Meet the team #2 – Natália Martins Valdiones

In Plan Eval’s “meet the team” series, we invite you to get to know more about the incredible people who make up our dynamic team.

Our second guest is Natália Valdiones, Business Manager, specialist in Strategic Business Management and Business Intelligence Management. She has more than 15 years of experience in implementation of ERP systems, coordination of administrative, financial, and Business Process Management (BPM) areas, building Quality Management Systems (QMS) and internal audit of ISO 9001:2015.

In this brief interview, she shares insights into her experience at Plan Eval, highlighting her achievements and her expectations for the future.

  1. You once mentioned that studying business management was not a decision made by someone who didn’t know what they wanted to do, but by a person who knew exactly what they wanted. Tell me more about it.

Looking at it today, I really think that 17 years old is too early for someone to choose what they want to do for the rest of their lives. But I also believe that some people are born with a gift. In my case, I always knew exactly what I wanted to do, and I really love what I do.

It is true that business management course is very generalist, and that a lot of people who don’t know what to do end up on the course; I myself came across several people like this during my studies. Once you graduate as a Business Manager, you become a jack of all trades and a master of none. You understand accounting, but you are not an accountant. You understand law, but you are not a lawyer. You understand technology, but you are not an IT professional. You have all the skills required to manage a business; however, I believe the most important thing for a Business Manager is to specialize because with this generalist approach, you end up getting a little “lost”, which ends up harming you in the job market.

Therefore, I chose to pursue a specialisation. I did an MBA in Strategic Business Management and then another specialisation, this time in Business Intelligence Management. And I am very proud to say that I am a Business Manager and that I do exactly what I love.

2. You’ve worked your whole life in retail. How did you end up in the evaluation world?

I worked in retail since I was 14 until I was 20, when I left to do an internship in information technology (IT). Until today I have a “crush” on IT, so much so that I focused my two dissertations on it: one talked about ERP System Implementation and while the other talked about Returns and Advantages of implementation of such systems[1]. The internship lasted a year, and, during that period, the company was in the middle of implementing a similar system. I had the opportunity to closely follow the whole process and I found that I really liked BPM.

After that year, I was invited to be a managing partner on the family business, and to be responsible for automating the processes to meet Federal requirements, where I had the opportunity to put into practice everything I had learned in school, including the IT systems part.

The entire process of restructuring and implementing processes, as well as employee training, lasted about two years. After that, I was managing partner for another eight years. The only problem was that I didn’t like my job! We then decided to sell the family business.

After that, I chose to dedicate myself to motherhood for just over a year and when I decided to return to the job market, I wanted to go back to work with what I loved! I fell into the world of evaluation by accident, through a selection process for administrative manager at Plan Eval.

Plan Eval’s team in January 2023

For me it was a very big impact, because I left the retail sector to come to the services sector, but it was very positive, because in addition to working with what I like, we have an environment that does not have a routine, where every day we are dealing with different and challenging projects, one in each corner of the world. When we see the result of the evaluation and see the results of the project, it is very satisfying. In the end, I do what I love, in an environment that provides me with daily learning and challenges, and which also provides me with a quality of life of balance between personal and professional life.

3. One thing that was very visible in his trajectory, both academic and professional, is your passion for implementing processes from scratch. Is that why you started to work on QMS?

I’ve always loved working BPM. And during my undergrad, it was like that too. I remember an occasion when we were asked to build a business plan. I took the lead on the project, started talking to the people in the group and developing the idea. In the end, our business plan was the standout amongst all the groups. We won several accolades and recognitions for having done a very good job. I remember that I led the whole process, because I was always very organized, especially in these activities.

When I arrived at Plan Eval, obtaining the ISO 9001:2015 certification was already a goal. At the time, I noticed that I could contribute precisely with this experience in BPM, as there was a certain difficulty in scaling the work needed to map all the processes and fulfill all the necessary steps, because it is not as simple as it seems. As I have a natural affinity with processes, I started to help the team and, naturally, I became responsible for the entire certification process. We had the support of an external auditor, who was essential to bring the perspective of those who audit, and thus align all processes in our QMS. In the end, this whole structuring process lasted around seven months, and we received the certification. This happened before I completed a year working with Plan Eval. I remember that, at the time, we were the only evaluation company in Brazil with this certification.

Natália and Plan Eval’s ISO 9001:2015 certification

After that, I received training on the ISO 9001:2015 standard and also participated in an ISO 9001:2015 auditor training course. Today, I have the ISO 9001:2015 knowledge that I did not have at the time. Once the entire certification process was finalised, it was agreed that I would also be responsible for monitoring and maintaining Plan Eval’s QMS.

4. How does having the ISO 9001:2015 certification increases the quality of our evaluations and services? What sets Plan Eval apart by having this certification?

I believe that the main impact is on the structure of the company. Having the guarantee that we can meet all the customer’s requirements, a procedure, a process in which things need to happen and providing the guarantee of continuity makes all the difference. Before the QMS, Plan Eval did not have all this structure and documentation.

This brings quality, as nowadays project managers have greater control over the activities that are happening in each project. We also have access to more information, both from the client and from consultants and internally. Before, we did not carry out standardized surveys with all interested parties, and today we have this resource that provides us with inputs to promote the continuous improvement of our processes and our deliveries to our customers.

Nowadays, we value the fact that we can understand if the clients were satisfied, and, if not, in which areas we can improve. We assess the consultants, the consultants assess us, the client assess the project management and the consultants, almost like a 360-degree assessment. In this way, we bring this information back into the company so that we can deal with these issues on a recurring and comprehensive basis. Now, we also have a new process, in which we seek to understand, together with our client, the impact caused by our work. It has changed and improved things. Ultimately, I believe this turns the PDCA cycle and gives us the opportunity to improve daily.

PDCA cycle

What I consider most important thing is having everything documented, knowing what is happening in real time in each project, understanding what everyone is doing and recording all this information. If it is necessary to make any changes in the team, e.g., a new project manager, they would have an exact record of what happened, as well as all relevant information about that project. Now we have much more quality in our final product and greater control and a different organization than we had before. In addition, project budget control has become more precise and meticulous, which allows for safer and smoother execution.

5. What is the best part of working at Plan Eval?

Without a doubt, it’s the part of working with what I love. So, no matter what happens, I’m always very happy with my work. I also really like the daily learning because we are always in contact with different situations, with different realities and, whether we like it or not, we learn many things about the realities of other countries and cultures. Finally, the fact that we are a small company makes us very close and we end up all working together and helping each other.

6. What are your expectations for Plan Eval’s future?

That the new structures in place will result in more and more visibility for Plan Eval and that we will also be able to increase the quality of our services and the satisfaction of our customers, conquering more and more markets and having more and more projects!

[1]All these articles are available at

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