I had a homework assignment a few weeks ago, the first one in a long time. I’m part of a group at work that is spending some time considering the importance of our company values and finding ways to validate and promote those demonstrating them. The assignment was to find values from other companies/organizations that we liked and bring them to the group. These are some of the ones I particularly liked:
- We plan and build for the long term
- We value craftsmanship in all we make
- Deliver WOW Through Service
- Embrace and drive change
- Pursue growth and learning
(Netflix seems to have a manifesto rather than a values list.)
- [Netflix values] behaviors and skills…in fellow employees [rather than a set of ‘values.’]
– Identify root causes, and get beyond treating symptoms
– Smartly separate what must be done well now, and what can be improved later
– Treat people with respect independent of their status or disagreement with you
– Accomplish amazing amounts of important work
– Focus on great results rather than on process
– Exhibit bias-to-action, and avoid analysis-paralysis
– Learn rapidly and eagerly
– Contribute effectively outside of your specialty
– Re-conceptualize issues to discover practical solutions to hard problems
– Challenge prevailing assumptions when warranted, and suggest better approaches
– Create new ideas that prove useful
– Keep us nimble by minimizing complexity and finding time to simplify
– Say what you think even if it is controversial
– Make tough decisions without agonizing
– Take smart risks
– Question actions inconsistent with our values
- I will understand and communicate the value of the work delivered
- I will define and uphold a clear and transparent standard of quality and I will not compromise on that standard
- I will not withhold any information that might harm my team, our stakeholders, our users or the public community.
- I will not imply certainty where it does not exist.
- I will selflessly share my knowledge with others
- I will continuously improve myself.
- I will do the best I can.
- I will challenge anyone that does not demonstrate the professional standards herein.
We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer Collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
- Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
- Build project around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
As I considered what binds these things together for me, the following emerged as personal themes:
- I have a moral and ethical believe I should care for others.
- The ends are very important, but they do not justify the means.
- Work should accomplish a purpose higher than a paycheck or corporate profits.
- Honesty and open communication is indispensable for trust and is my life blood.
- Continuous learning and improvement are essential for my fulfillment and effectiveness.
- I believe these principles, at least in part, should apply to others as well as myself.
- I want to work in a highly collaborative, high achievement team focused on clear and clearly valuable objectives.
What have you come to value?