in the telecoms sector. That’s where I saw and experienced how a commercial business had to adapt its strategy and core business to new business models and a different way of operating a business. I learnt a lot, but after 9.5 years, I wanted to broaden my knowledge into a different sector, the financial sector.
At NN, I started as a Mortgage Product Manager. I didn’t have a financial background, but my preparation of the financial market and my experience in Customer Experience and Operational Excellence proved decisive. For me, NN really is a company you want to work for. The brand, the movement towards customer centricity, developing the sector and the difficulty in the market with customer perception and the changing legislation and regulations make it a challenge for me. At NN, I can also see a similar trend to the one I had previously experienced. The market is starting to change, which means that our business is undergoing major changes. The clear pillar is the customer. These dynamics make my work interesting. My previous experiences and the insights I’ve learnt in Customer Experience, Operational Excellence and Agile are helping me here.
One of the great examples is actually adopting Agile working. After a year as a Product Manager, I switched to the role of Product Owner. This is one of the elements of Agile working. Agile working is characterised by launching a product on the market quickly, collecting feedback and using it to improve the product. Essentially, what we’re doing is improving the processes and products in conjunction with the customer. This totally fits our strategy in which the customer plays a central role. But how does NN work in an Agile way? At NN, we work in small agile teams of no more than eight people. There are various roles in the teams. As a Product Owner, I’m responsible for what needs to be done. A Scrum Master is there for the speed and team supervision. The Developers are the team members, each with their own expertise. For example, we have Business and Information Analysts, IT Developers, Marketing and Communication Managers and Product Managers in one team. The people in the teams also work in a multidisciplinary way where possible, which really boosts cooperation. Another reason for this is that an agile team can bring a product to market standalone.
I’m proud that we’ve introduced this at NN! I have every confidence that our new way of working will help us to carry on doing the right things for our customers.
I’ve now got another role. NN asked me to take on the job of coordinator NN bank in control on a temporary basis. I can use all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained in my current role. For example, I can use backlog management experience as Product Owner again to set the right priorities and get a working product off the ground with minimum effort.
Maartje de Bruijn
Mortgage Product Manager