Operating as a consultancy we're frequently on the hook to make a tough call. Whether it's technical or not, the underlying decision making process should be the same. To that end, we've laid out simple guidelines to motivate our behaviour.
Favour results over fantasy permalink
The tech world is filled with fashion. There's a continual onslaught of flavour-of-the-month tech that adds nebulous value in a particular context being picked up with glee by the community at large.
We're not interested. We're here to solve a business problem and to solve problems, not to add faff.
Writing is thinking is writing permalink
We love writing. We love writing detailed overviews of the issues that are impacting a system, we love writing updates on the projects we're working on, we love writing planning docs and we love writing code.
Why is this important enough to be a value in its own right? Because it informs the way that we approach difficult problems. We don't get everyone in the room to hash it out (while burning through money). Instead, an individual will sit down and quietly write out the problem that we're facing and how they believe we should fix it.
What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months.
We're not a body shop: we'll never try to sell you on getting as much headcount onto a project as possible. We view that as a complete perverse incentive, one in which we're favouring our own coffers rather than the fate of the project as a whole.
That's why we're obsessed with empowering each individual to be as sharp a knife as possible. Sharp knives are expensive, they need more care and they need constant sharpening, but they'll beat two dull knives any day of the week. It's the same in software.
Act like you own it permalink
This last one is controversial and is the toughest to pull off, which is why it's our secret sauce. When working on a project for a client each of us is an owner in that project.
We don't believe in the common model of a "product owner" that's responsible, dictating piecemeal work down the chain. Instead, we believe deeply in T-shaped generalists that work across the project to ensure it succeeds. We're top-tier product engineers, and don't need handholding.