In this series we introduce our team to you one by one. What is their role within QS solutions? Who are they as a person? Why are they a match with the organization? And what do they actually do in their spare time? This will give you, as a customer, business partner or new colleague, an idea of the people behind our logo!
In today’s spotlight:
Dennis van Klaveren – team lead, project manager and avid mountain biker
At the start of 2021, Dennis joined QS solutions as a project manager. He immediately felt at home, even though the office was quiet due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having been with his previous employer for twenty years, the decision to move to another organization was not an easy one. Would the grass really be greener on the other side? Fortunately, the answer to that question turned out to be a resounding “yes”!
Because what Dennis was looking for was a somewhat smaller organization that would give him the opportunity to grow. And that worked out! He is now the team lead of eight experts in the Netherlands and Germany. Dennis was given the opportunity to take on this new challenge without having directed himself towards this position. The team lacked a team lead, and Dennis, in addition to more than fifteen years of experience as a project manager, also brought a successfully completed management training to the table.
“Interplay between personal and organisation-wide goals and ambitions”
His start as team lead coincided with the personal development meetings with the team, which was a perfect time to jointly make plans for everyone’s goals and ambitions, in such a way that they would go hand in hand with those of the company.
Variety and mutual cooperation
As a rule, Dennis and the team are in the office on Mondays and Fridays. This agreement was made in good consultation, simply because it benefits the team and the mutual involvement. But not only that: it is also a lot more efficient! Catching up on a project or customer, discussing who does what and where any bottlenecks lie, solving problems for everyone instead of individually… these things are a lot quicker and easier when done face-to-face instead of via Teams.
“Knowledge-sharing makes everyone stronger”
Dennis especially likes the variety of his role. His work is incredibly diverse, and he consults a lot with various colleagues and other stakeholders. The mutual cooperation is improving, also between the different teams. “For example, a development club has been set up to ensure that knowledge is not only kept up to date, but is also shared during knowledge sessions. This helps us to make each other stronger as individuals and as a team.”
Face-to-face client contact
Offering added value to the customer is what Dennis is all about. He is result-oriented and hands-on, and gets his energy from doing a lot of work in little time. “I have a hard time dealing with empty space in my calendar,” he laughs. That’s why he is 100% committed to the successful running of every project that he and his team are responsible for.
“Customer intimacy works!”
Meetings and workshops are done on-site at the customer location wherever possible. Although this takes the team a bit more time, it is a lot more effective than remote meetings. And that’s better for the customer. It is exactly that customer intimacy that clients value in working with QS solutions. “Compliments about the work we delivered, about our communication style, or the way the project was managed and controlled, are the icing on the cake!
The best approach
When Dennis became team lead, the “QS method” was extensively discussed within the team. The focus on the Cyber Security Assessment Tool (CSAT), the adoption and design workshops, the implementation and handover… Was this really the best approach? The fact that this is indeed the case became clear once again during one of the tenders that Dennis is unlikely to ever forget.
He says: “After several parties had presented their plan of approach to the customer, QS solutions remained in the game with two competitors. The next step was to include a round of interviews with these three parties. I was very surprised when the customer indicated that this phase had been cancelled. Was our presentation not good enough after all? Were we out? But no, nothing could be further from the truth! The customer had – prematurely! – chosen QS solutions because our approach stood head and shoulders above those of the other parties!”
Avid mountain biker
Dennis is full of energy and is incredibly competitive, also in his spare time. You’ll find him on his mountain bike a lot, both for relaxation and in a competitive setting, come rain or shine. His girlfriend and two sons are just as sporty, so when the family goes on a day trip together, it is usually for something active, such as a scooter tour, a visit to an adventure park, or a long mountain bike ride in Winterberg.
He applies the focus and perseverance needed for sports in his work as well. And if the results happen to be disappointing, he takes on board the lessons learned. He simply isn’t the type to throw in the towel out of frustration. Instead, he always looks for improvements. “Just keep going no matter what!”
Dennis about QS solutions
“I was looking for an organization with an informal culture and a lot of flexibility. In that respect, I feel completely at home here. There was an immediately click, and I like the open communication structure and short reporting lines. Good conversations lead to great ideas for both the company and the team, for example when it comes to new working methods or better efficiency.
“The conversations generate great ideas, both for the company and for the team”
In addition, everyone can give direction to the development of their own career here, and will be given the space and time to do so. You can join the company at any level, even if you don’t have a background in IT. You simply learn the necessary knowledge and skills on the job and by learning while you are already employed.
My working hours are flexible: sometimes I’ll get on my bike for an hour during the day to clear my head. On the other hand, I am and want to be reachable and available for the team, also outside office hours if necessary. Fortunately, that is easier now the children are a bit older. It’s great to be able to keep my work-life balance that way.”