Culture is an inherent part of every organisation. It lives and breathes. In our engineering organisation at FreeAgent there are now over 100 fabulous people. It is these people and the culture we have built that are consistently recognised as our two most important strengths. They’re also what we fear losing the most.
There is a natural cycle of cultural onboarding for new people joining our organisation. In their first few weeks, people are observers of the culture. In their first few months they start to absorb the culture. Then they begin to influence it.
As the size of an organisation grows, it can become harder to understand its culture. There are more nuances. In larger organisations it takes a longer time to figure out how things work, how you make decisions, who makes the decisions, how to approach particular problems, or what to do in certain situations.
One approach to addressing this is to write down your principles as a team or an organisation. Principles should be an articulation of your culture and values that define how you work and behave. Having clear principles allows you to align thinking, help make decisions, and teach people how to respond to different situations. They are an empowering presence, allowing decisions to be made closer to the front line which helps you scale more effectively.
We recently went through a process of defining our principles in the FreeAgent engineering organisation. We then asked our amazing design team to create posters for them and we’re absolutely delighted with the result! We wanted to publish them here for the world to see, to give you some insight into how we think about software engineering at FreeAgent, and to get some feedback on them from the broader engineering community. Let us know what you think via the comments, Twitter or email, we’d love to hear from you. And if you identify with the principles and you’re keen to come and work with us, please check out our current vacancies 😇