In reponse to Tony’s post about how much to serve users …
This is good stuff, Tony, but twelve values is probably too many. I try to simplify things down to three if at all possible.
1. Our default answer is “yes”. We always hope to find a way to meet the user’s need, even if it isn’t in quite the way the user expressed the need or quite the solution the user proposed. See: http://appianway.blogspot.com/2006/01/our-default-answer-is-yes.html
2. Our mission is our user’s mission. That is, when we’re working with Children’s Ministry, our mission is to teach kids about Jesus; when we’re working with Congregational Care, our mission is to visit people in the hospital; etc. Rather than focusing on our own mission, we’re focused on the mission of those we serve.
3. The one mission that is uniquely our own is information security. If we don’t look after information security, no one will. We define information security as providing or denying information access as appropriate and ensuring that critical information can’t be lost. If #1 or #2 above conflict with security, then we make a tradeoff.
We don’t always achieve our internal IT Department goals (roll out the software update by Feb. 1, upgrade environmental monitoring in the data center by the end of the month, etc.), but we always get high marks from our user community. As far as I’m concerned that’s the correct priority. And of course, we have to work very hard behind the scenes to make sure we don’t work exclusively on short-term or user-visible things. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our user community is to work on something that takes a lot of resources and users never know about. But that’s nothing fancy, it’s just good, disciplined execution.
Clif – Thanks for all that you and your team do.