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How IT leaders can empower teams to become decision-makers

Bob Kantor | May 7, 2013
Most managers want their team members to be more proactive when it comes to making decisions.

Whereas product selection, as long as product selection is based upon those standards, might be considered as a branch decision. Everyone needs to know about it but they don't necessarily need to all be involved in the approval process or the decision, unless it turns out to be a tool that is going to be used across all departments.

Using IT Applications Development as an illustration: If you're buying tools for maintenance and development of source code, you probably don't need the approval of colleagues in operations. If, on the other hand, you're selecting a tool that's going to be used for performance monitoring, and want every function to use the same tool for performance monitoring, then that probably looks more like a trunk decision where everyone needs to approve.

Most of the above discussion and examples have been aimed at the top levels of the IT organization. However this same model readily cascades down to all levels of the organization. Team leaders at any level can identify their own Root, Trunk, Branch and Leaf types of decisions. They can then work with their team members to agree on who owns which decision rights, to empower them to take on more decision-making responsibly.


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