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Holy war with the architect from the customer’s team

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In custom software development, there can be a member in customer’s team (e.g. solution architect) who oversees the project from the software design viewpoint. Undoubtedly, presence of this role strongly affects the development process, but the impact can be either very positive or very negative, depending on how successfully the contractor’s dev team is able to manage the communication with this stakeholder.

Here are just a couple of factors which make this task so challenging:

  • Architect’s vision of system design — at least partially based on her personal tastes, habits, aesthetical preferences and not directly related to the product functionality — represents a source of hard-to-elicit requirements and consequently a source of high risk to the project scope.
  • Her high technical competence and high weight in customer’s team complicates the interaction and almost always requires special communication style.

This list can definitely be continued.

In my talk, I will try to analyze:

  1. What contractor’s dev team should do in order not to hinder architect’s efforts to create good software and what they can do to prevent the architect from hindering their efforts towards the same goal.
  2. What should be done to build common vision of software and design approaches, shared between the architect and the dev team.
  3. How to communicate with technically very competent expert in customers’ team: how not to react to provocations and deal with technical mistakes.

The talk will be most interesting to the project managers and lead developers participating in the custom software development projects.

Alexander Kalouguine

Alexander KalouguineAlexander Kalouguine

Project Director, Mercury Development

Alex Kalouguine, Ph.D, PMP, Project Director. He started his career as a junior developer and moved through all the steps including team-leader and system architect positions. Having successfully completed more than 20 projects of different size, Alex knows firsthand what problems may get in the way of the programmers, who are assigned to management roles. Professional Interests: project management in software engineering, system analysis. Alex was a speaker at multiple conferences including SEF.BY, ReqLabs, SECR, he co-organizes Samara Project Management Community: and also writes a blog dedicated to small software engineering projects


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