What is a Tech Stack?
A technology stack, or tech stack, is a group of applications, platforms, and software that a company uses to carry out its business operations. Some companies have larger tech stacks than others with an overarching goal to drive efficiencies, monitor performance and reduce manual tasks.
There is no single piece of software out there that can accomplish every business process a company needs. Streamlined and successful companies leverage numerous software and apps to achieve their business goals. For instance, a Consultancy may use accountancy software to track invoices, resource allocation and alike and then use other tools for project delivery.
The best way to achieve a great tech stack is to ensure your core business processes are connected. If you look at your process what are the steps, from winning the work to delivering it and collecting payment, then nurturing that relationship.
With a connected platform, process and technologies are aligned and streamlined allowing for smarter data driven decisions, better project delivery, higher level of efficiency and ultimately a better & more profitable business.
When deciding what you want to put in your tech stack, step back and undertake a business capability map. In a nutshell, business capabilities are the tangible and intangible building blocks of a business that give it the ability to do what it does. Identify at very high level -
What are your business processes?
What are all the apps/documents each team uses to complete tasks?
What is the business impact of each app/document? How does the app or document impact employee efficiency and the client experience?
Then drill a little deeper to identify the gaps that can be addressed with technology, for instance -
Is there is there a process where you need to enter data from one document or app into another.
Are you having to find information from documents and subfolders in order to compile it?
Are you repeatedly putting in the same information into various data sources/silos?
Are any of these silos linked?
Once these gaps or frictions are identified then the decision must be made if they need to be filled. Your company’s individual team members will likely be using the tools in your tech stack, so you may want to bring them in the find out their pinch points.
Have a look at solutions out there that will solve your pinch points, make you more efficient and give you a USP over competitors by delighting your clients.
When looking at solutions ensure you are looking for software with open API’s (application programming interface) or existing integrations with your current solutions.
This will allow you to connect your software together to get the most out of them. You will be able to disseminate your data across your entire stack which will massively drive-up efficiency, reduce data loss and ensure data driven decisions are being made. Example –
How many projects do I have with this client?
When are these projects being delivered?
Do I have the data to give live updates across my client’s portfolio?
How much did we charge?
Did we deliver on time and budget?
A good software stack should be able to give you the information you want immediately and be connected across all the other businesses processes.
Test and measure impact
Take some licenses and give your employees time to understand the new product. At Frame Solutions we use the ADKAR adoption model, Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement.
Measure the impact that’s it having on the business,
Can you now offer clients something else your competitors can’t?
Has efficiency gone up, are you billing more rather than booking time to admin?
Have ineffective ways of working now been reduced?
Do your employees like using the software, will adoption be high?
Keep the ones that improve your business and align with your goals and discard the ones that are not.
Building a tech stack will be a continuous process as new technology and software are released and updated to serve the market and your business. Having moments to stop and analyse with capability mapping will inevitably keep you current and at the forefront of the building consultancy market.