How many subscriptions do you own? Like many others, you may be subscribed to a number of services, such as a mobile phone plan, video streaming, music-sharing, and so on. Sometimes with all these subscriptions, you end up getting information overload and forget when to pay what. Availing of technology’s advancements altogether can leave you with an overwhelming feeling of drowning in still waters.
Similarly, your staffing agency may be dependent on a lot of applications or tools to reach the completion of a project or to come up with a viable solution. Handling all these applications can be daunting, yet managing them is a must because each app has a particular role toward the set goal. If the struggle to manage your tech stack is drowning you or your team, read on as we give suggestions on how to stay on top of everything.
What is a tech stack?
A technology stack, more commonly known to professionals as a tech stack or a solution stack, is a compilation of applications and other technologies that’s used to reach a certain solution, like the creation of another application or the setting up of a website.1 The difficulty in managing your technology stack is how each app or tech solution is already complex on its own, more so putting them all together and making them work in harmony.
A tech stack that isn’t managed properly brings a lot of repercussions, many of which will take up a lot of your staffing agency’s time and resources. Imagine finding out that your subscription to a web development app had lapsed. This results in time wasted, both in development and in just renewing the subscription. You need to stay on top of your technology stack, or the project could go awry.
Don’t fret, though. The key to handling your solutions stack can be summarized in three steps:
- Identify and itemize what is inside your technology stack.
- Apply LEAN principles, if possible, to lessen what to manage.
- Assign who can look over with tech solution, then check on that person from time to time.
Let’s break down how these steps can be applied.
List down the components of your technology stack.
You’re probably working with an IT team in creating a website or app, like a customer service chatbot or automation for applicants to keep track of their recruitment progress. With the help of your IT team, create an inventory of all technologies needed to reach your goal. Request your IT team to explain what each piece of technology does, and why it is needed.
For example, for the creation of your staffing agency’s website, your technology stack may include the following components:
- Browser. How can the website be accessed, through a desktop computer or mobile?
- Frameworks. Various frameworks provide templates for websites and apps.
- Database. In creating a website, specific information to be referred to up to when the website is running has to be stored in an accessible database.
- Web server. The web server is responsible for containing any needed software and information to make a website work.
- Web operating system. If certain computers have different operating systems like Windows and Mac, so do websites.
Related reading: Persona Prioritization: Rethinking Your Staffing Website
It’s possible that the solution stack for your project may have solutions similar to the ones above. However, aside from listing down these components of your stack, take note of pertinent information for each as well, such as:
Who owns what?
Are these acquired through a subscription, and are the contracts expiring soon? For staffing companies who outsource their IT team, it helps to be clear if the use of these pieces of technology is limited only to them, or your company as well in case you want to make developments in the future.
Flow of dependencies.
Is the app or resource dependent on another resource? Can it run on its own, or will it need the assistance of human intervention or by running another app?
How can each component of your technological stack support your staffing agency’s business changes and improvements?
Creating a list of the parts of your solution stack and defining the characteristics of each is a data-driven approach in managing the components needed to reach a specific tech-related goal. If you’ve mapped out the IT landscape3 of your recruitment agency, creating the tech stack won’t be difficult, because the former is a broader version of the latter.
Related reading: How to Build a Data-driven Marketing Team for Your Staffing Agency
Is your tech stack drowning you? Consider taking away from it.
Commonly, objects that come smaller in size or number are easier to handle. As for your technology stack, as the project moves on and the aimed-for company solution is nearing completion, it might be a good opportunity to let go of the stack’s components that may not be used anymore. There might also be some redundancies in the technology within the stack. Aim for your technology stack to grow smaller, for easier management.
As you move along with the project, ask these questions:
Are there obsolete technologies project-wise?
Check out your project roadmap, how your project was planned, and the milestones your team wishes to achieve. In these milestones, are there pieces in the stack that you won’t use anymore?
For example, are there pre-testing apps that won’t be relevant anymore once the project nears completion? You don’t necessarily have to get rid of such apps. Just note that they won’t be used anymore, and they are to be released from your technology stack list
Is this tool out of a need or a want?
Coming up with the best outcome for your project is the utmost goal. However, the definition of “best” might not be aligned with the rest of the IT team, and possibly the company.
Ask personnel relevant to the preferred tech solution, such as IT professionals or recruiters who will use the solution, what for them are the desired outcomes. This way, you can review if each part of the technology stack is needed to reach the identified outcomes.
For example, will your staffing agency’s website need a lot of personalization, or are existing website frameworks enough to serve your clients and potential hires? In that case, the use of a programming language may not be necessary, and this can be let go from your technology stack.
Lastly, assign people to look after each component of your technology stack. While specific members of the IT team will be the ones to utilize programming language, frameworks, and so on, being clear about their accountability with the app they are using will give them the proper mindset for responsibility as well.
If you have weekly meetings about the project’s progress, ask these questions:
- What percentage of their tasks with that specific app is complete?
- Did they encounter any problems or difficulties?
- Will the app they are using still be accessible until the end of the project, or for as long as it is needed?
This is by no means a way to lift the burden of managing the project and the technology stack off you, but more to empower your team to take hold of their capabilities and understanding of that particular resource they are assigned to. A shared responsibility over the solution stack is a great way to infuse better teamwork within the project.
Narrowing the management of your technology stack to three steps should give you more confidence in handling a seemingly complicated aspect of how your staffing agency uses technology.
With a data-driven inventory, a smaller tech stack, and clear-cut accountability, drowning will no longer be a problem.
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1 MongoDB. “What Is a Tech Stack and How Do They Work?”. https://www.mongodb.com/basics/technology-stack. No publish date. Accessed last February 13, 2023.
2 Codit Team. “The Need for Speed – Gartner’s Pace Layered Architecture”. Codit. https://www.codit.eu/blog/gartners-pace-layered-architecture/?country_sel=be. Published April 9, 2020. Accessed last February 13, 2023.
3 Grant, Matthew. “EA at Bosch: Lessons for Mapping Your IT Landscape” LeanIX. https://www.leanix.net/en/blog/ea-at-bosch-lessons-for-mapping-your-it-landscape. Published last February 8, 2023. Accessed last February 13, 2023.