Technology radar: mapping technologies as a team to guide future project choices


Technology radar

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Your engineers may sometimes have difficulty finding their way through the jungle of technology solutions available. Yet these are vital choices! The technology radar is the best tool to help you clearly visualize all the technologies in use within your organization while keeping an eye on all the latest developments. Using this off-the-shelf tool, your team will be ready to map the whole range of technologies in use or likely to be used within the company and be able to choose the most appropriate solutions for each project.

What does a “technology radar” look like and what does it do?

The technology radar was designed by Thoughtworks, the IT consultants, as a visualization tool used by engineering teams to map all the technology solutions in use or likely to be used within the company, according to type and stage of use.

The quadrants represent the technology types

  • Software languages and architectures. They make up the project backbone.
  • Tools. These are the software tools needed to develop projects and they are supported directly by the team: data bases, version monitoring systems, etc.
  • Platforms. They host the technologies used to deploy the project code. For instance: Android mobile technology, Java virtual machines, hybrid clouds, etc. Unlike tools, platforms are made available but require no maintenance by the team.
  • Techniques. They include aspects of the development process such as design, or code and structuring methods (microservices, monolithic applications, etc.).

The four circles stand for the technology’s stages of use within the company

  • The ADOPT stage includes all the strategic technologies that the team uses on a regular basis and that are vital for the success of your projects.
  • The TRIAL stage applies to essential technologies that work well but still need testing in the field to make sure they can be safely deployed throughout the company.
  • The ASSESS stage applies to promising technologies that need to be studied seriously before they can be deployed at some later stage.
  • The HOLD stage applies to technologies that are in use but have been found disappointing and are not recommended for future project use.
An engineering team can complete its technology radar on screen, using Klaxoon’s off-the-shelf template. Some members can be connected via the videoconferencing tool. - Klaxoon
Using Board, the technology radar can be created as a team, in person and/or remotely with the built-in videoconferencing tool.

Why create your own technology radar?

The benefits of the technology radar

The technology radar can be used to choose the best solutions by listing all the technologies in use within your company, looking forward to future developments and identifying possible risks. It will become a reference document, allowing engineering teams to choose the technologies they need and to have a better knowledge of in-house resources.

It can also be used as an HRM tool to match up applicant profiles with the company’s technological resources.

Two good reasons why you should use Klaxoon’s Board to create your technology radar

Every team member can take part, irrespective of time available and place

Klaxoon’s Board is an unlimited digital whiteboard where you can easily share ideas in the shape of text, images, videos, documents or links, displayed in colorful thumbnails that work wonders for visual communication. With its built-in videoconferencing tool, Live, all the team members can share ideas in real-time, in person and/or remotely. People can even contribute in asynchronous mode.

Creating a technology radar implies team work involving different tech profiles (developers, security and operations experts, architects, etc.), so Board is the ideal interactive platform to share ideas quickly and efficiently.

Choose the most appropriate display mode

You can choose three different viewing modes to display your results according to your needs:

  • Board view gives you an overview of the radar so you can visualize all the items at a glance according to type and stage of use within the company;
  • Column view enables you to view items by color and category;
  • List view means you can filter technology items by color, category and status.
On a computer screen, 4 different-colored columns highlight 4 different types of technology from the map. - Klaxoon
Here Board shows a column view of the technology radar, displaying the information from a different angle.

Creating your technology radar with Board

Use this off-the-shelf model from the Klaxoon Template library to complete your company’s technology radar, as a team.

Identify the technologies already in use or likely to be used within your company

On the radar, each Idea represents one technology or method. As a team, pool your ideas and keep the list to 100 items maximum to optimize the mapping process. In case of disagreement, launch a yes/no Poll Question to decide as a team. Keep track of all the other suggestions in the "off the radar" space, as you may want to include them at some later stage. Then place the selected technologies in the right quadrant, according to type, and allocate the appropriate color (techniques in blue, platforms in yellow, software languages and architectures in orange and tools in red).

Determine which stage each technology has reached in your company

This classification depends on a number of criteria, such as security, competencies, costs, iteration speed, etc. If need be, run a multiple choice Question to decide as a team. All you need to do now is to allocate the category for the stage of use, i.e. adopt, trial, assess, or hold.

Document each technology

Text, images, videos, links to a website, all kinds of documents: use whatever you consider most relevant to add detailed information about each technology on the radar, while keeping the map easy to read. Use the “Open Question” feature by linking it to an idea: the documentation will remain easily available in the background.

Benjamin has completed information on the team’s virtual wall. He explains why this is useful and adds a link on how to use it. - Klaxoon
Each team member can add detail to the technology or method on the radar by using Board’s Question feature.

Update your technology radar

Technology is constantly changing, so update your technology radar at least once every 6 months to keep it topical. Complete the “Status” field by adding “new”, “moved” or “unchanged” to each technology to show whether any changes have been made since the previous version.

One thing is for sure: with contributions from your whole IT team, no technology will remain off the radar!

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