An open source rubric for technology evaluation
I’ve written and open sourced a rubric for assessing new technologies as part of your organization. It’s written for use in non-technical organizations in particular, but it might be useful everywhere. The idea is to pose questions that are worth asking when you’re selecting a vendor, or choosing an API or software library to incorporate into your own product.
I originally wrote a version of an assessment template when I was CTO at The 19th. Because they have a well-defined equity mission, I wanted to make sure the vendors of technologies and services being chosen adhered to their values. I’d never seen questions like “has this software been involved in undermining free and fair elections” in a technology assessment before, but it’s an important question to ask.
This assessment is written from scratch to include similar questions about values, as well as a lightweight risk assessment framework and some ideas to consider regarding lock-in and freedom to move to another vendor.
Some of these questions are hard to answer, but many will be surprisingly easy. The idea is not to undertake a research project: most prompts can be answered with a simple search, and the whole assessment should be completable in under an hour. The most important thing it does is add intention to questions of values, business impact, and how well it solves an important problem for your organization.
It’s an open source project, so I invite contributions, edits, and feedback. Let me know what you think!