Decision made by person with highest salary

A common phenomena in many companies I have worked for is known as “Decision made by person with highest salary” – a really bad way of making critical technology decision in any company, as in general this is not a good way of ensuring sensible decisions. This person is almost all of the time the person with least relevant knowledge and background for making such decision – something that can be confirmed faulty easily in most cases.

Management styles in IT

I have had a bit of time lately to think about IT management styles, and the opportunity to discuss this with a large number of companies and both senior and junior staff.

And my current conclusion is that there are 2 radically different style of management :

1. Enterprise – where all staff are seen as “role descriptions”, and anyone with job description type “B” should be able to be replaced with anyone else with the capabilities described as “B”. This by necessity requires in-depth documentation on everything and anything, and a very risk-averse management style.

2. Agile – where the focus is on the “talent”, getting the best “talent” possible, and worry about fitting a role description to the “talent” later on. By employing “talent” the need for mountains of documentation is drastically reduced, as the “talent” are trusted to be able to overcome all challenges by using their abilities.


In reality it’s rare to see clearcut examples of 2 – as this style is quite new, and mostly used by technology companies. But where it really works it enables the company to react much faster to the ever changing demands of modern product development, and deliver at a much faster rate that other companies.

Of course there are numerous shades of grey here as in other parts of life, and most companies will have a blend of both styles due to :

– Management needs to forecast cost and delivery times before starting a project.

– Management needs to be able to explain their actions (also known as governance) to others in the company.

I have myself seen the fantastic benefits that agile can bring to a growing company, and have therefore decided that any company I work for should also be embracing this – not only for the development teams, but also for almost all other aspects of IT and management. I am not going back to “Enterprise” any more – I have spent too many years fighting the enterprise machine to waste any more of my life doing this.


Going completely ‘agile” is not a easy thing to do – especially in a company with a hierarchical management structure, and with traditional linear product development, as it requires a drastic change of style for the senior management team, and talented people that “lives” agile to get it right. And it rarely survives in a company that has financial or other problems, when the accountants and bankers arrive to help out..

A new job

I’ve just started a new job – and spending the first month doing on boarding in Santa Monica getting to know the company and all my new colleagues.

Enjoying it!

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