We’re a product factory in a project organisation

Employee portrait | Martijn Nieuwenhuijse

Product engineer Martijn Nieuwenhuijse works on creating and developing digital tools, such as YourView and the client portal. ‘I’m no genius, but I do like thinking up and designing new products with the team, which we always do in close collaboration with technical experts.’

Inventor

‘I saw the Gyro Gearloose character in Donald Duck and thought: that looks like a cool job. When a family friend began studying industrial design at TU Delft, I knew exactly what I wanted to study too. I was five years’ old at the time. Ultimately, though, I ended up doing a master’s in strategic product design, which is about the strategy behind products: How do you market a product? Is there a demand for it? The year I spent on the board of my student association was also very instructive in that respect. I’m not actually like Gyro, because I don’t tinker around in a shed, but I do like thinking up and designing new things, digital products to be precise.’

Product vs project

‘My graduation project at Witteveen+Bos was about the difference between products and projects. Witteveen+Bos is a real project-oriented organisation. In an environment like that, how do you ensure that products become profitable? The solution turned out to be starting a separate PMC focused exclusively on developing and marketing digital products. My graduation project provided the research evidence for doing this. We’re now a product factory in a large project organisation. We have both internal and external clients, though the latter are still getting used to the fact that Witteveen+Bos now also designs and develops products.’

Client portal

‘We work closely with our colleagues when developing digital products. After all, it’s their challenges we’re devising solutions to. One example is the client portal: an online environment which will allow Witteveen+Bos’s clients to track a project’s progress. Through market research and internal meetings, we’re trying to determine what needs the portal should meet. As soon as work on a product has begun, I go looking for enthusiastic launching customers. They can advertise it via word of mouth – both within the organisation and among clients. By now, most of our colleagues know who we are; it’s time to show what we can do.’