Why does an architect need this skill?
In many IT projects we are transitioning from a current architecture to a new architecture and as an Architect we need Technical Project Management skills in order to realize this transition. Administrative Project Management does not have the depth of technical knowledge required to plan, execute and deliver the project and therefore relies on the support of Technical Project Management typically provided by the Architect.
Working IT Projects often differs from projects in other industries in that we work with conceptual models and requirements which are often difficult to define. The IT branch is dynamic and tools, standards and business requirements have a high rate of change. This poses a real challenge for IT projects and Administrative Project Management particularly in long term projects. A part of a project team the Architect can use Technical Project Management skills to support management of business and technical requirements, support the project team in successfully executing activities and support the general management of the project.
Common tasks involved in this skill?
Technical Project Management is a broad area and each project is unique and roles can be formed differently depending on the given project. However the following are some of the common tasks which we can expect within Technical Project Management.
- Leadership and Management
- Supporting Administrative Project Management in defining the Business Case for a project
- Support definition of project scope
- Translation of business requirements into technical requirements
- Managing time and resources
- Communication and presentation skills
- Control and Monitoring of progress
What is their ownership in this skill?
The Architect will support Administrative Project Management using this skills and provide leadership for the team form a technical perspective. Depending on the project organization the Architect may work in an advisory capacity to Administrative Project Management or may even have a mandate to make decisions regarding specific areas of the project.
How is this skill used by the architect in daily activities?
The Architect would be expected to be able to:
- Perform detailed planning and support Administrative Project Management in planning
The Architect performs planning of technical activities for the team, as well as estimation of time and resources for the activities. Support is also given to Administrative Project Management in the broader project planning. The Architect also supports Administrative Project Management with definition of the Business Case.
- Support Administrative Project Management in defining and analyzing the project requirements
This involves requirements gathering activities with the project sponsor, both functional and non-functional (quality attributes included). The Architect also provides support in structuring the requirements in some form of Requirements Specification.
- Communicate and describe the scope and requirements to the project team
The Architect ensures consistently that the team understands the requirements and how they translate to a technical perspective. The Architect provides leadership for the team and guides them as to what is “in scope” and “out of scope”.
- Monitor the progress and support risk management
The Architect will monitor the progress of the team and raise any potential risks with Administrative Project Management. The Architect will also describe the consequences of changes and support Administrative Project Management in mitigating risks.
Support delivery of the project
The Architect shall support delivery of the project ensuring that all technical deliverables are accounted for and the requirements placed on the project have been met by the solution. The Architect shall also support the evaluation of the project effect assessing if the Business Value delivered meets the project Business Case.