Some things are just understood. Others have to be written down:
(Updated 10 July 2017- jco)
- Know your customer and give that customer your complete loyalty.
- Prioritize you customers - you might have more than one or two at one time.
- Own your clients objectives as though they are your own.
- Never tell a client what to want. They might have a completely different agenda from what you think. And what you want is not necessarily what the client wants.
- Never make choices for the client. Present the available choices, as you understand them, and let the client make their own choices.
- Be professional but totally independent.
- Be truthful at all times. You do not have to "spill your guts" but never, ever tell a lie or shady half-truth.
- Always give a "fair and equitable" price. If you work for "scab labor" prices, then you are, in effect, scab labor.
- Never, ever bill for hours that you did not work. The is stealing.
- Never, ever double bill two clients for the same time period. That is what Lawyers, Barristers (UK), Solicitors (UK) and Attorneys do as a normal practice. And we all know the public opinion of those guys. Is is not professional even though those guys do it all the time.
- Remember, you can always decrease your price by a bit to meet competition but never can you increase your price by any significant bits because you dropped it earlier.
- Consultants do not get a "pay raise" nor a "pay rise."
- Everything that you client tells you MUST be considered totally confidential. Nothing is ever for sharing with friends, family nor anyone else.
- Never criticize another consultant - especially not in writing nor on any conversation that might be recorded. It could always come around and bite you in the backside.
- Never use material from one project on another project UNLESS that material is Open Source or free to the public OR is considered (by a reasonable person) public information.
- Always remember the "conflict of interests" problem. If something seems to make a situation more profitable for you but not for your client, then you probably have a conflict of interest.
- (Added 10 July 2017) One should never EVER bite the hand that feeds (nor fed) one nor one's family. Meaning, you should never criticize the company for which you work (nor worked) while you are working there NOR excessively after you are gone. It is permitted to give reasons for leaving (or will leave) but never extensively criticize the management, fellow workers nor the overall project. Leave it at, "We do not (or did not) agree on certain project parameters, goals nor arbitrary deadlines that can (or could) not be met by either myself nor other team members." Or something like that - but do not say cruel and mean things about the company nor your fellow workers after you have gone. After all, what will you say about the new company or team members when you leave the next project?