This blog is the third in a series of posts designed to help technical leads get over the hurdles that inevitably pop up during any complex implementation; a series that was started by Understanding the Problem and continued in Determining a Solution.
With the course set and the implementation of the recommended solution underway, it’s time to finish strong.
- Own the solution. As the technical lead, project management is looking for you to do precisely what your title implies: lead! If you aren’t comfortable attaching your name to the solution then you haven’t done enough to ensure that it is the best possible approach. Ensuring the successful implementation of the target end-state is what technical leadership is all about.
- Share the credit! The recommended solution has been successfully implemented and the day has been saved. Time to move on to the next challenge, right? Wrong! While a technical lead may own the solution, he/she certainly didn’t get there alone. It is crucial to recognize the contributions made by all of the teams involved. The spontaneous nature of issue resolution means that a number of people likely had to shuffle their priorities, attend ad hoc meetings and lend their expertise to find quick answers to very difficult questions. A pat on the back, positive email to a manager or a simple cup of coffee goes a long way toward making sure those same resources are willing to step up to the plate the next time around. More importantly, it’s simply the right thing to do.
- Perform the autopsy. The gap between mediocre and exceptional technical leadership is most often bridged through careful reflection and an honest assessment of your performance at end of each day. Was a step in the problem resolution particularly troublesome? Did the latest issue expose your lack of knowledge about a new technology? Could your recommended solution be leveraged to define or refine an enterprise pattern that could benefit other Solution Architects/Tech Leads in the future? Always reserve time to reflect on your successes and failures.
Socrates said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” This concept is central to the role of technical leadership during implementation. There is always room for improvement and growth. The field is constantly changing and all processes and templates need to reflect that inherent malleability. So while celebrating your success, remember to set yourself up to be even better the next time around.