Does your tech stack match your company culture? 3 tips for alignment
Deciding on the right technology that fits your business needs and people can be difficult, but in today’s world, this alignment is essential.
Software adoption often has a measurable effect on the bottom line. Research shows, for example, that sales organizations are less likely to meet their quotas if they use customer relationship management systems less than 75% of the time.
But choosing a tech stack for your business isn’t just about technology capability; leaders also need to weigh its role as a key dynamic in workplace culture and be able to tailor it to their company’s goals, says Denise Brinkmeyer, author of Project Orientation: A Field Guide for Project Management and president of Jump Technology Services®.
“Your technology stack should support your culture, and ROI shouldn’t be pushed so far into the future that it risks the investment due to loss of organizational knowledge,” says Brinkmeyer. “When looking at the average tenure of analysts and developers, you need to protect yourself with incremental releases that deliver ROI in a shorter rather than longer time frame.
“When you choose a stack, you put your employees into a new ecosystem, and it’s critical that the stack is comfortable for you and your employees and meets the needs of the business.”
A technology stack is the combination of technologies that a company uses to build and run an application or project. It usually consists of programming languages, frameworks, database, front-end tools, back-end tools, and applications connected through application programming interfaces. Brinkmeyer says implementation is often an ongoing process, requiring a culture that stays engaged and connected.
“Due to changing business needs, business growth, and frequent technology upgrades, you’re never completely ahead of the curve,” she says. “But fostering ownership at every stage of the implementation and adoption journey propels steady progress and maximizes return on investment.”
Brinkmeyer offers these tips for aligning your tech stack with your business:
- Carry out a technological assessment. When reviewing a working technology stack, Brinkmeyer says it should improve internal processes, align with business goals, and improve customer experience. “An evaluation will give you a clear view of what you may need to re-evaluate, what is working well, or how it can be used more effectively,” she says. “Depending on these results, the next step could be to thoroughly research other more user-friendly and cost-effective solutions.”
- Map the project and determine the best route to your destination. Much like mapping software that gives people different driving routes to their destination, Brinkmeyer says the alignment of team and technology depends on mapping a project’s smoothest path from its starting point. to its intended end point. “Everyone involved needs to have conversations about the technical features they need to get to the destination,” she says, “and then you need to map and discuss the route of the projects, which needs to be as clearly delineated as possible. . Assumptions and constraints need to be addressed. And the more you know about your team members and their experience levels, the more accurate your map is from start to destination, and the better you’ll be on time.
- Clearly communicate and document expectations. Brinkmeyer says ownership and adoption of a tech stack can’t happen without clarifying expectations in advance for each team member’s roles and schedules. “It’s essential to have clear documentation that promotes learning and ensures that users are using the software in the best possible way,” says Brinkmeyer. “Internal training is essential, and it’s helpful to coordinate with the vendor’s support team so that questions are answered quickly and bottlenecks are avoided.”
“Aligning new technologies with your team requires strong, organized leadership and an integrated culture,” says Brinkmeyer. “The human components are your foundation, and ideally your technology stack is a great complement, designed to bring out the best in your people and a company’s efficiency and output.”