I value working with
- a small and focused team that
- works closely together,
- respecting, encouraging, and challenging one another,
- where everyone’s input is welcome,
- and important decisions are made by consensus
to build a product that
- is thoughtfully designed,
- actually solves a user’s problem,
- and is aligned with the organization’s objectives
- creatively discovering the core of the problem,
- building a minimal first version,
- letting users validate as soon as possible,
- and iterating by responding to user’s feedback.
Let me flesh these points out a little bit.
small and focused
No more than 10 people, focused on maintaining internal unity. The team succeeds as a group rather than as individuals.
that works closely together
Talking every day, pairing where it makes sense, and in constant communication.
respecting, encouraging, and challenging one another
Speaking the truth lovingly, reflecting constructively in order to improve, and challenging patterns that threaten the success of the project.
where everyone's input is welcome
Different opinions are welcomed and everyone is expected to contribute in their areas of expertise.
and important decisions are made by consensus
Consensus does not necessarily mean unanimous agreement. Crucial decision points are communicated clearly to interested parties. Prior to making a final decision, seek first to understand one another. Then, arrive at a compromise. The person in the "tie-breaker" role should be clearly identified. In cases of disagreement, they still make the final decision, explaining their reasoning for doing so.
that is thoughtfully designed
The design and experience of the product are considered carefully, with an appropriate emphasis on form and function, as the problem dictates.
actually solves a user's problem
Addresses a specific person's or group's problem with a solution that makes their life better in some way.
and is aligned with the organization's objectives
The product is appropriate for the organization to build at this time based on their strategic vision (as long as the organization's goals are not evil) and tactical strength and forwards the goals of the organization.
creatively discovering the core of the problem
Utilizing appropriate creative processes to define the problem and to propose a potential solution.
building a minimal first version
Building only what is necessary to validate whether the proposed solution solves the user's problem and that the problem has been correctly defined.
letting users validate as soon as possible
Involving users as early as possible in the definition of the problem, the crafting of a solution, and the vetting of the first version. Always courting the user, recognizing their integral role as an ever-present, but often invisible team member.
and iterating by responding to user feedback
Seeking to learn from each release by gathering the data necessary to adapt the solution or the problem definition based on user feedback and behavior.