what is important to us

It is common for companies to list their Mission, Vision, and Values. Mission sounds a little too gung ho, Vision sounds a little too mystical for engineers, and our Values probably don’t matter that much to anyone other than us. What we do think is important to others is the criteria upon which we base our decisions and actions.

Legal: As licensed engineers we have a legal obligation defined by the state where we practice. There are a lot of specific requirements, but in a nutshell we are required to consider safety of people and property first and foremost, beyond all else. We don’t like the idea of spending time in jail, so upholding this legal obligation is our first decision point.

Ethics: We have professional ethics, conflict of interest, etc. And applying our ethics to our decisions and actions is our second decision point.

Business: We enjoy engineering, but we are also a business. In the long run we have to be making decisions and taking actions that are positive to our business; if not, we’ll be out of work soon. Supporting our business is our third decision point.

Workable: Engineering is the application of science, math, and technology to a problem. That is pragmatic by nature. If it is not workable we really can’t go there. Seems obvious, but it comes up. Workability is our fourth decision point.

You’re the Client: If it passes the four previous tests then the final decision point is “Does it work for the client?” We are working on a project, but that project is the client’s. On the previous four points we have to be arbiter, but this last one is the client’s to decide.