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Apr 29 2017 | byAnton Shaleynikov

Management Using Values In Small Teams

" How to build up real values everyone in your team are aware of."


Values, mission, vision.

The words that managers tend to say sometimes have deep meaning but most often not. The words vanish in the air and nothing is left behind.

Values, mission, vision – all that is familiar to any entrepreneur and any MBA graduate. Huge companies write a series of blog posts about their values and there is a great amount of articles dedicated to how these values transform an organization.

In case of lack of clarity or specific instructions, any loyal employee would be guided by their common sense or values and visions if they have to make a decision. This is why it is important that these words have a sense for everyone.

By sense, we mean these words have to be clear and easy for understanding and have to lead to positive results after using them.

How do small companies differ? And what about small IT-companies?

In small companies, words are heard and felt by everyone. All employees understand whether this or that word has sense.

The link between work in a small team and company values may not be seen. Realized values may not be seen as well.  In small teams, follow-up feedback from management decisions is much faster.  All IT companies that I’ve met had a high level of uncertainty. And IT is a place where having right values is a must.

Which values can be considered good:

  • Clear
  • The ones that leaders maintain (both formal and informal)
  • The ones that give positive results

An example of good value would be keeping transparency. An engineer should be able to report his current work at any time. A manager should be able to completely describe a situation for the client, including all risks and potential issues at the moment he learned about them.

This is what works in our company and what is the easiest way to significantly improve quality of our service. Overall, we have 4 values that we use every day upon making decisions:

  1. The way of war is a way of deception - We don’t lie to our customers, employees, ourselves - no one
  2. To approach a deer - We prefer to check everything ourselves rather than rely on someone’s opinion and we constantly decrease losses in communication by getting closer to a problem. We don’t tell bullshit on phone calls, we don’t read CVs we ask to demonstrate skills
  3. We all master what we are doing - Focus on one thing and go to next. Mastery arrives after a thousand of completed repetitions
  4. Joy of mistakes - we celebrate mistakes and learn out of it

Values serve as a great management tool which helps to manage even smallest teams.