[Question moved from Project Management queue]
I have a question from a developer perspective. I am currently on a team where I likely have the most advanced technical skills, and the management team has little to no development experience. This frequently leaves me in a position where I am on my own. At times, I get asked by management for advice on projects from a technical perspective, which is expected. However, the consultation and support that I have been giving lately seems to be overlapping what seems like should be management responsibility. I received a question from management the other day, and it kind of threw me off, so I am wondering if others can offer advice.
I was asked by a manager as to whether our department should merge with another department, that has their own database/server implementation, but is currently operating as a completely separate unit from ours. It is not like two units who are working side-by-side that could benefit simply by coordinating more. This would be a big change to absorb the technical support for a business unit into an IT division. I expressed that the overall vision would have some benefits, though I was concerned about the feasibility and planning to make it happen. I basically referred the manager to my director and told the manager that the issue was above my level.
The things that are going through my mind are all of the steps that I think typically a manager would be heavily involved in, such as a budget analysis, funding acquisition, resource/staffing analysis, project plan, work breakdown structure, and architecture, just to start. Most of this seems like it would be management tasks, except for needing advice on the architecture. I was recently promoted to a more senior role, and I know part of my job is to give advice. Usually this has been from a more technical perspective, though. Sometimes senior engineers do provide feedback from a staffing perspective, though this seemed like too much was being asked of me.
I was curious to get others' thoughts. Is this the kind of question that would normally fall into the responsibility of a senior software engineer? What other options would I have to handle situations like this in the future? Any advice would be appreciated.