How to staff a successful digital / tech transformation / cyber / technology intensive project team?


I’ve been a software developer, architect, software development manager, IT process improvement consultant, management consultant and several other similar roles for 15 years or so. I just can’t count the many times that I heard things like the following…

“We’ve staffed our (digital / tech transformation / cyber / technology intensive) project with business analysts mostly … since the tech part is a commodity … business knowledge comes first”

(of course, there are also the ones that staff a project purely with techies with the obvious result, but this is not the case I’m most worried about in this post)

The fact is … a technology intensive business project (that is, a project that intends to cause business impact through technology) is … well, like I said, technology intensive! You can’t just “outsource” the core element of the transformation to people outside of your project. Of course, you can have some activities like coding or detailed configuration outside, but the technology design / architecting can’t be left outside of your core team.

Unfortunately, many people still think that technology is just coding other very technical, commoditized stuff. But in the digital transformation times we’re living, the way you do business is very much influenced by the means technology provides. Thus, if you staff your project with just business people, these people may not be completely knowledgeable about what is possible or not when thinking about solutions.

Hey, you can’t build software with just business analysts … you need the tech people to architect the thing … and you know what? When the business people get some insights from the techies, they may realize the solution they envision can be even better they had originally thought.

My belief about project teams in technology intensive projects is that they must be interdisciplinary and with no hierarchical-distinction among the two main specialities: business analysis and technology architecting. I mean, the two have fundamental roles in taking a project to a good end. Actually, I had several successful experiences with project teams with composite leadership: one leader more business oriented and the other more technical-specialty oriented. As long as they acknowledge each other as peers, it works.  Add some Scrum-like dynamics to the team and you very likely have a winner…



2 thoughts on “How to staff a successful digital / tech transformation / cyber / technology intensive project team?

  1. Walter,
    I’m glad you are writting again! I must add that the problem is even worst because those guys usually think that a business analyst is someone who can write a document..

    Keep thinking

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