Trifork Blog

Posts by Leonard Wolters

All good things come to an end…

January 27th, 2010 by

Yes it is true. After almost 6 years I’ve decided to leave JTeam.


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Join the traditional JTeam Summer BBQ

July 22nd, 2009 by

Yes, it is Summer again.  Less traffic jams, more smiling people and relaxing times in the office, life can be nice! And to make it even better, we’ve decided to throw in our traditional summer BBQ.

When: Tuesday August 18th, starting from 16:00 to 20:00

Where: JTeam HQ, Frederiksplein 1, 1017 XK Amsterdam

We like to keep in informal, so no dresscode or whatsoever. The only thing required is to sign up by sending an email to bbq at jteam dot nl.  Please let me remind you that parking near JTeam is terrible and expensive. So act wise and use public transportation.

Love to see you at our BBQ and having some food, drinks and cool conversations with us!
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Why JTeam makes the difference

April 6th, 2009 by

As some of you might now I’ve been interested in leadership principles some years now. Last summer I’ve decided to actually do something with it and signed up for the Servant Leadership Academy.

Every five to six weeks I spent two days with my class and listen to great inspirators.  These inspirators can be of any type; successful entrepreneurs, board members of great companies, authors of leadership books, trainers & coaches, CEO’s of international companies and even people with a sport career. They all shared us their experiences with leadership in general. All of them agree that the traditional ‘power’ model doesn’t hold very long; new leaders listen to their employees and possess empathic powers. It is all about servant leadership; leaders that lead by serving others.

Last module I was grasped by a phenomenon named ‘hostmanship’. To put it blunt; hostmanship is the missing link between employees and clients. For companies to be more successful it is crucial that all employees of a company, including the receptionists and board level members,  deliver the same service.  Success is anchored within the relation between an organization (i.e. the employees) and its clients; not within the products. This I have to agree. Traditional software project companies all deliver more or less the same product; i.e. software projects. What makes them different is their relation with the client. It is the client that decides to return to you and ask you to do more business with him.

I always thought that our employees should service the client the way they would like to be serviced themselves. This proves to be wrong, since people differ and your preferred service level doesn’t always match the one of your client. You should service the client the way it wants to be serviced itself. Yeah, pretty straightforward but oh so true. You should adopt yourself to the mindset and wishes of your client and base your service on this; even if it is not your style. This doesn’t necessarily aligns with the ‘customer is king’ paradigm. Your employees won’t deliver the service requested by your client if they don’t want too or don’t believe in it. And since they interact with your client, i.e. they represent your organization, this usually results in a client lost. So basically, it all boils down in the interpretation skills of your employees. Can they figure out what kind of client they’re dealing with? Can they adopt their service according to the unspoken wishes of this client? These kind of questions form the base of hostmanship. Your employees should let your client feel welcome.

Another valid question is how to relate hostmanship to your mission; something i’m currently working on. Fact is, although our product is better the ones of our competitors, our client(s) are not always are of this. What makes JTeam different? What do our clients experience when working with JTeam? What is our added value on top of our products? As should be clear it has something to do with hostmanship; our relation with the client and the service level of our employees.  The exact definition of our implementation will eventually make the difference.

Some thoughts about the Dutch Government….

March 30th, 2009 by

As some of you might already noticed, recently a lot of exposure has been granted to the news that the Dutch Government has decided on using Open Source technologies for their new communication platform. Not only Dutch news sites like & webwereld announced this news, but even the traditional newspapers and “het Financiele Dagblad” thought this was something to proudly announce to the their readers.

Well, being true Open Source Believers from the early days, JTeam is very pleased that the world out there is finally starting to adopt the Open Source Model. More and more companies understand  the value of Open Source technologies (for example iLocal) and are convinced enough to build their business on top of it. And as for now, even the Dutch Government is starting to change. Well that’s a positive thing.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that JTeam was (and still is) involved in the decision. We empowered the Minestry of General Affairs  (Ministerie van Algemene Zaken) and its personnel for about a couple of months and helped them to setup a good development process as well as taught its employees everything they need to know in order to execute this project by themselves. This is also something that pleasantly surprises me.  Instead of outsourcing IT projects and lightling candles every day hoping that their development partners will successfully deliver, they’ve become more mature and decided to give a try themselves. Having this knowledge & experience in house will eventually result in better quality and less costs. Why? Because governmental projects are dynamic as well and also require an agile project management methodoly combined with XP development skills. It is questionable if outsourcing partners can deliver the same quality and communication skills as their internal department does. But let’s see how this project (and all related side projects) will eventually end.