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Technical Design Authority

7.12.2014

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  1. Introduction
  2. Purpose
  3. Scope
  4. Participants
  5. Inputs
  6. Processes
    1. Architecture Design Sessions
    2. Technical Design Assessments
    3. Technology Roadmaps
    4. Reviews
  7. Outputs
  8. Schedule

Introduction

This post defines the purpose and scope of a Technical Design Authority (TDA). It identifies its participants; processes; outputs; and establishes a schedule. This post describes four topics that fall under the remit of the TDA:

This post must remain succinct, unambiguous and useful.

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Purpose

The objective of the TDA is to ensure that IT projects create value, reduce development and operational costs, and where prudent, conform to published standards.

The TDA will meet this objective through compulsory technical reviews of:

The TDA will run optional Architecture Design Sessions with project teams to assist in the tasks listed above, and the creation of the outputs described in the Outputs section.

The TDA will also maintain a technology roadmap by regularly assessing and recommending tools, technologies and related processes.

Finally, the TDA will monitor and track its effectiveness by periodically conducting reviews/self-assessments, and canvassing others.

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Scope

The TDA concerns itself with broadly-scoped technical matters that facilitates a system-wide perspective. This includes:

Out of Scope

The following functions are too technically granular or not technical at all, and are therefore beyond the scope of the TDA:

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Participants

By definition, a review must include both the project team and people external to it. The following people or roles are required to conduct reviews:

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Inputs

The ! symbol identifies mandatory inputs.

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Processes

Architecture Design Sessions

The main, verifiable goal of an Architecture Design Session (ADS) is decision-maker agreement to a preliminary solution. However, every ADS should also:

Architecture Design Sessions are recommended, but optional.

Technical Design Assessments

The primary goal of the TDA is to review, guide, and record architectural decisions. To meet this goal, the TDA will review project documentation as described in section 3 above, and the output created in an ADS. Specifically,

Technology Roadmaps

A secondary goal of the TDA is to assess, review and recommend technical techniques, tools, platforms, and languages and frameworks for use within the organisation. Recommendations are recorded in a document which is made available to all technical stakeholders throughout the group.

TDA Reviews

The TDA will undertake self-assessments to review its effectiveness and judge how well it performs in relation to its stated objectives. TDA members will score the TDA as a whole, and external stakeholders will be asked to complete or participate in reviews, which will be used to fine-tune the TDA's role, its processes and its membership.

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Outputs

Architecture Design Sessions

The above can be combined into a single document.

Technical Assessments

Development health checks

Technology Roadmap

TDA Reviews

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Schedule

Technical assessments will be minuted. All documents will be stored in an architecture document repository.

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