ASML is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML employs more than 21,000 people.
Change is inevitable and if handled correctly, it really is a force for good. In essence that’s my job. As a change agent I work with individual teams to support them in managing the change process. That way everyone can see the benefits and achieve them as quickly and painlessly as possible. It can mean helping teams recognize potential roadblocks, encouraging them to push for continuous improvement, coaching them on how to prioritize actions, or simply easing the way for them to talk to each other.
Of course everyone is already very busy working on projects. So it is often difficult to find the focus and time to change, even when we understand the longer term benefits. Planning plays a major role in this, if we can all prioritize our short-term goals and complete key actions every day then our longer-terms plans will run more smoothly and we can target continuous improvements.
I feel that coming from a software development role and having an engineering background has helped give me a broader perspective which is vital in change management. You need to be able to act as a mirror in which the team can see itself, but also as the oil that smoothes the change process. You also need to be able to see the right mix of required skills to make optimal use of available resources and produce effective teams. In a software project, for example, that includes everyone from system architect right down to the code writer. While the roles are different in every team, getting the right balance is needed in all of them.
But change isn’t just limited to processes within ASML. I started here 12 years ago helping develop test software for the reticle stage. Over the years I’ve stayed in a technical role but moved increasingly into management positions. Eighteen months ago I requested to take a sabbatical to completely renovate an old house. My boss was OK with it, as long as I coached my replacement. I enjoyed it so much that when I came back I was looking to move to a coaching role, and that’s when this change process for the development department started.
At ASML there’s a constant dynamic and outstanding performance is expected. If you’re made of the right stuff then you’ll feel at home here, like a fish in water. The willingness to help is widespread, everybody is there for each other and you really are part of the team. In fact anything goes at ASML, not only from a technical perspective, but also career wise. You can develop in any direction. Want to move from customer support to development? No problem. If you’re ambitious you’ll follow your career at full speed.
As for my renovation project it’s nearly finished, but like everything else, there has been a number of changes we’ve had to manage along the way.
Page updated on 2018-1-26 14:55 CET