by Mark Howard, Technical Director at frog UK
When you start working with a new agency partner, you probably find yourself asking at least one of these questions:
As traditional businesses evolve to become digital-first organizations, and new businesses are created with an immediate dependency on reliable technology choices, transparency and clarity over your tech stack are paramount.
In our Technology Community of Practice (CoP), our goal is to be fully transparent about how we build software, bringing technologies and software development techniques closer to other parts of a business. As a group of passionate and creatively-minded technologists, we believe the continual and rapid evolution of digital technology should be widely shared and understood and should inform our technical strategies.
But when technology is changing so quickly and your team is working across multiple projects, how do you quickly and easily answer those all-important questions? Enter the technology radar.
A technology radar is a curated and categorized list of technologies, tools and techniques that have been identified as being relevant to either a specific team, organization or form part of a wider industry perspective.
The technologies are organized into groups based on their role and then assessed on their current maturity, relevance and usage. Items (or “blips” as they might be called) that are closer to the centre of the radar are technologies that are deemed to be more understood and used.
It’s up to the authoring group to decide what they would like their radar to represent and how they’d like to group and show relevancy. For example, a radar doesn’t have to relate specifically to technology: some organizations have created them to represent wider themes such as innovation. Half the fun in creating one is defining how you would like your curated items to be represented.
The January 2021 edition of our Technology Radar.
Our technology radar serves as a framework and set of recommendations that guides our technology selection ahead of (re)developing a specific digital product or building an internal platform capability. It allows us to:
Perhaps your team or organization are looking to consolidate technology choices and agree on a go-to set of recommendations and standards across the majority of your work? Or maybe your team has a solid view of your current technology stack but needs to track technologies on the horizon?
Then a radar is a good place to start.
It makes life a lot easier for software development teams and those whose role is close to Technology and IT. But it also provides value beyond your tech team. Transparency over your digital assets helps brings those techniques and knowledge closer to other parts of the business.
Lots of our partners have been inspired to create their own radar, and we can work with you to co-develop a framework that’s relevant to your needs.
Based on how our technical community created our technology radar, here’s what we suggest:
As a community of practice, our technology radar has helped us to create a perspective on what’s relevant to us now and what the future may look like.
Now when we ask ourselves “If we were to start Project X again now, would we make the same choices or would we swap this for that?” or “Have you seen that this platform has now added these features – perhaps we should reconsider that now?”—we know where to find the answer.
The current version of our Technology Radar has just been published and we already have lots of ideas for how to evolve the experience itself, in addition to updating the items that are included. You can also use the form on there to register for notifications whenever we publish new versions of the radar.
We’d love to hear from you if you spot something that you think should be included or would like to discuss any of our current technology choices. Please also get in touch if you are inspired to create your own radar, we’d be happy to discuss our experience with you and work together on the process of creating and publishing your technology radar.