From stretch assignment to project management


    June 26, 2020


    How Anu Sharma met the challenges of her stretch assignment to gain a soft start to a new career path


    When Anu Sharma joined Signify in 2017 as a Validation Engineer in R&D for Philips Hue, she had been in the field of software R&D for around 11 years. After two-and-a-half years in the role, she decided she wanted to realize a long-term goal of moving into project management.


    An internal stretch assignment vacancy in project management caught her eye. This would be a perfect way for her to learn more about this field, she thought. Her manager was supportive and before too long, Anu was tackling this new challenge.

    Anu Sharma

    The perfect match

    The specific stretch assignment was for her to create a quarterly software release on one of our platforms. Usually, this would have been a straightforward project offering a relatively frictionless first foray into project management.

    However, a recent change in suppliers meant that Anu would create and manage everything from scratch. She says, “Working with a new supplier who doesn’t know the application or code base was a great experience. We worked hard as a team to get the release out on time!”

    My mentor really walked me through each and every ritual in project management. It was a very nice experience I must say!"

    Of course, on a stretch assignment you are never truly alone. You’ll always have a mentor. “My mentor really walked me through each and every ritual in project management, from presentations to milestone meetings, it was a very nice experience I must say!” Anu says.


    It must have been a nice experience, because after three months Anu extended the stretch assignment. “I saw the initial assignment as a soft start, or sort of practice that would give me much-needed experience in that domain. I do see myself as an IPM in the future, so this experience is a good foundation. Every passing day I get better!”

    Anu Sharma 2

    Challenge me, I’m ready

    Pushing the limits of your experience is necessary for growth, which is why Anu sought out a new role in an unfamiliar setting. An experience like this is guaranteed to come with some challenges. “In the beginning, the concept of a stretch assignment was unknown to the team; I don’t think there was much expected from me. It was great to see people’s confidence in me grow in just three months!”

    It was great to see people’s confidence in me grow in just three months! "

    “The more challenging the project is, the more I learn because I’m pushed to think outside the box.” She cites the example of ensuring timely delivery of products during the coronavirus lockdown. “Anyone can get theoretical knowledge, but actual experience you can only get from the real world, which is another thing I gained from the stretch assignment!”

    About the author:

    Reyhaan King

    Reyhaan King

    Talent Acquisition


    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Integrated Communications
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2020 sales of EUR 6.5 billion, we have approximately 39,000 employees and are present in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for four consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

    Meydan Bridge

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