Project Management

The Practice of Architectural Awareness

PMI Chicagoland Chapter

George Freeman, PMP, is a seasoned IT project manager and leader who has worked in the software industry for nearly four decades, including over 25 years of project management. He has significant experience and expertise in enterprise information systems, data, and business architectures, and is an advocate for “business and technical architectural awareness” among all project team members. Mr. Freeman has international and remote team experience, and has a passion for meta-modeling, domain-driven design, and “all things architecture.”

Are you ready for a professional makeover, one that can elevate your skills to new and greater heights? Then let me introduce you to the double-A, “Architectural Awareness,” an approach for navigating domains through competency levels. Although its name may conjure up images of technical wizardry, the method exists independent of technology and project practices, thus allowing it to work across domains of all types.

I developed architectural awareness early in my career as I wanted an approach that would allow me to be functionally relevant in the domains I interacted with as a project manager. I understood that it was not feasible or prudent for me to become a specialist in each knowledge area. However, if I focused on the strategy and structure of domains (i.e., the perspective at a 30,000-foot level), I would be able to navigate with a “material acumen,” thus increasing the opportunity for objective success on my projects.

That said, there’s a philosophical camp that believes project managers put themselves at risk (i.e., a conflict of interest) if they participate in domain activities outside of project management. Although I understand this long-held perspective, it does not line up with the principles of staying “relevant and competitive” as laid out by the PMI Talent Triangle®.

Stated differently, to meet the demands…

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