Delivering Value to Clients through the "Strong Opinions, Weakly Held" Approach

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Fábio Oliveira

This is a crosspost from the YLD blog under the same title.

As your company grows and evolves, you may encounter complex challenges that require fresh and innovative thinking. When seeking the assistance of a consultancy, it's crucial to have a team that can provide valuable insights and work collaboratively with you without cannibalising the work.

It is a top priority to understand the importance of clear communication and collaboration with clients to help them achieve their strategic goals. Having an approach centred around the "Strong Opinions, Weakly Held" mantra emphasises being confident in your recommendations as a consultancy based on expertise and experience while remaining open to feedback and new information from the client every step of the way.

This approach is precious in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of software engineering. Expect that clients will come with a wide range of challenges and goals, and as a consultancy that stands out from the rest, remain steadfast in delivering the best possible solutions to meet their needs.

This article explores the merits of this approach and shares examples of how we at YLD have successfully applied it to deliver exceptional results for our clients over the last decade.

The "Strong Opinions, Weakly Held" Mantra in Practice

We recognise that our clients know their business best, and we are here to support them in achieving their goals.

A practical example of this approach can be seen in our work with a two-billion dollar publishing company. We helped them migrate 21 high-profile brand sites onto a single, scalable platform and established a DevOps culture with the client, ensuring their engineering teams could self-serve and manage the global management system.

Adapting to Clients' Needs and Goals

Our "Strong Opinions, Weakly Held" approach requires us to work closely with clients to understand their needs, challenges, and opportunities.

Using our expertise, we identify the technology solutions that can help them achieve their goals while recognising that the clients' priorities and strategies may change over time and that we'll have to adapt accordingly. To facilitate this flexibility, we take a data-driven and analytical approach to problem-solving. We gather and analyse data to identify the root cause of the problem, and we use this knowledge to develop and implement effective solutions.

Our approach is not just about technical expertise but also about the importance of clear communication and collaboration with our clients. It's crucial to work closely with them to understand their business goals and priorities, and we tailor our solutions to meet their specific needs.

One example was our engagement with a mobile company to develop mobile apps. Initially, we proposed React Native-focused products to align with their goals on the speed of delivery and to better fit into their plans for growing their team.

However, upon further examination, we discovered a massive backlog of developer work that required urgent attention and a focus on stabilising the native iOS and Android development streams. Instead of solely focusing on bringing new technology on board and overhauling the teams, we shifted our approach and helped the client address their backlog first, striking a balance between short-term priorities and long-term results. This approach enabled us to deliver exceptional results and foster a more robust level of trust with the client.


As a consultancy, it's essential to prioritise your clients' needs and goals while utilising your expertise and experience to offer valuable solutions. Embracing a "Strong Opinions, Weakly Held" approach can help you establish trust with your clients as a reliable technology partner.

Be open to exploring new ideas and perspectives while still focusing on utilising technology to improve businesses. Flexibility and responsiveness are vital in adapting to your clients' changing needs and priorities. You can establish a strong reputation as a trusted consultancy by consistently delivering value through a client-centred approach.