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Infoworks Ethos

WHY ARE WE HERE?

1.     Our customers need us to create successful information systems from merest notions

2.     We enjoy creating great things with software

3.     We’re good at it

4.     We want to get better

5.     We need to earn a living and make a profit

6.     We want to be here

THE ETHOS

On your first day at Infoworks the managing director will help you memorise these points:









Can-do

Maintain “can-do” attitude. Remember if no problems =>no job - no room in Infoworks for “can’t do”, cynicism or negative thinking. No one wants to know what you can’t do; the world is waiting for what you can do.









Love thy client

Before you say anything to a client (eg. “Sorry mate there’s nothing I can do about it”), put yourself in their shoes and think: how you would it play with me? Would your Mum be proud of you?  Love your client and your client will love you!









Manage expectations

If the client wants XYZ by the end of the day, don’t promise it if you’re not sure we can do it – instead say we’ll do our best but give an estimate of completion by a time you’re confident we can easily deliver. Finish as per the estimate and the client will be satisfied. Finish early and they’ll be delighted. If you commit to ‘end of the day’ and we can’t deliver, you’ll have an angry client and even angrier colleagues. Under promise and over deliver.








Keep the end in mind

Don’t lose sight of what you’re doing any particular job for.




Three moves on

We’re aiming for Z. If we do A, we’ll probably get do X. So we do B and Y will happen.  Which leaves us with C as the obvious choice. We employed you because you have a top drawer big brain and big brains are all we’ve got to sell – use it, think three moves on.








Think NextTime

If we started from scratch on everything we did, we’d never learn, never get quicker. Key is to build. Before you lay down new foundations, see what the last/best effort of your colleagues was. Clear away the weeds and add your whiz originality to the existing structures of your workmates. Copy your colleagues - don’t re-invent wheels. Whenever you do something new or good, build it into the infrastructure so the next bod will be sure to do it at least as good as you.  Think long-term. Think NextTime.







Tight ship / Sense of urgency

Keep on top of things. Don’t let things slide. Don’t keep clients or colleagues hanging around. Respond to all messages within a day or less. Complete your diary at least one month ahead. Use the same standards for email, folders etc that the rest of us use.








Customer Service

With such competition how come there is room in the market for Infoworks? Remember this and apply it in everything you do. See the biggest deal.








The idea is king

This is not a hierarchical organisation where you’ll be told what to do; it’s a coalition of individuals with common interests, goals and ownership. What we’ll be trying to do with you early on is build up our goals and vision in your head. If we share the same goals, all that’s contentious is how to achieve them. And our future relies on your top notch ideas floating to the top; you won’t be stifled or sat upon.







Write!

You’re a professional - always put everything in writing. What doctor or lawyer would not write everything down? Of course say it face-face but always keep a public record.







Think team

Chat. Keep a light bright feel. But not a constant stream of interruptions. Save us all time, don’t take it.

When all around you are losing it, keep your calm – don’t take the bait, don’t snap. We win together or lose together. Be generous with your praise and give help instead of blame. The team comes first.


THE BIGGEST DEAL

 Our biggest deal is this.

If you ask me to do something, I will do my best to:

1. Respond within 2 working days (or 2 working hours if your request is marked urgent) with

      a) a yea or nay (and why so)

      b) when I plan to do it

      c) my ideas to make the thing better

2. Send you my plan & let you know what I think the difficulties might be

3. Tell you when I start

4. Tell you of any difficulties as soon as I get the merest whiff of them myself

5. Tell you I've done it and ask you to check it

6. Ask you if it's ok

7. Give you my feedback and ideas on future jobs of the same nature

If it's a tiny thing, I'll skip a few jumps but you'll be in no doubt that this process is what's going on in my head.

That's the whole basis of this organisation. And if you don’t do it this way you’ll find that, firstly, the bod that asks you will be constantly chasing you for progress, expecting the worst, and secondly, you’ll be asked to do less and less while others are busier and busier – and that’s writing on the wall.

Moreover, if you don’t follow this flow internally we’ll be worried that you might stray from it with clients – and that’s the biggest deal of all.

ORIENTATION, REALITY & THE WAY

Orientation

You’re thrown into a new setting and asked to do new things:

1.     I can’t do it and I never will be able to

2.     It’s easy, I’m brilliant, I could do it with my eyes closed

3.     I can probably do most of it if I try really hard

4.     I can do it if you help me

5.     It might be difficult but I know I have the where-with-all and I refuse to be defeated by it


Where do you sit?

Problems in reality                   - put a % against your experience

It looks easy and is easy           -

It looks easy but is difficult        -

It looks difficult but is easy        -

It looks difficult and is difficult   -


Delete as per your experience:

At a conceptual level most things are difficult/easy, but the closer you get to reality the more difficult/easy they become.


THE DEVELOPER'S WAY

1.     Think onto paper or into a spec

2.     Don’t code till you’ve thunk

3.     Don’t code till you’ve reviewed your thinking critically – will it work, is it the best/only way?

4.     Don’t code for real until you’ve tested you’re logic on a shell ie. Don’t invest anything above the minimum until you know it will be usable

5.     If you want to build it quick, build the foundations slow

6.     Test as you go – never build on in hope that it will all work, it’s a waste - test each new layer as you apply the first dabs of it

7.     Expect things not to work at first

8.     If it doesn’t work, only change one thing at a time on your way to diagnosis and MOST important, record all your changes. If a change has no effect on the problem, change it back as it has done no good and may cause harm.

9.     Don’t try to remember how to do everything, you can’t. Remember where you did something like it before/where there is a good example in Help

10.  Don’t try to remember syntax, just refer back to examples, memory will come

11.  If you know something is wrong, don’t build on top of it

12.  S/W development requires more precision than precision engineering. There is no tolerance whatsoever. It’s either completely right or it’s wrong. No room for roughlies or works mostly – code defensively.  Be meticulous – be strict about the format of your code (it’s only fair to the next bod who has to change it). Set the highest standards for you, and accept nothing less as PM.

13.  How to enjoy it: raise a sweat laying the foundation, then watch the bits fall into place and work just like you planned. Marvel at the elegance of your logic. Pride yourself on how generic, maintainable and well documented your code is…. you’re an artist!

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