Technical development manager
The technical development manager is in many ways a Jack of all trades. This role is responsible for the technical aspects in the full life cycle of a development project. The technical development manager will negotiate and liaise with stakeholders about costing, planning, budgeting, designing and resourcing the technical aspects of the project.
The technical development manager will provide technical expertise to the project in areas such as programming, testing, quality control, implementation and the post implementation review.
The technical development manager may also be required to participate in an organisations strategic decision-making processes and may be asked to assist with corporate planning.
A technical development manager exhibits a combination of capabilities from the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and the Leadership competencies for Queensland.
Within the SFIA profile, the technical development manager has level 5 and 6 capabilities, i.e. ensures and advises on the skills outlined and initiates and influences their use. The SFIA profile is outlined below.
Refer to the framework for descriptions of the seven levels of responsibility and accountability.
SFIA skill code
SFIA skill level of responsibility
SFIA skills level descriptor
Systems development management
Sets policy and drives adherence to standards for systems development projects whether predictive (plan-driven) approaches or more adaptive (iterative/agile) approaches. Promotes the benefits of addressing all security issues during systems development. Identifies and manages the resources necessary for all stages (planning, estimation, execution) of systems development projects, ensuring that technical, financial and quality targets are met.
Manages provision of consultancy services, and/or management of a team of consultants. In own areas of expertise, provides advice and guidance to consultants and/or the client through involvement in the delivery of consultancy services. Engages with clients and maintains client relationships. Establishes agreements/contracts and manages completion and disengagement.
Emerging technology monitoring
Monitors the external environment to gather intelligence on emerging technologies. Assesses and documents the impacts, threats and opportunities to the organisation. Creates reports and technology roadmaps and shares knowledge and insights with others.
Takes full responsibility for the definition, approach, facilitation and satisfactory completion of medium-scale projects (typically with direct business impact and firm deadlines). Identifies, assesses and manages risks to the success of the project. Ensures that realistic project plans are maintained and ensures regular and accurate communication to stakeholders. Adopts appropriate project management methods and tools whether predictive (plan-driven) approaches or adaptive (iterative/agile) approaches. Ensures Quality reviews occur on schedule and according to procedure. Manages the change control procedure and ensures that project deliverables are completed within agreed cost, timescale and resource budgets, and are signed off. Provides effective leadership to the project team and takes appropriate action where team performance deviates from agreed tolerances.
Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 11 leadership competencies required against five leadership streams.
Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the value proposition of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels. The five leadership streams are:
- Individual contributor (Leads self and does not supervise others)
- Team leader (leads a team and typically reports to a program leader)
- Program leader (leads team leaders and/or multiple areas of work)
- Executive (leads program leaders or other executives)
- Chief executive (leads the organisation).
When developing a role description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.
A technical development manager must have an in depth understanding of programming languages, operating systems, databases, web services and technologies and development platforms.
Generally, a technical development manager will be required to have a degree level qualification in information technology. A significant amount of technical skill may be acquired through industry experience; however, a degree level qualification is considered to be the usual entry point to a career as a technical development manager.
As well as solid technical skills the technical development manager will need to have high level skills in areas such as team management, strong communication and interpersonal skills, attention to detail, budgeting, problem solving, methodical approach to work and the ability to meet deadlines and work well under pressure.