Are technical skills or people skills more important to the team manager in a software development project?

Essay by cspaffordUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, July 2009

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

A well-rounded team manager in a software development project is critical to its success. Having the best developers only gets you so far. Without proper leadership, the project will most likely fail. Developers won't know what direction to go, deadlines won't be met, and the end product will not be created to the specifications as set forth in the project. A software development team manager needs to possess both the proper technical skills to guide the developers when they get stuck, but more importantly have the proper people skills and business process skills to allow the team to work as a well-oiled machine. In this paper, we will look at two different types of team managers and how they affect the software development lifecycle.

When a team manager only possesses the technical skills to complete a software development project, he/she lacks the ability to see the "big picture". They tend to focus on the technical aspect of the project, not meeting deadlines, and not being able to interface with senior management as to why the project is not getting done.

They tend to be more of a senior technical resource than a team manager. According to Tom Mochal of TechRepublic (Mochal, 2005), "Unfortunately, the traits that make a person a strong technologist usually don't translate directly into the project management arena, and this combination is generally a recipe for failure." Lacking project management or people skills and only possessing technical skills can result in a failed project.

A team manager that lacks the technical skills to guide the software developers can be a hindrance to the software development lifecycle. Building a good team of developers will allow the team manager to defer technical aspects of the project to the developers, but lacking any knowledge of the environment the...