Now that TransFollow is entering a new phase in its existence, I’ve decided to leave TransFollow and look for a new pioneering challenge.
My journey started 5 years ago while I was working at Beurtvaartadres, the Dutch supplier of paper Transport documents, most notably the CMR document. After doing several (digital) projects and releasing several new products, the shareholders (EVO and TLN) asked us to build a solution to replace this paper (CMR) document with a digital one (the e-CMR).
The CMR document is used for almost every national and cross-border transport and fits several governmental, legal and non-legal purposes. Millions of these documents are used throughout the year and the goal was to not only get rid of the paper but also to improve (the much needed) communication between logistical parties.
It would possibly be one of the most revolutionary and complex products within the logistics domain over the last few years and it would involve many parties: shippers, carriers, consignees, customs, law enforcers, insurance companies as well as all kinds of related system suppliers.
That is quite a challenge! But I love challenges, so I decided to get on that truck, fully committed to make it a success. We started with several parties to do market research, investigate the possibilities, structures, create a vision, etc. After getting commitment and defining a Minimum Viable Product we started building. At that time, I was both Product Owner and Domain Architect (what an unlucky combination, I learned). I worked with multiple (international, component) teams on the fundamentals of what is now TransFollow.
After running the first Beta it was time to get our own Multidisciplinary Development team.
The product was simply too revolutionary, the domain too complex and expected quality too high to use external (component) teams. Also, we foresaw that developing such a product would require continuous development. A new era for the company! I handed over my role as Product Owner and became CTO.
Together with Sabina Renshof as our Agile coach and Marijn van der Zee as our first Scrum Master we started working on our new team and hired developers. And man, did they give me a hard time… or did I do that myself? I learned so much during that phase and mostly about myself (thanks Sabina). Being a true Agile manager is not easy (I will blog about that later) especially when you are biased with all in-depth knowledge about the system and being very stubborn from time to time.
Continuing the development of the system and gaining market share, we also had to scale: growing from one team to three, implementing DevOps, building a new infrastructure, implementing Continues Integration, implementing support and getting our ISO27001 certified ISMS into place. We did all that and the result is there:
TransFollow is known in the market as the most advanced and stable e-CMR platform.
I would like to thank the entire TransFollow team for making that journey with me, trusting me and being honest with me. I would especially like to thank Rene Bruijne for giving me this great opportunity. You are a true visionary!
TransFollow will continue developing new features and further penetrate the market with the e-CMR and related services. In the meantime, countries are starting to ratify the e-CMR, which is a great and necessary step for logistics.
And me? I will be looking for a new pioneering challenge. One in which I can put my experience to good use. So if you want to talk about my experience, or having a challenge in an innovative organisation as Agile Manager or Product Owner (as employee or freelance), please contact me.