Successful Projects Benefit from both Technical and Business Acumen

Technical and Business Acumen

Often times, these skills belong respectively to software engineers or to project managers. You may have someone on a project that is able to negotiate both domains, or you may have teams of people working together which collectively provide skills from both domains. Either way, when technical and business acumen come together, challenges are overcome and projects complete successfully.  This post tells of a SharePoint project experience I had where a challenge was overcome with technical and business acumen.

A SharePoint implementation faced a serious show-stopper: The InfoPath form xml schemas already in production throughout the organization were not compatible with the dynamic sections of InfoPath forms to be deployed on SharePoint. The project was on the verge of being scrapped. I drove the initiative to seek a solution.

The solution had two legs, technical, and business. On the technical side, I discovered that I could rewrite the validation scripts for every field on every form, inversing the logic, and writing the converse. This would flag each field for manual expansion based on the input value.

On the business side, I negotiated a new form filling procedure, compatible with the new validation structure, which did not require dynamic sections. This had to be checked across the organization.

I built the proof of concept and sold it to management, receiving the desired 3 developers and 2 analysts to work an extra month on the project. Although we needed an extra month, I had allowed the project to continue and the SharePoint deployment was a success.

Think of the projects you have worked on. What major roadblocks were overcome? Did the solution involve the union of technical and business acumen? Was this union found in individuals as well as in teams working together?

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