Cooptimize is the company I cofounded with Eric Frisk in April 2022. We are a consulting firm specializing in Business Intelligence for Dynamics 365.
First Principles of Organizing a Consulting Firm
The term “First Principles” means beginning a thought process from a core truth. First Principles would be similar to premises in a logical argument. These statements should be defensible by facts and logic.
When we organized Cooptimize, we tried to first strip out any assumptions or analogies to what we’ve done in the past, and simply state what we thought were facts.
First Principles of Cooptimize
Some of our First Principles that stick out include:
- Business Intelligence consulting must be led by skilled, experienced consultants.
- Good consultants have minimal patience for bullshit around pay, management, and pointless tasks.
- To become more data driven, companies need ongoing assistance.
- A modern IT firm should be excellent with new technology and automation.
- Transparency should be the default position.
- Employees cannot and should not spend all day “task-switching” between different concepts.
How Our First Principles Impact Decisions
Below are a couple examples where our truths listed above impact how we operate.
Tracking time is generally viewed as a necessary evil in consulting firms. With timesheets come budgets, work orders, staff to manage the time process, and detailed billing review for the company and their clients. How much value does all this overhead add?
First Principles Violated: Pointless tasks, management complaints, no automation, expectation of constant task-switching.
Instead of timesheets, we sell Cooptimize services on a capacity basis – basically selling our services in 1/2 day blocks. It gives us the freedom to focus on value added tasks. It also allows us to do work that we know is important but might look strange on a Timesheet. Also, by operating on an ongoing basis, we are able to add additional automated services.
First Principles Followed: Use consultant experience, ongoing assistance, automation, focus.
Cooptimize is structured as an employee cooperative. An employee cooperative isn’t a legal definition – in short its an organization where 1) the stakeholders make the decisions with one person one vote and 2) the profits are shared equitably. Salary and profit sharing formulas are written into the employee handbook. Other than confidential information, every employee can view everything about the company.
First Principles Followed: Trust, clarity around pay, transparency, big decisions are made by everyone, not just “those at the top”.
Most of my blogging is going to be over on the Cooptimize site for a while. As always you can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. I’m interested in talking to like minded people.