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The Tech Lead’s New Project Checklist – In Simple Terms

These are my notes from a session on what a tech lead needs to do and know when arriving on a new project. The wisdom came from @JimBarritt atThoughtworks – I am just the conduit.

Note that this list applies both to projects that existed before the tech lead arrived, and those where the whole team / product is new.

The first two are apparently “the two most likely causes of death or injury”:

1) Infrastructure

2) Third parties

3) Find the movers and shakers

4) Find any top-level documentation of your team’s work, read it and understand it

5) Whats the budget and the value proposition?

6) Try to have a one-to-one with each person in the team

7) Befriend a project manager and get to understand how they manage budgets

8) If there are multiple teams, find and get to know the other tech leads

9) Understand the importance of the Trinity of delivery: Delivery manager, product owner, tech lead

10) Backlog: make sure the scope is clearly structured

11) Code:

12) What are the pain points and blockers?

13) Cross Functional Requirements

14) As a tech lead, what things are scaring you most about this project?

* Whisky idea inspired by JK Werner.

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