You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: ColdFusion, Adobe Flex

ColdFusion: Article

Project Team Is Key to a Successful Technical Implementation

The rule of five

When building the right project team to complete a custom solution there are many forces at work. These include business drivers, technical drivers, and organizational and political motivations. Regardless of the business or organization there are three basic rules to follow in building a team to deliver a technical solution. The first is to involve the business before the team is even assembled.

Each organization has certain technology standards that govern specific tools and products that can be used on a given project. These standards need to be considered and coordinated within "governance" management when architecting the solution. The third is the driving element that will let you successfully implement any medium or large-scale project and that's to follow "The Rule of Five." The Rule of Five is the basis for choosing the right number of people to be on your project team, and if you follow this rule your team will deliver the project on time and on budget. =

Assume you are the project manager for a newly selected technical implementation for a specific line of business that you're familiar with. You've been chosen for this effort because of the confidence that both the business and technology departments have in you to get the job done. Your past record speaks for itself and you have an opportunity to select people currently in your company as well as augment the team with new hires and consultants. Whether your project requires a medium or large-scale project team you should plan your team accordingly. Always plan in five-person team increments.

1.  Business/Technical Lead - This person should be someone who understands the business requirements very well and hopefully was one of the main authors of the "Business Requirements Document." This individual should be technically very strong, but doesn't necessarily know all the technologies that have to be deployed to implement the system.
2.  Technical Architect - This person is responsible for designing the technical framework in which the entire system will be built. He should be intimately familiar with all the technologies required to deliver the system and be mindful of all governance requirements in your organization. This is the lead person who will insure the technical success of the project.
3.  Data Analyst - This person should be knowledgeable about all of the data elements required for system implementation as well as where the data currently resides in the organization and how to gain access to it. This person will coordinate all DBA requirements and work with the governance group in the organization as well as lead all logical and physical database design efforts.
4.  Technical Programmer - This person will be responsible for coding parts of the system based on the direction of the Project Manager. For example, this person may be the front-end technical programmer.
5.  Technical Programmer - This person will be responsible for coding parts of the system based on the direction of the Project Manager. For example, this person may be the application server programmer.

The Rule of Five focuses on any medium or large-scale project that will have a team composition based on these outlines. For example if the project is scoped to be a medium-sized project the team composition is one project manager and a team of five. If the project is scoped to be a large-scale project the team composition is one project manager and n(team of five) or either a 10-, 15-, or a 20-person team. It's rare that a project team is larger than 20, but the same rule holds. Keeping the team composition as listed above allows each team of five to work successfully on their portion of the project.

If your project team is greater than 20 people, the Rule of Five means a team of five to oversee all project activities and provide centralized project coordination or project governance as shown in Figure 1.

When determining who will be on your Rule of Five team follow the basic guidelines. The Business Technical Lead must be someone that is very senior, has direct contact with the business, and can resolve any outstanding business issues that come up. You should handpick this person from a small list of applicants. The Technical Architect must be very senior and preferably someone you've worked with before. He should have demonstrated superior knowledge in all technical aspects of the project and be hands-on at all times. The Data Analyst should be knowledgeable about ER tools and the SQL language being used in the project. This person should have worked on other projects in this group before to reduce the learning curve. This role is generally overlooked until late in the project. The Technical Programmers tend to be junior compared to other members of the team, but are focused on coding the application.

When building your next project team think in terms of five and you'll be able to maximize your business and technical capability to deliver a solution on time and on budget. A team that's too small or too big will either deliver the project on time but over budget or late and over budget. See if the "Rule of Five" works for you.

More Stories By Robert Shinbrot

Robert has been a successful businessman and manager for over 25 years. He has implemented some of the most innovative solutions while working at banks and brokerage firms by breaking the mold of how to get things done. He then took this knowledge and applied it to Consulting where he is widely known to have built 2 of the most prominent Financial Services Consulting Business’s. He now focuses his attention on Coaching Managers at all levels to help them become Successful Managers. If you would like to reach Robert Shinbrot his email address is [email protected] and he is available on linkedin.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
Scott 05/16/07 06:52:45 PM EDT

This is plain wrong. Based on this if you're 2 coders were each allocated 50% more work than they could actually do you'd hire five more people, not just another coder. There's no way you'd get that sort of thinking past management.

Project teams should be based on the needs of the project. If you don't need a DBA because there are few data requirements but need 2 interface coders then thats what you need. Its just that simple.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...