The Right Way to Build a Software Stack Implementation Plan

A software stack is a group of programs that work together to fulfil a combined purpose. Every business has one or more software stacks on which the digital processes function. From payroll to marketing to order fulfilment, the software stack allows the business's many programs and networks to function as one complete, synchronised system.

So when it comes time to add a new program it builds a new stack, your implementation plan is critical. Each stack is fit together with custom interfaces from program to program. Your new configuration may take hand-tailored APIs alongside modular prepared connections to each adjacent program in the stack. For all-new stacks, each connection from top to bottom should be configured and checked for a successful implementation.

There are a lot of ways to do a software stack implementation wrong; Ways that break immediately and ways that lurk as errors for months. Here's the right way to build your stack implementation plan.


Know Your Stack

A software stack is made up of all the programs that must work together to achieve a company's goal. Often, they stem from a central EMS, CRM, and/or CMS website framework. Hubspot implementation is a great example of both building and adding to your company software stack. The larger the company, the more wide lower stack components there are. Each business purpose creates a new stack, built on top of the central business programs and cloud services. 

Common Business Stacks

  • Internal Data, Logistics, and HR
  • Point-of-Service
  • Research
  • Production and Manufacturing
  • Inventory and Shipping
  • Website Architecture
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Customer Service

Know the stack you are going to be building or altering. Start with the artery programs that the stack must connect to. This might be your inventory system, customer database, website structure, or a combination of arteries that must connect. These become the stack foundation. Visualise the stack upwards, going from service and support programs to single-purpose and end-point programs at the stack's top.

Know how each element of the stack feeds data to the adjacent programs, the security between them, and whether that connection is a module-lock, a standard API, or a more delicate custom API.


Building an Implementation Plan

A software stack implementation plan is a step-by-step guide to build a stack or carefully insert a new program into an existing stack.

This will mean taking inventory of how each program connects, how the data must exchange, how to secure that connection, and testing to ensure an end-to-end balance with the new stack configuration. This entire process is the implementation of a stack. To design an implementation plan, you will need research, design, and outline before the first change is made to your system.


What You Need for a Successful Stack Implementation Plan

Fortunately, you don't have to start from scratch. What you need is the right approach to your implementation plan and then follow-through to make the process go according to plan. Here's what you need to make your new software stack implementation successful:


1. The Right People 

An implementation plan can't be churned out by an AI (yet, anyway). What you need is a team of people who understand the purpose of the stack (ex: customer service), those who can understand APIs, and those who can secure the stack when it's complete. 

Assign one person to head the project, coordinating responsibilities and deadlines. While a software stack benefits from many experts, efficiency doesn't come from a committee. The head of your implementation will keep everyone on track and make sure every item on the implementation plan is completed, tested, and secured

2. The Right  Process

Of course, a crack team isn't enough. You also need the right implementation plan steps to put into action. The process of your software stack implementation will determine your success, along with the resiliency of the altered stack when you're done. Consider the order your steps must go in, each building on the secure completion of the last. Stacks are built from the ground up, so you can ensure the entire stack is stable with the correct process of integrating APIs and securing data.

3. The Right Tech

Make sure you have the right tools for the job. Software in a stack is aligned through specific APIs and sometimes that is enabled through add-ons or modules that make certain conversions possible. Your software team will help you determine the right tools and when to use them as part of the implementation plan. 

4. The Right Partners

With the right partners, you don't need software stack experts to live full-time on your team. Since most businesses don't shake up their stack more than once a year, you may not have a stack expert on staff - or not enough stack experts to go around. That's where tech partners come in. With the right partner who's done stack implementation many times in many contexts, you can count on them to manage setup and training for the smoothest possible implementation with stable and beneficial results. 

Here at the DigiKat team, we know what we're doing in a business stack. From your stack foundation to your purpose-built programs, we'll help you make sure a new program or a new stack fits snugly into your functioning business system.

5. The Right Training

When you're adding new software to the business flow, that's a new tool for the team to learn and benefit from. The final part of a great implementation plan is training on the new programs and features that have been added. If you want to maximise the benefit of your stack - and of new technology you've recently invested in - then training is key to help your team embrace their new tools and capabilities from day one.


Building Your Stack Implementation Plan with DigiKat

Here at DigiKat, we know that most businesses build a stack and coast with it until a new function or upgrade is needed. We'll be your software stack engineers so you don't have to keep someone on staff for these periodic tech tune-ups. A new software stack implementation is a complex and delicate process but by following the right method - with the right expert partners - you can be confident in your new stack's stability and all-new features with each additional program.

Our team has the stack expertise to ensure your next software stack implementation plan is done right. Contact us to consult on your plans to build or improve your business software stack.