Andrea Martini is a natural leader at John Deere

Andrea Martini is a natural leader at John Deere

 February 09, 2022

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Andrea Martini is an Engineering Manager in Enterprise Product Data Management – Service Parts at John Deere.

Being a leader comes naturally to Andrea Martini. But overcoming roadblocks takes a little more planning.

Andrea, engineering manager in Enterprise Product Data Management (EDPM) – Service Parts, was put into a unique situation during the organizational effectiveness process. Keeping a Global IT presence in Argentina was key, so Andrea, who was working as an IT project manager and team lead for the local legacy applications in Rosario, was given the opportunity to become an engineering manager for EPDM. With that change came the commitment to building a product team in Argentina, and Martini stepped up to the challenge without really having any idea what that entailed. Which became even more of an opportunity.

Andera sourced her team with an internal software analyst but needed to source three additional positions from outside the company. That became a little difficult for someone who didn't have previous experience or expertise in the technical skills that were needed for her team's positions.

"That was a bit of a roadblock at first for me because I didn't have the time to learn the programming language, SAP ABAP, before the interview process with my candidates and I needed to be able to assess a candidate's potential success," she said.

So, Andrea expressed her concerns and was able to pair with another employee who helped guide her through the technical portion of the interview. She took that opportunity to begin her own upskilling journey by listening to the conversations during the interviews and taking note of the important technical understanding.

"I felt safe with my new manager and was very open about my challenges," she said. "And when you ask for help here at Deere, you get it."

Becoming the servant leader

The challenges didn't stop, as Andrea was being asked to take on the role of engineering manager, a role not clearly defined in the Agile methodology.

"I didn't know what to expect or what was expected of me," Andrea said. "Being a leader is important and so I also needed to focus on being a servant leader for my team."

To succeed in her new role, Andrea knew she needed to learn everything she could about the position. So, she participated in many sessions at the Foundry where she learned so much from other experienced managers; she consistently consulted the Transformation Portal to understand her daily tasks, and she participated in workshops for engineering managers.

"I learned to prioritize my schedule around my team, and their needs," she said. "I learned to ask myself, what does my team need from me today?"

That attitude comes naturally to Andrea, who has a passion for empowering and developing people.

"I love to focus on my team; empowering them to learn new things and skills and watch them become self-sufficient and successful. It's just who I am."

Learning the product and technical upskilling

Andrea still had additional gaps to fill. But she didn't know what she didn't know.

"The biggest challenge was to create a plan for something I didn't know, and I had to rely on the former team to answer my questions," she said. "And when you know nothing, you just have to keep asking questions."

Andrea's new team assumed responsibility for the PDM Service Parts team, previously owned by a distributed team in India. She led the knowledge transfer (KT), which included more than 50 sessions, and personally participated in all the upskilling activities. She worked with the Parts organization and the Data & Analytics WISE team to clearly understand integrations end to end, and she and her team participated in weekly reverse KT sessions to confirm common understanding.

Together, Andrea and some of her team members have also taken formal training to continue their learning, such as SAP ABAP Basics and Advanced SAP ABAP.

Additionally, she is working with a mentor to help her create a strong plan for technical upskilling and connecting with people that have already been through a similar experience.

"In tech upskilling, you can't learn everything at once," she said. "So, I'm talking with others and learning from their experiences. They help me define and prioritize my next steps."

She makes it a priority to upskill right alongside her team and tries to foster an environment for learning, encouraging pairing and learning from one another.

"We are very open, and we support each other," she said. "We upskill together, and my team is happy that I am taking that approach."

Lifetime of learning continues

Andrea's future is bright, and she is excited to continue to help employees grow, but also continue her own learning.

"I would like to continue to coach and develop others," she said. "And I would like to be in a position to learn something new, which I love to do every day. It is important to open your mind for innovation. When you learn new things, your mind can embrace new challenges."

Or, in Andrea's case, she conquers them.

Live your dreams at John Deere

Are you looking for the next challenge that could see you achieve your goals like Lauren?

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