Technical project manager

As a player in the programming or development industry, you may have heard the term ‘technical project manager’ being thrown around quite a bit, especially in recent times. If you’re working on a team project, it is likely that you will be placed under the supervision and guidance of a project manager who will be beside you every step of the way, which is why it is important to understand what the role of this individual actually is. So, what exactly is a technical project manager?

What Is A Technical Project Manager?

Technical project manager

The role of a technical project manager is to control, monitor, and ensure the proper execution of a business or company’s projects to which they have been assigned. The project manager would help the company schedule the project, distribute the resources, and ultimately view the entire process through a bigger lens. Also, to make sure that the goals are met through the technical aspect of the relevant project.

A technical project manager also has the ability to support the management of an IT initiative from a concept through to a concrete deliverable as a project with special technical knowledge.

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Technical Project Manager?

technical project manager

The life cycle of a project can be divided into five different phases: the initiation, planning, execution, monitoring/controlling, and the closing phase. The technical project manager has significant responsibilities in each of these phases that range from progress assessment to team management. The following below are some of the most critical responsibilities of a technical project manager throughout the project development and execution process.

A Technical Project Manager Must:

Technical project manager

  • Identify the key stakeholders involved in the project and ensure effective communication and involvement.
  • Prepare a suitable project plan and schedule that the stakeholders and team members agree on and can follow.
  • Gather and break down the project requirements in terms of resources and monetary investment in order to determine the required budget.
  • Facilitate communication between the stakeholders and the developing team as well as among the team members for smooth and optimal functioning.
  • Make sure that the team members, stakeholders, or customers are satisfied with the progress of the project at all stages of its life cycle and the final product meets their expectations.
  • Identify any potential risks that may threaten the quality of the product or the project process and come up with effective strategies to counter them.
  • Take the necessary steps to maintain the high quality of the project.
  • Keep track of the progress of the development and ensure that the predetermined goals are consistently met.
  • Close the project after the customer’s expectations have been met.

It is also important to remember that having someone managing effectively, leads to a better outcome and having bad management can have many negative effects on a company/business.

Conclusion

Ultimately, we can conclude that the role of a technical project manager is not to become invested in guiding the coding process or the programming aspect of the project. But, it is to monitor the various operations involved in the process, assess the progress, deal with the overarching, and specific technical aspects using their own specialized knowledge in their niche. Most importantly, a technical project manager main responsibilities are to guide and manage the complete lifecycle of a project.

What is a solution architect

Solution Definition:

Before we dive into talking about what is a solution architect, let’s start by defining a solution. Quite simply, a solution is an answer to a problem. For a solution to have value, it must provide a measurable improvement to the situation at hand. A good solution will be the result of a collaborative effort, agreed upon by all decision makers involved.

What Is Solution Architecture?

In business, solution architecture is the translation of a project’s desired outcome into a solution document. The solution document identifies all the relevant technical components, roles, processes, and tasks that the project demands.

Each of these relevant domains (such as business, data, application, technology, integration, and security) must be addressed. This means identifying the unique demands and desired deliverables of each domain.

What is a solution architect

 

For example, imagine you are building an app for users to sell antiques to strangers. A proper solution document will in part, address:

The user experience — What does a typical buyer or seller do on the app? What is the flow of their activity? How does the app look and respond to their motives?

  • The technology used in development — Is the app designed for Android, iOS, or both? What 3rd-party integrations are used? Location services? Mobile payments? Messaging? How do users authenticate their products as legitimate?
  • The security features — Fingerprint reader? User accounts and passwords?
  • The data — Where is the user information stored? How does the app interact with the data for listed items?

As you can see, there are numerous moving pieces to address. Even a simple app, in theory, can demand the skills of a dozen experienced experts. A proper approach to a solution will leave no technical area left untouched.

What Is The Role Of A Solution Architect?

The solution architect puts together the master plan. Like an architect of real estate, they create a document that serves as a master guide for creating a service or product. Their broad range of technical expertise and experience in numerous disciplines allows them to view the project from a bird’s eye view.

Their work can include ideation, research, design, and implementation of the proposed solution. During ideation, the context for a solution is considered. The desired outcome is seen in light of the current environment. A client says to the architect “This is where we are, and this is where we want to be”. The vision is given, and the solution can begin to take shape.

The solution architect elaborates potential options for moving forward. Research is done to help discover which path is best. If any extra information is needed, the architect can reach out to 3rd parties for relevant details.

The solution architect then selects the optimal strategy and develops the roadmap for the selected solution. The roadmap guides the development team responsible for implementing the plan.

Related: What makes a development roadmap so useful?

Benefits Of Utilizing A Solution Architect:

In 2009, a study analyzed the value of solution architecture on software development (1). Usage of solution architecture within software development projects was found to be correlated with the following effects:

  • 19% decrease in project budget overrun
  • Increased predictability of project budget planning
  • 40% decrease in project time overrun
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • 10% increase of results delivered
  • Increased technical fit of the project results

Ultimately, in a world where only 16% of custom software development projects deliver their results according to plan (2), the use of solution architecture can help overcome the biggest roadblocks faced.