Design Considerations

The project manager must remain involved with the technical team during the design of the entire solution. Table 5.10 presents several elements that need to be addressed during the design phase.

Table 5.10: Technical specification content

Technical Design Criteria

What Determines the Solution

Hardware specifications

Capacity

Application software specifications

Hardware

Database schema specifications

Overall architectural design

Telecommunications specifications

Communication

Peripheral devices

Performance

Application configuration

Operation & support

Interfaces

Implementation

Security & encryption

Security and Integration

The project manager needs to walk away with an understanding of some key information, once the technical team has finalized their design. The project manager must be sure that

• The necessary resources have been identified per skillset

• The development team by the IT department can accommodate the expected start date

• He or she clearly understands the cost implications, if external contractors are needed to perform certain deliverables. This may imply that the project manager obtains separate cost and time estimates from these contractors.

It does happen that, at times, project managers are not technically familiar with the respective technologies of the project, making the technical interactions and communication with the development team difficult. However, there are certain things that project managers in this situation can do to work with a development team.

• The project manager should address the business logic and provide the developers sufficient freedom for the actual development.

• The project manager should resist arguing with the developers on coding techniques. This will only frustrate the developers and have adverse effect on the coding practices.

• The project manager should provide the necessary support channels to assist the developers with any technical difficulties they may encounter. One method is to put the developer(s) in touch with other developers who are using similar technologies.

• The project manager should offer the developers opportunities to learn the latest IT skills.

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