Shared knowledge, full engagement, unimpeded honest communication and mutual accountability have always been the ingredients that has stood Cogent apart. Everything about Cogent, including finances, salaries and strategy is open to every employee.

A few years ago we decided to spread our wings, integrating all the major elements of product development under one roof, ie. product strategy, development and design. Our goal was to create small teams of people who could expertly build products for clients. Knowing that software development is an organic and dynamic process, that information free-flow is a necessity and interpersonal relationships can make or break a project, we knew we’d have to take a very specific and deliberate approach.

We aimed to ensure a well-rounded, communicative team where collaborating skillsets could build upon each other. Our intent was to produce a team that surpassed the sum of its highly specialised parts, built upon the strong values of the company.

Now, as we continue to grow across disciplines, our guiding values — in particular transparency — have produced a very solid and trustworthy team. A team that trusts each other; a team that is trusted by it’s customers.

When there’s nothing hidden, honesty becomes a matter of course. Maintaining flexibility through short development cycles and tight feedback loops keeps everything illuminated. It’s what customers value in us. Emerging issues are revealed and resolved long before they become problematic. It’s our norm that is often seen as refreshing by our customers.

We’re not necessarily immune to the usual pitfalls of creating software products. We do know however, that transparency, empowering the individual and maintaining a healthy diversity of ability produces teams that perform time and time again.

It’s a very human system. Over several years now of running multi-disciplinary teams, we’ve witnessed the emergence of a highly efficient, talented and capable group of people.

And so far, it’s been great.

Not only do our projects succeed, but we’ve also managed to create a team of people that our clients are delighted to be a part of. They can feel the honesty and transparency and that gives them the confidence to really participate. They’re comfortable to raise issues, ideas and concerns in the moment.

They know we’re listening because it’s been a conversation from the start.