Project Management

Project-Level Technical Architecture

Tom Mochal

Tom Mochal, PgMP, PMP, TSPM is the president of TenStep, Inc., a methodology development, consulting and training company. Tom won the Distinguished Contribution Award from the Project Management Institute for his work spreading knowledge of project management around the world. He is a speaker, lecturer, instructor and consultant to companies and organizations around the world.

It is important to define your project’s technical architecture early in the process, with input from the team. This includes all the hardware, software and other technologies your project requires. It will need to be flexible, but the sooner you get it right, the better off your budget and schedule will be.

The term “technical architecture” refers to the hardware, software, databases and any other technologies that support and connect an environment, typically at the organization level but also for projects. From an organization perspective, the technical architecture describes the current technical environment and provides guidance to projects on future direction for technology components. The organization technical architecture ensures that technology choices are standardized as much as possible to keep the entire technical infrastructure from getting too diverse and hard to manage.

Projects also have their own technical architecture. The project-level architecture consists of the hardware and software required for the project solution to run as intended. Before the project team makes these decisions, they should first validate whether there is an overall technical architecture for the organization. If so, the project team should strive to design a solution within the higher-level parameters. If the organization architecture is forward-looking, the …


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