To reap great rewards, sometimes you have to be willing to take great risks. Take Project Upscale, New Relic’s bold (and at times unnerving) decision to let all of our engineers choose the teams and the projects they wanted to work on.

mikey butler at futurestack

Mikey Butler of New Relic with Michael Krigsman

Interviewed by Michael Krigsman, industry analyst and host of CXOTalk, at FutureStack16 in San Francisco, New Relic SVP of Engineering Mikey Butler admitted that the move required a lot of gumption and a fair degree of trust. But the risk paid off, resulting in what Mikey called a “textbook-perfect outcome.”

So how did it work? First, New Relic engineering managers established a set of desired deliverables. Then, engineers submitted proposals explaining why they were the right fit for each given project. “It makes for a good match between what the business needs and what our engineers are passionate about,” Mikey said.

For other businesses interested in trying something similar, Mikey had a few tips. “It’ll seem like a firestorm at the beginning, but you just have wrap your heart around the vision.”

Learn more about Project Upscale in the full 9-minute video below:

Be sure to watch the other CXOTalk videos in this series:


B.J. Hinshaw is a freelance writer based in Northern California. View posts by .

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