The Treasury department is responsible for the balance sheet management of Nationale-Nederlanden Bank: we look for the optimum balance between the saving deposits we receive and the funds we lend. We use ProMMiSe software to manage our mortgage portfolios. As Product Owner of the ProMMiSe scrum team, I talk to various stakeholders and decide on the priorities. Our scrum team is multidisciplinary: all the expertise we need, such as business and data analysis, is represented in our team.

The team works in accordance with the agile scrum method. We have so-called sprints of two weeks. We decide what we’re going to do in advance. Every morning, we have a stand-up meeting of no more than 15 minutes, during which we discuss whether we’re on schedule, the issues we’re facing and what everybody will be doing that day. After two weeks, the sprint finishes and we present the results and prepare a new schedule for the next two weeks. The major advantage of agile working is the flexibility. The short sprints make it easy to adjust to changing circumstances.

Treasury is a data-intensive department. Virtually all changes at the Bank affect our department, so that our field of work is constantly changing. For example, I’m currently working on the market launch of the so-called rate class. This means an automatic reduction of the mortgage rate if a customer becomes eligible for a lower risk premium because of repayments or a rise in the value of his or her home. The rate class has a huge impact on the finances, for example, on mortgage valuations. Analysing the impact and testing and adapting ProMMiSe requires continuous coordination between various players to ensure that all the changes are properly processed in our calculations, processes and reports.

After I finished my economics degree, I began working as a business analyst at a small bank in The Hague, where I worked with different systems, data and technologies. I started here on 1 July 2016, and have been a Product Owner since 1 July 2018. What attracted me was that Nationale-Nederlanden Bank was a new business unit with growth potential. The combination of coordination, data and impact also looked varied and challenging.

But, there’s more. Personal development, for example, is very important here. I’ve completed a Personal Leadership course and will soon be taking part in a Scaling Agile course, which focuses on how you can collaborate better with other scrum teams. The atmosphere here is also excellent. We work hard, but there is always lots of scope for relaxation. We’ve got a ping pong table in our department, for example, and we organise regular pub quizzes and have an annual volley ball tournament. This is how you build a close bond with one another. We’re a relatively small, informal company with short lines, which means that you’re very quickly given lots of responsibility. At the same time, we’re part of a large company, which offers plenty of potential for career progression.

Wietse Kuiper
ProMMiSe Product Owner, Nationale-Nederlanden Bank