Our company has accepted to do a full-scale refactoring of our core IT product and I'm supposed to act as PM for this project. First some background info: The project is 5-6 years old, build as a monolith of code by a single guy (for about 3 years) and then developed further by a small team (without the first guy). Right now the company and team further extended so it became problematic to accommodate a large team being productive by working on such an outdated (architecturally speaking) project.
The idea of such refactoring came from one of the senior developers (from the ones that took over from the creator of the project) in form of various technical documents about how the project should be modularized, structured in correct layers, adapted to modern models and frameworks, etc. So this guy (let's call him Mike), ended up as an teamleder/architect of this project to which management committed some important resources.
One of the problems is that this guy is a difficult/conflictual person to work with so I was also bought in as (non-technical) PM to handle this project.
My main problem here is that the project is purely technical (e.g. if everything that Mike suggested will be done, business wise the product would have the same functionalities/look the same) so it will be very problematic for me check the deliverables of such project. Mike's difficult personality will make this even more cumbersome as he can't really find (by himself) the way to explain the business scope of the various "tasks" that he suggested.
There are a couple of other seniors (that will be part of this team) that I would trust more with translating technical plans into business understandable projects, but they are not the ones who came with this project so this is a bit of "Mike's project".
Of course having a good relationship with Mike is one of my main goals (and one of the reasons I ended up in this position is because I was the only PM to accept/be able to work with him in the past:) ), but I can not let him solely lead the project and trust him. Especially since it seems the project can not really be delivered in steps, which make it even more complex to follow it.