On Corporate Values and Developers

I work for a company called Proactima AS, we deliver HSE&Q/RISK consultants to our customers. But I have been hired to do some development for them. Proactima is a company that runs close to a 100% on knowledge and so our main resource is the consultants working here. As so many other companies Proactima has a set of values defined:

  • Knowledge
  • Balance
  • Integrity

And so everything we do is evaluated against them;

  • Can we work with this client?
  • Are we interested in bidding on this job?
  • Can this consultant handle more load?
  • etc.

in theory most companies operate like this, but very few actually adheres to them. We have turned down job offers because of our integrity, workload is scaled down if a consultant wants to focus more on home than job for a period etc. I myself have had issues at home where work was not my number one priority and then my manager (resource owner really) scaled down my work load accordingly. Our chairman of the board even asked me why I as in the office during that difficult time (more on this later IF I’m up for it). So you see, we live and die by our values. We do not steer the ship by financial numbers alone, but rather on how well we mange to live up to our own values.

At this point you might be wondering why I’m telling you all this? Or perhaps you’re not even reading it… The thing is, the last few weeks I’ve been evaluating myself according to these three seemingly simple values; Knowledge, Balance and Integrity. Not just myself really, but people around me as well. And the things that I do. How well does it all stack up against these values?

First of all I found that I could easily rate most people on the three values and I realized that I had more respect for those that rated high on these values vs. other values. Because, let’s be honest here, Proactima could’ve chosen completely different values! Statoil has chosen: Courageous, Open, Hands-on and Caring. All fine values, but not what Proactima chose and not what I would have chosen.

Furthermore I found that I could rate my work (programming that is) according to the values:

  • Is the code using the best components and the correct algorithms? (Knowledge)
  • Am I spending too much time on problems that does not warrant it? (Balance)
  • Will the code be maintainable when somebody else takes over responsibility for it? (Integrity)

Are you evaluating yourself and your code according to a set of values? If not; perhaps you should…

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