Cards for Analyzing and Reflecting on Doomed Software
A card that shows six road signs. Each sign stands for a different stage of adoption of a certain technology. All signs contain a box underneath where you can write down several technologies for a specific stage.
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Do you recognize this? Developers just returned from a conference and would like to put all the new stuff they’ve just heard of into the software system right now? The temptation might be great, but “conference-driven development” isn’t the best approach and all the existing stuff constrains your freedom of choice, too.

How can you communicate that you address the developers’ ideas about renewing your tech stack and keep the balance with the stuff that’s already existing? This card allows you to set a roadmap for the technologies you use or want to use in your software system. Put your new and existing technologies in different stages of adoption:

  1. Hold on: Already heard; doesn’t really fit to us yet
  2. Assess: Could be interesting; we’ll find out more about this
  3. Trial: There’s a good use case that we’re implementing in our context
  4. Apply: Yes, it’s worked out well; we’re adding it to our standard portfolio
  5. Stop: Okay, we’re not gonna use it in new projects anymore
  6. Remove: Everywhere where we come across it, we remove it

By doing this, you achieve two goals: Developers with the urge to introduce new technologies feel heard because they see that you have addressed their ideas by putting them on the roadmap. On the other end, developers see which technologies they don’t need to invest time to learn certain technologies that’ll get removed soon.

PS: This roadmap is not limited to technology only. You can also communicate practices and methodologies you want to apply or get rid of.

More information

  • A similar procedure can be found in the Technology Radar (which we used as inspiration). We added the stages “stop” and “remove” because we thought you could not just put stuff into software systems, but you also have to get rid of them.