Note: My apologies for this question being so long, but I feel it necessary to explain the situation in full detail to provide maximum understanding. There is a TL;DR summary at the end for who just want to know the basics of the question.
For nearly three years (three as of July 27, 2014), I have been working as a Web Developer at a small development agency specializing in PHP-based Web sites based in the USA. During that time I have seen our workforce grow significantly from just two developers (myself included) and an owner to five devs, a project manager, a marketing manager, and an account manager for a total of ten people now.
Due to our rapid growth, I see the need for us to standardize our development practices so that our code is consistent and well-maintained no matter who writes it or what project it is written for. To that end, I want to come up with a proposal to start using the FIG Standards (mostly PSR-2) along with parts of the (PHP QA Toolchain)[http://phpqatools.org/]. Another area that I want to see improved is our usage of Git to manage our source code which includes changing to a better host with more code collaboration features and placing any and all work under version control.
The problem with just going to the owner to discuss these changes, however, is that my opinion seems to carry no weight as my suggestions and concerns are almost always ignored. Unfortunately, there is a more senior developer in the company that has been there longer than anyone else excluding the owner (around seven years) so he always has the owner's ear for everything and therefore has the last say.
In March of 2013, I began a push for our company to adopt Git as a standard for maintaining our source code - we had been using SVN here and there because that is all the owner knew. After about six months of pushing, I finally got our then project manager to finally entertain the idea. Another month went by before he even considered bringing it up to the owner. The senior dev caught wind of it and was vehemently opposed to using Git because he did not know it. Instead, he either wanted to continue using SVN or start using Mercurial.
To resolve this issue, the pm asked us both to create an outline of the reasons and benefits for our chosen system as well as disadvantages and comparisons. We both submitted our proposals fairly quickly (within 1-2 weeks), but we had to wait another two months before he made a decision. He told the owner that we needed to switch to Git because it is industry standard and then presented him with my outline. Because the idea came from a member of management (the pm), the owner finally agreed to it.
I was quite happy to hear this, so I gathered all of the notes, research, and ideas that I had been developing for the prior nine months into an implementation plan. My hopes were crushed, however, when I went to present that plan to the pm and owner. Unbeknown to me, the owner had already asked the more senior developer to come up with his own plan for implementation which I had very little feedback on. As a result, we are barely using a repository host that has very few features and costs way more money than the host that I chosen in my plan. By "barely" I mean that less than 10% of our projects and the code we write for them is version controlled. This is definitely not how I wanted to see this happen - we need to be at 100% in my opinion and anything less is a liability because of the thousands of dollars that we bid for our projects.
Unfortunately, the project manager, who was my best advocate, is no longer there and the new one seems to be ineffective so far at getting things changed. I am likely going to have to go straight to the owner if I want anything changed, but I am afraid that he will not listen to me. I tried to discuss my ideas with my fellow developer, but he completely brushed me off by saying that he "does not care and does not want to talk about it."
How do I best bring my ideas to the table and at least get a discussion started? Should I try going through the new project manager, or try going directly to the owner? If I go directly to the owner, how I can I get him to listen to and respect my thoughts?
I want to start implementing some new policies at the development agency I work for, but my ideas are not respected and often ignored or handed to someone with more seniority for a half-assed implementation. How can I present my thoughts in a convincing-enough manner that will at least be entertained and discussed?
I was just thinking more about this situation as I was doing the dishes and I came up with what I believe to be the root of the problem: The owner is so afraid to lose the senior developer, so the owner listens to anything he has to say to keep him happy. The senior developer, though, is so used to doing things his own way that any change is likely seen as "why bother, it works for me" or maybe even perceived as a threat. I fear that this attitude will hinder our growth and make it harder for us to collaborate as a team.
I have drafted a document containing my suggestions and the rationale behind them. I am going to e-mail it to our new project manager, the senior developer, and the owner later today. I figure it is probably best to hit all three targets rather than focusing on a single individual. Hopefully someone will listen to what I have to say and open up the discussion.