Mission: For the client, the mission is business success. The consultant's role is to use his experience to do everything possible to support that goal. It is usually in the client's best interest to take a top down development approach. Sometimes this leads to a recommendation to begin a project with foundational work like market analysis, product definition, and system design. This is often the case in RF work, where the statistical nature of radio systems is sometimes unappreciated, even by experienced engineers. In other situations the project is focused or that foundation may already be in place, and it is quite appropriate to go directly to detailed work like circuit design or debugging a problem.
Work Style: Longwing recommends an analytic, physics based approach. This begins at product definition, with investigation of the financial viability of a product. All costs should be taken into account, including the back end cost of making, testing, and distributing the product. As a project proceeds, analysis is followed by simulation, schematic capture, board layout, and software development. The discipline to perform sufficient analysis and simulation usually results in the fastest successful development at minimum cost and risk.
Project Structure: From the significant impact of every goal decided upon to the minor effort of every part placed or line of code written, total effort adds up. Going to the effort of realistic scheduling as early as is practical is recommended. Even then, as goals often change or expand during a project, a willingness to put in plenty of overtime may be needed.
Working Terms: As end goals are not always known up front, and as some work such as market investigation and troubleshooting are not highly deterministic on effort needed, Longwing prefers to work on an hourly basis, at a reasonable rate to contain costs. When a project becomes or is well enough defined to generate an accurate schedule, then payment terms based on milestones may be set.