What a Tech Lead Does During the a Project’s Discovery Phase

Tech leads need to balance being a good communicator with knowing when and how to communicate. A tech lead is the project manager, team lead, and decision-maker. But what does that really mean? 

In this post, we’ll go through different key actions any tech lead should perform during the discovery phase of a project and how those actions tie into overall success.

Explore the Subject Area

Tech leads need to have a broad range of knowledge to effectively lead a team. They need to know enough about the business side of the project and the technology to make informed decisions on both.

A good way to start this process is to take a few weeks with the team to explore the subject area. Everyone should be on the same page when it comes to terminology, business goals, and the vision for how the project will be built.

Sketch out some user journeys. Brainstorm different approaches for how you’ll get the job done. Get as granular as possible with how the technology will work. And once you have a vision for what you want to build, start thinking about how you’ll test it.

Identify Bottlenecks and Gaps in the Process

Once you know what you want to build, you can start to think about how you’ll actually build it. And that means identifying potential bottlenecks and gaps in the process.

The process involves brainstorming how each part of the process could be improved and mapping out different ways to achieve those improvements.

The tech lead will also make a list of potential bottlenecks and gaps and try to define the risk associated with each one. Furthermore, the tech lead needs to assess each potential bottleneck and focus their time and efforts.

Overall, a tech lead will have to make tough decisions about what to do first.

Help the Project Manager in Project Roadmap Creation

The tech lead doesn’t just manage the development team; they also manage the entire project. And that includes working with the project manager to help create a project roadmap.

They get familiar with the different phases of the project (i.e. discovery, design, development, testing, deployment etc.). Additionally, they work with the project manager to create a roadmap that identifies which phase is being worked on, who is in charge, and when things will be done.

Finally, they need to ensure everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.

Define Project Cost, Timeline, and Tech Documentation

A tech lead will create a list of project milestones and tasks during the discovery phase. This will help the entire team estimate the cost and timeline, and understand the scope and scale of the project.

With that, they will assess the project’s scope and estimate the cost, timeline, and team size. They will then document their findings and include them as part of the project report. Finally, they will define the project cost, timeline, and requirements.

In a Nutshell

As a tech lead, your job is to lead the project, manage your team, and maintain project momentum. A tech lead needs to define the project cost, timeline, and requirements to do that. And that means staying on top of task completion and managing project risks. But most importantly, a tech lead needs to oversee the key deliverables. They have to help create the project roadmap, define project requirements, define project cost, and oversee the development process.

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