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Architect as Leader

May 2012 Presentation
Elizabeth Correa (Verizon)

A presentation from the Architect Skills track at SATURN 2012, May 7-11, 2012, St Petersburg, FL.


Software Engineering Institute


In light of the size of current software projects, good project leadership is essential to a project's success. The role of project leader frequently falls to software architects, yet architects are often not trained in leadership or—even worse—are not aware of their roles as leaders. The following leadership strategies are frequently pivotal to a team's success. If neglected, they often lead to a project's demise; if followed, they often help projects succeed:

  • Convey the significance of the project and task at hand. Attitude can make or break a project.
  • Delegate ownership and recognize accomplishments. Empowering team members enables collaboration.
  • Create personal connections to manage politics. Manage the stickier side of architecture.

In this presentation, I will describe several concrete strategies that an architect can follow to achieve on-time and under-budget delivery of the system and illustrate the impact on projects with several concrete examples of success and failure.