Australia, Interviews

Karolina Pilarczyk – IT Delivery Lead and Agile Coach at ERM Power

Part of my approach is to try and motivate women to try to do something difficult. To achieve something, you need to know what you want and learn how to do it, and then you can achieve everything. The only thing you need to know is what you want to achieve.

Karolina Pilarczyk is an experienced IT Delivery Lead and Agile Coach. During nine
intensive years of working in IT, Karolina has gained comprehensive experience in the entire software development cycle. She has worked as a Delivery Lead, Agile Coach and Product Manager. This experience across these roles has lead to her developing a deeper and broader experience and perspective of software and its development cycle. She has developed a common understanding of the needs and requirements of both technical staff and wider organisational stakeholders.
Karolina understands that developing software engineering teams is about
‘people over process’ and her core focus is about helping people within organisations understand important life skills, such as:
• Creative and critical thinking;
• Effective communication;
• Agility using Scrum and Kanban;
• Software development concepts;
• Lean Business.
She is an energized individual who really enjoys going to work every day primarily because of the challenging opportunities and the people that she works with. She has the ability to consistently ‘think outside the box’, while at the same time following through with her ideas in a practical manner to ensure that optimizing organization bottom line is always her main focus. Always learning! – is her Motto. In her private life she is a mother of 9 year old son, Teodor. In her free time she loves flying – is a private pilot and loves ultra running trials and cycling!

In a Nutshell: Tell us a bit about your job and what role technology plays in it?

I am an experienced IT Delivery Lead and Agile Coach at ERM Power, where we focus on great ideas. I am responsible for leading a team in Agile delivery. I am constantly seeking opportunities to improve the delivery of the teams and create the right focus and attention on continuous improvement. I help steer the teams towards successful completion of what they commit to by focussing them on what is needed to meet their goals. My role is to draw attention to issues impacting delivery and tracking the risk. I care about the Delivery roadmap and ensure that my teams can deliver on their commitments and commit to only what they can deliver, while still having enough time to learn, adapt and improve along the way.
I am usually the person who needs to answer the questions like: How much will it cost? What is the most significant risk? How does the operating plan look like? What is the value?

The reason why I am passionate about my work is that for me people are always over process!

The reason why I am passionate about my work is that for me people are always over process! I am always learning and constantly challenging myself to be better. I am an energised individual who really enjoys going to work every day primarily because of the challenging opportunities and the people that I work with.

Where did your professional journey start and how did you get to where you are now?

I believe that education and experience are the core of a professional career. I have a passion for learning and continually challenging myself to be better, and I am curious from nature. I always want to know more and more. I have been asking a lot of questions, and that’s how my career started. I think I am one of that lucky persons who always knew what I would like to do! Today, I am using my technical and professional experience to implement changes and leading delivery worth more than $3 million within ERM Power! My work was recognised by Australian WIT – I am the finalist of Women in Technology Award, Australia.

What is the greatest transformation in technology you’ve witnessed in your career?

I love that question – thank you for asking! From my experience, all company transformations had started when the teams were at a point they were losing velocity and suffering significant dysfunctionality. This moment is when teams were feeling frustrated about a current situation, and this was leading to significant chaos. Once teams are at this point, the organisation can develop atrophy, or it can go on the journey of transforming. And at first, you need to believe you can do it! When Henry Ford said everyone would have a car, no one believed it – everyone had a horse. When the Raid brothers said that nobody would be flying, no one believed them, yet look at where we are now.
I am a massive fan of AWS and how they have been transforming the
organisation and products! Amazon initiated “Amazon Web Services” to
overcome the cost of infrastructure required to conduct operations. AWS has turned into a surprisingly lucrative profit engine. Amazon has also built an entire ecosystem of products and services enabled by its Prime membership. How genius it is ?!

When you think about ‘women’ and ‘technology’ what comes to your mind first?

Lots of self-confident!
I think women in IT need to start believing that – always and everywhere they can do everything. It`s easy! To achieve something, you need to know what you want and learn how to do it, and then you can achieve everything. You must be sure that you want to do it. Only what you need to know is what you want to achieve. How do you want to achieve that? Ok. You really want to do it, you have intentions, but this is not enough; you need action! Part of my approach is to try and motivate women to try to do something difficult.
People, by nature, do not like difficult things because they are not easy and
require us to think. Remember, you achieve everything if you only really want!

We always hear there are not enough women working in Tech. What needs to happen to change that, which steps should be done to achieve gender equality in tech?

Women need support and reassure, that what we are doing is right. In other words, good, regular “feedback” can do wonders!

A successful woman, a happy woman, a fulfilled woman – each of us wants to be her. Women need support and reassure, that what we are doing is right. In other words, good, regular “feedback” can do wonders! We women look at our lives much more holistically, our ambition is that all the pieces of the puzzle fit together and that we feel good in all our life roles.

Which was the best decision in your career?

Join to ERM Power!

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 14-year-old self?

Be brave!
Be curious!
Ask question!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Think about what you love to do it and do it!

Karolina Pilarczyk is an experienced IT Delivery Lead and Agile Coach. During nine intensive years of working IT, Karolina has gained comprehensive experience in the entire software development cycle. She has worked as a Delivery Lead, Agile Coach and Product Manager. This experience across these roles has lead to her developing a deeper and broader experience and perspective of software and its development cycle. She has developed a common understanding of the needs and requirements of both technical staff and wider organisational stakeholders.
Karolina understands that developing software engineering teams is about
‘people over process’ and her core focus is about helping people within
organisations understand important life skills, such as:
• Creative and critical thinking;
• Effective communication;
• Agility using Scrum and Kanban;
• Software development concepts;
• Lean Business.
She is an energized individual who really enjoys going to work every day
primarily because of the challenging opportunities and the people that she works with. She has the ability to consistently ‘think outside the box’, while at the same time following through with her ideas in a practical manner to ensure that optimizing organization bottom line is always her main focus. Always learning! – is her Motto!. She is the Initiator of ERM Women in Tech Program. In her private life she is a mother of 9 year old son, Teodor. In her free time she loves flying – is a private pilot and loves ultra running trials and cycling!

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